The Best Baked Beans

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 5 hr
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 8 servings
If you think baked beans only come from a can, you're in for a treat. Bacon, molasses and bourbon add depth and flavor to our classic recipe that's perfectly spiced with paprika, mustard and Worcestershire. A bit of brown sugar adds just the right amount of sweetness and to keep things easy, the beans require no soaking! They get tender and delicious right in the oven.



  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the paprika and toast, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato sauce, molasses, bourbon, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes.
  2. Add the beans and 8 cups water. Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Bake until the beans are tender, about 3 hours. (If the beans are still slightly firm, continue cooking, stirring every 45 minutes and adding more water if necessary to just cover.)
  3. Once the beans are tender, uncover and increase the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake until the beans are thick and browned, about 1 more hour. (Again, if the beans need more time, continue cooking, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary.) Remove from the oven and thin with water if necessary.