Recipe courtesy of Steven Raichlen

Sweet and Smoky Baked Beans

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  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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4 strips thick sliced bacon, cut into 1/4-inch slivers

2 medium onions, finely chopped (about 2 cups)

1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped

2 gloves garlic, minced

2 (15-ounce) cans great northern or kidney beans, drained and rinsed in a colander

1/3 cup molasses

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, or to taste

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1/4 tablespoon liquid smoke, or to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a heavy pot, cook the bacon over medium heat to render the fat, about 5 minutes. Discard all but 2 tablespoons fat.
  2. Add the onion, pepper, and garlic and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans, molasses, barbecue sauce, ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustards, vinegar, and liquid smoke. Simmer the beans, uncovered, until rich and thickly flavored, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Alternatively, place the baked beans in a deep baking dish and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Add salt, pepper, or any other ingredient to taste.