Better Baked Beans (350°F)

Smoky Baked Beans Recipe: Slow-cooked in the oven with crispy bacon, sweet molasses, and tangy spices. Try this sweet and smoky twist on a classic! Make it tonight!

Rich, smoky, and sweet, these Better Baked Beans are a game-changer for your next gathering or potluck. With crispy bacon, tender navy beans, and a tangy, slightly sweet sauce, this recipe is sure to become a new favorite.

Ready Time

5 hrs 10 mins


4 servings


  • 1 pound dried navy beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 pound smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water


Preheat your oven to 350°F.

In a large Dutch oven or oven-safe pot, cook the bacon pieces over medium heat until crispy.

Remove the cooked bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon and set it aside on a paper towel-lined plate.

Leave the grease in the pot and add the chopped onion.

Cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant.

Add the soaked and drained navy beans, ketchup, brown sugar, ground mustard, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper to the pot.

Stir until everything is well combined.

Add the molasses, apple cider vinegar, and water to the pot.

Stir until smooth.

Add the cooked bacon back into the pot and stir to combine.

Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil.

Once boiling, cover the pot and transfer it to the preheated oven.

Bake for 6-8 hours, or until the beans are tender.

Check the beans every hour or so to ensure they’re not drying out.

If the mixture seems too thick, add a little water.

If it seems too thin, uncover the pot for a bit to let some of the liquid evaporate.

Once the beans are tender, remove the pot from the oven.

Let it cool slightly before serving.

Serve hot, garnished with chopped fresh herbs if desired.


Use dried navy beans, not canned, for the best flavor and texture. Be sure to soak the beans overnight and drain them well before using.

Smoked bacon adds a rich, savory flavor, but you can substitute with regular bacon if you prefer.

Just be aware the flavor will be slightly different. Onion and garlic add a depth of flavor, but be careful not to burn them – cook them over medium heat and stir frequently.

If using smoked paprika, be aware it’s quite strong, so start with the recommended amount and adjust to taste.

Molasses adds a rich, sweetness, but feel free to reduce or omit if you’re watching your sugar intake. Keep an eye on the beans while they’re baking, adding water or uncovering the pot as needed to achieve the right consistency.

Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to 3 months.

Reheat gently, adding water if necessary to achieve the right consistency.

Nutrional Value

  • Calories: 461
  • Total Fat: 14g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.7g
  • Cholesterol: 20mg
  • Sodium: 830mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 64g
  • Dietary Fiber: 8g
  • Sugars: 24g
  • Protein: 22g
Better Baked Beans (350°F)
Better Baked Beans (350°F)

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