These completely homemade Maple Bacon Baked Beans are like nothing you’ve ever tried before! Sweet and tangy, topped with bacon and a spicy bite. Don’t miss the surprise star – ROOT BEER!
Easy Homemade Baked Beans with Bacon
These definitely are not canned baked beans. They’re not even semi-homemade baked beans. These are the real deal – complete homemade goodness. They are sweet, tangy, and utterly addictive. And, topped with bacon, so ya know, basically they’re as good as it gets.
Whenever I’m invited to a picnic or potluck, this is the dish I’m asked to bring. It’s become a bit of a specialty of mine because of some of the major modifications I’ve made. For starters, I use maple syrup and root beer instead of molasses. I realize this might sound completely bonkers, but I bet you’ll be a convert once you’ve given it a shot.
Root beer and tomato paste? I see you raising your eyebrows already. But, don’t worry – you’re going to like where this is going. The flavor in these baked beans is out. of. this. world.
Here’s what you’ll need for these Maple Bacon Baked Beans:
- yellow onion
- tomato paste
- root beer
- apple cider vinegar
- maple syrup
- dijon mustard or brown mustard
- cannellini beans
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- red pepper flakes
- chopped fresh parsley
How to Make Baked Beans
- Prep: Preheat your oven to 400˚F.
- Bacon: Place the bacon in an oven-safe dutch oven or large high-sided oven-safe skillet. Set the skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon slices until they are crisp. Remove the bacon from the skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add: Add the diced onion to the bacon grease in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, then stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Whisk: Slowly whisk in the root beer, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and mustard. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Combine: Gently stir in the beans. Crumble the previously cooked bacon and add half of the crumbled bacon to the pot.
- Stir and Simmer: Slowly stir the mixture and season it with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Bake: Transfer the beans to the preheated oven and bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until thickened.
- Let Stand: Remove the beans from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
- Serve: Top with the beans with the remaining bacon. Garnish with red pepper flakes and parsley. Serve.
Tips for the Best Baked Beans
These tips are what make my homemade baked beans the best on the block:
- Don’t Dump the Bacon Grease. Saute those onions and garlic in it for even more flavor.
- Just Add Root Beer. The rootbeer adds both flavor and sweetness. The better quality the root beer, the better it will make your baked beans.
- Maple Not Molasses. I prefer my baked beans with pure maple syrup, not molasses. This swap really enhances the flavor.
Baked beans definitely aren’t a meal in themselves. They are traditionally a picnic or potluck side dish. To make it a complete meal, you can cook up some hot dogs right in with your beans, just add them before baking, then serve alongside a salad.
Baked beans are a great side to serve with ham, pork chops or ribs. At your next BBQ, serve them alongside hamburgers and hot dogs with potato or macaroni salad. My kids also love these with a big helping of mashed potatoes. Yes that is technically two side dishes for a meal but they gobble it up so why not?
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
If you bring this to a potluck, BBQ, or picnic, I can guarantee you will not have any leftovers. It’s just not possible.
If by some crazy chance, you do have leftovers – you can easily save them. Simply let them cool completely, cover your baking dish or move the beans into an airtight container and place them in your refrigerator for 4 days. To freeze, spoon the cooled beans into a freezer-safe zip-top bag, label it, and use them at any point over the next 2 months.
When you’re ready to reheat your beans, let them come to room temperature, then place them in a baking dish and put them in your oven at 400˚F until they’re warm. You may need to thin things out with a bit of water.
Homemade Maple Bacon Baked Beans
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2½ tbsp tomato paste
- 3 cups root beer
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard or brown mustard
- 4 cans (15-ounces each) cannellini beans well rinsed and drained
- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes for garnish
- chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Place bacon in an oven-safe dutch oven or large high-sided oven-safe skillet; set skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon slices to a crisp.
- Remove bacon from skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add diced onion to the bacon grease in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat.
- Stir in garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds.
- Add tomato paste; stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in root beer, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and mustard. Bring mixture to a boil.
- Gently stir in beans.
- Crumble previously cooked bacon and add half of the crumbled bacon to the pot.
- Slowly stir mixture and season with salt and pepper; reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Transfer beans to the preheated oven and bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until thickened.
- Remove from oven; let stand 5 to 8 minutes to cool slightly.
- Top with remaining bacon.
- Garnish with red pepper flakes and parsley.