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Close up shot of a ladle of homemade baked beans with bacon and molasses
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5 from 1 vote

Homemade Baked Beans

Skip store-bought cans, because you can't beat the sweet, savory and smoky taste of homemade baked beans with bacon and molasses. The perfect picnic, potluck or cookout dish!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword baked beans from scratch, boston baked beans, homemade baked beans
Prep Time 14 hours
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 16 hours
Servings 8 cups total (approximately)
Calories 215kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 1 lb. dried navy or great Northern beans, rinsed and sorted
  • ½ lb. bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley, chives or sliced green onions


  • Place beans in a large bowl or pot. Cover with water by 2 inches. Cover and let stand overnight. Drain and rinse the beans.
  • Place the beans in a large pot and cover with fresh water (about 1 quart). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so that the liquid is at a gentle simmer. Cover the pot and simmer the beans until tender, about 1 ½ hours. Drain and rinse.
  • Preheat oven to 325° F.
  • In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp, about 7-8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate; reserve 2 tablespoons of drippings in the pot (discard any excess).
  • Add the onion to the drippings in the pot and season with a pinch of salt. Cook over medium-high heat until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the beans, bacon, ketchup, molasses, vinegar, dry mustard, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Add enough of the broth to cover the beans (if necessary, add water as well to cover the beans).
  • Cover and bake until the beans are tender, about 2 hours, stirring the pot halfway through.
  • Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, chives or sliced green onions.


  • I use navy beans, but you can substitute with Great Northern beans, pink beans or pinto beans.
  • Add diced green bell pepper to the onion in the pot for more vegetables and more flavor in the dish.
  • Instead of bacon, add flavor to the baked beans with a smoked ham bone or ham hock, salt pork, smoked sausage, smoked turkey wings, or smoked pork neck bones.
  • For added heat, season the beans with Cajun seasoning or Creole seasoning, some hot sauce, or a dash of cayenne.
  • Don't add too much salt. The bacon and the broth provide a good amount of salt to the dish, so start slowly, and gradually add more seasoning to taste.
  • The total cooking time may vary, so keep an eye on your beans and pull them out of the oven when they're tender. I find that 2 hours is perfect, but you can pull them out sooner if you like your beans a bit firmer. For really soft, broken-down beans, you might like to leave them in the oven beyond the 2-hour mark.
  • The beans and sauce will continue to thicken up as they cool, so don't worry if it looks a little bit soupy when it first comes out of the oven.


Serving: 1/2 cup | Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 277mg | Potassium: 656mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 2mg