Smoky Baked Beans

I know you can always open a can of baked beans in a pinch and offer them alongside brats and onions at your next tailgating party, but have you ever made your own? If so, you will understand what I mean when I say you'll never want to go back! Making them from scratch is especially easy when you use your slow cooker. What's more, working bacon, veggies, and a variety of beans into the mix keeps things interesting.

I like using thick-cut bacon in these. A big chunk of bacon won't get lost in the mix and will help impart more smoky flavor, so go big and be generous! I suggest three different types of beans here, but you can mix things up or go with all one kind of bean if that's what you prefer. I like how pretty these look in a little bowl with all that variety though. Speaking of variety, you can opt for different colored bell peppers or even a rainbow mix. Use what inspires you!

These beans are amazing alongside anything else that works on the grill - ribs, brats, steaks, even portabella mushrooms! Refrigerate any leftovers and have them as is or add them to a pot of chili for a sweet and smoky extra touch!

Smoky Baked Beans

  • 8 strips bacon
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ¾ c. ketchup
  • ¼ c. molasses
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • ⅓ c. maple syrup
  • 2 T. grainy mustard
  • ½ tsp. liquid smoke
  • 1 can great northern beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can pinto beans

Fry the bacon, crumble it, and set it aside.

Sauté the onions and peppers in the bacon grease.

Mix all of the ingredients together, place in a slow cooker, and cook on low for 3-4 hours.

  • Yields: 8-10 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes prep time, 3-4 hours cooking time

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