Baked beans, both the type that come in cans and those that come from the kitchens of barbecue shacks, are usually one step away from candy, bombarded as they are with brown sugar, molasses, and honey. Too bad, since beans really are A-list eats, even though they sometimes get a bad rep. Hey, they can’t help that they make some people fart! But that’s just because beans contain sugar molecules called oligosaccharides and those who don’t have enough alpha-galactosidase enzymes to break them down end up dealing with gas and bloating after they eat some beans. That shouldn’t stop you from adding beans to your diet more frequently though, as they have protein, fiber, potassium, and immune-boosting zinc, to name a few of the nutrients they carry.
In order to preserve baked beans’ health status and maximize deliciousness, in this baked beans recipe, we mitigate the sugar surge and build flavor instead with a few of our all-time favorite foods: cayenne, beer, and bacon. Bet you didn’t think to add these three ingredients to your beans, right? But together, they make for the most perfect, smoky baked beans recipe. And bacon simply makes everything taste better, doesn’t it? Try out this recipe and we have a feeling you’re going to turn to this bean-based side dish more than once.
170 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 570 mg sodium
4 strips bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (16 oz each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup dark beer
1⁄4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Pinch of cayenne pepper
How to Make It
- Heat a large pot or saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the bacon and cook until it’s just turning crispy, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, another 3 minutes.
- Stir in the beans, beer, ketchup, chili powder, brown sugar, and cayenne.
- Simmer until the sauce thickens and clings to the beans, about 15 minutes.
This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!