Homemade Brown Sugar Baked Beans Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Homemade Brown Sugar Baked Beans

7 reviews / 5 average

Well, lookee here!

This pot o glory is the new-to-me wonder known as HOMEMADE BAKED BEANS. They are saucy, semi-creamy, brown sugar sweet + smoky bacon salty, and deliciously comforting. Just five basic ingredients at work here: bacon, onions, navy beans, molasses, and mustard.

And then of course, there's the brown sugar because it's the right thing to do when it comes to a baked beans recipe - annnnd because Bjork and I recently finished our third 60-day sugar free commitment which left me feeling extra brown-sugar generous with myself this weekend. 💃🏼

I need to explain one thing real quick: this little baked beans recipe action is happening on this here blog the day after the fourth of July weekend. When, in fact, it would have made more sense to post a baked beans recipe sometime before the fourth of July weekend.

How to even explain this?


I totally was not planning to post this recipe, which is why the timing is a little bit off. *excuses* But let's be real: this really just comes down to who I am as a person: LATE.

On Saturday, with no blog post in mind, I made the beans and fell so in love with them that the food blogger within couldn't help but be brought to life. I snapped a few pictures of the goodness in my pretty red pot before hopping in the car to drive back to our hometown for a little family fourth of July shindig.

Homemade Brown Sugar Baked Beans! They are saucy, semi-creamy, brown sugar sweet + smoky bacon salty, and deliciously comforting. Five basic ingredients! | skillfulcook.us

And shindig it was! We had lots of holiday weekend food, Minnesota-style, involving (in addition to the beans) dad's grilled hamburgers, artichoke pasta salad, sour cream and cheddar Lay's for which my love knows no bounds 💕🙈, broccoli salad, watermelon slices, Grandma's jello salad, and homemade lemonade.

Rather than go on and on and on and on about a super easy, house-smells-delicious homemade brown sugar baked beans recipe (I could, I assure you), I'm just going to blast you with a few pictures of my family's celebration from this holiday weekend.

Because what are Mondays good for if not mindlessly looking at friends' pictures online instead of doing real work? I only say it because I know it.

Fourth of July | skillfulcook.us
Fourth of July | skillfulcook.us
Fourth of July | skillfulcook.us
Fourth of July | skillfulcook.us
Fourth of July | skillfulcook.us
Fourth of July | skillfulcook.us
Fourth of July | skillfulcook.us
Fourth of July | skillfulcook.us

The good news bad news situation here is that the amount of baked beans I made was completely perfect for our group of eleven people. Good news meaning I actually sort of guesstimated the right amount of food for once in my life. Bad news meaning no leftovers. Are you silently shaming me for wanting leftover brown sugar baked beans in my fridge right now? UGH don't answer.

Here's to summer barbecues and get-togethers and grill outs involving homemade brown sugar baked beans! Cause it feels good (and smells good and tastes good) to make real food from scratch. 🎉👊🏼 Also, in the process of baking these, your house will get infused with the scents of brown sugar and bacon amazingness. So, like, duh.

Oh, and the pile of cheddar & sour cream Lay's that I've hoarded to go with my real food, made-from-scratch baked beans? NEVERMIND THAT YOU GUYS. Srsly. Nothing to see here.

Happy summering!

Homemade Brown Sugar Baked Beans! They are saucy, semi-creamy, brown sugar sweet + smoky bacon salty, and deliciously comforting. Five basic ingredients! | skillfulcook.us

One last note: you will need a pretty heavy duty pot for this recipe because we will be switching from the stovetop to the oven, and you guys, I need you to know that this red Lodge Dutch Oven that you're see in the pictures is just EVERYTHING to my cooking life. I use it all the time and I feel like such a pioneer woman when I use it because it's rustic and red and gives off the best soul food vibes.

I don't have a ton of cookware (a mishmash of 6 pots/pans, to be exact), but this one is a MUST for me. Highly recommend if you're looking for something in the heavy oven proof pot department!

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Homemade Brown Sugar Baked Beans in a pot with a spoon.

Homemade Baked Beans

  • Author: Skillful Cook
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 servings 1x


Homemade Brown Sugar Baked Beans! They are saucy, semi-creamy, brown sugar sweet + smoky bacon salty, and deliciously comforting. Five basic ingredients!


  • 12 ounces bacon, cut into pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 15-ounce cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
  • a generous pinch of black pepper
  • 1 cup hot water (more as needed)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • salt to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Cook the bacon in a large, oven-proof pot over medium high heat. When the bacon is browned (about 10 minutes), remove from heat.
  3. Add the onions and the beans on top of the bacon in the pot. Whisk the molasses, mustard, and pepper together and pour over everything. Add the hot water (I actually didn't measure my water - I just poured water from the kettle until I started to see it under the beans).
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, stir, and bake for another 20-30 minutes. Continue this process until the beans are sticky and thick and deep golden brown (for me, it was about 1 1/2 hours total time in oven). Add water to adjust consistency as needed. Remove from the oven and stir in the brown sugar and salt to taste.


I didn't drain the grease out of the pan after frying the bacon, but you definitely could get rid of SOME of it if you're more health conscious than I was on this particular fourth of July holiday weekend. However, make sure to leave at least a little bit because the fat helps to bind the sauce together and make the whole thing sticky/saucy/wonderful.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: baked beans, bacon baked beans, sugar baked beans

Disclaimer: this post contains an affiliate link for that pretty red Lodge Dutch Oven. If you don't want to buy it on Amazon, look for it at Target (that's where I got mine). I it BIG TIME.

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks like the perfect pot of beans! So much better than a can of baked beans. The best part is there is enough bacon bits so everyone gets some in each scoop. My family always fights over who gets the one piece of bacon found in the canned varieties!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        But they USED can beans in the recipe. This is a big fancy food blog with great photography and lots of extra wording, but they still resorted to using canned beans in the recipe. smh

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          David’s mother never taught him that if he didn’t have anything nice to say, it’s best to say nothing at all. What a valuable lesson to have missed. 😉

          I can’t wait to try these. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love you 4th of July pictures. So cute. Also, I think baked beans should be made all summer long, so it was perfectly fine that you posted the recipe today instead of last week (:

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks absolutely amazing, I love beans. It looks like you had a wonderful Fourth of July! Have a wonderful week 🙂

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    These beans look divine! And congrats on completing another round of Go Sugar Free! Awesome. Also, this pretty much sums up my life >> “Sour cream and cheddar Lay’s for which my love knows no bounds .” YASSSSS.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Just wanted to say that chronic lateness is a much more acceptable trait in someone who tends to show up with food, so I think you’re safe. 🙂

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    OH yum. I love that you are always behind with holiday posts…lol it makes you more interesting HA.

    And I LOVE my dutch oven as well! I see you stuck with the correct tools, and used a wooden spoon. The only thing appropriate to feel like a true pioneer woman. Saving that loser rubber spoon for another day 😉

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I loved all the photos, but I can’t believe the one you got of Sage through the screen! That is so cool looking! And is it too weird to say that your little brother is adorable? I totally agree about looking at friends’ pictures. I’m all about the stalking! 😛 Thank you for sharing your weekend fun with us!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love love baked beans but have never made home made – often 3-4 hours in the oven for many recipes. Will definitely try. I don’t eat meat – any substitutions to get sticky/saucy just right? Thanks.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Hm, I do think the bacon fat is pretty important for getting the sauce sticky. I guess I don’t have any good subs – but maybe the molasses will be sticky enough on its own? I don’t know.

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    No leftover beans?! The humanity!! I can just imagine the beans and toast breakfasts for DAYS!! (The Anglo-phile is totally coming out in me) Your holiday looks like it was a smashing success and the pupsdefinitely know where the party is at – right near the food!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love baked beans the HOLY GRAIL ingredient here is definitely the Brown Sugar! Looks like a great time was had by All! I see you Sage! 🙂

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    My mom herself is a cooking expert and the way she drives others’ attention towards her by cooking delicious food inspires me, cooking food has always been my choice as a part time activity and sometimes i bake cakes too.

    This time i have decided to learn to cook more and more less time consuming stuff so that i can spend my college days by cooking food for myself.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    While I was reading this article, my husband came in from working in the yard and asked what’s for supper. I wish I had the ingredients and time to make these beans for him. Instead, I’ll just make the chicken and dumplings I was planning. These beans are on the menu for after a quick trip to the store, though. Nice photos.

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    I found your site via a link, on Matthew Woodwards site and just wanted to say I’m impressed with your site design.

    You should so make that SMS message a tweetable. Because it’s hilarious ROFL If you are using wordpress have a look for a plugin called ‘Click To Tweet’ it makes it super easy.

    Now on this recipe, can I avoid having to use canned beans? And as I’m in Australia is there another term for ‘navy beans’ as we must call them by another name downunder?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Never mind, I answered my own question. Apparently, we can buy them in bulk food stores, dried of course. Conventional supermarkets in Oz do not sell them dried or in can’s, unless they’ve already become baked beans.

      I would still like to try this recipe, so I might have to suck it up and buy a 5 kg bag of dried beans. Whoaa! that’s a lot of baked beans.

      FYI: A navy bean is a type of kidney bean, just not the red ones.

  14. Skillful Cook Logo


    This recipe sounds delightful…I’ve already made several of your recipes since discovering your blog and always find them to be of delicious quality!!

    Thank you for sharing your recipes and so much of your life. Your enthusiasm and earnest love of food and life certainly bring a smile to my face!!


  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    These look awesome!!! Do you think you could finish them off in the crockpot instead of the oven?