Summery Sides: Dad’s Baked Beans

in Beans & Legumes, On the side

Baked Beans

There are just some things that I prefer to leave for other people to cook. Like my grandma’s “Fuzzy Fingers” and my dad’s Baked Beans. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized my dad’s beans were something special. Sure, as far as my family is concerned they’re the best thing about Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, The 4th, and Labor Day… and every other family dinner in between. But that point is always driven home after taking a bite of not-my-dad’s recipe, where I have found everything from mustard, ketchup, or barbecue sauce to ground beef, sliced hot dogs, or dill pickle slices.

Baked Beans

My dad’s 5-ingredient baked beans are rich, dark, and sweet. Dad goes on look and feel but I was at least able to get him to agree on standard amounts so I can make them at home when I get a craving. He makes them the same way my Papaw did, beginning with a can of Van Camp’s Pork and Beans.

Another thing Dad is very insistent on is the type of molasses – it must be Grandma’s Molasses. And using a bacon other than Blue Ribbon might get you that squinty, furrowed-brow, side-eye, NEW YORK CITY?! look that he has perfected over the last almost 32 years. That’s my dad, the judgey brand snob.

Dad uses strips of bacon on top of the beans as his gauge to doneness. When the bacon looks good enough to pull off the top and eat, he says the beans are done. That’s my dad, the bacon lover 🙂

Baked Beans

Dad's baked beans are loaded with molasses and bacon - and they're a holiday staple.


  • 1 can (1 lb 12 oz) Van Camp's Pork & Beans
  • 3/8 cup Grandma's Molasses
  • 2-3 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 strips thick-cut bacon (Blue Ribbon is Dad's favorite)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Drain beans well in a colander and pour into a casserole dish - the bigger the dish, the more surface area on which to place extra bacon 🙂
  3. Stir in molasses, brown sugar, and onions, mixing well.
  4. Lay bacon strips separately across the top of the beans.
  5. Cook for 35-45 minutes, until the bacon has browned and started to crisp.
  6. Enjoy hot or room temperature - or for breakfast the next day, like my sister Angie does.


Yields: 6 1/2-cup servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour

Nutritional Information
Calories: 152 | Fat: 2.1 | Fiber 0
WW Points: 3

8 comments… add one
  • Jen

    Perfect timing for this recipe. Chicken is marinating and the beans are on the counter ready to be mixed up for dinner. Can’t wait to try them.

  • shannon abdollmohammadi

    I often “fancy up” canned beans too. I like your addition of the green onions.

  • Baked beans are just the type of food that dads are good at making. They’re just so stick to your ribs awesome! I love this recipe.

  • What a classic comfort food – homemade baked beans! I bet that goes great with whatever your Dad must also have on the grill at the same time! Love the green onions addition, and the big slab of bacon. This is what summer’s all about!

  • Jessica

    I made these beans and they are fantastic! Go Dad! We don’t have Blue Ribbon bacon in my area so I used Wright’s Thick Sliced Applewood, and it was delish! 🙂

  • Beth

    Have you ever tried to make these in a crockpot? I wonder if the bacon would get cooked enough?

    • I haven’t – mainly because they “only” need to cook for 35-45 minutes. I wouldn’t expect the bacon to crisp in the crockpot and the molasses and brown sugar could caramelize and burn if left unattended.

Leave a Comment