One of my favorite parts of being a food blogger is learning about tradition. Not only are there widely accepted traditional foods for national holidays around the world, but there are special traditional foods within individual families as well.
Sometimes those family traditions are "grandma's secret recipe" for a classic dish, and sometimes those family traditions are unique and unconventional; either way, food brings people together and builds life-long memories that are passed down through the generations.
My family enjoyed Jamaican Jerk Burgers for most summer holidays, along with my great-grandma's family recipe for guacamole and strawberry Jell-O.
My husband's family always made a batch of grandpa's homemade grape ice cream with fudgy brownies.
Two totally different traditions, but both were special family traditions.
When I was researching different ideas for Memorial Day recipes and summer barbecue recipes, I came across baked beans quite often and decided I wanted my own recipe.
Not only are these the best homemade baked beans you'll ever have (no canned stuff here!), they're also the best healthy baked beans recipe you'll ever make!
Originally, baked beans come from the United Kingdom, dating back to the 16th century, and were made with white beans (like great northern beans or cannellini beans) stewed in a rich tomato sauce and sweetened with brown sugar or molasses.
Baked beans were also found in Native American cuisine using a variety of native beans (most commonly navy beans) and legumes with pure maple syrup as the primary sweetener.
Today, in the United States, baked beans are the perfect side dish for summer barbecues that can be made with either tomato sauce or barbecue sauce.
They are traditionally baked in the oven or in a slow cooker, but can also be made in a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot, on the stovetop, or in a dutch oven.
When writing my homemade baked bean recipe, I decided to combine traditional recipe ingredients with healthier simple ingredients to make sure this version was authentic, but also easy and healthy. My healthy baked beans include:
For the full list of ingredients and measurements, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post. But, here are some other important ingredients you'll need:
Instead of buying the canned baked beans with refined sugar, make homemade baked beans with a few pantry staples and 10 minutes of work. Below are two ways to make this recipe.
If you'd like to use dried beans instead of canned pinto beans, here's a quick soak method to prepare your beans before making the recipe:
Yes, but after testing this recipe multiple times, I found that using the Instant Pot didn't save any time or dishes. It wasn't any more convenient than a stovetop! If you're looking for an easy baked beans recipe specifically for the Instant Pot, check out Lauren's recipe at Zestful Kitchen!
Of course! However, I recommend making these no more than 24 hours in advance so they taste as fresh as possible. You'll also want to reheat them all at once (if serving to a large crowd) for at least an hour before serving.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. If you're serving these baked beans at an event, avoid leaving them at room temperature for more than two hours.
Yes! Just omit the turkey bacon from the recipe.
Yes! Omit the turkey bacon and ensure your BBQ sauce is certified vegan. You could even substitute chopped vegan sausages in place of the turkey bacon.
I love mixing in this peach mango salsa for a "Hawaiian baked beans" vibe. Some of my favorite main dishes that go well with baked beans are this Bacon Wrapped Hawaiian Chicken with coconut rice, my homemade Turkey Sloppy Joes, or the BEST Oven Baked Mac and Cheese you'll ever eat.
For 50 more recipe ideas to serve with baked beans, check out this blog post!
There you have it! The easiest, healthy, homemade baked beans that will quite literally blow your mind. My father-in-law special requested these for his birthday in July because they're THAT good!
The next time you need a sugar free baked beans recipe, I hope you choose this one! Be sure to leave a star rating and review below so I and other readers know how you liked them! You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram. I love seeing my recipes in your home!
Ready in one hour with just one pot, these Healthy Homemade Baked Beans are the BEST baked beans recipe because of the sweet and spicy homemade sauce with hidden pieces of savory bacon. They're also naturally gluten-free and refined sugar-free.
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