Maple, Bourbon & Molasses Baked Beans with Bacon


Homemade Maple Bourbon Molasses Baked Beans with Bacon – the best easy recipe for baked beans in a thick sweet and smoky sauce made from scratch in one skillet. 

Maple Molasses Baked Beans with Bacon in a small white skillet

Easy Maple, Bourbon & Molasses Baked Beans with Bacon – the only Baked Beans recipe you’ll ever need!

These Maple Bourbon Molasses Baked Beans with Bacon are a summer bbq staple, you guys.

Tender navy beans with chewy salty bacon bits, bell peppers, carrots, and onions, all simmered in the best ever smoky-sweet maple molasses sauce!

The flavors of bourbon, maple syrup, molasses and BBQ sauce slow-cooked with the natural beans starches intensify and concentrate over time, resulting in baked beans that have an incredible depth of flavor.

Sweet with a bit of heat from mustard, robust and rustic and extremely satisfying. Simply the best side dish to go with all your summer grilling.

We make these baked beans with bacon all the time. They are a tried-and-true family favorite that you will end up making again & again & again.

close-up of a skillet with maple molasses baked beans with bacon

You’ll be surprised at how easy this baked beans recipe really is!

The rich, thick sauce has just the right amount of sweetness and is deeply flavored with molasses, a bit of saltiness and smokiness from the bacon, tanginess from apple cider vinegar and a hint of spice from the mustard.

They’re so much better than any store-bought canned baked beans and I GUARANTEE these are going to be the hit of your barbecue. Print out that recipe and have it ready because you’ll be asked for it.

Why you’ll love this easy recipe for Maple Molasses Baked Beans: 

  • This baked beans recipe uses canned navy beans instead of dried to save you some time. 
  • Homemade baked beans are far tastier and more complex in flavor than tinned. Try them once and you’ll be amazed by the difference. 
  • The sweetness and tanginess of the maple molasses sauce complement the mellow richness of the beans perfectly.
  • The active cooking time is minimal! Make these in the afternoon, put them in the oven and they’ll be ready for dinner. No fuss!

different sized and shaped bottles of maple syrup on a wooden table

Maple and Molasses – this baked beans recipe uses both! 

For my baked beans with bacon, I like to use pure maple syrup for sweetness. Along with that I add a little blackstrap molasses for the traditional baked beans flavor profile and a darker color.
 

overhead shot of a small orange skillet with maple molasses baked beans with bacon

How to make Maple Bourbon Molasses Baked Beans with Bacon: 

Preheat your oven to 350 F and heat your cast-iron skillet on medium heat. Once hot, add the bacon and let it fry for about 5 minutes. No need to add any fat to the skillet. 

After 5 minutes, add chopped onions, carrots and bell pepper and fry for another 4 minutes. Toss in the minced garlic and fry for a minute.

Drain and rise one of the cans of beans and add to the skillet along with the entire content  (beans and soaking liquid) of the second can.

bacon slices frying in a black cast iron skillet

Add all other ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

Bring your baked beans to a boil, put on the lid and pop the skillet into the oven for 45 minutes. Stir once after about 25 minutes. Once the baking time is up, remove the lid and bake for another 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened nicely.

a spoon stirring in a skillet with homemade Maple Molasses Baked Beans with Bacon

Tips for making the best ever Baked Beans: 

  • If you don’t have molasses you can substitute more maple syrup and add 2 tbsp of dark brown sugar.
  • The finished baked beans will not taste like alcohol and the baking time is long enough to cook out most of the alcohol. 
  • If you don’t want to use bourbon, use broth instead. It won’t be the same though.
  • Swap the ketchup for bbq sauce for a deeper flavor.
  • For a meatless version, skip the bacon and start by caramelizing the onions in plenty of ghee or avocado oil.

FAQ:

Can I make these Molasses Baked Beans on the stovetop? 

Yes you can. Prepare the recipe as per the instructions until step five, then bring to a boil, reduce the temperature and let the beans simmer on low heat for 1,5 h with the lid on. Stir occasionally and take off the lid towards the end so that the sauce can thicken a bit more.

I added too much liquid and my baked beans are too runny! How can I fix them?

Ideally, the baked beans should slow-cook long enough for the beans’ starches to thicken the simmering sauce to a thick consistency. But I get it, sometimes things happen, and we add too much liquid. Or we get super hungry before the sauce has reduced and need to rush it.

The beans in this recipe are canned so, it’s perfectly fine to cheat by thickening the sauce separately. To do this, just pour off the cooking liquids (about 1-2 cups, depending on how much liquid you have) into a separate saucepan and heat.

Make a slurry by mixing cold water and a tablespoon of cornstarch with a whisk. Stir the starch into the bean juices and cook them on the stovetop until the sauce thickens. Then stir it back into your beans.

Bacon Molasses Baked Beans in a white skillet

Which beans are best for making baked beans? 

 
You can work with most types of dried or canned bean. I like navy beans for this recipe but you can use butter, great northern, kidney, or pinto beans. Or use a mix for different textures and flavors.

Delicious ways to serve Maple Bourbon Molasses Baked Beans: 

  • As a traditional bbq side, these beans go so well with any grilled meat! Serve them alongside some homemade cornbread.
  • Serve them in a burger bun – Hello Baked Beans Sloppy Joes.
  • Use them as a filling for baked potatoes and sprinkle some grated cheddar on top.
  • Serve them over toast along with some fried eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms for an English Breakfast. 
  • Make Baked Beans Shepherd’s Pie! Put leftover beans in a casserole dish, top with mashed potatoes and a bit of butter and bake at 375 until the beans are heated and the potatoes a bit browned. 
  • Use them as a nachos topping. Simply top some tortilla chips with beans and grated cheese and bake until the cheese is melted. Serve.along with guac and some sour cream. SO GOOD.
  • Make a delicious breakfast skillet by poaching eggs in leftover molasses baked beans. For poaching eggs in the beans can follow the instructions in this recipe.

Did you make and love this molasses baked beans recipe? Give it your review below! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!

close-up of a skillet with homemade maple bourbon molasses baked beans
5 from 5 votes
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Maple Molasses Baked Beans with Bacon

Homemade Maple Bourbon Molasses Baked Beans with Bacon - the best easy recipe for baked beans in a thick sweet and smoky sauce made from scratch in one skillet. 

Course side
Cuisine American, Canadian, usa
Keyword baked beans with bacon, maple baked beans, molasses baked beans recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 450 kcal
Author Kiki Johnson

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bacon 250 g, diced
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot cut into cubes or sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 cans white navy beans 15 oz cans
  • 1 scant cup rum or bourbon
  • 1 cup ketchup or bbq sauce 250 ml
  • 4 tpsps maple syrup
  • 4 tbsps molasses
  • 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1,5 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F and heat your cast-iron skillet on medium heat. Once hot, add the bacon and let it fry for about 5 minutes. No need to add any fat to the skillet. 

  2. After 5 minutes, add chopped onions, carrots and bell pepper and fry for another 4 minutes. Toss in the minced garlic and fry for a minute.

    Drain and rise one of the cans of beans and add to the skillet along with the entire content (beans and soaking liquid) of the second can

  3. Add all other ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Bring your baked beans to a boil, put on the lid and pop the skillet into the oven for 45 minutes. Stir once after about 25 minutes. Once the baking time is up, remove the lid and bake for another 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened nicely.

Recipe Notes

  • If you don’t have molasses you can substitute more maple syrup and add 2 tbsp of dark brown sugar.
  • The finished baked beans will not taste like alcohol and the baking time is long enough to cook out most of the alcohol. 
  • If you don't want to use bourbon, use broth instead. It won't be the same though.
  • Swap the ketchup for bbq sauce for a deeper flavor.
  • For a meatless version, skip the bacon and start by caramelizing the onions in plenty of ghee or avocado oil.

8 Comments


  1. These beans look and sound amazing!! Love the addition of maple and bourbon – what a treat! Look forward to making these!


  2. Love the idea of using canned beans. Sometimes I forget to soak beans overnight and this just makes it that much more accessible. Those beans look tangy and delicious!


  3. I’ve never tried making my own baked beans before. These don’t sound too hard, though! And they definitely sound delicious! Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

  4. Jessica Formicola


    I was sold at bacon…and maple 😉 I have never tried a more delicious baked beans recipe! Thanks so much for sharing!


  5. Baked beans are our favorite side dish in the summer. Will definitely be making these. They’re awesome.

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