These baked black beans with smoky bacon are a great side dish for BBQs, potlucks, and other summer get-togethers! Canned black beans make this recipe so easy. The beans cook in a sweet and smoky sauce made with a generous amount of bacon, chili powder, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar. Serve these beans with all of your favorite BBQ dishes.
Corporate life, also known as that other life I live outside this blog, is often measured by how long it is until the next company recognized holiday and, for me, the long trek between MLK Day in January to Memorial Day weekend is the equivalent of crossing the Pacific Ocean in a paddle boat.
Are we there yet?
Thankfully, we are almost there and our corporate holiday drought will end with a celebratory long weekend, sunshine (fingers crossed), and a BBQ to welcome the start of summer. There’ll be hot dogs, hamburgers, Lays Original potato chips, ice-cold beer, and the most important BBQ side dish of them all, baked beans.
In this case, sweet and smoky baked black beans.
Despite everything I know about dry beans, I can never quite get organized enough to use them in recipes. Let’s face it, cooking with dried beans takes planning and a serious time commitment, both of which I’m not into right now, so I’m happy to use good-quality canned beans instead, which means this is an easy baked black bean recipe.
- Thick-cut bacon
- Diced bell pepper
- Chopped onion
- Minced garlic
- Chili powder
- Dried oregano
- Ground mustard
- Kosher salt
- Brown sugar
- Black pepper
- Apple cider vinegar
- Canned black beans
Except for a little bit of veggie chopping, this recipe is mostly a dump and stir. It starts on the stovetop where all the smoky bacon, onion, garlic, and bell pepper cook together in a large pan or Dutch oven.
Apple cider vinegar, molasses, brown sugar, chili powder, and a few other pantry spices make up the sauce. Drain the beans and then add them before the whole pot goes in the oven where it bubbles and reduces for an hour or so.
Thanks to the black bean short-cut there’s no waiting around for three to four hours for this side-dish deliciousness. After about an hour in the oven, they’re ready to serve.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- This recipe works will all kinds of beans so switch them up if you like. Pinto beans, white beans, even chickpeas or lentils would work although the last two aren’t the usual suspects in baked beans.
- You can add other ingredients to dress it up – try adding some chopped cilantro or parsley, chopped jalapeno, or ground cumin to up the smoky factor.
- These baked black beans keep really well, so if you have leftovers just pop them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge. They will keep for several days.
- The first time I made a big batch of these wonderful beans, they were even better the next day after all the flavors married together overnight in the fridge. I may or may not have heated some the next morning and piled them on a tortilla with a fried egg. It was delicious.
- You can also make the dish ahead. Do everything a day in advance but don’t bake them. Cover them and refrigerate them instead. When you’re ready to bake them pop them in the oven – you may need to add a little extra cooking time.
I hope you love this black bean recipe! It’s a nice change from classic baked beans and the flavors go with all the summer main dishes. Enjoy!
More Side Dishes
- 30 Summer Side Dishes
- Lemon-Honey Glazed Carrots
- Orzo Pasta Salad
- Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges
- Slow Cooker Baked Beans – from The Goodie Godmother
- Easiest Instant Pot Baked Beans – from Crunchy, Creamy, Sweet
This recipe is adapted from one published online by the New York Times. Instead of using dried navy beans, which need to soak and then cook for several hours, I used canned black beans which shorten the cooking time considerably. The beans cook in a sweet and smoky sauce made with a generous amount of bacon, chili powder, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar. Serve these beans with all of your favorite BBQ dishes.
- 6 slices thick cut bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 (15-oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.
- In a dutch oven or large oven-safe pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until it starts to brown. Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook the vegetables until they soften for about five or so minutes.
- Add the chili powder, dried oregano, ground mustard, salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Stir it all together and cook another two minutes.
- Add the apple cider vinegar, molasses, and black beans. Stir everything to combine and then add water until it just covers the beans (about a 1/2 cup depending on the size of your pot).
- Transfer the pot, uncovered, to the preheated oven. bake the beans for approximately one hour, or until the sauce has thickened.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Category: Side Dishes
- Cuisine: American
- Calories: 270
- Sugar: 19.5g
- Sodium: 876.4mg
- Fat: 9g
- Carbohydrates: 38.7g
- Fiber: 8.3g
- Protein: 9.6g
Keywords: baked black beans
Post and photos updated from the archives. First published in May 2016.