Barbecue-Flavored Baked Beans
The subtly sweet and tart flavors of this baked bean dish make it homey and comforting. This is delicious served with fresh cornbread or fresh rye bread. Add some simply prepared greens (kale, collards, or chard), broccoli, or green beans. A colorful salad completes the meal.
Serves: 6 or more
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 to 2 teaspoons smoked paprika or mesquite seasoning
- A small pinch of cayenne pepper or dried hot red pepper flakes
- 4 cups cooked navy beans (about 1 2/3 cups raw),
or two 15- to 16-ounce cans, drained and rinsed
- Salt to taste (if using canned beans, you may not need any)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a deep, saucepan. Add the onion and sauté over low heat until it translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is lightly browned.
In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients except the beans and salt and whisk together. If you’d like to disguise the onions and garlic (from kids, that is — shhhhh ….), combine them with the sauce in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
Otherwise, add the onion and garlic to the sauce along with the beans and stir together. Taste to see if you’d like to add any salt.
Transfer the mixture to a 1 1/2-quart baking casserole and mix well. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, then for an additional 15 minutes, uncovered.