Smoked Baked Beans
Updated: May 4
Tender creamy beans smoked to heavenly perfection in a sweet and savory barbecue sauce is what your burgers and grilled chicken are calling for this summer! To me it just isn't summer without the smoker going full of yummy goodness for dinner, the kids playing outside, and taking a moment to enjoy the warm sun while sitting on the patio with a glass of Larkmead Lillie. One of the things I love the most about this dish is that I can prep it early on, set it on the smoker, enjoy my afternoon and that it's ready when I'm ready to eat.
One of my most cherished "appliances" is the pellet smoker my husband bought while we were living in Atlanta. Let me tell you, it has been a game changer! We love to smoke everything from turkey's at Thanksgiving, ribs for summer barbecues, and even tomatillos for my favorite smoked salsa!
Even if you don't have a dedicated smoker in your arsenal of tools, there are many ways you can add smoky goodness to a charcoal or gas grill! Any way you try it, you'll love the flavor of these smoked baked beans.
Why Beans are So Good For You!
Beans or legumes, are excellent plant based sources of protein and are full of low-glycemic carbs, fiber, and other nutrients. They are an inexpensive and nutritious way to add more protein to your diet and they are super versatile! You can add them to salads, soups, enjoy as a side dish, or in some cultures, use them in a dessert, like a Korean red bean mochi.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine): A water soluble vitamin that is essential in glucose metabolism and supports health heart and nervous system function.
Vitamin B6: Essential in supporting a healthy and strong immune system
Vitamin B9 (folate):This vitamin is essential in the production of your genetic material (DNA and RNA), supports metabolism, and works with other B vitamins in regulating homocysteine .
Vitamin E (antioxidant): Supports immune function and works to regulate free radicals that cause cellular damage.
Vitamin K: Vitamin K1 is essential in your body's clotting ability and is converted to vitamin K2 in your gut. Vitamin K2 is essential in maintaining healthy bones and skin.
Calcium: The most abundant mineral in the body and is essential in maintaining health teeth and bones as well as heart, muscle and nerve function.
Copper: Essential mineral in the formation of red blood cells and in supporting cardiovascular health and immune function .
Magnesium: The fourth most abundant mineral in the body, it support healthy nerve functions, healthy blood pressure, and detoxification.
Manganese: Essential mineral in supporting blood sugar regulation, glucose metabolism, and supporting healthy brain and nerve function .
Phosphorous: Supports healthy teeth and bones, muscle recovery after working out, and detoxification.
Potassium: An essential electrolyte necessary in nervous system function, metabolism, hydration, and in regulating your heartbeat.
Selenium: Supports thyroid health  and supports your immune system.
Zinc: Essential in digestion, thyroid health, and a healthy immune system.
The fiber in beans supports a health digestive tract, microbiome health, blood sugar regulation, and healthy cholesterol levels.
Overall, beans are some of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat, so grab some beans and let's get cooking!
Smoked Baked Beans Ingredients
3 cans Northern Beans or Pinto Beans
8oz No sugar Bacon, diced
1 Onion, diced
1 Fresh Ancho Chili Pepper, finely diced
1 Bell Pepper, finely diced
1 Jalapeño, deseeded and finely diced (opt)
3-4 Cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup No Sugar Ketchup
1-2 Tbsp Molasses, to taste
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Fine Sea Salt or Pink Salt
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 tsp Smoked Paprika
2 tsp Dry Mustard
1/2 cup Fresh Apple Cider
1 Tbsp Chipotle Pepper Sauce or 1-2 Chipotle Peppers diced (opt)
How to Make Smoked Baked Beans
1. Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees
2. Dice the bacon and fry it in a skillet over low/med heat.
3. While the bacon is cooking drain and rinse beans and add them to a 9”x13” baking dish.
4. Dice, chop and prepare the remaining ingredients.
5. Remove and drain the bacon onto a paper towel lined dish, reserving 1 Tbsp of the bacon fat in pan.
6. Add the onion, bell pepper, ancho pepper and jalapeño to the skillet and sauté for 3-5. minutes until softened.
7. Add the garlic and sauté for another 60 seconds, stirring constantly.
8. Transfer all the ingredients from the skillet to the to baking dish with the beans.
9. Add 1/2 to 3/4 of the cooked diced bacon and the remaining ingredients, stirring to combine.
10. Place the baking dish on the smoker and smoke for 3-4 hours checking in and stirring every 30-minutes to hour.
Top with remaining bacon and serve!
Q: Can I make these in the oven or on the grill if I don't have a smoker?
A: Yes, if you use the grill, you can add a foil pack with some soaked wood chips to add some smokiness, and you can always add a little more smoked paprika or use a smoked salt to enhance the smoky flavor of the beans!
Q: I don't have molasses, what can I substitute in it's place?
A: Any whole food sweetener will do, pure maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, or even some unsweetened applesauce!
Q: Help, my baked beans are still a bit runny, how do I fix this?
A: You can either cook them longer to allow the excess moisture to evaporate, or try mashing some of the beans with a potato masher, just don't go overboard and end up with a bowl of mashed beans!
If you like this recipe, check these out!
Kohlrabi Apple Slaw: Kohlrabi apple slaw is simple, crispy, crunchy and everything you want in a great accompaniment to all your summer bbq dishes!
Buttermilk Sourdough Biscuits: Buttery, flaky, and fluffy mouthwatering buttermilk biscuits that are so easy and perfect for Sunday morning brunch, or as a quick accompaniment to a summer barbecue or an easy weeknight meal!
Easy Mexican Street Corn: Tender roasted corn in a creamy dreamy chili lime sauce dancing with earthy Mexican cotija...yep, this is pretty much side dish perfection or the appetizer your dreams!
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. - Amy