Spicy Baked Beans

It’s childish, I know. But beans always remind me of the saying, “Beans, beans, a magical fruit. The more you eat, the more you toot!”. I always sang it at the dinner table when my mother baked beans. Even though I don’t sing it as loudly or off key as I once did, I’m sure my mother would be horrified to know I still sing the song.

Joe isn’t a fan of beans so I rarely make them anymore. However, after making this baked beans recipe from Kim O’Donnell … well, I might just have to make them more often. The beans turned out spicy and sweet, so flavorful and satisfying.

Spicy Baked Beans

My favorite baked beans always contain molasses. There’s something about the dark, rich flavor it imparts which makes even the most lackluster beans into a sacred meal. Fortunately, Kim’s recipe utilizes molasses and takes the beans to a new level with the addition of spicy and smoky chipotle peppers.

I tweaked the recipe slightly based on the ingredients on hand. I used pinto beans which worked perfectly, as well as ketchup in place of marinara sauce. When adding the molasses, I went closer to 1/3 cup. Since I didn’t have any chipotle peppers, I replaced the chipotles and chili powder with 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper.

For anyone vegetarian, simply omit the bacon. Since chipotle peppers are smoky and provide more than enough extra flavor.

I reserved 1/3 of the bacon for scattering across the top of the beans before placing into the oven. As Kim notes, use the leftover bean water to thin out the beans before baking. I like my baked beans to be thick so I only used about 1/2-2/3 cup of the water.

Spicy Baked Beans

The beans turned out amazing. The ground chipotle added plenty of spice to the beans – if you are fearful of spicy foods, maybe begin with only 1/2 teaspoon or omit entirely. I served the beans as the main dish (much to Joe’s disappointment) along with gingered carrots. The sweetness of the carrots paired nicely with the beans and reduced the overall spicy heat.

I couldn’t stop eating the beans. I kept nibbling away at them long after dinner had come and gone. The next day, I ate the reheated beans on saltine crackers for lunch, a childhood favorite.

More baked bean recipe ideas:
Hot and Smoky Baked Beans – Smitten Kitchen
Vegetarian Baked Beans – Ellie May
Crockpot Boston Baked Beans – A Year of Slow Cooking
Stove-top Baked Beans – Simply Recipes

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  1. that’s one of my favorite tunes! :)
    i used to love baked beans growing up. i haven’t’ eaten meat for years now, but this recipe does look like it will be packed with flavor even without the bacon as you say.

  2. My mother-in-law always sang “beans, beans, the musical fruit.” Makes more sense with the “toot” line. Another good way to get that meaty taste without the meat is to really camelize the onions.

  3. I love baked beans and always add molasses. I usually make a big batch in my crockpot and freeze the beans in small jars. That’s a nice picture of your beans.

  4. I love baked beans, and am on a continual quest for the perfect recipe, defined (by me) as, rich, spicy, salty, sweet, and complex… rancho gordo beans are amazing, though I must admit I cheat sometimes and use canned pinto beans… not as good (obviously), but acceptable on a weeknight

  5. This is similar to my recipe, but I throw in a can of peaches & cream corn, an onion & some Cumin – nice smokey flavour. It’s a perfect addition to many meals!

  6. I love beans a lot. Salads, stews, soups- anything with beans is good to me. Your spicy beans sound and look appealing. Worth trying. Thanks for sharing, Alan!

  7. Oh my god I love baked beans!!!!! I usually make my grandmother’s recipe, but now I’m tempted to give Kim’s a try (don’t tell Nana)!

  8. Surely the song is ” beans beans good for the heart, the more you eat the more you fart!”

    or at least that is what I always sung!

  9. I am drooling! And i have decided to make them TOMORROW! I love baked beans and I don’t make them often enough. Oh, and that bean song is about the only thing that will get my picky 3 year old to eat beans.

  10. Oh, you think your MOM is horrified! Ha ha ha :) I love that the recipe has molasses– a sign of a truly great baked beans recipe. Made one with just sugar and it was lacking that depth and stickiness. I love mine with some plain, slightly sweet white bread! Yum!

  11. I love the variations on the ‘beans song’ — too funny ;-) It’s always good to know that I wasn’t the only one who grew up singing it!

  12. Just this morning, I watched Baked Beans being made (on Tikkabilla – a kid’s program) and vowed to do a homemade version ….soon. Looks good

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