Maybe you’ve been looking for a way to add “wow” to your baked beans. Cranberry BBQ Baked Beans are a lovely, delicious, zingy twist on the traditional variety. They’re so tasty and intriquing that you may find yourself nibbling right out of the bean pot! (Uhmm, yes, I have done that too!) So good.
I have another recipe in my currated stash that combines cranberry sauce and barbeque, and I wanted to bring that sweet, deliciousness into a baked bean recipe. To be honest, my attempts using a sweet barbeque sauce were good. But a little too sweet. I had given up on these when a reader raved about the recipe in a comment on my previous blog.
Hhhm, I thought. Maybe I should bring that out and try it again.
Vinegar to the Rescue
And it just so happened that this time I had a strongly vinegar, specialty barbeque sauce on hand. Southern or Carolina barbeque sauces tend to have a more dynamic vinegar flavor than the sweet ones I typically turn to. Shawn likes them all. I had picked up this interesting Rufus Teague Whiskey Maple sauce at Fareway. Hyvee describes the sauce as “fine boozy sweetness”. Sure it’s sweet, but also a whole lotta vinegar. Although some of us didn’t really love it on meat, it does amazing things to these baked beans!
The Ingredient List
Whenever I take the time to make baked beans, I’m sure to add bacon. Pork and beans just go together. Only I add more pork.
And what other recipe for baked beans do you know of that has red bell pepper? Not a one, I suppose. But perfect in these Cranberry BBQ Baked Beans.
You’ll notice that these baked beans do cook for awhile, 1 hour at 400ºF. I like this time and temperature because it results in a consistency I like, and continues to thicken as it cools. I’m still able to reheat the beans without drying them out. But if you have other things in the oven at the same time, feel free to adjust the temperature. And if you like your beans runny, there is no need to bake them for an entire hour.
Prep is pretty quick and easy. I’m using convenience items rather than starting with uncooked beans, which would take hours upon hours. You start on the stovetop, a few ingredients at a time, but eventially it’s all stirred together in one large skillet before being transferred to a 2 quart baking dish.
- 2 strips of bacon
- 2/3 cup chopped onion
- 2/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 (16oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce
- 2 (15oz) cans pork and beans
- ½ cup barbeque sauce
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. prepared yellow mustard
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove and crumble when cool. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat from the skillet. Stir-fry chopped onion and red pepper in remaining bacon fat for about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in cranberry sauce until it softens.
- Drain off ½ cup of liquid from the pork and beans and discard. Stir beans and remaining ingredients, including crumbled bacon, into the cranberry sauce and transfer to an ungreased 2 quart baking dish.
- Bake for 1 hour. Cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 193Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 493mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 4gSugar: 24gProtein: 5g
Better Eating for All
I hope your family is surprised and delighted by Cranberry BBQ Baked Beans! They are as deliciously addicting as they are beautiful.