Slow-Cooked Molasses-Honey Baked Beans

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This baked beans recipe is an (updated) old Mack family favorite. Now, it’s one of the staples our friends look forward to at Huber gatherings. It has a long list of “goes with” … hot dogs, hamburgers, roast pork, barbecued chicken. You name it. Honestly, these baked beans make a meal in and of themselves. They also freeze really well, which makes them ideal to pull out for camping or ski trips, when we know we’ll be feeding a crowd.

Slow-Cooked Molasses-Honey Baked Beans


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 7 hours

Yield: Serves 32

Slow-Cooked Molasses-Honey Baked Beans


  1. 2 pounds dried cannellini beans
  2. 8 ounces center-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
  3. 2 medium onions, diced
  4. 1-½ cups molasses
  5. 1-½ cups ketchup
  6. ½ cup honey
  7. 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  8. 1-½ tablespoons dry mustard
  9. 1 tablespoon sea salt
  10. 1 teaspoon ginger
  11. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  12. 1 teaspoon allspice
  13. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


Soak cannellini beans in cold water over night and drain. Place beans in a large pot, cover with cold water by 2 inches, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1-1/2 hours, until just softened. Drain and reserve liquid.

While beans are boiling, brown the bacon and onion in a large skillet for 15-20 minutes, until both are deep golden brown. Spoon off excess fat. Pour 1/4 cup cold water into pan and scrape up anything stuck to the bottom. Remove from heat.

Pour beans into a slow cooker. Add bacon mixture and remaining ingredients and stir to mix well. Pour enough of the reserved cooking water to cover beans by 1/2 inch. Stir again. Cook on high for 6 to 8 hours (add more cooking water if beans look dry and cracked).

Note: If not using a slow cooker, cook in a Dutch oven (you can sauté the bacon and onion in the same pot) at 250 for 6-8 hours, until beans are tender and deep brown.


Cook Time: 7-1/2 to 9-1/2 hours

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  • Elizabeth Simpson

    This recipe sounds sooooo absolutely delicious! I hope I have the opportunity to prepare it.

  • Lia Huber

    You’ll love it, Elizabeth. And the great thing is … it kind of goes with any season. I keep trying to refrain of calling it “the little black dress of down home side dishes,” but, oops. There, I did it.

  • Cyndy Norton

    Hi Lisa! Made this last week-end but didn’t care for the large beans but loved the taste. Could you make it with something like navy beans?

  • liahuber

    Navy beans would work just great, Cyndy!

  • Vicki Bensinger

    I’ve been looking for a great baked beans recipe. I can’t wait to try these.

  • liahuber

    I hope you enjoy, Vicki! I think you will :-).

  • JRB

    Sounds like a wonderful recipe for a great staple. The fact that it freezes even better. Is there a reasonable non-meat substitute for the bacon that can provide the depth, richness, and flavor. I appreciate it may be a slight different taste and that is ok.

    • liahuber

      GREAT question! And the answer is yes, absolutely. I would play with dried and smoked chiles here. Specifically, guajillo would add a lovely depth of flavor and chipotle a note of smokiness. Just soak them in warm water until soft, then mince and saute with the onion. You may also want to add–strange as this sounds–a tablespoon of soy sauce. That will add the savory sense of umami that the bacon brings to the beans.

      Have fun!

  • DeeDee

    It is 20 below zero in Michigan today, so I wanted to make something healthy and hearty. Only had Lima beans in the cupboard, so I whipped these up. Substituted a smoked turkey wing for the bacon, and homemade oatmeal bread. Delicious!