Things you did this weekend? Tell me.

Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans I

Things I did this weekend?

-watched some sort of disgusting insect build a nest/cocoon/filfthy mansion underneath my husband’s garage door and had a complete meltdown about it. I looooooathe bugs.

dropped my iPhone in a vat of buttercream. Not as sweet as it sounds.

-drank a dark chocolate bourbon cherry soda float. I was forced, I tell you. FORCED.

Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans I

-watched The Notebook and pretended it was real life. Like… my real life.

met Mario Batali and watched him cook some sauseeeeeege.

-bought a million (more) pieces of neon clothing because I live for the 90s. Even though I have no style, this is one trend that I’ll never let go.

-reminisced about how I used to hairspray the front of my hair into this crazy wave thing while wearing hideous 4-inch raised platform flip flops. WHAT. I hope those stay out of style forever.

-and made baked beans from scratch!

Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans I

I can’t even believe it. Up until like… a year ago maybe? I didn’t even like baked beans. I had a huge mental block against them. No clue why. But then I ate some good ones, and was hooked for life. I ate them everyday with eggs for about six months straight. I put them inside of sandwiches and ate them on top of potatoes. So the first time I made these, I threw a bunch of random ingredients in the pot and said a little prayer. The next time, I made a few tweaks (…more bourbon) and said another.

And I’ve totally decided that beans are one of my favorite foods. I am absolutely horrific at picking favorites of anything – and I do mean anything – I can’t pick a favorite song, TV show or movie to save my life. Except for right now when I tell you The Notebook is the greatest movie in all the land.

So beans it is. Any and all beans. I eat them every single day, sometimes twice a day. This is a monumental moment in my world, because I’m pretty sure the last time I declared a favorite food was at age twelve when I simply would say “potatoes.” And that’s only because I ate my mom’s potato chip potato casserole like it was going out of style (which it totally was, but don’t worry she still makes it), mashed potatoes, and “baked” potatoes – which in my world was the flesh of a baked potato scoop out on to my plate, covered in salt, pepper and butter then mashed with a fork. Anytime I was given a baked potato in a restaurant the proper way, like wrapped in foil or simply baked and sliced down the middle, I was like…. um, no. This is not a baked potato.

But anyway… bacon, avocados and chocolate would round out the list. Those are the top four, until I change my mind tomorrow.

Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans I

And now I can easily say I won’t ever grab baked beans in a can again. So much flavor here, so much texture, so much bacon and so much booze. With just a hint of bourbon, these beans are definitely our new go-to recipe. They can be made in advance and with just an hour of prep work you can throw everything in the crockpot and leave them to their own devices.

Summer here we come!

Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans I

Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans

serves at least 6-8

1 pound dry navy beans

10 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into pieces

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups water

3/4 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce

1 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons molasses

1 cup bourbon

1 1/2 tablespoons ground mustard

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

The night before, add beans to a large pot and cover with water. Drain the next morning.

Bring beans to a boil in a large pot of water, let simmer for 30-40 minutes, then drain. While beans are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until crispy and fat is rendered, then remove bacon with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel. Reduce heat to medium-low and add onion, cooking for 8-10 minutes, until caramely and soft. Add in garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then turn off heat.

Add water, bourbon, brown sugar, bbq sauce, ketchup, ground mustard, vinegar, molasses and worcestershire sauce to the crockpot and whisk well to combine. Add in beans, onions (and all of the bacon fat) and bacon to the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours, stirring occasionally. After 10-12 hours, turn crockpot to “warm” setting or turn off completely and let sit anywhere from 30 minutes-2 hours, which will help the sauce for the beans thicken even more. These taste even better the next day!

Note: after 10-12 hours the liquid may still seem “liquidy.” It is imperative to let the beans sit for a while on the lower setting (or on the off setting, still covered) so they become thick and syrupy like traditional baked beans.

Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans I

And later I’ll tell you about this bread. Because I love your guts.

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247 Responses to “Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans.”

  1. #
    j3nn — May 14, 2012 @ 6:53 am

    They look insanely good!! Love them over the cornbread. I had baked beans on the menu but I think I need to upgrade my recipe now. :)


  2. #
    Becki's Whole Life — May 14, 2012 @ 6:58 am

    My husband has been asking me to make some baked beans. They are sooo different if you make them front scratch and this recipe sounds the addition of the bourbon. And I definitely want to know what that bread is…it looks like really moist cornbread?


  3. #
    Blog is the New Black — May 14, 2012 @ 6:58 am

    Hope you licked that phone to dry it. YUM. :)


  4. #
    Simply Life — May 14, 2012 @ 7:03 am

    LOVE that you made baked beans! these look so good!


  5. #
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — May 14, 2012 @ 7:05 am

    I absolutely love baked beans and I haven’t made them in foreverrrr. And just so you know, I watched Time Traveler’s Wife this weekend and thought about how it would be crazy if that was my real life. It must have been a Rachel McAdams weekend.


  6. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — May 14, 2012 @ 7:13 am

    Homemade baked beans are just so much better than the canned ones… love your version!


  7. #
    Sally @ sally's baking addiction — May 14, 2012 @ 7:31 am

    i LOVE baked beans. my mom makes homemade baked beans but throws butter beans into the mix as well… yours look SO good Jessica! Hope your phone survived. I’ve dropped mine into a bowl of tomato soup before. totally not as yummy as yours. And mine was ruined. :(


  8. #
    Rachel Cooks — May 14, 2012 @ 7:33 am

    I love, love, love homemade baked beans. Love that you added bourbon!


  9. #
    shelly (cookies and cups) — May 14, 2012 @ 7:41 am

    Fine, I’ll make these. But I hope I don’t become addicted like you did. 6 months of beans is..well.. a lot of beans :)
    ps ~ long live neon.


  10. #
    Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau — May 14, 2012 @ 7:46 am

    I hated baked beans for most of my life, too. And I hadn’t even tried them!! And when I tried them, it was love at first bite. I keep hoarding cans of the stuff, so I definitely need to try this recipe.


  11. #
    Bev Weidner — May 14, 2012 @ 7:54 am

    Holy Lord.

    (and p.s. my fear of bugs is one to be rivaled with. I’m a little nervous about the possibility of a bug in our 10-mile radius come 3 weeks from now.)


  12. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — May 14, 2012 @ 7:54 am

    Ok, I’d like to declare today a holiday and make some of this bacony bourbony bean bliss that you speak of. I used to like baked beans as a kid – the canned kind, but that’s because that’s the ONLY kind my mum ever served us so I thought baked beans always came in a can. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had any other kind… yet! ;)


  13. #
    Katrina — May 14, 2012 @ 7:54 am

    These make me swoooon! Beans are definitely one of my favorite foods, and I’m so happy you jumped on this train. WELCOME!


  14. #
    Cookbook Queen — May 14, 2012 @ 8:01 am

    I want to swim in these beans. Is that possible?


  15. #
    Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free — May 14, 2012 @ 8:02 am

    If bourbon and bacon together are wrong, I never want to be right. It even works in cocktails – seriously, don’t knock it till you try it.


  16. #
    Kim in MD — May 14, 2012 @ 8:07 am

    I love baked beans, and they are a BBQ party staple. I always used canned beans and doctor them up, and my recipe is to die for, but your recipe looks OMG to die for! I have never made baked beans from scratch, but that changes today thanks to you and this recipe! YUM!


    • Kim in MD — May 14th, 2012 @ 8:12 am

      I was so excited about the bean recipe that I forgot to comment about The Notebook! I have seen that movie at least two dozen times, and I never tire of it. It is definitely one of my top ten favorite movies of all time!


  17. #
    Darcy — May 14, 2012 @ 8:09 am

    Bourbon baked beans… you are speaking my language!
    I too used to have such a mental block against baked bean, but absolutely love them (good ones) now. Baked beans, cornbread, 90s neon… way to be.


  18. #
    TidyMom — May 14, 2012 @ 8:13 am

    so I begto differ with you………a Walk to Remember is way better than The Notebook *wink*

    Jess, these beans make me want to jump thru my screen! I’ve never made baked beans from scratch, but I’ve had some pretty amazing beans made by other people and I can just TASTE how delicious these must be! I know a man that made some killer baked beans, who would NOT give out his recipe, but he did share one secret………..he said you MUST use a Maple wooden spoon to stir them with! I may give that a try with your recipe!!

    Have a fabulous week!


    • Jessica — May 14th, 2012 @ 10:20 am

      Maple wooden spoon! I need to do that.


  19. #
    Joelle (on a pink typewriter) — May 14, 2012 @ 8:14 am

    These look deliciiiiiious, especially over some warm corn bread!

    PS. I saw Mario while dining in one of his NYC restaurants a couple of years ago and got WAY too excited.. I spotted him by his orange clogs. ;)


  20. #
    Kim — May 14, 2012 @ 8:18 am

    I’m still looking for the cheese in your top 4 fave foods…what happened? I’ve never made baked beans from scratch, I will now!


    • Jessica — May 14th, 2012 @ 10:20 am

      Yeah, see, cheese is in there too, so I’m already changing my mind.


  21. #
    Meg @ Peaches and Cake — May 14, 2012 @ 8:18 am

    1.. The Notebook IS real life.
    2. Can’t wait to get that cornbread recipe!


  22. #
    Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids — May 14, 2012 @ 8:28 am

    Those beans look amazing. Truly. And, they are just in time for a backyard almost summer BBQ. I cannot wait to make them. Perfection.


  23. #
    Lauren — May 14, 2012 @ 8:31 am

    LOVE baked beans! So glad you’ve come around!


  24. #
    Alison — May 14, 2012 @ 8:32 am

    Bourbon chocolate chunk banana bread: That’s what I did this weekend. Oh and hung shelves in the bathroom.

    By the way, this looks delicious. And I doubt you’ll object, but my husband is not a baked beans person so I’ll have to eat them all myself. Hardship, right? I know.


  25. #
    Stefanie — May 14, 2012 @ 8:38 am

    The beans look great, but PLEASE tell me/us about that dark bourbon cherry soda float!!!! Thank you.


  26. #
    Caroline @ chocolate & carrots — May 14, 2012 @ 8:46 am

    Since I’m pregnant, do you know of a good substitute for the Bourbon in these? I know that they are the main ingredient, but I was just curious. Thanks Jessica!


    • Jessica — May 14th, 2012 @ 10:19 am

      I think I’d just leave it out! More water probably.


      • Caroline @ chocolate & carrots — May 14th, 2012 @ 10:21 am

        I’m sure the flavor won’t be nearly as good, but I can’t help but make them! I bet it made the house smell glorious! :D Thanks for the tip!

  27. #
    Cait's Plate — May 14, 2012 @ 8:59 am

    I love how “met mario batalli” is just thrown in there after watching the Notebook and before “bought a million more pieces of neon clothing.” Hahaha. That’s awesome! Sounds like you had a pretty good (if not pretty similar to mine!) weekend :)

    And I’m with you on beans. Such a great food. Definitely in the top 10.


  28. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — May 14, 2012 @ 8:59 am

    Holy crap does that sound amazing!! Yum!!! Dam, my Husband would love this!


  29. #
    Anita — May 14, 2012 @ 8:59 am

    It’s like you read my mind. Seriously – I was wondering JUST THIS WEEKEND how you make baked beans from scratch. (Because my baked beans from a can are so damned good I get requests at family gatherings.) I LOVE THIS! Thank you!!!


  30. #
    Ryan @ Spicy Richmond — May 14, 2012 @ 9:02 am

    YUM! Love bacon and bourbon.


  31. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — May 14, 2012 @ 9:04 am

    I’m jealous that you met Mario – so cool


  32. #
    Chloe — May 14, 2012 @ 9:04 am

    I am totally making these, starting tonight. And I just want to tell you that yours is the most entertaining food blog I’ve ever read. I almost always find myself chuckling. Thank you for giving me wonderful food ideas while making me laugh (that burns calories, right?).


    • Jessica — May 14th, 2012 @ 10:18 am

      Thank you so much Chloe!


  33. #
    Jenna — May 14, 2012 @ 9:07 am

    You know what’s even cooler than beans baked in a crockpot? Beans baked in the ground! Beanhole beans are something my dad won’t stop talking about; as much as it can sometimes bug me, I admit it: beanhole beans are pretty cool.


    • Jessica — May 14th, 2012 @ 10:18 am

      Whoa! So cool.


  34. #
    Rachel Bachman Connell — May 14, 2012 @ 9:16 am

    “I love your guts”… hahahahaaaaa! This post was like reading my childhood diary (which never lasted longer than a week or two, because at that point I’d reread my previous ‘dear diary’ entries, decide I was a super nerd, and destroy the thing). A baked potato is a scoop of potato flesh: true. Baked bean aversion: ditto. Can’t seem to make a list of favorites: I feel ya. In fact, at my bridal shower last fall, when we played that he said/she said game, and the hostess asked my favorite food, my now-husband said, “carbs.” And he was right!


    • Jessica — May 14th, 2012 @ 10:17 am



  35. #
    Lori @ Think Global, Art Local — May 14, 2012 @ 9:32 am

    Baked Beans + Cornbread = Perfection. Will be making these sans bacon though since I’m a liker of veggies, hater of bacon…strange, right? (At least I’m a lover of life so there’s something we can agree on.)


  36. #
    36 — May 14, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    I loved baked beans! And homemade beans are much better than canned versions. Time to break out the crockpot!


  37. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — May 14, 2012 @ 9:48 am

    um i’m totally jealous of you meeting mario…i would eat pretty much anything he put in front of me!


  38. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — May 14, 2012 @ 9:51 am

    I’ve never done the beans from scratch thing which I know is like sacrilegious. It’s one of those things where beans just don’t really do it for me so I don’t want to try, but they probably don’t do it for me b/c I’ve never tried! Vicious circle.
    ps-omg, the platform flip flops…I’d totally like to block out the memories of those. So many rolled ankles were sacrificed for style in those days.


  39. #
    Stacy — May 14, 2012 @ 9:53 am

    Oh. My. God. You have probably just saved my marriage. Dave will so love me (& you by extension) for this. Thank you!


  40. #
    Melanie @ Just Some Salt and Pepper — May 14, 2012 @ 9:54 am

    Beans are almost like a vegetable, so you’ve got that going for you too!


  41. #
    Ashley — May 14, 2012 @ 9:55 am

    Your weekend sounds pretty great to me! And these beans? Oy. So good.


  42. #
    Page @GoodCleanFun — May 14, 2012 @ 9:56 am

    I attempted to make crock pot baked beans a while back and it was a major fail! I swore I would never do it again. But, dang, you are making want to attempt it again . . .


  43. #
    Ali @ Gimme Some Oven — May 14, 2012 @ 10:05 am

    I had 2-inch platform NEON flipflops!! Oh man…those were the days.

    These look ridiculously delicious!


    • Jessica — May 14th, 2012 @ 10:16 am

      Hmmm. I might be okay with those.


  44. #
    Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables — May 14, 2012 @ 10:05 am

    so I just cooked beans (not from a can) for the first time last night. And they were great! Can’t wait to give this version a try.


  45. #
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — May 14, 2012 @ 10:10 am

    The words, bacon bourbon baked beans following “crockpot” just makes me nod my head and say “yes” I don’t have to think twice about’s a no brainer…I must have your baked beans on a thick slice of cornbread. MUST and I’d probably slather butter and honey on the cornbread first. I want it for breakfast. YUM!


  46. #
    Meghan — May 14, 2012 @ 10:10 am

    Platform flipflops were the worst! Seriously, why did I think they were cute?

    I made your tilapia burgers this weekend and ohmygod I can’t even explain how much I loved them. It was borderline pornographic.


    • Jessica — May 14th, 2012 @ 10:16 am

      SO glad you liked them! We seriously love those things.


  47. #
    Katie — May 14, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    We went and opened our camp site on Saturday. So it’s now officially summer.

    I’m going to have to try these beans. As soon as possible.


  48. #
    Anne Weber-Falk — May 14, 2012 @ 10:17 am

    I like baked beans but have yet to find a recipe I enjoy. Yours looks perfect.

    Will I eat these and say wow these taste like booze?

    What kind of bourbon should I use?

    Cooking with alcohol is new territory for me. I really want to get these right.

    Gosh these look good.


    • Jessica — May 14th, 2012 @ 10:22 am

      I really think the bourbon hint is very light – my husband could barely detect it and he hates bourbon. I used Maker’s Mark!


      • Anne Weber-Falk — May 14th, 2012 @ 10:25 am

        Thank you thank you!

  49. #
    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — May 14, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    Nothing beats slow-cooked homemade baked beans. I can just taste these!


  50. #
    Jen Marie — May 14, 2012 @ 11:08 am

    Oh, I love beans that have some sweetness and depth. I just have never tried making them before. I will have to try this. Love bourbon. But then, who doesn’t?

    Love that I can buy my 9 year old neon EVERYTHING!


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