Suzanne is a former regional magazine publisher, as well as a cooking and gardening writer. She lives in North Carolina.
Sweet & Savory Baked Beans
Almost every cook knows that appetizer recipe where you combine grape jelly, chili sauce and mini meatballs.
Before I started using grape jelly in my baked beans, I used brown sugar and molasses. Brown sugar is almost always the sweetener for baked beans. I don't know exactly what made me decide to use grape jelly instead of brown sugar, but after I did, I've never gone back to using brown sugar or molasses.
Try grape jelly in your spaghetti sauce, barbecue ribs, and meatballs. Look for my recipes for using grape jelly in my other hubs.
When it comes to choosing canned beans for this recipe, it just depends on what is on sale. Since most of the flavor comes from the bacon, grape jelly, peppers and onion, the bland store-bought beans in a can are all you need.
Variations: Try substituting or adding other beans such as canned Lima's, northern, cannelloni, or pinto. It doesn't matter. I say, the more beans the better! Just try it. Substitute another jelly for the grape. Experiment. Have fun cooking. It isn't rocket science.
|Prep time||Ready in||Yields|
- 6 slices bacon, cooked
- 1 small onion, large dice
- 1 green pepper, large dice
- 1 4-oz. jar grape jelly
- 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 large can of baked beans, not restaurant size
Love Beans? Me Too!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Slice bacon into 1-inch pieces and render in frypan. Set aside.
- Saute' onion and green pepper until softened.
- Stir grape jelly into pepper and onion mixture and cook on medium heat until melted.
- Stir in mustard, salt and pepper, and beans.
- Turn into ovenproof casserole and bake for an hour.
Heinz is the Leading Brand of Baked Beans in the US
Bakes Beans Around the World
My recipe combines the ingredients found in baked bean dishes from around the world.
In New England, the beans were prepared with either maple syrup or molasses and salt pork, and slow baked in a ceramic or cast-iron pot. A staple of Maine's logging camps, the tradition of "bean hole" cooking, may have originated with the native Penobscot people. A bean-filled pot was placed in a stone-lined fire pit, covered with ashes and soil, and cooked six to eight hours or longer.
Mustard and ground beef is traditionally added to baked beans in the southern United States.
In Mexico pinto beans are cooked with bacon, and occasionally tomatoes, and are referred to as frijoles charros.
In Canada, cut up hot dogs are a common addition, and the dish is called "beans and weiners".
The British prefer to have their baked beans on toast.
Please Rate My Recipe! (Thank you!)
More Recipes Made With Grape Jelly
Check out these other delicious recipes using grape jelly:
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© 2010 Suzanne Sheffield
Suzanne Sheffield (author) from Mid-Atlantic on April 16, 2012:
There are so many things I add grape jelly to, including spaghetti sauce!
RTalloni on April 16, 2012:
We've used the bbq sauce with grape jelly before--why didn't I think of the baked beans recipe?! :) Looking forward to trying it out. Thanks much!
Suzanne Sheffield (author) from Mid-Atlantic on March 14, 2012:
It IS really good!
Keri Summers from West of England on March 12, 2012:
Hmm. This sounds really good. I like to add spices to my baked beans, but this is a new angle.
Suzanne Sheffield (author) from Mid-Atlantic on June 01, 2011:
Try it, you'll like it. You are exactly right, the grape jelly is the secret ingredient.
Granny's House from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time on May 31, 2011:
I have never heard of putting grape jelly in baked beans or green peppers. I bet the secret ingredient was the jelly. Right??