Dorothy’s Best Ever Quick Baked Beans Recipe

by Dorothy Reinhold on January 6, 2011

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The inspiration for this dish was my desire to have deep, rich, dark brown baked beans, RIGHT NOW! I wanted to eat them in the back yard that night for a cookout, so I knew I couldn’t start with dried beans and get them done in time.

I had a can of baked beans to start with, and went looking for dark brown things in the pantry and refrig. Coffee powder and Worcestershire sauce lent flavor while molasses and chocolate syrup gave extra sweetness; the chocolate undertone also gave a mole quality.

After you taste these, you might never bake beans the long, tedious way again. Don’t scold me for the canned shortcut; we’ll mosey along with a long-and-slow baked bean soon enough. Just don’t buy the canned product called Pork and Beans, which is a weak, watery, pale version of something or other. Not sure what, but it isn’t good to start with, so don’t bother with it.

I offer two versions of this, depending on how fast you need them, and how many people you are serving. Sometimes you want something lightning fast on the stove, and sometimes you want a casserole-size dish to serve at a buffet, potluck or outside at a pool or patio party. Suit your own needs.

It doesn’t matter whether it is a nippy January night, or a lazy summer day, baked beans are always in style, and in season!

Dorothy’s Best Ever Quick Baked Beans
Oven version—6-8 servings

Add sliced hot dogs before baking for an even heartier dish. If you don’t like pintos or black beans, you can substitute another variety of canned beans.

1 tablespoon instant coffee powder (decaf, so you don’t amp people up at dinnertime)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons molasses
3 tablespoons chocolate syrup (such as Hershey’s; not fudge sauce)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
Pinch ground chipotle or ground cayenne pepper
2 (16-ounce) cans baked beans, slightly drained (B&M brand preferred, or Bush’s)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mist a 9-inch square baking dish (or equivalent size) with nonstick spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine coffee powder, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, syrup, garlic, ginger, onion powder, mustard and chipotle or cayenne. Mix well into a sauce.

Add all beans into the bowl and stir carefully so as not to break up the beans.

Turn beans into prepared baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, until bubbling.

Serves 6-8.

Dorothy’s Best Ever Quick Baked Beans
Stovetop version—4 servings

1 (16- to 20-ounce) can baked beans, slightly drained (B&M brand preferred, or Bush’s)
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder (decaf, so you don’t amp people up at dinnertime)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup (such as Hershey’s; not fudge sauce)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon powdered ginger
Pinch ground chipotle pepper, or cayenne pepper

Add all ingredients to a medium saucepot, cover and heat on low for 10 or so minutes until hot and bubbly.

Serves 3-4.

This recipe is entered in “Get Grillin.” Get Grillin’ with Family Fresh Cooking and Cookin’ Canuck, is sponsored by Ile de France CheeseRösleEmile HenryRouxbe and ManPans.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather May 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm

I’ve searched for a long time for baked beans like the ones my mother-in-law used to make, and these come very close. She always used instant coffee granules, too. Thank you for these, they are very yummy!


Dorothy Reinhold May 30, 2013 at 11:10 am

Thank you! I am thrilled to hear that!


Renee Fontes October 13, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Wow! Chocolate in your beans, how clever. Now I want baked beans.


Dorothy October 13, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Oh yeah….chocolate and anything else brown in the pantry and refrig.


Laurel March 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Who doesn’t love baked beans!? We’re featuring side dishes this week over at the M&T Spotlight this week and I’d love for you to submit this:


cassymuronaka January 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm

I’ve been meaning to make this recipe since you first published it in the Star News. I’m glad you reminded me of it because it does look shockingly delicious!


sara January 8, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Mmmmmm, these look really good! I love baked beans but I’ve mostly just had them out of a can, love the idea of making them like this – yum!


sippitysup January 7, 2011 at 9:32 am

Weird I have some Jacob’s Cattle Beans soaking right now as I try and decide what to do with them! GREG


Dorothy January 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Well then….Jacob’s Cattle Beans are a far cry from canned baked beans, but the principle holds — brown stuff! Fiberlicious!


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