Smoky Three-Bean Bake

I don’t know about you but baked beans and burgers just seem to go hand-in-hand.  I not only like to eat them with each other but I like to smother each bite of my burger with a forkful of messy baked beans before shoving it into my mouth.  Yes, insert quirky eating habits here.  The problem with baked beans is that although they are a perfect accompaniment to burgers cooked on the grill, which is perfect to do in the summer, they are cooked in the OVEN which is not what you want to turn on when it’s hot outside!  But oh well, it’s so worth it in the end.  The sweet, spicy, creamy and oh-so smoky flavors in Smoky Three-Bean Bake will have you hooked after the first bite.

Black beans, chickpeas and Great Northern beans are mixed with peppers, onions and garlic before being mixed with a magical concoction of tomato sauce, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, honey and cider vinegar.  Vibrant flavors of cayenne pepper and smoked paprika (my two favorites) spice up the dish, giving it all the personality in the world.  The whole dish is topped with chopped bacon (of course, I used turkey bacon) just to give it yet another burst of flavor but leave it out to easily make this vegetarian.  I accidentally forgot to put in the honey but I think it was sweet enough as it was so leave it out if you like.  Although it may take a little bit of time to make this, it’s so much better than what comes in a can.  Take this to a cook-out, potluck, picnic or any summertime party and revel in how much people are impressed by what you made.  Canned baked beans don’t stand a chance against this.

Tomorrow…turkey burgers!

The ingredients:

If using regular bacon, prepare the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat and set aside, saving the drippings.  Add onion, bell pepper, and minced garlic to drippings in pan, and sauté for 6 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  (Since I used precooked turkey bacon, I used olive oil in place of drippings.)  

Combine tomato sauce, brown sugar, cider vinegar, honey, Dijon, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Add onion/pepper mixture and all of the beans to the sauce mixture.

Spoon bean mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, and top with reserved bacon.

Cover and bake at 325° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake an additional 30 minutes.

Additions:  None

Omissions:

  • Honey

Substitutions:

  • Turkey bacon

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

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