Posted by: Hallie | July 4, 2009

Baked Beans for a Lazy Independence Day


I hope everyone has been out having fun today. Me? I’ve been a total lazy bum 🙂

I know, I live 2 miles from the beach, but honestly, going to the beach, with the tons of people and drunken antics just wasn’t appealing to me. Instead, I stayed home with my sweetie and our puppy. We napped, watched the Padres game (they won! woo hoo) and watched Amistad, which I had never seen before. It was a REALLY good movie, and fitting to watch on Independence Day. I don’t really think about slavery, or the dark times in our nation’s history, all that often, so it’s a good reminder that while this country is certainly not perfect, we’ve come a long way as far as human rights go.


Last night, Mitch’s mom came over for an early holiday feast. We had her amazing ribs, salad, apple pie, and my contribution, baked beans. (They also had grilled corn, but I wanted to save a few calories for dessert, haha. And I wonder why I’m not really losing weight…?)

I had only tried baked beans for the first time a few months ago, and I was surprised how much I liked them! I’d only had the kind with bacon and sausage, so I wanted to create a lighter version. I learned from Mara on I Made Dinner that center-cut bacon is lower in fat, so I used that, and drained off all the grease before I browned the onions. I also cut the sugar a tad, and was happy that my version has no HFCS and is lower in fat than other recipes.

Homemade Baked Beans
Adapted from Epicurious (couldn’t find the full link, sorry!)

baked beans ingredients


  • 4 slices center-cut bacon
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons sucanat (or brown sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons dark molasses
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 15-ounce can white kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed, drained


  1. Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels. Chop bacon; reserve.
  2. Pour off all the drippings from skillet. 
  3. Heat drippings in same skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute.
  4. Add tomato sauce, broth, sucanat, molasses, vinegar and mustard and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Stir in all beans and bacon and bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors.
  6. Uncover and simmer at least one hour. Season with salt and pepper.

baked beans

Delish! I highly recommend trying this recipe. Of course, you could leave the bacon out to be even healthier and vegetarian.

Today, we grilled artichoke-garlic chicken sausages for lunch, and I had leftover beans on the side. (I thought I’d be all-American by using a non-wheat hot dog bun, and it was so not worth it. Should have just used a slice of ww bread…)

4th of july lunch

I just tried to spot fireworks on our balcony, but I could barely make them out. I can hear them though, which is such a tease. I could have gone out to watch them…but did you read when I said I was lazy? I’m making Mitch take me to the KGB Sky Show in September, so I’ll get my fireworks fix.

Hope you had a fun and safe holiday! And I hope you don’t think I’m a loser for blogging at 9:15 PM on the 4th of July…but I had a GREAT day being a bum! (Mitch said I was going to lose the respect of my readers if I posted tonight. Clearly, I disagreed.) Tomorrow it’s back to normal with a hill walk with the puppy followed by a trip to the gym, grocery shopping—a lovely Sunday in my mind!



  1. haha, don’t worry, I still respect you 🙂 That’s funny.
    Your baked beans put my Busch’s baked beans to shame. I’ve never actually made my own baked beans from scratch. I seriously love Busch’s so much I have never had the motivation to make my own! either way, yours look delicious.

    Have a great day!

  2. Those baked beans look amazing!!!!

  3. Ha! I blog at 8pm every Friday and Saturday night before I go to bed!!! You’ve got nothin on me 😉

    I luurrrve homemade baked beans. I need to try my hand at making them, thanks for the recipe!

  4. yo, I was a lazy blogger too, sitting on my ass all day! lol! but still, you managed to have a fabulous 4th meal! YUMMY! I love baked beans, and esp with bacon!

  5. Love your version of baked beans!!

    That’s what holidays are for – being lazy if you want!

  6. I love homemade baked beans! These look wonderful. 😀

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