Country-Style Pinto Bean Bake Recipe

country baked pinto beans
Diana Rattray
Ratings (16)
  • Total: 75 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Cook Beans: 90 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
490 Calories
10g Fat
72g Carbs
29g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 490
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 883mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 72g 26%
Dietary Fiber 17g 62%
Protein 29g
Calcium 184mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These country-style pinto beans start with dry pinto beans, making them a great budget meal choice. The simmered pinto beans are finished in the oven with the addition of diced leftover ham, chopped vegetables, and a barbecue sauce that is boldly flavored with molasses and ketchup. Bell peppers, bacon drippings, and onions add even more flavor and richness to the simple dish.

Feel free to use leftover pulled pork or beef brisket in these beans in place of the ham. For a vegetarian version, use vegetable oil instead of the bacon drippings and omit the ham. An 8-ounce can of tomato sauce makes a good replacement for the ketchup. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 medium onion (about 1 cup diced)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 12 ounces ham (cooked and diced; about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried mustard

Steps to Make It

  1. Rinse the beans and pick them over, checking them for bits of gravel or small stones. Discard any malformed or damaged beans. 

  2. Pour 1 1/2 quarts of water into a large saucepan or Dutch oven and place it over high heat. Bring the water to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add the beans. Cover the pan and let the beans stand overnight.

  3. The next day, place the beans over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the beans for about an hour, or until they are tender.

  4. Heat the oven to 325 F.

  5. Drain beans, reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid.

  6. Peel the onion and dice it.

  7. Add the bacon drippings to a skillet or sauté pan over medium heat; add the diced onion and diced green pepper and cook for 5 minutes.

  8. In a 2-quart casserole or Dutch oven, layer the cooked, drained beans with the cooked onions and peppers and the diced ham.

  9. Combine the reserved liquid with the remaining ingredients and pour over the bean mixture.

  10. Cover the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Tips

  • Try to keep the beans at a gentle simmer, which is below the boiling point. The temperature of the simmer should be about 180 F 190 F as opposed to the boiling point of 212 F. The liquid will be nearly still with a few bubbles now and then.
  • If you are short on time, replace the sauce ingredients with your favorite barbecue sauce.


Recipe Variations

  • Add about 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke or a smoke-flavored seasoning blend to the beans.
  • Add some heat to the beans with 1/4 teaspoon (or more) of cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Instead of molasses, add 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar or honey.
  • Increase the bell pepper to 1/2 cup and use part red or orange for a more colorful dish.
  • Replace the salt with Cajun or Creole seasoning, to taste.
  • Instead of diced ham, add a leftover meaty ham bone or ham hocks to the beans. When the beans are almost ready, remove the meat from the bones, chop it, and add it back to the beans.