Judy Mills' From-Scratch Baked Beans

BBQ baked beans from scratch
Steve Outram/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images
  • Total: 105 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 75 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8 (serves 6-8)

Judy Mills gave this recipe to me, and I've altered it using dried beans. The color will be lighter since you're starting with white beans, and the texture will be just a little firmer. You'll have to start a day early to soak the beans, but I guarantee the end result will be worth the extra time and effort. 

"Peace, Love, and Barbecue" by Mike Mills and Amy Mills Tunnicliffe


  • 1 pound/450g great northern beans (dried)
  • 4 to 6 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup/120mL onion (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups/480mL ketchup
  • 1/2 cup/120mL molasses
  • 1 cup/240mL brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 1 tablespoon/15mL Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon/15 mL mustard (yellow)
  • 1 teaspoon/5mL chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons/30mL magic dust

Steps to Make It

  1. Place the beans in a large saucepan and cover with salted water by 2 to 3 inches. Soak the beans overnight.

  2. The next day, drain and rinse the beans. Return the beans to the saucepan and cover with fresh water by about 4 inches. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender but not bursting open.

  3. While the beans are cooking, mix the ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, chili powder, and Magic Dust together in a large bowl.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).

  5. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon. Drain the bacon on paper towels, crumble it, and set aside. Add the onion and garlic to the bacon drippings and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. The onion should still be a little crunchy.

  6. Drain the beans, reserving 2 cups/480 mL of the bean water. Pour the beans and bean water into the bowl with the sauce. Add the bacon and onion and stir to combine well. Pour into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish and bake for 1 hour or until bubbly. Will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.