Baked Beans with Caramelized Bacon Topping








  • 1 pound bacon, diced
  • ½ cup (1 stick) Challenge Unsalted Butter
  • 1½ cups diced shallots, separated (a sweet onion can be substituted)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, divided
  • 4 teaspoons smoked paprika, divided
  • ½ cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ⅓ cup molasses
  • ⅓ cup yellow prepared mustard
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Worchester sauce
  • 4 (15 ounce) cans navy beans, drained


  • 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • 2

    In a large pan, add diced bacon. Cook over medium-high heat until fat renders, and bacon begins to crisp. Once cooked, remove bacon and place into a small bowl. Discard bacon drippings, leaving 2 tablespoons in the pan.

  • 3

    Add butter to the pan with bacon drippings, cooking until melted over the heat. Add 1 cup of the shallots and cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Remove shallots, leaving the butter mixture in the pan. Place cooked shallots in the bowl with bacon. Stir in ¼ cup of brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika to create topping.

  • 4

    Add the remaining ½ cup of shallots and green pepper to the pan. Cook until vegetables have softened, about 3-4 minutes.

  • 5

    Stir in tomato sauce, ketchup, molasses, mustard, the remaining 3/4 cup of the brown sugar, garlic powder, Worchester sauce and 3 teaspoons of smoked paprika to create a sauce.

  • 6

    Stir in the beans, and then pour bean mixture into a deep sided 9 x12 baking dish.

  • 7

    Cover dish with foil, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

  • 8

    Remove pan from oven and raise oven temperature to 400 degrees. Remove foil, and place back into the oven, about 20-25 minutes or until sauce is thick and bubbly.

  • 9

    Sprinkle on bacon topping, continuing to cook for 10 additional minutes or until bacon is browned and caramelized.

  • 10

    Remove from oven, and let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.


  • !

    Alternative Cooking Method: If you don’t want to turn on the oven, bring out the slow cooker! Follow the above instructions, but instead of putting the beans into a casserole dish, place them into the slow cooker and cook on high heat setting for 4 hours. Remove the lid for the last 2 hours, and add the bacon topping during the last 15 minutes of cooking. If an extra crispy bacon topping is desired, place crock in the oven set to broil for 4 minutes.

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