These homemade, from-scratch Amish Baked Beans are pure cool-weather comfort food. I start with dried beans and slow cook them for hours until they are perfectly tender and bathed in a rich and hearty sauce that is just a little smoky and a little sweet. And although beans baked from scratch take a little more time than starting with canned beans, the preparation is simple, and the end result so delicious it makes it worth the extra time.
If you’re wondering what makes these homemade baked beans Amish, it’s simply because my recipe is (slightly) adapted from a recipe found in a little booklet of old Amish recipes that I have in my cookbook collection (it’s dated 1980 so it’s definitely in a vintage recipe). So I’m giving credit where it is due by calling these Amish Baked Beans. And also, being originally from PA, I can tell you that when it comes to hearty comfort food, the Amish are experts. This is the kind of recipe that you can trust is stick-to-your-ribs home cooking.
I like to serve my beans alongside any kind of smoked or roasted meat. They are also delicious with burgers, meatloaf or braised sausages. But truly, these beans are so hearty, you could skip the meat altogether and eat them with some crusty bread or brown bread, and some greens like spinach or Swiss chard. You can even dress them up a little with a dollop of homemade chow-chow or a drizzle of maple syrup. There are so many possibilities.
- I find that my enameled cast iron Dutch oven is the perfect vessel for baking these beans. If you don’t own a Dutch oven, however, you can cook the beans and brown the onions and bacon in any large pot, and then transfer the whole mixture to a baking or casserole dish to bake in the oven.
- This recipe takes about 4 hours in the oven, but the baking time can be more or less due to factors such as the age of the dried beans, the variety of bean, the hardness of your water, and how hot your oven runs. I like to check my beans every hour or so just to see how they are coming along, and to add a little more water or reserved cooking liquid if they are looking dry. I like to keep the beans looking nice and saucy for most of their time in the oven.
- Towards the end of the baking time, when the beans have been in the oven for about 3 hours, I set the lid slightly ajar on the pot, so that the liquid reduces down to a rich, thick sauce. If your beans are already reduced down, you can skip this step.
- The baked beans are finished after about 4 hours in the oven, or whenever they are tender and the sauce is rich and thick. You will just need to use your judgment and decide when they are done to your liking.
So I hope you try this recipe, and if you do, I hope you love it! As always, please let me know in the comments below.
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