Healthier Barbecue "Baked" Beans Recipe

baked beans
Alice Day/StockFood Creative/Getty Images
Total Time 60 min
Prep 10 min, Cook 50 min
Yield 6 servings (118 calories)

This Barbecue "Baked" Beans recipe is healthier as it uses black soybeans for great taste and more protein than navy beans or Great Northern beans, which are typically used for baked beans recipes. This is a fast version of traditional baked beans, especially if you make the barbecue sauce in advance (which takes 20 to 30 minutes) and have it on hand. Because you're starting with canned beans and the dish takes only 15 to 20 minutes of simmering on top of the stove, this one will be ready for whatever you have in mind to accompany it with, or on its own with a gluten-free cornbread on the side.


  • For the Healthier Barbecue Sauce(makes 2 1/2 cups, use 1 cup for this recipe)
  • 2 strips of thick bacon, chopped fine
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (12 ounce) can cola-flavored club soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar-free ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • For the Beans:
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 (14 ounce) can black soy beans, drained


  1. Fry 2 strips finely chopped bacon (if using) in a saucepan -- a 2 quart pan works well.
  2. Add 1 small minced onion and cook over medium heat until soft -- 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1 minced garlic clove or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and stir it for half a minute or so.
  3. Add tomato paste, cola-flavored club soda, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cloves, hot sauce to taste, honey and about 1/2 cup of water. Stir well.
  1. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. It will cook down a bit and flavors will combine.
  2. Adjust the seasonings so you have the balance you want -- you can add vinegar, more honey, or hot sauce. (If it's too hot, adding more sweetener will tone it down.)
  3. Sauté the finely chopped onion in olive oil until soft. Add can of drained black soy beans and 1 cup of the barbecue sauce. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes.

Before You Make the Barbecue Sauce

If you prefer to leave the bacon out, add 1 to 3 teaspoons of liquid smoke, or to taste, near the end of the cooking. Alternatively, add some smoky flavor using 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, or chipotle powder to taste.

Cooking Tips and Ingredient Substitutions

You may find black soybeans in a can have no salt added. Given the bacon added, or liquid smoke, you may not need much to get the sweet savory flavor that baked beans are loved for. You may consider having guests add salt to their own serving, rather than adding it to the dish.

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