Best Darn Baked Beans

I made these delicious baked beans for the 4th of July bash we have at our house every year.  Everyone said they were the “best darn baked beans,” so I decided to call them that.  They started more as a “creation” and morphed into these deliciously sweet and tangy baked beans that our guests were begging to take home.  I hope you enjoy them!

The Best Darn Baked Beans | Mini Van Dreams

Best Darn Baked Beans
 
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Ingredients
  • ½ pound bacon OR ½ pound ground pork (not sausage)
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon dried mustard
  • 2 cans tomato paste, divided (for thickening)
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 can regular root beer (not diet)
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons yellow prepared mustard
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons locally sourced honey
  • 1 large can Bush's baked beans, country-style
  • 1 regular can chili beans with sauce, drained but not rinsed
  • 1 regular can Northern beans, drained but not rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Brown pork or fry bacon with onions in pan until pork is done or bacon is desired crispness. Drain grease.
  2. Prepare crock pot by spraying with cooking spray.
  3. Place all ingredients in the crock pot, except tomato paste, stir to combine thoroughly.
  4. Allow to cook on low for approximately 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. About an hour prior to serving, check consistency of the beans. If it is too thin/soupy, add one can of tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Allow to heat for 10 minutes or so. If still thin/soup, add the second can of tomato paste. In the rare instance the beans are too thick, stir water OR root beer ½ cup at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  6. Taste test before serving to adjust tangyness or sweetness to your desired flavor. More tang: add more yellow mustard. More sweet: add more brown sugar.
  7. Serve with hot sauce, if desired
Notes
If you are a vegetarian, feel free to substitute the pork or bacon with soy crumbles or omit the meat all together.