It’s officially the start of summer, and with BBQ season here and in full effect, it’s time for pool parties, margaritas, sunscreen, country music, and cookouts. In my opinion, you can’t have an all-American BBQ without baked beans. GOOD baked beans – not just a boring ‘ol can of them.

This recipe will leave all your guests asking, who made these beans?!” Pinky. Promise. AND they’re healthy, full of fiber, copper, manganese, folate, potassium, vitamin B1, iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, and more. My mom has made these since we were little, using her friend Julie Donald’s recipe (these were featured in newspapers, ya know, before Pinterest was invented).

Being the clean(ish) lifestyle blogger that I am, I had to revise Julie’s original recipe a bit, ditching the ground beef and sugar; cleaning it up a tad. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and friends do.

Beans beans the magical fruit, these gems are certainly worth the toots…

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photo via Shaken Together, featuring her version of Calico Beans

BBQ Bacon Baked Beans

Serves 16


  • 1lb. nitrate-free bacon
  • 1 organic onion, chopped
  • 1 cup organic ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 tablespoon organic avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons organic apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s, “with the mother”)
  • two 15-oz. can of pork + beans
  • two 15-oz. can of butter beans (aka lima beans), drained and rinsed
  • two 15-oz. can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

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photo, the worktop


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crispy; set aside on paper towels when cooked
  3. In the same skillet as bacon, add chopped onion (leave bacon grease and cook onion in it); sautéing until browned
  4. Drain the bacon fat in a jar and discard
  5. Add bacon, onion, and all other ingredients to a large oven safe dish like a Dutch oven
  6. Bake for about 2 – 2 1/2 hours, or until top of beans is caramelized and crispy(ish)
recipe modified from my mom’s friend, Julie Donald;  originally called “Calico Beans,” which now I’ve seen circulating Pinterest, but she’s the creator of the original Calico Beans


Fun fact about bacon via –

“Unlike the Omega-3 Fatty Acids supplements derived from fish sources, the ones that come from bacon aren’t chock full of poisonous mercury, like most of the popular fish oil versions are. So bacon Omega-3’s can not only help prevent heart disease, as well as lower your cholesterol, reduce inflammation and improve circulation, but also help you to avoid mercury and other toxic poisons being regularly spewed into our planet’s oceans.”

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