square edit of baked beans with jalapenos and brown sugar

Easy Baked Beans With Jalapeño and Brown Sugar Recipe

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What’s not to love about a great batch of baked beans? Nothing, that’s what. I want my baked beans to be soft, tangy, saucy, sweet, and spiced. These beans are pretty perfect, if I do say so myself. Very flavorful with bacon, onions, jalapeño, and a sweet and tangy sauce, these baked beans are sure to be a crowd pleaser. Oh, did I mention that this recipe uses canned navy beans so that you don’t have to mess with dried beans? Or that it only needs 30 to 45 minutes in the oven? Silly me.

These sweet, filling beans can be whipped up in about an hour, unlike many recipes which require soaking dry beans overnight and very long cooking times. Somewhere between Boston baked beans (sweetened with molasses) and Southern baked beans (sweetened with brown sugar), these make everyone happy.

baked bean Pinterest pin


There are no specialty ingredients in this recipe. All you need are a few simple staples, and you are on your way to baked bean heaven. The full list, including measurements, can be found in the recipe card at the end of tthe post. Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Bacon– thick or regular cut.
  • Yellow Onion
  • Jalapeño – the recipe does not call for the seeds, because I am a Spice Weenie™. Without the seeds, the jalapeños add flavor without spiciness, but feel free to add the seeds for spicier baked beans.
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Unsulfured molasses – this is the most commonly found type of molasses. Sulfured molasses is made from green sugar cane and requires sulfur dioxide to preserve it. Unsulfured molasses is made from ripe sugar cane and does not require preserving agents due to its higher sugar content.
  • Ketchup
  • Yellow Mustard
  • Soy Sauce
  • Brown Sugar
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper– don’t be stingy with the pepper.
  • Two 15.5 ounce cans of navy beans– great northern beans work great, too.
bowl of baked beans with spoon


The only equipment you need to make easy baked beans with jalapeños and brown sugar is an oven safe 12 inch skillet and a rubber spatula, cutting board, and knife.

My favorite skillets are the All-Clad D3 stainless steel frying pans. They are not cheap, but they are very well made and will last a lifetime. Here is a link to the 12 inch All-Clad skillet.

I prefer to use a plastic cutting board, because they are easier to maintain and can go in the dishwasher if you get the right size. This is my favorite cutting board. It is very inexpensive, fits in my dishwasher, and is a workhorse.

This Victorinox knife is an excellent entry level chef’s knife, if you’re in the market. I bought one for culinary school and still use it heavily. It sharpens nicely and you don’t have to be precious with it.

overhead shot of baked beans with jalapenos and brown sugar

How To Make Baked Beans With Jalapeño And Brown Sugar

  1. Cut bacon into small pieces and saute in the pan. Do not discard the fat.
  2. Cook the diced onion and jalapeño with the bacon.
  3. Mix all of the sauce ingredients except the apple cider vinegar in a small bowl.
  4. Deglaze the pan with apple cider vinegar (explained in recipe card)
  5. Add the sauce and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add the beans and return to a simmer.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-45 minutes, depending on how reduced you’d like the sauce.

That’s it! No soaking beans, or long cooking time, just delicious, hearty baked beans on your table in an hour or less. These will be a big hit at your next cookout, office party, or potluck.


These easy baked beans with jalapeños and brown sugar can be stored either covered in the fridge for about 3 days. They can also be frozen. I would pour the cooled beans into a zip top freezer bag, and lie it flat to freeze. That way it doesn’t take up too much room in your freezer. To reheat frozen beans, thaw in the fridge over night and then reheat them either in the microwave or on the stove.

Can I Make This Recipe Vegetarian?

Certainly! To make these baked beans vegetarian, just omit the bacon and instead cook the onion and jalapeño in about 2 Tablespoons of a neutral flavored oil, such as grapeseed or vegetable oil. They will still be great without the bacon.

Can I Make These Baked Beans Spicier?

Absolutely, you can. Just add the seeds from the jalapeño, or use a hotter pepper like a serrano if you are very brave, unlike me.

Can I Make These Beans In A Slow Cooker?

I wouldn’t. Sauces do not reduce very well in the slow cooker, not to mention that this one pot dish would turn into not… a one pot dish.

macro baked beans with pepper
Jalapeño and brown sugar goodness

I love to hear from you guys, so make sure to leave me a comment! I want to know how you like these baked beans, along with any of my other recipes. Your feedback really helps me develop new dishes. It’s much easier to design recipes for you when I know what you enjoy eating!

Speaking of other dishes, you may also enjoy this melon salad to bring along with your baked beans to the cookout. Why not bring these summery lemon cream cheese sugar cookies while you’re at it? You’ll be everyone’s favorite person at the potluck.

I hope you have an amazing day.

Happy Cooking!


overhead of baked beans

Easy Baked Beans With Jalapeños and Brown Sugar Recipe

Gracious Cooking
These easy homemade baked beans run circles around a certain name brand baked bean. Rich, tangy, and packed with flavor, these beans come together so easily and are the perfect side for your family dinner or BBQ.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings


  • 3 slices bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced small
  • 1 small jalapeno seeded and finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, but I prefer apple cider vinegar.
  • 1 Tablespoon unsulfured molasses
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar lightly packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper freshly ground if possible
  • 2 15.5 ounce cans of Navy beans drained


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the center position.
  • Heat a large, oven safe skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook until the fat has rendered and there is some color on the bacon.
  • Add the diced onion and jalapeno. Cook in the bacon fat until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring often. If you need more oil, add some neutral oil, like grapeseed, but you shouldn't need to do that. The bacon fat should be sufficient.
  • Deglaze the pan with the apple cider vinegar. This means add it to the pan and let it boil for a second, then scrape up the tasty brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. These add major flavor. Stand back from the pan so you don't get vaporized vinegar in your sinuses. It'll clear you right out.
  • Add the molasses, ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, salt, and pepper to the pan. Stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Add the 2 cans of drained navy beans and stir well to combine. Bring back to a simmer, and then carefully transfer the skillet to the preheated oven.
  • Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the sauce reduced slightly and the beans are bubbly and delicious.


You can make these beans vegetarian by omitting the bacon. Instead add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of a neutral oil (grapeseed, avocado, vegetable) to the pan and cook the onion and jalapeno in that. For the rest of the recipe, proceed as directed. 
Baked beans can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer in a plastic freezer bag for up to 3 months. 
Keyword baked Beans, Barbecue, Beans, Quick & Easy, Sauce, Side Dish, Southern, Tangy, Vegetable

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