July 03, 2017

Dressed Up Baked Beans

Dressed Up Baked Beans

We’ve said it many times before, but in case you’ve missed it, we here at TMP (Natalie and I, Holly) are holiday fanatics. Why you ask? Well, there’s the obvious celebrating and seeing friends and family, but really, if we are all being honest with ourselves one of the absolute best things about ANY holiday is the food. You know I’m right. The Fourth of July is no exception. God bless America and hooray for fireworks, but also, bring on the food! Hanging out outside and grilling the best that summer has to offer...what could be better? We are headed to California to stay with friends this year, so I’m not certain what’s on the menu, but I can’t wait to find out.

They totally deserve a place at any BBQ...

Traditionally, we grill with friends and there are always certain dishes that can be counted on; a great grilled burgers spread with all the fixing, corn bread, Tom’s world famous bruschetta, Julie’s trifle made with plenty of pudding, whipped cream and Heath bar, and there’s also usually some form of baked beans that make their way to the table. If I’m being totally honest I was never really a fan of baked beans, that is until I had my very first dressed up bean “casserole.” These baked beans were extra flavorful and filled with delicious chunks of meat, really putting them over the top. Since having that dish I have gained a newfound respect for how good baked beans really can be. They totally deserve a place at any BBQ, so long as they aren’t just served straight from the can. And so, when Natalie and I discussed what recipes we would post here on the blog in celebration of Independence Day, we realized that we had strong opinions about how to properly “dress up” baked beans, to make them as delicious as possible. Using traditional canned baked beans, we added large chunks of bacon, hearty slices of sausage, some molasses, spicy brown mustard, good ketchup, and a splash or two of real maple syrup. The result are baked beans that are so rich and flavorful they’ll be absolutely demolished at any Fourth of July event they’re taken to.

Dressed Up Baked Beans

Serves 6


10-12 oz thick cut bacon
1 onion, chopped
1 (12oz) fully cooked beef sausage link, 1/2 inch, sliced at an angle
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp spicy brown mustard
2 tbsp molasses
1/4 cup good quality ketchup
1 tbsp unfiltered apple cider vinegar, optional
3 (28oz) cans original baked beans


  1. Cut the bacon into 1 inch pieces. Fry the bacon in a large skillet set over medium heat. When the bacon is cooked through, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a paper towel lined plate. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons bacon grease into a heat proof container. Add the onion to the pan. Cook onion until soft and translucent. Add the sausage to the pan. Cook until the sausage begins to brown on both sides.
  2. Add the beans, syrup, mustard, molasses, ketchup and vinegar to a large pot set over medium heat. Stir until ingredients are fully incorporated. Add the Bacon, onions and sausage. Heat through and serve.  They will stay hot for a long time and you can just turn the crockpot back on a couple hours before serving.

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