This pork and beans recipe is deliciously savory and tangy with just a hint of sweetness. This side dish is simple to make and much tastier than the stuff you’d buy in a can! Make this pork and beans recipe for your next summer barbecue or potluck.
What Makes This Pork and Beans Recipe So Good
- It is jam-packed with flavor! Salt pork is cooked down to release a ton of flavor, then delicious additions like Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard powder contribute even more incredible flavor.
- It’s super simple and easy to make. The entire recipe comes together in under 30 minutes, and most of that time is spent leaving everything to simmer on the stove!
- Everyone loves this pork and beans recipe – kids too! This recipe is super family friendly. No one can resist the smoky, slightly sweet flavor of this dish. I highly recommend making this recipe for your next potluck, it’s a total crowd-please!
Key Ingredients for Pork and Beans
Salt Pork or Thick-Cut Bacon – Like I said earlier, the pork contributes a ton of flavor to this dish. I love using either salt pork or thick-cut bacon in my pork and beans, as it’s much easier and quicker to cook with than any other option out there. Also, if you’re looking to turn this into a vegan or vegetarian pork and beans recipe, you can easily leave out the pork. Simply skip over cooking the pork and go straight into sautéing your onion in one tablespoon of olive oil. If you make this vegan or vegetarian, you’ll want to add an extra teaspoon of salt to compensate from the salt you’ll lose from not using pork.
Tomato Sauce – Tomato sauce adds both freshness and a bit of brightness to this dish. The acidity from the sauce also helps balance out the sweet molasses and brown sugar flavors.
Pinto Beans – Drain and rinse your pinto beans before using them in this pork and beans recipe! Canned beans make things a lot easier, though you can cook your own dried beans to use in this recipe. If you plan on cooking your beans, use 6 cups of cooked pinto beans in place of the 3 cans of pinto beans in this recipe.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as you go! Give things a taste at every step of this recipe and add more of whatever you’d like. Though remember that the flavors will be the most developed after the pork and beans simmer on the stove for 20 minutes. So if you’re not sure about adding something, wait until the end to make that call!
- Be sure to use a large skillet with high sides to make this recipe. This dish will start out looking small, but once the beans are added it will triple in size! I made this mistake during my first attempt at the recipe and couldn’t fit all of my beans in the skillet. Please learn from my mistakes, use the largest skillet you got!
- Chop your salt pork or thick-cut bacon however large or small you’d like. I personally love coming across big pieces of salt pork in my pork and beans, so I chop mine into 2-inch pieces. Though you can definitely chop it as small as into 1/4-inch pieces if you’d like!
More Delicious Summer Side Dish Recipes
- Carrot and Raisin Salad
- Grilled Eggplant Recipe
- Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint
- Dill Dip
- Cherry Tomato Salad
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Pork and Beans
- Large skillet
- Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add in the onion and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until onion is tender.
- Add in the tomato sauce, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, salt, black pepper, and brown sugar. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until sugar has dissolved.
- Add in the beans and water, then simmer for 20 minutes or until thick.
- Make it Vegan/Vegetarian: Skip over cooking the pork and go straight into sautéing the onion in one tablespoon of olive oil. Also, use an additional teaspoon of salt to compensate for the flavor lost from omitting the pork.
- Make it Sugar-Free: Use granular brown sugar Swerve in place of the brown sugar, or leave the brown sugar out of this recipe altogether.
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Hi! I’m Sam, a travel, food and fitness enthusiast from the New York metro area. I love creating new and inventive recipes, and my favorite part is sharing them with others. My love of food goes all the way back to my early childhood, I grew up cooking alongside my mom and Nonna – the two best cooks I know! When I’m not in the kitchen, I’m either planning my next vacation, spending time outdoors (preferably on a beach), or bingeing Netflix’s latest docu-series. My passion for eating and living well led me to create the blog and Instagram account, Sam Does Her Best, where I health-ify my favorite comfort foods. I’m a big believer that good-for-you food can still be exploding with flavor and (most importantly) easy to make. I’m thrilled to be here at 40 Aprons doing what I do best – creating, photographing, and sharing delicious recipes with you all!