Easy gluten-free baked beans recipe with a flavorful traditional homestyle flare. It uses the finest healthy ingredients stewed together to create a thick and creamy sweet and savory sauce. It is a must side dish at your next cookout!
Why this recipe works
Enjoy all the flavors of Boston baked beans with an American-style twist that satisfy any appetite. This version combines a mouthwatering tomato sauce base with ham (pork or bacon), molasses and maple syrup. It is sweet, rich and a side dish that pairs well with grilled burgers, hot dogs, chicken and cornbread dishes- perfect on outdoor grilling days! Serve it with our healthy turkey burgers, juicy grilled hamburgers, easy-peasy potato salad, and an extra side of gluten-free cornbread muffins!
Growing up my mom always served baked beans (Bush’s Homestyle Baked Beans, to be exact) as a ritual staple side dish with grilled meat at any of our outdoor BBQ’s. It was always my favorite summer food because I had a major sweet tooth as a child, and still to this day, and baked beans have that slightly sweet sauce that is irresistable! But store-bought version can sometimes be tricky if you are on a strict diet.
Are baked beans gluten-free
Many store bought brands of homestyle baked beans are gluten-free, but some are not. It is always important to read labels if you have a gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder. Flours sneak their way into canned goods and to help thicken sauce in baked beans, soups, condiments, dressings and other packaged or prepared foods.
Many canned baked beans on the shelf may also have high fructose corn syrup in the ingredient list, which is a harmful sugar-based sweetner made of simple sugars (fructose and glucose) that give food artificial sweetness. Simple sugars are bad for the body, see my sugar detox article if you need help with sugar – and do not worry, you are not alone if you are addicted to the sweet stuff! If you see high fructose corn syrup on a label, steer clear of that food. That is why these homestyle gluten-free baked beans are so awesome- no processed ingredients, and made 100% with natural sugars.
What goes into this recipe
Navy beans or white beans – these beans are also traditionally used in baked bean recipes. You can also mix a combination of white beans with kidney beans, which still have a delightful consistency. Full details and quantities are in the printalbe recipe below.
Gluten-free baked beans sauce – this sauce is a combination of pre-cooked diced ham or bacon (adds loads of flavor!), onion, organic ketchup, mustard, maple syrup, molasses, tomato sauce, salt, cumin, and chili powder.
Note about using ham vs. bacon
Boston baked beans traditionally are a combination of baked beans with molasses or maple syrup and pork or bacon for flavor. These gluten free baked beans have both molasses and maple syrup for a ridiculously delicious sauce! Something about thick molasses brings depth to baked beans and compliments salty meats. Because I like to “lighten-up” and make healthier traditional recipes, I use cold-cut ham for my gluten-free baked beans (since ham is what I usually have on-hand anyways) as it has less fat than bacon. But you can also sub the ham for bacon or salt pork.
How to make gf baked beans
STEP 1: Chop cooked meat (ham, pork or bacon) super fine and dice onions into very fine dices as well, almost to the consistency of mincing them.
STEP 2: In a medium size saucepan add all the ingredients to the saucepan and heat on low-medium, uncovered, for about 20-25 minutes until the desired consistency is reached. The longer the beans cook the thicker they will become.
Fun fact about baked beans
In the 1930’s brown bread and baked beans were a popular meal enjoyed on Saturdays and Sunday mornings in Massachusetts. In colonial New England they used to make baked beans and leave them in brick ovens overnight to enjoy Sunday morning!
Have you ever thought about having sweetened navy beans for breakfast… do you eat them like that? Gluten-free baked beans are quite tasty with sunny-side up eggs or cloud eggs in the morning, along with a fresh glass of lemon water!
You are going to love this gluten free baked beans recipe and it is seriously more delicious than any canned baked beans! It is much more natural than canned baked beans and is packed with rich maple, molasses flavors, tomato, and mustard spices that will blow your mind! If you want to get even more bold- add a bit of melted cheese on top- the kiddos will love it like a cheesy chili bowl!
Faqs and Expert tips
You can substitute the maple syrup for brown sugar in equal amounts. Or use coconut sugar in equal amounts of maple syrup for a healthier version using non-processed sugars.
If you choose to use store-bought gluten-free baked beans rather than making baked beans from scratch try out these brands, and always double check labels first.
1. Amy’s Kitchen (one variety available and it’s gluten-free)
2. B&M (all varieties are gluten-free)
3. Bush’s Best (all varieties are gluten-free)
related bean recipes
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Easy Gluten-Free Baked Beans
- 2 15 ounce cans white beans drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup ham or bacon cooked and finely chopped
- ½ cup onion diced finely
- ¼ cup organic ketchup
- 2 teaspoons organic yellow mustard
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 cup tomato sauce plain from a can without added salt
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- pink Himalayan salt
In a medium saucepan combine drained and rinsed white beans, ham or bacon, onion, ketchup, mustard, maple syrup, molasses, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder. Season with salt to taste.
Cook over low-medium heat for 20 minutes or to desired consistency, stirring often. The longer it cooks the thicker the mixture will become.
Add more salt to taste if needed.