Lumberjack baked beans

Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s rendition of lumberjack baked beans, our recipe features a medley of beans, bacon (which, of course, makes every dish better), and a sweet-savory sauce made with brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, dry mustard and ginger —  yes, ginger! It’s the little something extra that will leave your dinner guests wondering what makes this dish so good.

Get saucy!

To make the sauce, combine brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, ginger and salt. You’ll set this aside while you sizzle up the bacon and sauté diced onions in the bacon fat. (Repeat: Bacon makes every dish better!) Pour the brown sugar mixture into the skillet with the onions. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes to marry the made-for-each-other flavors.

ALSO TRY: Pressure cooker white bean chili

Did you notice that this recipe calls for canned beans? They’re a convenient ingredient that will save you time and trouble in the kitchen. Combine the beans in a casserole dish, then add the bacon and the sauce. Cover the dish and bake for one hour. Uncover it, then bake an additional 30 minutes. Though our lumberjack baked beans need serious oven time, the actual hands-on time for the recipe is delightfully short. As a bonus, you’ll have a hunger-inducing aroma wafting through your house.

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Add brown sugar to mixing bowl

Brown sugar provides just the right amount of sweetness in this baked beans dish, but be make sure you use brown sugar rather than white sugar. Brown sugar, also known as raw sugar, is 96% pure. White sugar is pure calories.

Add brown sugar to mixing bowl

Pour apple cider vinegar over brown sugar

Apple cider vinegar by itself doesn’t take great (although it’s a super healthy tonic that you can take daily shots of), but you won’t taste it in this dish.

Pour apple cider vinegar over brown sugar

Add ginger to mixture

We love ginger – it not only adds a zesty, peppery flavor to balance out the brown sugar, but it has a list of health benefits. Most importantly, it helps to better brain function!

Add ginger to sauce mixture

Whisk sauce together

The mixture should be nice and thick!

Whisk sauce mixture together

Add bacon to hot pan

We used full-fat bacon but you can opt for turkey bacon if you want a lighter alternative. Cook the bacon over medium-high heat – you can cut it into bacon bits before or after cooking.

Add bacon to hot pan

Remove cooked bacon and place to the side

Keep turning the bacon until it is crispy.

Remove cooked bacon and place to the side

Add chopped onion to hot bacon grease

You can buy the onions pre-chopped at most grocery store or doing the chopping yourself – just make sure you have eye drops nearby! Cook them over medium-heat until their soft and golden brown.

Save leftover bacon fat (if you have any) for other recipes like bacon fat pancakes and bacon fat potato soup!

Add onion to hot bacon grease

Pour sauce mix over onions

White onions contain fiber and folic acid – a B vitamin that assists the body in making new healthy cells.

Let the mixture and onions simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Pour sauce mix over onions

Add red kidney beans to bean mixture

The dark red, firm beans are low in fat and rich in complex carbohydrates, minerals, proteins and vitamins.

Add red kidney beans to bean dish

Add cooked bacon to dish

If you want a little spice in your lumberjack baked beans, you can also add chopped jalapeño.

Add cooked bacon to bean mixture

Pour sauce over beans

There’s no right or wrong way to do this – just make sure the beans and garlic are thoroughly coated.

Pour sauce over beans

Combine the mixture well

Using a rubber scraper, mix and even out the beans and brown sugar mixture.

Mix beans together

Lumberjack baked beans are the perfect addition to a summer cookout!

Place a lid or aluminum foil over the top of the dish. Bake for 1 hour covered. Remove the dish from the oven, stir the beans, and cook uncovered for an additional 30 minutes. Then stir one last time and enjoy!

MORE FOR YOUR BBQ: Creamy confetti corn with bacon

Finish the lumberjack bakes beans

Lumberjack baked beans

Yield 8 servings


  • 1-3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1  can (16 ounces) butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1  can (16 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1  can (16 ounces) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1  can (30 ounces) Bush’s Homestyle Baked Beans


  1. In small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, dry mustard, ginger and salt.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.
  3. In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon, turning often, until bacon is crispy.
  4. Using tongs, transfer bacon to plate lined with paper towels to remove excess grease. Crumble bacon when cool enough to handle.
  5. Discard bacon grease from skillet, leaving 2 teaspoons of grease to lightly coat bottom of skillet.
  6. Add onions to hot skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until onions are softened and just golden.
  7. Add brown sugar mixture to onions, stirring to combine. Simmer mixture for 8 to 10 minutes to make sauce.
  8. In 3-quart casserole dish, combine beans, bacon and brown sugar sauce, stirring to combine.
  9. Place lid or aluminum foil over top of dish to cover tightly.
  10. Bake for 1 hour. Remove dish from oven and stir beans.
  11. Bake uncovered for an additional 30 minutes. Stir and serve hot.

Courses Side dish