These Apple Cider Baked Beans make for the perfect winter side dish or main, with sweet apple cider, maple syrup, canned pinto beans and fresh rosemary. Slow cooked until thick and caramelized, they’re delicious, vegan and easy to make!
How to Make Apple Cider Baked Beans
These Apple Cider Baked Beans are super simple to make. Many homemade baked bean recipes call for dried beans, which require hours of soaking and boiling, but I like to eliminate that extra work by using canned beans.
To make these Apple Cider Baked Beans, start by sautéing an onion in a good amount of olive oil. Once softened, add in some tomato paste plus a bit of ground ginger and dried mustard. Allowing these ingredients to toast in the oil for a couple minutes helps release their flavor.
Next, pour in the apple cider, a little water and the sweeteners. I used a combination of molasses, which helps the beans thicken and caramelize, and maple syrup, which adds another layer of sweetness. Stir in the canned pinto beans and salt then bring everything up to a boil. Lastly, nestle a whole rosemary stalk in with the beans. While the beans bake, the rosemary will infuse the liquid and the leaves will naturally soften and release from the stalk.
Bake the beans for 45 minutes covered with a tight fitting lid, then remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when the top layer is deeply caramelized and liquid around the edges seems to have thickened.
Remove the beans from the oven and stir in a splash of apple cider vinegar. This helps cut through the sweetness and intensity of the molasses. The apple cider baked beans will continue to thicken as they cool, so allow them to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.
What to Serve with Apple Cider Baked Beans
Baked beans are usually served as a side dish, but these Apple Cider Baked Beans are hearty enough to be a main meal. I found that a side of Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes was the perfect accompaniment (I excluded the caramelized shallots.) Maybe a light salad on the side if you’re feeling healthy.
To keep it simple, you could also serve your beans over a baked potato with just a few slices of crusty bread to sop up that delicious sauce. And of course, like any baked bean recipe, these apple cider baked beans will go great with roasted chicken, beef or other meat.
Tips and Substitutions
- If you do not have a large, oven safe skillet, you will need to bring everything up to a boil and the. transfer it to a baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake as instructed.
- These Apple Cider Baked Beans sometimes taste even better the next day. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days and gently reheat over the stove with a splash of chicken/vegetable broth or water.
- I like to use pinto beans for this recipe, since they’re pretty robust and don’t get mushy after baking for a long time. Feel free to experiment with other types of canned beans like navy and great northern.
More Recipes to Try:
- Three Bean Turkey Chili with Honey Jalapeño Grits
- Cilantro Lime Rice and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
- Butternut Squash Baked Rice
- Tahini Honeycrisp Apple Salad
- One Skillet Pesto Chicken and Orzo