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Picnic Baked Beans Recipe
Picnic Baked Beans Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Picnic Baked Beans Recipe

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I loved it when my mom made these classic I make them for my family. They have great old-fashioned flavor and are a real crowd-pleaser. I like to make them for potlucks, picnics or as part of a summertime dinner.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. + standing Bake: 2 hours
MAKES:16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. + standing Bake: 2 hours
MAKES: 16 servings


  • 3 cups dried navy beans
  • 4 quarts cold water, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1/4 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (3/4 cup) equals 224 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 2 mg cholesterol, 670 mg sodium, 44 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber, 10 g protein.


  1. Place beans in a Dutch oven with 2 qts. water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.
  2. Drain and rinse. Return beans to Dutch oven; add remaining water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are almost tender. Drain and reserve liquid.
  3. Transfer beans to an ungreased 3-qt. baking dish, add the remaining ingredients and 1-1/2 cups of reserved liquid; stir to combine.
  4. Cover and bake at 300° for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until beans are tender and reach desired consistency, stirring every 30 minutes. Add reserved liquid as needed. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Picnic Baked Beans in Taste of Home August/September 1993, p37

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (3/4 cup) equals 224 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 2 mg cholesterol, 670 mg sodium, 44 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber, 10 g protein.

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Reviewed Jul. 27, 2014

"very good, I do not measure ingredients for dishes like this very often but thought I would try it this time only changed two things. added some extra dry mustard and some smoked paparika."

Reviewed May. 12, 2013

"In response to fujitanis3: were your dried beans old perhaps? Never use beans that have been sitting in the pantry for who knows how long. I personally use beans within a month of purchase. Also to keep beans tender, I add salt toward the end of the cooking time like this recipe states, never at the beginning during presoaks or the initial cooking. Some people disagree about the salt but I have had consistent success this way.

jfgan, the recipe does start by soaking the beans, but the method used is a quick soak, an alternative to an overnight soak. As indicated, always drain the soaking liquid, as it removes some of the sugars that cause digestive problems. A second quick soak can help even further in this regard.
Keep experimenting and don't give up - beans are so good for body and soul!"

Reviewed Oct. 18, 2011

"I have made these for family get togethers and their never seems to be any left. It does make a big crock pot full."

Reviewed Jul. 17, 2011

"This is a perfect recipe for a large picnic. The baked beans were delicious and a big hit with my family and friends."

Reviewed Mar. 13, 2011

"When making beans with navy beans or any hard non cooked beans, I allways soak the beans overnight with 1 teaspoon of baking soda this helps make the beans tender when cooking them.

When using the baking soda after soaking overnight I cook them just until they start to boil and shut them off and soak them for 30 minutes, then drain and rinse the beans and replace the water with fresh water and cook on medium-low heat after they start to boil they cook up great and will be awsome."

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