Barbecue Baked Beans, Low Sugar Recipe

Reduced sugar version without loosing taste.

As I prepared this recipe for a cookout last week, I wanted to maintain the version of baked beans I know belong on plates along the South. One with a deep brown sugar, cane syrup or molasses base and made just like I was taught, with ketchup, mustard and bacon to help deepen the flavor. But the thing about my making a different recipe other than using my regular one, was that I needed one suitable for diabetics. So, I turned to Mayo clinic and found a recipe that formed the basis for this one. To my surprise, the Mayo version contained molasses and bacon.

I opted to start with dried beans only because I think they are better for diabetics. I skipped the molasses and used Splenda brown sugar blend. I like to use Spenda 'cause it doesn't break down during cooking and do funny things or become weird tasting. Now as for keeping the taste true to what barbecue beans should be, I caramelized the onions and added savory ingredients for the depth. Hope you try this one, and to be honest, I couldn't tell much difference than when I use 1/3 cup brown sugar in my regular recipe. Enjoy!

Barbecue Beans for Diabetic Eating
8 to10 servings

1 cup dried navy or northern beans (3 cups soaked)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
4 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 bay leaf
3 strips thick cut bacon, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Tabasco Chipotle pepper sauce
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/2 cup low sugar ketchup
1 teaspoon reduced sodium Worcestershire
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons Splenda brown sugar blend

To prepare the dried beans: In a large saucepan, add beans and cover with water 2-inches above the beans. Add the vinegar and bring to a boil. At boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 1 hour. Drain.

Add the soaked beans back into the saucepan over medium high heat along with the chicken broth and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Allow to cook for 60-75 minutes or until beans are cooked. You can tell when they are still firm yet give easily when mashed. Turn off heat, remove bay leaf and let set covered.

In a small skillet, saute the bacon over medium high heat until bacon is brown and crispy. Remove bacon to drain on a paper lined plate. Discard all but 1-tablespoon of the bacon grease. Saute the onions until clear. Remove from heat and add the bell pepper.

Mix the cider vinegar with the remaining ingredients in a 3-quart casserole with a tight fitting lid. Stir in the onion and peppers. Spoon the beans on top and even out. Add enough of the bean liquid to cover about 1-inch.

Place in the oven covered and bake at 325 degrees F. about 1 1/2 hours. Stir every 30-minutes and add more broth if needed.


  1. Hey, Drick! Long time, no see. I seem to have lost you in my feed. But that's been corrected now. It is surprising to find molasses and bacon in the Mayo clinic version. But I'm glad they are there! What I'm really liking is your bay leaf. I seem to be addicted lately.

  2. Low sugar or not, this sounds like a great baked bean recipe. Tis the season. :)

  3. Our family LOVES baked beans. They end up being my fall-back starch food, but usually because I open a can. I think I have everything I need to make these today so I just might surprise my loved ones. :)


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