Five Bean Bake

Do you ever wish you had one of those go-to recipes that you know everyone will love, every time you make it? Well... your wish is granted, my friend. 

Baked. Freakin'. Beans.

I've made this recipe more times than I can imagine (almost always alongside Corn Pudding). It's great for get-togethers where there's a grill involved. In Texas, that means basically from February to October (excluding of course that are-you-kidding-me month in August when people just hide in their bathtubs in cool water - or is that just me?). 

The original recipe suggests cooking the beans for only 1 1/2 hours total. I've always found this left the beans feeling a little less-cooked than I'd prefer. I upped the cooking time and totally dig it! 

The other great thing about this dish is that you can just keep the ingredients on-hand and whip it up anytime you need to bring a dish. No searching for funky things at the last minute while you should be focusing on what beverage you should be pre-gaming before the party. Or is that just me again?

Five Bean Bake

8 bacon slices
1 large onion, diced
1 (28-ounce) can pork and beans
1 (19.75-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 (15.5-ounce) can white or kidney beans/navy beans, rinsed and drained
1  (15.25-ounce) can large butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup ketchup
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup water
¼ cup cider vinegar

Cook bacon slices in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp; remove bacon, reserving drippings. Drain bacon on paper towels. Then, crush the bacon to form small crumbles. Add diced onion to the Dutch oven, and sauté in hot drippings 5 minutes or until translucent.

Combine bacon, onion, beans, ketchup, brown sugar, water, and cider vinegar in a large bowl. Stir until combined. Pour into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes; uncover and bake 30-45 more minutes. 

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