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Upgrade baked beans from a classic side dish to a meaty main meal by adding lean ground beef. The final result, a hearty casserole, is an easy and fast dinner option.

EatingWell.com, May 2018; updated October 2022



What Type of Beans Can Be Used?

For this recipe, we use canned no-salt-added navy beans. Navy beans are small oval beans that are white in color, with a smooth texture and delicate mild flavor. Canned navy beans are already cooked, making this a quick and convenient recipe for a weeknight dinner. You can also use dried navy beans, but you will need to soak them before cooking. Check out our tips for cooking dried beans.

Can I Substitute Ingredients?

We use lean ground beef for this recipe, but ground turkey or ground sausage would work nicely in this dish. Just watch the sodium.

Molasses is a dark sweet syrup made from sugarcane with a rich robust flavor. If you can't find molasses, you can use maple syrup or honey instead.

How to Store Baked Beans with Ground Beef

This dish can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave on High until warm.

Additional reporting by Jan Valdez


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and ground beef. Cook, stirring and crumbling beef with a wooden spoon, until the onion has softened and the beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add beans, water, ketchup, molasses, mustard, garlic powder and salt; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the mixture is bubbling and slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Garnish with chives, if desired.



Large saucepan

Nutrition Facts

scant 1 cup
346 calories; protein 22.8g; carbohydrates 41.3g; dietary fiber 7.5g; sugars 18g; fat 10g; saturated fat 3.3g; cholesterol 49.1mg; vitamin a iu 227.2IU; vitamin c 3.9mg; folate 45.3mcg; calcium 129mg; iron 4.3mg; magnesium 115.1mg; potassium 869.6mg; sodium 525.1mg; thiamin 0.2mg; added sugar 16g.

3 lean protein, 1 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1 starch, 1/2 fat, 1/2 vegetable