National Baked Beans Day: July 4, 2013

July 2, 2013

Baked Beans with Ham

The 4th of July isn’t only Independence Day here in the United States – it’s also National Baked Beans Day! To celebrate, be sure to include a side of baked beans on your 4th of July menu. We shared this one last year, but we thought it was so good, we thought we’d share it again!

Looking for bean recipes of other varieties? Visit our bean recipes page!

If you would like to make your own “old fashioned” baked beans, start with dried navy beans. Add just the right amount of sweet and sour flavors to suit your taste. Try this savory recipe from nutritionist Donna Weihofen to kick off your 4th of July holiday!

Donna’s Homemade Baked Beans With Ham

  • 1 pound navy beans, dried (will make 6 cups of cooked beans)
  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 pound lean ham, diced



  • 2 tablespoons molasses or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup catsup
  • Extra liquid
  • 1-1/2 cups fat-free chicken broth, divided


Wash and sort dried beans. Place in a large cooking pot. Cover with water and let soak overnight.

Place on stove and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1-1/2 hours. (Check occasionally to make sure water covers beans. Add additional water if needed.) Drain and discard water.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet and set aside. Discard all but 1/2 tablespoon of bacon fat. Add onion and cook until tender. Add ham. Cook for 2 minutes and set aside.

Prepare sauce: In a jar or small deep dish, combine sauce ingredients. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings to suit your taste. Add more sugar,mustard, or seasonings if desired.

Place drained beans in a large bowl, Add bacon, onions, and ham. Add sauce and 1 cup chicken broth. Stir until well mixed. Spoon into large casserole dish. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 2 – 4 hours or until beans are tender. Check occasionally and add additional broth if needed to prevent beans from getting too dry.

Serves 12

Enjoy! Find more delicious and nutritious recipes from Donna Weihofen at


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