Gochujang Baked Beans

Don’t let the name scare you away!  This is soon to be your favorite bean recipe.  Growing up in New England everyone had their own baked bean recipe. I love that you can make some simple changes that can boost the flavor profiles.  This recipe has all the classics needed for a typical baked bean recipe….bacon, garlic, ketchup, and maple syrup…but it also has some added twists.

gochujangI too was a little skeptical of adding gochujang as I didn’t want it to be too spicy.  What is gochujang you ask?  Korean red chili paste.  Now you can pass on it and just use tomato paste but where is the fun in that?? Be adventurous.

Another great thing about this recipe- you can use the crockpot if you are not going to be home to slow cook all day and develop those flavors.  Just by combining the ingredients to start the base of the beans I could tell this was a winner.  The smokiness of the bacon, the tomato of the ketchup, freshness from thyme and then you have the hint of spice.  Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. While it is simmering all day your house is going to smell delicious and everyone will be anticipating dinner.


  • 4 ounces thick sliced bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang
  • 1 1/2 cups dried Great Northern beans
  • 1/2 cup dried red lentils

Not many directions:

  1.  Heat bacon in dutch oven over medium heat until cook through and slightly crispy (about 8  minutes).  Add onion, thyme, and garlic.  Cook until fragrant and onions translucent (6 minutes).  Add all ingredients, except the beans and lentils; bring to a boil.
  2. If using a crock pot, transfer to crock pot and add beans and lentils.  Cover and cook on high about 7 hours.
beans3 beans2

Thank you Cooking Light (August 2015) for once again providing a great recipe.  I usually only use recipes as ideas and a base, but I did follow this exactly and it was perfect!


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