Lunch Lady Baked Beans

Lunch Lady Baked Bean recipe – quick and easy side dish that is a childhood school cafeteria favorite. Navy beans, onions, molasses, dry mustard, brown sugar, water, tomato paste, and ham. SO simple and super delicious. I am pretty sure my lunchroom never served something so yummy! Great for cookouts and potlucks. Everyone raves about this recipe! All the ingredients are gluten-free. Omit the ham for a vegetarian dish.

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Baked Beans from Scratch

These Lunch Lady Baked beans are one of our favorite side dishes. Tender beans baked in a sweet and savory sauce. I made them for a cookout a few weeks ago and everyone LOVED them! Navy beans, onions, molasses, dry mustard, brown sugar, water, tomato paste, and ham. SO much amazing flavor! I don’t recall eating something so delicious when I was in grammar school.

baking dish of baked beans

How to Make Lunch Lady Baked Beans

These beans are super easy to make with only a few simple ingredients. Drain and rinse canned navy beans. In a large bowl, combine navy beans, onion, molasses, dry mustard, brown sugar, water, tomato paste, diced ham, salt, and black pepper. Stir until combined. Transfer bean mixture to a 9×9-inch baking dish. Bake in a preheated oven until tender.

Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

  • I used canned Navy Beans in this recipe. You can use any small white bean. White beans or great northern beans work great!
  • Can I use dried beans in this recipe? You can use soaked dried beans if you prefer.
    • You will need ¾ cup of dried beans for every 15-oz can of beans called for in the recipe. 
    • Soak the beans overnight in water before adding them to the casserole. 
    • You can also do a quick soak of the dried beans. Add the dried beans to a Dutch oven with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from heat, cover, and allow the pot to sit for an hour.  Drain water and rinse beans.
    • Use 1 ½ cups of soaked beans for each can of beans.
  • The cookbook calls for diced ham in this dish. Feel free to substitute cooked chopped bacon if you prefer. 
  • Omit all meat for a vegetarian dish.
  • You can substitute fresh chopped onion for dehydrated onions. You will need 6-oz of chopped onion, about ¾ of a cup.
  • Feel free to add some chopped green bell pepper to the bean mixture.
  • Can I make Lunch Lady Baked Beans in the slow cooker? Yes! Combine all the ingredients and place in the crockpot. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
  • Can Homemade Baked Beans be frozen? Yes! Mix the ingredients together and place in a baking dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze. When ready to bake, thaw and bake as directed.
    • You can also freeze any leftover beans. Thaw and reheat the beans on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
    • Reheat beans on the stovetop over medium-high heat or in the microwave.
scooping baked beans from baking dish

What to Serve with Homemade Baked Beans

These baked beans are surprisingly good! This has quickly become our go-to recipe! These beans are a must for your next cookout or potluck. They are so simple to make and taste great!! They go great with ribs, coleslaw, corn on the cob, and more! Whip up a batch ASAP! You won’t be disappointed!

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scooping baked beans from baking dish

Lunch Lady Baked Beans

Yield: 12 people
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Lunch Lady Baked Bean recipe – quick and easy side dish that is a childhood school cafeteria favorite. Navy beans, onions, molasses, dry mustard, brown sugar, water, tomato paste, and ham. SO simple and super delicious. I am pretty sure my lunchroom never served something so yummy! Great for cookouts and potlucks. Everyone raves about this recipe! All the ingredients are gluten-free. Omit the ham for a vegetarian dish.

Ingredients:

  • 4 (15-oz) cans Navy Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 Tbsp dried minced onion flakes
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • tsp dry mustard
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¾ cup diced ham, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  • Transfer the bean mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake for 1 hour, until bubbly.

Notes:

  • I used canned Navy Beans in this recipe. You can use any small white bean. White beans or great northern beans work great!
  • The cookbook calls for diced ham in this dish. Feel free to substitute cooked chopped bacon if you prefer. 
  • Omit all meat for a vegetarian dish.
  • You can substitute fresh chopped onion for dehydrated onions. You will need 6-oz of chopped onion, about ¾ of a cup.
  • Feel free to add some chopped green bell pepper to the bean mixture.
  • Can I make Lunch Lady Baked Beans in the slow cooker? Yes! Combine all the ingredients and place in the crockpot. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
  • Can Homemade Baked Beans be frozen? Yes! Mix the ingredients together and place in a baking dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze. When ready to bake, thaw and bake as directed.
    • You can also freeze any leftover beans. Thaw and reheat the beans on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
    • Reheat beans on the stovetop over medium-high heat or in the microwave.

Steph

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