Beans, Bacon, Chipotle – What’s not to love?

A sweet and spicy side dish with white beans, bacon, chipotle, and a few more secret ingredients. @MJsKitchen


If you like baked beans, then you’re going to love these Beans, Bacon, and Chipotle!  They are somewhat similar in flavor to baked bean, but not near as sweet and with a smoky, spicy kick in every bite.  And if you already have some cooked navy beans or any white beans, this recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make.

Earlier this year I shared these beans with my friend, Judy, over at Savoring Today, a tasty blog filled with healthy and delicious food.  I love browsing through Judy’s recipes and drooling over her pictures and ingredients. Like Judy, I love making healthy food that tastes good and, even though this recipe has a little bit of bacon which is good for the soul, and a secret ingredient that feeds the spirit, it’s packed with all of the healthy nutrients found in a great pot of beans.  So please head on over the Savoring Today and check out some of her recipes.

Beans, Bacon and Chipotle is a relative simple dish with flavors similar to those of baked beans, but better in my opinion. It’s not near as sweet as baked beans and if you have the beans cooked already, it takes less than 30 minutes to make. Chipotle powder gives the dish the “spicy” as well as provides a nice smoky complement to the bacon. Maple syrup is added to provide the “sweet”. Serve a bowl of these beans with a nice salad or piece of cornbread for a complete meal, or as a side to baked ham, grilled chicken or your favorite sandwich.


A sweet and spicy side dish with white beans, bacon, chipotle, and a few more secret ingredients. @MJsKitchen


Beans, Bacon and Chipotle Recipe

Author: MJ of MJ’s Kitchen
Serves / Yields: 4 to 6 as a side
Prep and Cook time: 30 minutes


4 ounces slab bacon*, diced
2 to 3 cups cooked navy (or any white) bean, drained (reserve the liquid)
1 cup minced onion
½ cup minced red bell pepper
¼ tsp. crushed dried thyme
½ tsp. crushed dried oregano
2 Tbsp. bourbon or Apple cider
2 Tbsp. ketchup
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
½ tsp. chipotle powder*
Salt to taste

*See Kitchen Notes


  1. Add the diced bacon to a hot skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the bacon starts to turn brown and gets somewhat crispy on the edges.
  2. Carefully drain all but about 1-2 Tbsp. of the drippings from the skillet.
  3. Return the skillet to the heat, reduce heat to medium low, and add the onion and bell pepper. Sauté for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
  4. Stir in the thyme and oregano.
  5. Add the bourbon and stir quickly to incorporate it with the bacon and vegetables. (Most of the bourbon will burn off.)
  6. Add the ketchup, maple syrup and chipotle powder. Stir to combine well.
  7. Add the beans and stir to coat with the sauce. Reduce heat to low.
  8. Add ½ cup of the reserved liquid (or ½ cup water). Stir and continue to heat through.
  9. Let the beans heat through for about 3 to 5 minutes. If they start to get too thick, add a little more water.
  10. Taste. Add salt if needed.
  11. Serve immediately.



A sweet and spicy side dish with white beans, bacon, chipotle, and a few more secret ingredients. @MJsKitchen


Kitchen Notes

Bacon – Slab bacon may be hard to find, but it’s well worth the hunt.  The little diced pieces give you something to bite into.  If you can’t find slab bacon then use a thick, sliced bacon and cut into small pieces.  Don’t worry about trimming the fat.  You’ll be rendering it and then pouring off most of the fat once cooked.  Diced smoked ham can also be used in placed of bacon.  However, if you use ham, you don’t need to render the fat, just add the ham about a minute before you add the beans.

Chipotle Powder – Chipotle powder is quite common in my area but I understand that in some places, it’s hard to find.  As a substitute you could use one to two chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. (Two peppers yield a very spicy bean dish!)  If you can’t find chipotle of any kind, then any smoked chile pepper would work.  Smoked paprika would provide the smokiness of the chipotle but without the heat.  Smoked serrano or ancho powder would provide both heat and smoky flavor.

The Liquid – If the beans are too thick for your preference, add a little more liquid.  I usually end up adding about ½ cup of the liquid from the beans. Hope you enjoy these Sweet and Spicy Beans!

Bean, Bacon and Chipotle make an excellent side for any backyard barbeque, baked ham or just any time you want a spicy bowl of beans.

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29 Responses to “Beans, Bacon, Chipotle – What’s not to love?”

  1. Trisha June 12, 2017 at 5:51 pm #

    I love beans but stay away from baked beans because of how sweet they are. This sounds perfect for winter. And the bacon and Chipotle take it to a whole new level. Thanks for the inspiration…. stopping by from Food on Friday.

    • mj June 12, 2017 at 8:54 pm #

      Hey Trisha! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! I’m with you on “sweet” baked beans, and these beans are a great solution and so very tasty.

  2. Nami | Just One Cookbook May 18, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    Beans, bacon and chipotle! That sounds like hip hip hooray?! This sounds comforting and I love the combination, MJ!

  3. The Wimpy Vegetarian May 13, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Baked beans is one of my husband’s all-time favorite dishes, and since I’m trying hard to cut back on sugar, I’ve got to check this out!! Thanks for this post, MJ!

    • mj May 13, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

      Thanks Susan! Hope you do check it out!

  4. Charles Smith May 11, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

    Another vote for baked beans here. Although I think “English” baked beans are a bit different to what they are in the US I think at their heart they’re similar and bacon goes perfectly with it and chipotle too for a lovely rich smokey heat. Looks so lovely MJ!

  5. Bill May 10, 2014 at 6:48 am #

    I agree, MJ. What’s not to love! Baked beans are always good in my book, but I like your less sweet and bacony version. Chipotle is such a great addition. I always drool over your spicy dishes, MJ! Thanks for another great post!

  6. Terra May 8, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    Hubby is not big fan of baked beans, I think because most recipes are too sweet. Love this recipe, with minimal sweetness, and delicious smokiness! Yum, Hugs, Terra

  7. swathi May 5, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    Awesome baked beans, stopping at judy’s blogs to get entire recipe.

  8. Minnie@thelady8home May 4, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

    Going right over….

  9. Ramona May 4, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    You’re exactly right… what’s not to love. This look extremely yummy… I could eat that entire little crock and rub my belly like Winnie the Pooh. 🙂

  10. Carol at Wild Goose Tea May 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

    Oops I really double posted. My arm rested on my key board and suddenly all was blank, but apparently not. I am typing this and chuckling at myself.

  11. Carol at Wild Goose Tea May 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    It looks like I am one of the people who have a foot in both camps. I like sweet baked beans. But I am becoming more and more a rah rah fan of chipotle, so this is an appealing recipe to me. In addition I am deliberately looking for ways to include liquor in my cooking other than wine—not excluding wine, merely desiring to be more inclusive. A bit of a middle age fling—-Lol. My inclination is to nod my head to the the opening line—What’s not to love?

  12. Viviane Bauquet Farre May 3, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

    Oh my, MJ! Seeing both bourbon AND maple syrup in this recipe made me smile. It sounds delicious!

  13. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles May 3, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    Yum!! Heading over to Savoring Today to check it out…

  14. Debra May 3, 2014 at 6:16 am #

    Gotta check this out….white beans and chipotles? Interesting…..

  15. Choc Chip Uru May 2, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    Everything is here to love, I love beans more than any other ingredient 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  16. Hotly Spiced May 1, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

    This looks like wonderful comfort food. I’m heading over to visit Judy xx

  17. Liz May 1, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    I need to make these for Bill for Father’s Day. He’d be in heaven. Off to check out the recipe!

  18. Zsuzsa May 1, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    Ah baked beans and the Prince Rupert parties of the sixties! I am in!

  19. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef April 30, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    It’s getting cooler down here and a bowl of this would be mighty tempting. Definitely a heart warmer. 🙂

  20. Angie (@angiesrecipess) April 30, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    Exactly! What’s not to love this delicious and comforting bean dish. Love the addition of chipotle.

  21. John@Kitchen Riffs April 30, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    I love baked beans! And with chipotle? Swoon! On my way to read all about them . . .

  22. Evelyne@cheapethniceatz April 30, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    Off to see the recipe, this sounds just wonderful and so many great flavors.

  23. Giulietta | Alterkitchen April 30, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    I have a proper answer: I love everything 🙂

    • mj May 1, 2014 at 8:52 am #

      🙂 🙂

  24. Sissi April 30, 2014 at 6:44 am #

    Dear MJ, thanks to you I might become friends with baked beans again. I baked beans only once in my life and really hated the sweetness of the result – I had to add tons of hot seasoning to make it tasty! – so I’m sure your not so sweet version will be exactly what needs a fan of sweet and hot flavours’ combination. Anyway, it looks too fabulous to be anything other than delicious.

    • mj May 1, 2014 at 8:48 am #

      Thanks so much Sissi!! To be honest, I’ve never cooked a pot of baked beans because I wasn’t fan – way too sweet. Bobby and I both loved this dish because it was just a “little bit” sweet, and the bourbon – wow – it really added a great flavor to the beans!


  1. Beans, Bacon, Chipotle from MJ's Kitchen - Yum Goggle - April 5, 2015

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