Skip to Content

Grandma Browns Baked Beans

Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans is a tasty dish suitable for just about any event. This dish can be used as a main or side dish and is easy to prepare.

Sharing is caring!

Grandma browns baked beans recipe

Many of us have a sense of nostalgia while eating Grandma Brown’s baked beans because they remind us of when we were little. This recipe has been handed down through many generations and has been improved to make it even more delectable.

Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans is a tasty dish suitable for just about any event. This dish can be used as a main or side dish and is easy to prepare.

It is made with bacon, navy beans, onions, and brown sugar and will appeal to any crowd. You can rest assured that Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans will be a hit whether you serve them at a formal dinner or a social affair with friends.

We have brought you a foolproof way to prepare Grandma Brown’s baked beans at home in this easy-to-follow recipe.

The History of Grandma Browns Baked Beans Recipe

If you have never tried this recipe or heard of Grandma Brown’s baked beans before, you might be wondering who Grandma Brown is. This recipe carries a rich history and has been a popular dish in the South for many years.

Lydia Brown invented Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans in the early 1900s. Families around the world today enjoy the recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation.

Navy beans on spoon

Why Try This Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans Recipe?

Grandma Brown’s baked beans are a fantastic way to finish an entire can of beans before they expire. If you don’t want to spend too much time preparing side dishes, then this is a great option because it requires little preparation.

It is packed with flavor and nutrients, providing a good source of protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. The beans used in this recipe are wonderfully smooth and soft and don’t have any additional coloring or preservatives. It is one of the most versatile dishes and can add wonderful flavor to an existing dish or be eaten on its own.

Chopped onion on board

Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans Recipe

This old-fashioned baked beans recipe will surely make for a hearty entree or main course. It’s quick to prepare and requires ingredients you probably already have in your pantry!

Storing Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans

If you have leftovers or are preparing Grandma Brown’s baked bean recipe for the next day, you’ll be happy to know that you can store it in the fridge for five days.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to transfer it to an airtight container and put it into the fridge at least two hours after preparing it to ensure that it lasts longer. Alternatively, you could choose to freeze the beans for three to six months.

Suppose you intend to store your beans for a long time. In that case, we recommend adding an acidic substance, such as wine, vinegar, or lemon juice.


Are you hoping to change up this recipe for something new? You could go as far as trying our copycat Popeyes red beans and rice recipe, or just changing an ingredient or two. Here are a few substitutions for ingredients in Grandma Browns baked beans recipe that you can try:

Navy Beans

Typically, navy beans are the main ingredient of choice for this dish. These brown-skinned beans complement Grandma Brown’s baked beans recipe perfectly because of their sweet flavor. The beans are not, however, irreplaceable.

If you don’t have navy beans on hand or would like to try something different for a change, we recommend substituting the navy beans for white kidney beans or pinto beans.

The Bay Leaf

The recipe is enhanced by the earthy flavor that the bay leaf adds. Choose dried thyme as an alternative if you do not have bay leaves on hand. It adds a similar delicious flavor to the beans. However, some people favor dried oregano over thyme in this recipe, so you can choose a spice you like.

Cooked Bacon

In many baked bean recipes, bacon may be regarded as the key component, and Grandma Brown’s baked beans are no different. Since there is no oil in this recipe, the bacon will add some much-needed fat and grease.

It also gives them the smoky, savory flavor you would expect from baked beans. Smoked sausages can work just as well if you don’t have enough bacon. Kielbasa is another option to try if you’re in the mood for something spicy.

If you’re not a fan of pork, you could go for baked beans with ground beef. As the recipe mentions, ham is another popular alternative to cooked bacon, as it offers great flavor.

Dark Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is an important part of this recipe. It adds the sweetness that is characteristic of baked beans. Suppose you don’t have any dark brown sugar on hand. In that case, molasses works just as well as brown sugar to add sweetness to this delicious recipe.

Boiling water on stove

Serving Grandma Browns Baked Beans

Looking for inspiration on how to serve Grandma Brown’s baked beans? Here are a few tips to make the most of your homemade baked beans:

Cornbread with Grandma Browns Baked Beans

Flavorful cornbread with delicious Grandma Brown’s baked beans is a winning combo. Both come from the South and are well-known. You can’t go wrong with a  delectable dish like cornbread and preparing it is quite simple.

Burger Patties

Freshly cooked hamburger patties covered in cheese and arranged into a tantalizing patty melt are the epitome of comfort food. If you’re hoping to try a different topping for your burger, adding baked beans is the perfect way to do this. That’s because baked beans are known for enhancing the flavor of meat, making it the ideal accompaniment.

Mac and Cheese (and Grandma Browns Baked Beans)

Buttery, creamy mac and cheese contrasts wonderfully with the smokey flavor of old-fashioned baked beans. You can add the beans either before or after the cheese before sprinkling some bread crumbs on top for a unique take on the classic mac and cheese.

The Bottom Line

Grandma Brown’s baked beans recipe is a classic that has been around for a very long time. Simple items you probably already have in your pantry can be used in this recipe, and it’s very easy to follow.

The outcome is a delectable side dish or main course that goes well with just about anything. Give this recipe a try if you’re looking for a hearty meal that will please the taste buds!

Have you tried this baked bean recipe? Please share your feedback with us! Please browse our website for other delicious recipes.

Baked beans and bacon

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I eat Grandma Brown’s baked beans if I have food allergies?

Absolutely. This recipe doesn’t contain allergens or artificial colorants, or flavorings, which makes it a much safer alternative to canned baked beans. Plus, it has more flavor!

2. What’s the best way to serve Grandma Brown’s baked beans?

Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans can be enjoyed in various ways. This dish can be used as a main course, a side dish, or even a hamburger or salad garnish. It will be delectable, no matter how you decide to eat it!

3. Why is baking soda used in this baked beans recipe?

Baking soda is added to ensure that your beans cook faster. That’s because baking soda adds sodium ions, which weaken the pectin and, more significantly, create an alkaline environment.

This alkalinity is what causes the pectin molecules to disintegrate into smaller ones. The pectin is considerably weakened as a result, which accelerates the rate at which the navy beans soften, reducing the overall cooking time.

4. How many calories are in one serving of Grandma Brown’s baked beans?

There are approximately 311 calories in one serving of this recipe. Keep in mind that the recipe yields four servings.

5. Can I freeze baked beans?

Absolutely! You can store baked beans in the freezer for up to six months. Simply transfer your beans to a freezer-safe container and stick it in the fridge.

Yield: 4 servings

Grandma Brown's Baked Beans

Grandma Browns Baked Beans

Grandma Brown's Baked Beans are a tasty dish suitable for just about any event! This dish can be used as a main or side dish and is easy to prepare.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Additional Time 5 hours
Total Time 10 hours 10 minutes


  • 1/4 c. dark brown sugar
  • 3 oz. ham or cooked bacon
  • 7-8 c. water
  • 1 lb. medium-sized navy beans
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. baking soda


  1. Check that your navy beans are free of debris. Rinse beans well and strain them.
  2. Fill a pot or large saucepan with six cups of water and the baking soda.
  3. Add the navy beans to the pot or saucepan and bring it to boil. Allow the beans to boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat. Cover the pot or saucepan and allow it to sit for five hours, or leave the beans overnight to soften.
  5. Transfer the beans to an oven-safe dish or pot with a lid and preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Add the salt, bay leaf, dark brown sugar, onion, and ham/bacon to the dish or dish/pot. Stir well.
  7. Add one cup of water before giving it one final mix and put the dish/pot. Cover with the lid then place the preheated oven.
  8. Bake the navy beans for five to six hours, stirring frequently and adding water as necessary.
  9. The beans should be soft, and the sauce should thicken up when it's done.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 281Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 1385mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 12gSugar: 12gProtein: 17g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest