This sweet and savory side dish will be the “ultimate” favorite at your next barbecue. It’s even received the Charlotte Seal of Approval (which is a big deal).

Prep time:  20 minutes

Cook time: 5 hours 20 minutes

Servings: 6-8


  • 1 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 15.5 ounce can navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15.5 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15.5 ounce can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed


Preheat oven to 325°F.

Cook bacon in a dutch oven or oven-safe heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove bacon and drain remaining grease, reserving three tablespoons. Return bacon and reserved bacon grease to dutch oven and add onion and garlic. Continue cooking until onion is soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add chili powder, paprika, large pinch of salt and pepper, stirring for 1 minute.

Add chicken stock, ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, dijon mustard, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer. Add navy beans, pinto beans and Great Northern beans and return to a simmer. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook for 3 1/2 hours, stirring the beans about every 30-45 minutes.

After 3 1/2 hours, increase oven temperature to 350°F and uncover beans. Continue cooking for an additional 1 1/2 hours, stirring about every 30-45 minutes, stirring a final time once dutch oven is removed from oven.


ORANGE & FIELD TIP: If you notice that the liquid is reducing too much during the cook time in the oven, feel free to add a little additional chicken stock, as needed. Be careful not to add too much, though.