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

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

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