These healthy baked beans are a better-for-you spin on a beloved classic recipe! Gluten free & delicious with 3 cooking methods & smoked baked beans option.

baked beans in a white bowl with a silver spoon

What Makes This Recipe Great

Baked beans are a summer bbq staple! They make the perfect side dish for burgers, bbq chicken, steak, hot dogs, you name it! Traditional recipes are full of added sugar and unwanted ingredients so I set out to make a healthier version that you can feel great about eating all summer long!

Best part? Bring the grill inside by adding a couple of drops of liquid smoke to transform this recipe into smoked baked beans! Gluten-free, healthy, and full of flavor, you will love this easy side!

Recipe Highlights

  • Healthier, Gluten-Free Recipe
  • Three cooking methods (Stovetop, Oven, Slow Cooker)
  • Only 10 minutes to prep
  • Add liquid smoke to make smoked baked beans
  • Delicious & flavorful!

Ingredient Notes

photo of recipe ingredients

(complete list of ingredients in the printable recipe below)

Sugar-Free Bacon: There are a lot of brands that make bacon with no added sugar, nitrates, or nitrites. I get mine from Butcher Box, but you can also find it at your local grocery store, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and more!

Navy Beans: Canned navy beans work perfectly for this recipe. Be sure to drain and rinse them.

Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce: I like The New Primal or Tessemae’s brands.

Coconut Aminos: You can find this soy sauce replacement at Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, and many other grocery stores. It adds great flavor and is completely gluten-free!

Liquid Smoke: Optional! A little goes a long way with this! It adds a delicious smoky flavor transforming these into smoked baked beans (as if you cooked them on the smoker!). You can find it on Amazon and in other grocery stores.

Recipe Step by Step

photos of steps to make this recipe

Stovetop

  1. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon pieces and saute for 6-7 minutes until cooked. 
  2. Use a slotted spoon to remove them and set them aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Using the same pot (with bacon grease), add the onions. Saute for 3-4 minutes. 
  3. Add in the garlic and stir for an additional minute until fragrant.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients (including cooked bacon pieces), and stir well. 
  5. Simmer on low heat for 45-60 minutes. Enjoy! 

Oven Method

  1. To bake in the oven, follow steps 1-4 then transfer the mixture to a large casserole dish and bake at 325 for 45 minutes. 

Slow Cooker Method

  1. Follow steps 1-4, transfer the mixed ingredients to the slow cooker, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
a pot of baked beans with a towel underneath and a wooden spoon

Mary’s Tips & Tricks

Serving: Serve these healthy baked beans alongside these air fryer turkey burgers, amazing gluten-free cheeseburgers, grilled keto chicken thighs, this air fryer filet mignon, and more!

Storage: Store leftover gluten free baked beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or over the stove.

Double Batch: If you need a big batch of these healthy, gluten free baked beans for a bbq or gathering, click on the printable recipe below and increase the number of servings. The ingredient amounts will automatically adjust!

Smoked Baked Beans: Add 1/4 teaspoon of liquid smoke to your healthy baked beans and taste. Continuing adding 1/4 teaspoon at a time until you’ve reached your desired smokiness. Be sure to stir well and taste before adding more!

Recipe FAQs

How do you make canned beans healthier?

One trick is to drain and rinse the canned beans, then soak them in cool water for about 10 minutes and drain them. This removes about 30% of the sodium to make them a little healthier. You can also buy no-salt-added if you prefer!

Can I omit the bacon?

Yes! If you’d prefer your gluten free baked beans to be meatless, remove the bacon. The vegan baked beans will still turn out so delicious and flavorful!

Can I make this healthy baked beans recipe without any sugar?

Baked beans typically have a sweetened sauce that makes this classic side so loved, however, if you prefer to omit the maple syrup and coconut sugar you can always use monk fruit sweetener which is an all natural sweetener with 0 carbs and 0 calories. This will sweeten the beans without adding extra carbs.

How do I thicken my smoked baked beans?

If you find that your version is a little runnier than you prefer, add 1 tsp of tapioca flour or arrowroot powder and stir for one minute. Add 1 tsp at a time and stir for one minute each time until your desired consistency is reached.

If my beans are too thick, how do I thin out the sauce?

Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth and stir, adding more as needed!

baked beans in two small white bowls with silver spoons

More Delicious Sides

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section. Or, follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram today!

Healthy Baked Beans

These healthy baked beans are a better-for-you spin on a beloved classic recipe! Gluten free & delicious with 3 cooking methods & smoked baked beans option.
5 from 1 vote
Leave a Review »

Ingredients

Equipment

  • 1 Dutch Oven or large pot

Instructions
 

  • Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the bacon pieces and saute for 6-7 minutes until cooked through.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove them and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Using the same pot (with bacon grease), add the onions. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add in the garlic and stir for an additional minute until fragrant.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients (including cooked bacon pieces), and stir well.
  • Simmer on low heat for 45-60 minutes. Enjoy!

Oven Method

  • To bake in the oven, follow steps 1-4 then transfer the mixture to a large casserole dish and bake at 325 for 45 minutes. 

Slow Cooker Method

  • Follow steps 1-4 then transfer the mixed ingredients to slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Notes

Serving: Serve these healthy baked beans alongside these air fryer turkey burgers, amazing gluten-free cheeseburgers, grilled keto chicken thighs, this air fryer filet mignon, and more!
Storage: Store leftover gluten free baked beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or over the stove.https://www.maryswholelife.com/air-fryer-turkey-burgers/
Double Batch: If you need a big batch of these healthy, gluten free baked beans for a bbq or gathering, click on the printable recipe below and increase the number of servings. The ingredient amounts will automatically adjust!
Smoked Baked Beans: Add 1/4 teaspoon to your healthy baked beans and taste. Add just 1/4 teaspoon at a time until you’ve reached your desired smokiness. Be sure to stir well and taste before adding more!

Nutrition

Calories: 172kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 759mg, Potassium: 293mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 467IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1mg