Smoky Three-Bean Bake

This little gem was found in a Cooking Light magazine.  I have used it countless times for potlucks and summer picnics. Nothing says summer like baked beans! Therefore, on this snowy day in mid-February, I decided to make this dish....perhaps hoping for an early spring.

Smoky Three-Bean Bake 

4 applewood-smoked bacon slices, chopped (omit for vegetarian dish) 2 cups finely chopped onion 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper 6 garlic cloves, minced 3/4 cup tomato sauce 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 1 Tbsp cider vinegar 1 Tbsp honey 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp smoked paprika 3/4 tsp kosher salt 1/2 tsp ground black pepper 1/4 tsp ground red pepper 1 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, rinsed and drained 1 (15-ounce) can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1 (15-ounce) can organic great northern beans, rinsed and drained

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat
  • add bacon (if using) and saute` for 5 minutes
  • remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon reserving 1 1/2 Tbsp drippings in pan
  • set bacon aside
  • if not using bacon, heat 1 1/2 Tbsp oil in skillet
  • add 2 cups onion, bell pepper, and minced garlic to oil in pan
  • sauté for 6 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally
  • remove from heat and cool slightly
  • combine tomato sauce and the next 8 ingredients (through red pepper) in a large bowl
  • stir in onion mixture and beans
  • spoon into a 11 x 7 -inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray
  • cover and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes
  • uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes

Yield:  8 servings (3/4 cup)