When I go to the trouble of soaking dried beans and lentils overnight, I usually end up using them in a cozy soup. But this time I tried baking them instead. The result: these tasty, easy BBQ Baked Beans, Barley and Lentils. Spicy, savory and sweet all in one hearty comfort food bite. So much better than baked beans from a can. They have a tender, al dente texture as opposed to thick and mushy. Hearty and totally healthy too. Beans and lentils (legumes) are nature’s vegetarian protein superfood – rich in iron, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. And this recipe is so easy, you’ll wonder why you don’t make homemade baked beans more often!..
How moist do you like them? I actually enjoyed these beans more on the ‘dry’ side. Very dense and bold flavors. Almost like a refried bean mixture. However, if you like more of a moist sauce to surround your beans, you can adjust the moisture level by adding in more veggie broth, cider vinegar, olive oil and BBQ sauce.
Easy BBQ Baked Beans, Barley and Lentils
Makes about 4-5 cups of oven baked beans
2 1/2 cups 17 Bean and Barley Mix (from Trader Joe’s – or use any variety of beans/barley/legumes you’d like!)
*soak bean mix overnight in a large mixing bowl filled with salted water
1-2 cups spicy/sweet BBQ Sauce (or use recipe here)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 cup vegetable broth (as needed to moisten during the baking process)
salt and pepper to taste
sweeten to taste with maple syrup as desired (you won’t need if using an extra sweet BBQ sauce)
1. Soak bean mix overnight in salted water.
2. Drain water from beans.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Place beans in a large casserole baking dish.
5. Stir in the BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, some pepper and a few splashes of vegetable broth to moisten. The beans will dry out significantly during the baking process, so be sure to place in oven looking ‘moist’ and well saturated in sauce.
6. Bake for 20 minutes. Toss beans well. Add more veggie broth as needed to moisten. You don’t want the mixture to get too dried out. You can even add in more BBQ sauce if needed. The flavor ‘boldness’ is up to you.
7. Place beans back in the oven to slow bake at about 300 degrees for another 15 minutes – or until the texture and consistency is right for you.
Add in sand salt, pepper, herbs as desired. Serve warm.