Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pineapple (Hawaiian) Baked Beans

Pineapple Baked Beans, often referred to as Hawaiian Baked Beans, have that familiar spicy, sweet and sour taste we Southerners love. Great with Atlanta brisket.

Pineapple Baked Beans

I have made my baked beans the same way for literally decades and never ventured away from them. Never needed to. They are basic, but reliable and tasty, and I was often requested to bring them to parties and functions over the years.

Then I began blogging about Southern recipes and food in general, and started hearing readers talking about all the different ways that they make their own baked beans.

So I've ventured out a bit. I came up with a meaty version that brought regular beefy baked beans over the top, by adding not only the usual bacon, but also both ground beef and spicy andouille sausage - and other leftover smoked meats, if you are so inclined.

But one version I kept hearing other readers talk about, was including pineapple in their baked beans. Pineapple? Really? So, what the heck, I gave that a try too. Now, being a lover of pineapple like most Southerners anyway, I really liked the addition of pineapple, so I tweaked it further to enhance that sweet and sour taste that we Southerners also love so much. Even The Cajun ate them without a single argument!

I've tried them with different cuts of pineapple and settled on the texture of the tidbits. Of course, if you have one of those handy dandy tools that make coring a pineapple an easy job, or you don't mind cutting one up by hand, use fresh pineapple whenever you can.

These are often called Hawaiian Baked Beans by the way, though I'm sure that natives of Hawaii probably get annoyed with mainland folks referring to virtually anything and everything containing pineapple as Hawaiian. It is what many of these dishes have come to be known as however, so I hope that they'll forgive us for perpetuating these names.

By the way, y'all should be proud. Just for the sake of those of you who expect bacon on top of your beans, I included 3 slices on the top of mine. Not because I wanted to, because of, well, that whole thing I have about raw bacon to top of my beans. I do confess that I par-cooked them though. Hey it's one toe into the bacon pool, right?

When I decided to make these, I had everything I needed in the pantry, except for the Bush's original beans that I like to use for my beans. I did have a bag of dried navy beans, so I went the route of homemade from dried beans this time. Hey, use whatcha got, right?

Other than soaking and cooking the navy beans with a ham hock to start with, bumping up the seasonings and brown sugar a bit, and using plenty of salt, that was really the only thing I did differently. I confess though. For all of my baked beans, using Bush's original baked beans as a starter still wins first prize. There is a difference and that makes for perfect beans.

Here's how to make these Pineapple Baked Beans.

Recipe: Pineapple (Hawaiian) Baked Beans

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 45 min | Yield: About 8 to 10 servings

  • 6 slices of thick cut bacon, plus more for garnish, if desired
  • 1 cup of chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/8 cup of sliced pickled jalapenos, chopped, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup of light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup of commercial or homemade chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of molasses
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons prepared spicy or yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons of Tiger sauce, or other hot sauce, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 3 large (1 pound 12 ounce) cans of Bush's original baked beans, undrained
  • 1-1/2 cups of chopped boiled or smoked ham
  • 1 (20 ounce) can of pineapple tidbits, drained, but reserve juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt, or to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2-1/2 quart or 9 x 13 inch baking dish and set aside. If using bacon strips to garnish top, in a large, deep skillet, par cook 3 or 4 slices of extra bacon until the fat is rendered, but bacon is still soft and not crisp. Remove and set aside. Chop the remaining 6 slices of bacon and saute together with the onion, bell pepper and jalapeno in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Stir in the brown sugar, chili sauce, barbecue sauce, molasses, vinegar, mustard, Tiger sauce and black pepper.

Add the beans and gently stir until well blended and heated through. Fold in the ham and pineapple. Remove from heat and add enough of the reserved pineapple juice as needed to moisten. Taste, add salt if needed and adjust seasonings. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish, top with bacon and bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Cook's Notes: If you prefer not to top the dish with bacon slices, simply omit the extra slices. May also omit the ham. Precooked, dried navy beans may be substituted, as well as regular pork and beans, however you will need to taste and adjust seasonings.

Slow Cooker: Saute veggies as above except transfer everything to a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for about 5 hours. High is not recommended.


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on May 22, 2013
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  1. These sound great Mary and there's still time for you to bring them to our Luau blogger party on Sunday.

    1. Oh darn Larry - sure wish I lived up in your neck of the woods!

  2. i have been making my baked beans with pineapple for ever, years and years and years ago oh say 20 someone brought them to a cookout and well delish, besides i love pineapple and bacon any way you cook it.

  3. LOL, yeah, what Larry said. That was the first thing that came to mind.

  4. I bet that pineapple brings something special to those beans. I don't add raw bacon on top either, I cook mine not totally crispy but not raw. Larry's party sure sounds like fun : )

    1. He's been doing that for a couple of years with some bloggers that are fairly local to where he lives. I'm so jealous that I'm all the way down here!

  5. These look yummy - I'll have to try them! In all your researching of different baked bean recipes, I wondered if this might sound familiar? My grandfather was a cook for the Navy years ago. He made some wonderful homemade food, but passed away when I was 12 (nearly 20 years ago) and I was too young to think to ask for recipes. I still dream about his baked beans. They were made with Navy beans, of course, and the sauce was very mild - almost a pink color. I've tried different recipes, but never seem to hit it right. They were sweet - but not barbecue-y, if that makes sense. Any help you might be able to provide would be WONDERFUL. By the way - your "Everything Salad" dish has made me a rockstar at brunches and gatherings. Thank you for an amazing dish!! :)

    1. Hi Sara! I'm so glad to hear that salad has been a hit - I LOVE that one too!

      On the beans - gosh, I wish I knew for sure, but the sauce sounds to me like it may have been a condensed tomato soup base, rather than a tomato sauce. That is kind of sweet too - I don't know for sure, but it might be worth giving a try!

  6. Yummm! I'm making these tonight with my smoked brisket! :-) can't wait..

  7. I couldn't make up my mind between your Southern Baked beans and the Hawaiian baked beans for a Memorial Day cookout, so I made a hybrid. Southern Baked beans with crushed pineapple. They were awesome and highly commented on. The family has requested a repeat for Fourth of July. I've used Bush's beans for years, but never bothered kicking them up a notch. This really works! Thank you so much


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