Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten’s Maple Baked Beans Are Perfect for Your Next Barbecue

Baked beans are a staple at barbecues because they’re easy to make and feed a crowd. Barefoot Contessa star Ina Garten has a unique spin on classic baked beans, adding plenty of spice and sweetness in her maple baked beans recipe.

Ina Garten toasts with a glass of wine while she dines with Willie Geist on October 10, 2018
Ina Garten | Mike Smith/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Ina Garten’s maple baked beans are a crowd-pleaser

As the summer was set to kick off, Garten took to Instagram to share a couple of side dish options for upcoming gatherings. “What’s a summer party without really good sides!?,” she captioned the post. “This weekend with my Smashed Hamburgers, I’m making Maple Baked Beans and Vegetable Coleslaw — it doesn’t get more classic than that!”

Garten loves to prep food in advance and these sides are perfect make-ahead options. “The coleslaw can be made in advance and the beans simmer away in the oven while you go about your day,” she wrote. “Done and done!!”

Of course, baked beans aren’t only for summer — Garten shared in a 2014 interview with Tasting Table that her baked beans recipe is great for the colder months too.

“I try and include a dish that’s cooked in the oven, something on the stovetop and easy-to-assemble things like a cheese course or a salad,” Garten said of meal planning. “One of my favorite make-ahead fall menus is slow-roasted spiced pork with sour cream cornbread, winter slaw, and maple baked beans.”

“It’s great for a crowd, and people go crazy for it,” she added.

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Ina Garten’s maple baked beans recipe is easy

Though Garten’s maple baked beans recipe takes some time to simmer, it’s a relatively easy dish to make because it doesn’t require much attention once it’s in the oven.

After soaking the beans overnight and draining and rinsing them the next day, Garten places them in a large pot with water, onion, a bay leaf, and peppercorns. She brings the beans to a boil, then simmers the mixture for 50 minutes. She drains the beans again, reserving the liquid. Then Garten combines the maple syrup, brown sugar, ketchup, chili paste, ginger, salt, and part of the cooking liquid, brings it to a simmer and cooks the mixture for 6 minutes.

At this point, she places the beans in a dutch oven, adds the bacon, and pours the maple syrup mixture over the top. Once it’s in the oven, there’s little work required — she bakes the beans covered in a 225 degree Fahrenheit oven for 6 to 8 hours and checks them from time to time, adding more liquid if necessary.

You can find the full recipe on the Food Network website.

Ina Garten’s vegetable coleslaw is the perfect picnic salad

Garten’s vegetable coleslaw is a side dish salad that combines cabbage, carrots, and kale with an easy and delicious dressing.  She whisks together mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, sugar, cider vinegar, celery seeds, celery salt, pepper, and salt.

The Barefoot Contessa star pours the dressing over the vegetables and the salad is ready to go, served either at room temperature or cold.

You can find the full recipe on the Barefoot Contessa website.