Lighter BBQ Baked Beans From Scratch (and quicker too!)

Lighter BBQ Baked Beans From Scratch

What is a ‘sprig’ anyway?

A sprig of thyme. A sprig of rosemary.

I’ve spriggin’ bleached the bottoms of my favorite sweat pants walking through a puddle of bleach in the driveway. . . .

That kind of thing.

Well, not that last kind of thing, but I couldn’t resist.

It seems that in the kitchen, a generally acceptable measurement for a sprig is this: a leafy branch of an herb plant that is between 2 and 4 inches long.


That helps with the recipe below.

Now as far as spriggin’ bleaching my pants. . . well, there’s nothing I can do to bring them back, but the word has made me consider trying to clean up my language by inserting outdated kitschy sayings into my vocabulary so I can scrap the bad ones.

Like a smoker replacing nicotine with gum.

I’m thinking along the lines of “Heavens to Betsy!”, “My word!”, and, “Goodness gracious!”Lighter BBQ Baked Beans from Scratch

Ugh. I don’t know. It just doesn’t seem like it would do the trick.


It seemed like a good idea for a minute.

Let’s make beans instead.


Lighter BBQ Baked Beans From Scratch (and quicker too!)

Total Time: 31 minutes

Yield: 8 sides

about 1/2 cup

158 calories

2.1g of fat

Using better bacon and much less sugar, these beans are healthier, delicious and quick to boot!


  • 6 center-cut bacon slices
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 7 thyme sprigs (plus extra for garnish, if desired)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans organic navy beans, drained
  • 1 (8 ounce can) unsalted tomato sauce


Preheat broiler to high.

Cook bacon in a 10" frying pan over medium-high heat until crisp.

Remove bacon from pan with tongs and set aside on paper towels. Reserve the drippings.

Add onion and thyme sprigs to drippings in pan; saute three minutes. Add garlic and saute one minute. Stir in broth and remaining ingredients; reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Discard thyme.

Remove from heat. Crumble bacon and stir it into the beans.

Broil 4 minutes or until bubbly and edges are crusty.


Slightly adapted by Sara from Cooking Light Magazine, July 2013

8 thoughts on “Lighter BBQ Baked Beans From Scratch (and quicker too!)

  1. This is one of the most thorough and delicious recipes I’ve seen for baked beans! They look delicious, I will have to give it a shot when I come back from vacation.

    • Lol! I see your point. This can be solved pretty easily by using homemade chicken stock instead of canned broth (hopefully you’ve got a stash in your freezer), soaking a pound of dry navy beans overnight and cooking as directed, and using an organic, pure brand of tomato sauce – like Pomi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *