Posted by: Erica Retrochef | January 28, 2013

Zingy Baked Beans

Zingy Baked Beans Recipe
Sometimes picking a recipe from my many, many bookmarked options is easy. Sometimes it’s Sunday afternoon and we spend a couple hours sifting through choices and finally just settle on something because we really need both dinner and a blog post.

Today’s recipe was one of the latter. I do have to admit, though, the dude’s face and bow tie are a pretty strong incentive to try these beans. If they make him light up like that, they must be pretty good… right?


1 1-lb. can baked beans
2 tbsps. pickle relish
1 tbsp. prepared mustard
1/4 tsp. TABASCO
4 slices bacon

Mix beans with pickle relish, mustard, and TABASCO in shallow baking dish. Top with bacon. Bake in moderate oven (350°F.) 30 minutes. Serves 4.

I also found the ad copy describing the Tabasco sauce to be pretty funny. Oh, sorry, it isn’t sauce, it’s liquid pepper seasoning. I guess men also love being extremely pedantic about what their Tabasco sauce liquid pepper seasoning is called. Accurate ingredient description should give these beans a special little something.


Buzz had to go to the store for all the ingredients except bacon. (Which seems counter-intuitive — who has bacon, but not mustard?)


The beans didn’t look very plentiful.


Buzz had to fold the bacon around in order to get decent coverage. (We realized later that it probably would have been better to cut the bacon into bite-size pieces first, both to simplify bean coverage, and also to avoid having to cut bacon when eating. Our children are shockingly bad at cutting bacon.)


Aside from shriveling the bacon (and heating the beans of course), there wasn’t much change in the dish.


It doesn’t look like much besides baked beans, but this was great. It had a nice tang to it, plus big pieces of bacon. I think having high-quality bacon was a big plus here — or really in any recipe — since it’s got much more flavor than typical cheap, uninteresting bacon. Even though I’d worried that the Tabasco would be too much for the kids, it wasn’t spicy at all, and they ate it quickly and happily. Definitely a winner.

Retro Adverto isn’t always about food advertising, but when it is, it’s zingy…


  1. I just knew this recipe was going to turn out great! Some basic things never change.

    About the Tabasco – no, it’s not a sauce, it IS a seasoning. Some men think it is a sauce. Like BBQ chicken in a pan, and instead of just taking a piece they’re digging with a spoon trying to pour a greasy bit of sauce over it.

  2. This sounds really good. I think I might add a little brown sugar to it. I like my beans a little sweet, bacony, and adding Tabasco Sauce would really boost that flavoring picture.

    how can Tabasco SAUCE not be a sauce?]

  3. This is a great idea for a blog. Thanks for the shout-out!

  4. Hi Erica, another great post!

    Coincidentally, I have a terrible bean recipe in the post I’m currently working on for Retro Food For Modern Times. If it’s ok with you I thought I might link back to yours as a better retro alternative?
    Cheers and happy retro cooking!

    • Hi Taryn — please feel free to link back 🙂 (We have also made a less successful version we made some few months ago, in which we learned not to use blackstrap molasses…)

      • Thanks Erica!

  5. The pickle relish is what makes me surprised that these were edible. I do kind of wonder what housewives of the 1950s thought of Tabasco, especially in spice-aversive places like here in Minnesota.

    • While I might have preferred a little more Tobasco and a tiny bit less mustard, I actually thought the relish flavor was perfectly balanced. The pickle essence was there, but it stayed in the background and didn’t compete with the other tastes. It may have been the most innovative and best tasting contribution to this dish.

  6. […] […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: