Easy, hearty and delicious pork and beans, made with pork shoulder, cooked low and slow with beans, all in a baked bean like sauce. Can be cooked in the oven, slow cooker or crockpot.
Why you’ll love these pork and beans!
- This pork and beans recipe is made with canned beans, so no need to soak and pre-cook beans.
- The delicious beans are cooked in a bold flavor baked bean type sauce.
- This is a great dish for getting all the great flavours of pork and beans, without all the work.
While this dish does need some time in the oven, the hands-on time is a short 10 minutes, so once it’s in the oven, you just need to check on it a couple of times. It’s a wonderful dish to cook on the weekend, when you can enjoy the lovely smells through the house. And for those who love to use their slow cooker, I’ve included a slow-cooker version here as well.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Pork shoulder roast – look for a boneless pork shoulder roast, if you can find it, or one with a small bone is fine, too. It doesn’t matter if it’s wrapped in string or not. I like one that has good fat marbling, but not excessive fat.
- Beans – you’ll need two 19 oz (560ml) cans of pinto beans. You could substitute canned navy beans, if you like. Be sure to drain and rinse the beans well before using.
Here are the easy steps to make this recipe …
Step 1: Mix up the easy sauce and set aside.
Step 2: Brown the pork on all sides.
Step 3: Add the onion to the pot.
Step 4: Cook the onion until softened.
Step 5: Add the sauce to the pot. Cover and bake.
Step 6: Cook, covered, until the pork is fall-apart tender. Remove to a plate.
Step 7: Add the beans to the pot.
Step 8: Return to the oven to cook uncovered, until the sauce reduces and thickens.
- While I’ve provided a slow cooker version of this recipe, I do prefer the oven method, personally. I just love the way the pork and sauce cooks up in the oven. Unless you really want to do a slow cooker meal, go for the oven method.
- I’ve found that pork shoulders can give off varying amounts of liquid as they cook, but I’ve tried to keep the added liquid to a minimum, to keep from watering down the sauce too much. So that said, for the oven method, keep an eye on the liquid level and add additional water if you feel it’s needed. If the liquid is getting syrupy at any time, definitely add some water. For the slow-cooker version, I’ve specified just adding some water at the start, so you don’t have to check it as regularly.
- Do taste your sauce at the end of cooking. As there is salt in the beans and in the sauce ingredients, you may not need to add additional salt … or you may. Taste and add some if necessary.
- Depending on the cut of pork you started with, you may have some fat on the top of the dish when it’s finished cooking. You can spoon it off and discard (or use the edge of a paper towel and let it wick up onto the towel). Another option, if you are making ahead, is to simply refrigerate it. Once cooled, the fat will solidify on the top and you can easily spoon it off and discard before re-heating.
All canned beans are not created equal. For recipes like this, where beans are the star of the pot, buy a good-quality, name-brand canned bean. Off-brand or store-brand beans can sometimes be tough and chewy, which can make a huge difference in a dish like this one. So don’t take the chance, when making this bean-rich dish.
Get the Recipe: Pork and Beans
- 2 lb. (0.91 kg) pork shoulder roast, boneless
- Cooking oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup (118.29 ml) onion, diced
- 2 19 oz (1120 ml) canned pinto beans, rinsed (560ml) or can substitute canned navy beans
- 3/4 cup (177.44 ml) ketchup
- 3/4 cup (177.44 ml) brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup (59.15 ml) fancy molasses, not cooking or blackstrap
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.39 ml) dry mustard powder
- 2 teaspoons (9.86 ml) salt
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.23 ml) pepper
- Prepare the pork by removing any string around the roast. Cut away any large bits of fat around the outside of the roast and discard. Season pork with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Prepare the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stirring well to combine. Set aside.
- For Oven Method, preheat oven to 350F.
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven (for oven method) or heavy skillet (for slow cooker method), on the stove-top, over medium heat. Sear the pork well on all sides, then remove to a plate. If there is a lot of fat/liquid in the pot, remove all but 1 Tbsp. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring, until softened. Proceed with the instructions below, depending if you are doing the oven or slow-cooker method.
- Return pork to the pot with the onions (along with any juices on the plate). Pour the sauce over-top of the meat. Place cover on Dutch oven and place in preheated oven. Set the timer for 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes of cooking, remove pot from oven and flip the meat over. Add 1/4 cup water to the pot. Replace the lid and place the pot back into the oven for another 45 minutes. Remove the pot again and flip the pork. Again, add 1/4 cup water to the pot. Replace the lid and return to the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and check the pork. If it will split apart easily with a fork, it's time to add the beans. If not, cover and return to the oven for an additional 15-30 minutes or until the pork is falling apart.
- Remove the pork to a plate (it may fall apart into large chunks, but that’s ok).
- Add the rinsed beans to the pot with the pork. Stir to combine the beans with the sauce. If you feel a little more liquid is needed, add a bit more water. Return the chunks of pork to the pot.
- Return the pot to the oven, UNCOVERED, and bake for an additional 30-45 minutes, or a bit longer, if you'd like to really thicken it up.
Slow Cooker Method:
- Spoon the softened onions into the slow cooker and place the seared pork and any juices. Pour prepared sauce over-top of the pork. Add 1/2 cup water to the pot. Cover and cook on low for 6 – 7 hours on low. If you like, you can flip the pork part way through cooking. Cook the pork to the point that it easily falls apart when pulled with a fork. At that point, remove the pork to a plate (it may fall apart into large chunks, but that's ok).
- Add the rinsed beans to the pot with the sauce. Stir to combine. If you feel a little is more liquid is needed, add a splash of water. Return the pork to the cooker. Continue cooking in the slow-cooker, UNCOVERED, until the sauce thickens, about 30 minutes more.
- For both the oven and slow cooker methods, if you feel you’d like to thicken the sauce a touch, mix together a slurry of 1 Tbsp cornstarch with 2 Tbsp water. Add to the sauce, a bit at a time, stirring and cooking, until the desired thickness is reached.
Recipe was inspired by an Ali Slagle (NYT) recipe. I have changed up the sauce and cooking method.
More Baked Beans to Love!
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by 40 years of trial and error in the kitchen and always driven by a love of great food. I love to share my favourite old and new recipes, complete with lots of tips and tricks to help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!
Very good and easy to make. Actually used left-over pork roast. Added some liquid smoke.
Glad you enjoyed it, Roger and a great use for left-over pork roast! Thanks :)
This was excellent! I took two days making this as I ran short on time. Browned the pork shoulder roast on all sides. The next day, added it to the crock pot with the sauce, cooked all day and it was the falling-apart-shredded-pork. Delicious!
So glad you enjoyed it, Mary! Thanks so much :)
Just curious if you don’t have molasses, would there be a substitution to use?
Hi Julie, I suspect you could use some combination of dark corn syrup and brown sugar, though I’m not sure the exact amount or proportions. Google might offer some advice for you on this.
This was delicious, made exactly as written, and used the oven method, this one is going in my saved list for sure, I baked a wonderful no knead crusty bread to go with it, 😋
So glad to hear, Karen :) Thanks so much!
May I ask what brand of fancy molasses you used? I’m only seeing Grandmas Molasses Original where I shop, can I use that or would it be better to order fancy molasses? Thanks, looks delicious!
Hi Maria, I generally use Crosby’s, but I’m pretty sure that Grandmas is “Fancy” Molasses, so you’ll be fine picking that one up :)
Thank you for this recipe! I recently made this & as we were finishing our bowls, the boyfriend was already asking when I can make it again. Simple ingredients yet SO flavorful. I made it in oven last time but in the SoCal heat, will be trying slow cooker method next. Again, thanks!
So glad to hear, Lina :) Thanks!
Hi Jennifer, I only have Brer Rabbit Molasses. I think it’s a black strap molasses. I know it has is a more bitter flavor…. should I increase the brown sugar? Or do I really need the fancy molasses.
Hi Amy, I think you could try it if you are ok with the stronger molasses taste. I think I would go the other way though and reduce the molasses amount instead of increasing the sugar. I imagine you should probably reduce the molasses amount by 1/2 or maybe even 1/3 for blackstrap.
We had a larger roast that we cut in half ending up with a 2.4 lb roast. Such a yummy receipe!! Had to add more pinto beans to go with the extra meat.
Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much :)
I made this and it was absolutely delicious. I made one small change which I think is epic – and you should try it yourself! 1st I doubled the recipe because most pork shoulders I’ve found are around 4-6 pounds. 2nd I chopped up a pound of bacon FIRST then seared the pork shoulder in the bacon fat. I poured out all but 1 TB of grease and then cooked the onions in the fat. When you add the beans is when I added the bacon – and OMG next level. Thanks for sharing!
Sounds delicious! You can never go wrong with bacon :) Thanks!
This recipe looks delicious, thank you for sharing! I plan to make this for Easter dinner this weekend.
I only have dry pinto beans. At what point should I add rinsed, soaked beans?
Hi Tanya, You will need to cook the soaked beans separately in simmering water on the stove-top. Make sure they’re cooked to completely tender (they won’t soften further in the pot). Taste test to be sure. Drain and set aside (you can do this ahead and refrigerate). Then just add your cooked beans to the pot at the same time as the canned beans are added in the recipe. Hope that helps :)
Thank you Jennifer, you’re advice is greatly appreciated!
Enjoy Tanya and Happy Easter to you, as well :)
We are in self-isolation and avoiding the grocery store. The only pork I have in the freezer is a tenderloin. Will this recipe work with such a lean cut of mean? Thanks and stay safe, Donna
Hi Donna, Obviously the pork tenderloin won’t give the added flavour of the fat in the shoulder, but it should technically work ok in this dish. It won’t take as long to cook before it falls apart. Just check it regularly as it cooks. When it falls apart when you lift it up, it’s good to add the beans etc ;) Enjoy!
I waited until I had a pork shoulder roast. Absolutely delicious. Thank you.
Glad to hear, Donna and so glad you enjoyed it :) Thanks!
Well, I made them! Seriously good stuff! They were a major hit with my 96 year old mother! We will be sure making these again! Served with nice crusty bread and butter and a salad!
So glad to hear, Chris :) Thanks so much!
These pork and beans look PHENOMENAL!!! I’m literally drooling all over my keyboard! This looks so comforting and delicious! I can’t wait to try this!
P.s. Love the new site design! Very user friendly!!
Thanks so much, Cheyanne :)
Oh my that looks delish! I absolutely have to make this and soon. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
Thanks so much, Darlene :)
I made this over the weekend and it was amazing! Hearty, tasty, comfort food. And the leftovers are great too. My new go-to recipe for baked beans. I didn’t have canned, so I used dried pinto beans and they worked great. Thanks so much!
So glad to hear, Annette! And yes, will work well starting from dried beans as well (and I’m sure the extra bit of time to use dried was rewarded, too :)
Pork and beans reminds me of camping when I was a kid! Nowadays, a batch of beans always accompanies a big brunch, but it’s been a while since I made them with pork. These look incredibly delicious and cozy Jennifer. Happy weekend!
Thanks Leanne and happy weekend to you, as well :)
Wow Jennifer – this is a must make for us. My husband would flip for this pot of flavor. Your photos are gorgeous and your new look is fabulous! Bravo :)
This will be a hit in our family, for sure! Such a cozy dish, love it.
Thanks so much, Milena :)
Your pictures are making my mouth seriously water! Can’t wait to try this, it looks so… delicious!
Thanks so much, Chris :)
This is right up my alley! Who doesn’t love that combo? Pure comfort food! And with more snow coming again this weekend, these beans are definitely in order :) Perfect with a big hunk of buttery bread!
Thanks Dawn and yes, you are getting lots of Winter this year, too :)
Do you use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar? This looks so good and I can’t wait to make it. Thank you for the recipe!
Hi Jan, you can use either, but I tend to use light brown sugar, since there is already molasses added separately. Enjoy!
This is the ultimate in comfort! If I had this in front of me, I wouldn’t notice the snow outside!! Pinned!
Thanks Annie and yes, that’s the plan :)
One of my husband Tom’s favorite sides all year long Jennifer. Can’t wait to give your recipe a try. Pinned.