Apple Pie Baked Beans: A Culinary Fusion


🌟Life, Love, and Gastronomy 🍷

A cast iron skillet filled with apple pie baked beans. It is garnished with fresh parsley.

Apple pie baked beans is not just a dish; it’s an experience. A harmonious blend of the classic apple pie’s sweetness with the earthy flavors of baked beans, this dish has been a hidden gem in many culinary traditions.

Historical Origins

The origins of apple pie baked beans trace back to early settlers who often had to get creative with limited ingredients. Combining the hearty beans with the sweetness of apples was not just a matter of taste but also of sustenance.

Popularity Across Cultures

From American picnics to European feasts, this dish has found its way into various cultures, each adding its unique twist and flavor profile.

Apple Pie Baked Beans: A Unique Fusion

Apple pie baked beans are not just another dish; they represent a harmonious blend of two seemingly disparate ingredients. This fusion is not only a testament to culinary creativity but also a delightful treat for the taste buds.

The Perfect Blend of Sweet and Savory

Transitioning from the traditional apple pie or the classic baked beans, this dish brings the best of both worlds. The sweetness of the apples complements the earthy tones of the beans, creating a balance that is both surprising and satisfying. It’s a dance of flavors where each ingredient enhances the other, making every bite a delightful experience.

Health Benefits of Combining Apples and Beans

Beyond the taste, there’s a nutritional aspect to consider in the apple pie baked beans dish. Merging the health benefits of apples with the protein-rich beans, this dish is not only delicious but also nutritious. Apples, known for their fiber and vitamins, paired with beans, a source of protein and essential minerals, make for a wholesome meal. So, while you indulge in its flavors, you’re also nourishing your body. Additionally, this dish is a great way to incorporate more plant-based protein into your diet, making it a fantastic option for vegetarians and vegans alike. The fiber content from both the apples and beans contributes to a healthy digestive system, while the variety of vitamins and minerals support overall well-being.

For those interested in exploring more hearty and nutritious dishes, here’s a link to a delicious Portuguese Bean Soup Recipe. This recipe offers a comforting and flavorful experience, perfect for those chilly evenings or when you’re in the mood for something satisfying.

Ingredients for Apple Pie Baked Beans

Main Ingredients:

  • Apples: 4 large apples (preferably a tart variety like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp), peeled, cored, and sliced thinly.
  • Beans: 2 cups of navy or pinto beans, soaked overnight and drained.

Seasonings and Spices:

  • Brown Sugar: 1/2 cup, to add sweetness.
  • Cinnamon: 1 teaspoon, for that classic apple pie flavor.
  • Nutmeg: 1/2 teaspoon, to complement the cinnamon.
  • Salt: 1/2 teaspoon, to balance out the sweetness.
  • Lemon Juice: 2 tablespoons, to prevent the apples from browning and add a touch of tanginess.

Additional Ingredients:

  • Butter or Margarine: 4 tablespoons, melted. This adds richness to the dish.
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon, for an added depth of flavor.
  • Water or Apple Juice: 1/2 cup, to ensure the dish doesn’t dry out while baking.

Optional Ingredients:

  • Chili Flakes: A pinch, if you want to add a spicy kick to the dish.
  • Honey or Maple Syrup: 2 tablespoons, if you prefer a natural sweetener over brown sugar.
  • Breadcrumbs: 1/2 cup, for a crunchy topping.

Step-by-Step Recipe for Apple Pie Baked Beans

Embark on a culinary journey with this unique fusion of apple pie and baked beans. This recipe promises a delightful blend of sweet and savory flavors that will tantalize your taste buds. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide to help you craft this masterpiece:

1. Preparing the Ingredients:

  • Apples: Choose 4 large tart apples like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp. Peel, core, and slice them thinly.
  • Beans: Soak 2 cups of navy or pinto beans overnight. This softens the beans and reduces the cooking time.

2. Preheat the Oven:

  • Set your oven to 350°F (175°C) to ensure it’s at the right temperature by the time you’re ready to bake.

3. Apple Mixture:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the sliced apples with:
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to prevent browning.
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar for sweetness.
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg for that classic apple pie flavor.
  • A pinch of salt to balance the flavors.

4. Bean Mixture:

  • Drain the soaked beans and place them in a pot with enough water to cover them.
  • Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the beans simmer until they’re tender. This should take about 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Once cooked, drain the beans and transfer them to a separate mixing bowl.
  • Add 4 tablespoons of melted butter or margarine and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the beans. Mix well.

5. Combining the Mixtures:

  • Gently fold the apple mixture into the bean mixture, ensuring the ingredients are well combined.
  • Pour the combined mixture into a baking dish, spreading it out evenly.

6. Add Moisture:

  • Pour 1/2 cup of water or apple juice over the mixture in the baking dish. This ensures the dish remains moist during baking.

7. Baking:

  • Place the baking dish in the preheated oven.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until the apples are tender and the top has a nice golden-brown color.

8. Serving:

  • Once baked, remove the dish from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
  • Serve your apple pie baked beans warm. It pairs wonderfully with roasted meats for a main course or can be enjoyed on its own as a unique dessert.

Optional Toppings:

  • For an added crunch, consider sprinkling breadcrumbs or crushed crackers on top before baking.
  • A drizzle of honey or maple syrup can enhance the dish’s sweetness.

This apple pie baked beans recipe is a testament to culinary creativity, blending two distinct dishes into one harmonious flavor experience. Whether you’re serving it at a family gathering or enjoying it on a cozy evening, it promises to be a delightful treat.

Serving Suggestions

Apple pie baked beans, with their delightful fusion of sweet and savory, can be a versatile dish on your dining table. Whether you’re hosting a casual family dinner or a grand feast, here are some serving suggestions to elevate your culinary experience:

Pairing with Main Courses

The rich flavors of apple pie baked beans can complement a variety of main courses. Consider serving them alongside roasted meats such as pork or chicken. The sweetness of the apples can balance the savory notes of the meat, creating a harmonious meal. For a vegetarian option, pair the beans with grilled vegetables or tofu steaks.

Dessert or Side Dish?

While traditionally served as a side dish, the sweet undertones of apple pie baked beans make them a potential dessert contender. Serve them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for a unique dessert experience. Alternatively, as a side dish, they can be a delightful accompaniment to salads, sandwiches, or even grilled cheese.

In conclusion, apple pie baked beans offer a plethora of serving possibilities. Their versatility allows them to fit seamlessly into various meal plans, making them a must-try for every food enthusiast. Whether you choose to serve them as a main, side, or dessert, they promise to be the star of your dining table.

Variations of Apple Pie Baked Beans

Apple pie baked beans is a versatile dish that can be tailored to suit various dietary preferences, cultural influences, or simply to experiment with new flavors. Here are some exciting variations to try:

1. Vegan Apple Pie Baked Beans

  • Substitute Butter: Use coconut oil or vegan margarine instead of butter.
  • Sweetener: Opt for maple syrup or agave nectar instead of honey.

2. Gluten-Free Apple Pie Baked Beans

  • Breadcrumbs: If adding a crunchy topping, ensure you use gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed gluten-free crackers.
  • Check Spices: Ensure that all spices and seasonings used are certified gluten-free.

3. Spicy Apple Pie Baked Beans

  • Add Heat: Incorporate chili flakes, cayenne pepper, or diced jalapeños to the mix for a spicy kick.
  • Spicy Sweetener: Drizzle some spicy honey or hot sauce for an added layer of heat.

4. Tropical Apple Pie Baked Beans

  • Tropical Fruits: Add chunks of pineapple, mango, or coconut shreds to the apple mixture.
  • Sweetener: Use coconut sugar for a more tropical flavor profile.

5. Savory Apple Pie Baked Beans

  • Herbs: Incorporate fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or sage for a more savory touch.
  • Onions & Garlic: Sauté some onions and garlic and mix them in for added depth.

6. Nutty Apple Pie Baked Beans

  • Nuts: Add crushed walnuts, pecans, or almonds for a crunchy texture and nutty flavor.
  • Nut Butter: Swirl in some almond or peanut butter for a creamy, nutty twist.

7. Chocolate Apple Pie Baked Beans

  • Cocoa: Add 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder to the apple mixture.
  • Chocolate Chips: Sprinkle some dark chocolate chips on top before baking.

8. Bourbon-Infused Apple Pie Baked Beans

  • Bourbon: Add 2-3 tablespoons of bourbon to the apple mixture for a rich, smoky flavor.
  • Sweetener: Consider using molasses as a sweetener to complement the bourbon.

9. Mediterranean Apple Pie Baked Beans

  • Olives & Capers: Add chopped olives and capers for a Mediterranean twist.
  • Herbs: Incorporate fresh basil, oregano, and a drizzle of olive oil.

10. Breakfast Apple Pie Baked Beans

  • Oats: Add a layer of rolled oats mixed with brown sugar and cinnamon on top for a breakfast-inspired version.
  • Dried Fruits: Incorporate raisins, dried cranberries, or apricots for added sweetness.

These variations showcase the adaptability of the apple pie baked beans dish. Whether you’re catering to dietary restrictions, cultural preferences, or simply in the mood to experiment, there’s a version of this dish waiting to be discovered and savored.

Storing and Reheating Tips

Apple pie baked beans, with their delightful fusion of flavors, are a treat to savor. However, if you’ve made a large batch or have leftovers, it’s essential to store and reheat them correctly to maintain their taste and texture. Here are some tips to ensure your dish remains as delicious as when first prepared:

Refrigeration Guidelines

  1. Cool Before Storing: Allow the apple pie baked beans to cool to room temperature before transferring them to a storage container.
  2. Airtight Containers: Use airtight containers to prevent moisture loss and to keep the beans fresh. This also helps in preventing any strong odors from the fridge from affecting the dish.
  3. Consume Within 3-4 Days: For optimal taste and safety, consume refrigerated apple pie baked beans within 3-4 days.

Freezing for Later Use

  1. Portioning: If you plan to freeze the dish, consider portioning it into meal-sized amounts. This way, you can thaw and reheat only what you need, reducing waste.
  2. Use Freezer Bags or Containers: Transfer the cooled beans into freezer-safe bags or containers. Ensure you remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
  3. Label and Date: Always label your containers with the date of freezing. Apple pie baked beans can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Beyond this, they might lose some of their flavor and texture.


  1. Thawing: If frozen, allow the beans to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Microwave: Transfer the beans to a microwave-safe dish, cover loosely, and heat in intervals, stirring occasionally to ensure even reheating.
  3. Stovetop: For stovetop reheating, transfer the beans to a pot and warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water or broth if they seem too thick.
  4. Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the beans in an oven-safe dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake until heated through, typically 20-30 minutes.

Remember, always ensure the beans are heated thoroughly before serving. Over-reheating can cause the beans to dry out, so it’s essential to monitor them closely, especially when using a microwave.

In conclusion, with the right storing and reheating techniques, you can enjoy your apple pie baked beans for days, ensuring they remain as delightful as when freshly made.


How to BBQ right apple pie baked beans?

BBQing apple pie baked beans adds a smoky flavor that complements the sweet and savory blend of the dish. Here’s how to do it right:

  1. Preparation: Start by preparing the apple pie baked beans mixture as per the standard recipe.
  2. BBQ Setup: Ensure your BBQ grill is clean and set it up for indirect cooking. This means the coals or burners are on one side, and you’ll place the dish on the opposite side.
  3. Temperature: Preheat the BBQ to a medium heat, around 350°F (175°C).
  4. Cooking Dish: Use a cast-iron skillet or a BBQ-safe baking dish. Transfer your apple pie baked beans mixture into this dish.
  5. Cooking: Place the dish on the grill’s indirect heat side. Close the BBQ lid and let it cook for about 45 minutes to an hour. Occasionally stir to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
  6. Smoke Flavor (Optional): For an added smoky flavor, consider adding a few wood chips to your coals or smoker box.
  7. Serving: Once done, the beans should be bubbly, and the apples tender. Serve hot straight from the grill.

How to make apple pie baked beans?

Making apple pie baked beans involves combining the sweetness of apples with the savory depth of baked beans. Here’s a brief step-by-step guide:

  1. Ingredients: Gather tart apples, navy or pinto beans, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.
  2. Preparation: Peel and slice the apples. Soak the beans overnight.
  3. Cooking Beans: Boil the soaked beans until tender.
  4. Mixing: In a baking dish, combine apples, beans, spices, and other ingredients.
  5. Baking: Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 45 minutes to an hour.
  6. Serving: Serve warm as a side dish or dessert.

Can I freeze baked beans?

Yes, you can freeze baked beans. To do so:

  1. Cooling: Allow the baked beans to cool to room temperature.
  2. Packaging: Transfer the beans to airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Leave about an inch of space at the top to allow for expansion.
  3. Labeling: Label the containers or bags with the date and contents.
  4. Freezing: Store in the freezer for up to 6 months for the best quality.
  5. Reheating: When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stove or in the oven.

Are canned beans healthy?

Canned beans are a convenient and healthy option when fresh beans are unavailable or when you’re short on time. They are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. For more insights on the health benefits of beans, check out our article on Are Baked Beans Healthy?  However, there are a few things to consider:

  • Sodium Content: Some canned beans contain added salt. Opt for low-sodium or no-salt-added versions when possible.
  • BPA Concerns: Some cans might be lined with BPA, which has raised health concerns. Look for brands that use BPA-free cans.
  • Rinsing: It’s a good practice to rinse canned beans before using them. This can remove any added salt and can reduce potential digestive discomfort.
  • Nutritional Value: While canned beans retain most of their nutritional value, they might have slightly fewer nutrients than their fresh or dried counterparts due to the canning process.


Apple pie baked beans, a delightful fusion of sweet and savory, is a testament to culinary creativity. This dish, which marries the comforting flavors of a classic apple pie with the hearty depth of baked beans, offers a unique gastronomic experience. Whether BBQed for a smoky touch, baked traditionally in an oven, or adapted to various dietary needs and preferences, it remains a versatile and satisfying dish.

Moreover, the convenience of using ingredients like canned beans, while ensuring they are a healthy choice, showcases the adaptability of modern cooking. As we’ve explored the origins, variations, and methods of preparing this dish, it’s evident that food is not just about sustenance but also about experimentation, tradition, and the joy of discovery.

In the end, whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook, the journey of crafting and enjoying apple pie baked beans is a reminder of the endless possibilities that lie in the world of culinary arts. Embrace the adventure, savor the flavors, and most importantly, enjoy the shared moments around the dining table.

For those interested in exploring more vegetarian dishes and their popularity, our article on Vegetarian Popularity offers a deep dive into the world of plant-based cuisine.

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