Baked Beans with Bacon and Chard

by Heather on November 17, 2011

Chard.  The name alone instills fear in my heart of hearty greens gone slimy, a weird earthy taste, and a stomach begging for a nacho or two.


Just one nacho.  PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE!


However I’ve never been a woman who is afraid to admit she’s wrong.  Unless it’s admitting that to my husband of course.  He doesn’t need to know the one time a year it happens!  Really though, I was wrong about chard.  I may not love it sauteed or raw, but toss it in some baked beans with bacon and spice and I’ll gobble that right up.  See, it’s kind of like the time that Nate swore up and down that he hated HATED HATED mushrooms.  No way was he eating mushrooms.  Ever.  Then one glorious night he tried them sauteed in a bit of butter and wine, a sprinkle of salt on top and became enamored with their simplicity and juicy, meaty flavor.  Now we both love mushrooms.


See?  Kind of like that for me.  Only with chard and bacon…two of nature’s simplest flavors.

The thing that gets me about this dish is the fact that it was so good I ate it for breakfast yesterday.  I know that might gross some of y’all out, but I’ve always been a no-holds-barred eater when it comes to breakfast foods.


Cold pizza?  Yes please!


Enchiladas?  Why not?!


Cold tamales?  My favorite!


So beans are really not out of the norm.  Not when you’re me, and most definitely not when you’re a hungry version of me.  And let’s just say it’s best if we keep that version locked in a deep deep dungeon with a cast iron skillet of beans and a refrigerator of cold tamales nearby.  It’s for the best.  Really.


  • 2 15-oz cans of navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 bunches green chard, washed, stems removed, and chopped
  • 6 slices of bacon, divided and chopped
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 24 oz bottle of ketchup
  • 1 heaping cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 350.  In a cast iron skillet (or other oven-proof skillet) crisp up 3 slices of the bacon.  Remove from pan to drain and saute the onion in the drippings for 5-8 minutes until translucent and tender.  Add the garlic and saute for another minute.  Add the chard and saute for 5-6 minutes until the chard has started to wilt.  Remove from heat.


In a large bowl whisk together the ketchup, sugar, vinegar, mustard, Worchestershire sauce, cayenne, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Add the beans and cooked bacon and stir.  Add the onions, garlic, and chard from the pan and mix to combine.  Pour the bean mixture back into the skillet and sprinkle the uncooked chopped bacon on top evenly.  Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes at 350.  Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes.  If the bacon on top still needs to be crisped up, turn on the broiler and watch it carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn.  Carefully remove from oven and serve hot.

I don’t know if chard lover is an actual term, but if it involves bacon and spice I’m all in.  Baby steps people!

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