Baked Bean Soup with Beef and Bacon is a quick and hearty soup that comes together in 30 minutes or less. The whole family will love this delicious soup plus you've probably got everything you need to make it right now in your fridge, pantry and freezer.
The idea for this soup came about as I was rummaging through my cabinets trying to figure out what to make for dinner with the ground beef I had in my fridge. I'm super happy with the flavor of this 30-minute meal, and I trust you will be too!
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The ingredient list:
*Please note that the exact measurements along with a new "shop the recipe" feature from Instacart is available in the printable recipe card.
BACON - I used a thick-cut bacon, but feel free to use whatever bacon you like or that you have on hand. Turkey bacon will work in this recipe as well. Or, if you prefer, you can omit the bacon entirely. I cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces before browning it, and then I drained most of the fat from the pan (not shown in the video) before adding the ground beef.
GROUND BEEF - I used an 80/20 blend for the best flavor. A leaner blend of ground beef or ground turkey will work if you want to keep the calories slightly lower.
SALT AND PEPPER - Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper are what I always use. If you're using iodized table salt, cut back on the amount used by half of what this recipe calls for. Since table salt measures differently than the larger grain coarse kosher salt, you won't want your soup to be over-salted upon completion.
DEHYDRATED MINCED ONION - This is a game-time decision on my part. I like using dehydrated onion in many recipes where I want the preparation to be quick, but I still want a big hit of flavor. The dehydrated minced onions add just that.
However, if you prefer using fresh minced onion, that's always a good thing. Add them into the pot as you're browning the ground beef. I'd suggest using ½ cup of freshly minced onion, but ultimately, the choice is yours.
CANNED BAKED BEANS - There are so many baked bean choices in the supermarket that it's mind-boggling. That said, you can go for the baked beans loaded with extras or choose a basic can with nothing fancy. Since we're going to doctor up this soup, it's all about using what you have or your favorite brand. The key is using 28 ounces of baked beans (liquid and all), so feel free to mix a few different varieties if you like.
WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE - This ingredient adds the umami depth of flavor that makes this soup a standout. You'll only use one tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, but it's a pivotal component to the great taste of this baked bean soup.
KETCHUP - The ingredient adds a touch of sweetness and a lovely color to the completed soup.
YELLOW MUSTARD - A very important ingredient to help round out and balance this soup. The slight bit of acid that the mustard provides plays well with all the other flavors in the pot. You'll be amazed at the flavor boost a bit yellow mustard can provide.
MOLASSES - All good baked beans require molasses. At least in my book, and this baked bean soup is no different. Not much is needed, but the rich, deep flavor of the thick and sticky dark syrup is necessary. Please don't omit this ingredient!
BEEF STOCK - I used beef stock because of the ground beef I knew I'd be using, but you can also use chicken stock (or broth) if you like. The choice is yours. I also used a low-sodium beef stock to control the completed soup's sodium level. If you are using a stock or broth that isn't no or low sodium, I urge you to cut back on the amount of salt called for in this recipe and to taste as you go.
BAY LEAVES - A few small bay leaves will give this soup a long-cooked flavor even though it's cooked for a short time. This ingredient is optional, but if you have bay leaves in your pantry, I urge you to pop one or two into this soup for a quick simmer. *Note - please remember to remove and discard them before ladling the soup into bowls for serving.
BUTTER - I add the final ingredient right before serving. The richness of the butter gives the soup a rich and attractive sheen and will aid in the deep and delicious flavors of this baked bean soup to linger on the tongue.
Kitchen tools and equipment needed:
- Dutch oven or large stockpot
- slotted spatula
- measuring cups and spoons
- can opener
- wooden spoon
Why this recipe works:
The flavor is fantastic!
From looking at it, you might guess its flavor is similar to chili, but it's not. It's a baked bean lover's dream come true...for your spoon.
Add-ins and substitution suggestions:
Diced red bell pepper, sauteed in with the bacon, would be a tasty addition. You can also add diced fresh onion in place of (or in addition to) the dehydrated minced onion. The onion can also be added in with the ground beef when browning.
In place of the ketchup, your favorite BBQ sauce would be a nice substitution, and in place of the ground beef, ground turkey, pork, or even lamb would be a tasty swap. Of course, you can leave the ground meat out entirely if desired. To make this a vegetarian soup, leave out the bacon and swap vegetable broth for the beef stock.
Adding diced tomato, zucchini, butternut squash, broccoli florets, and even diced avocado would work if headed in the vegetarian direction. Blanch the vegetables for a few minutes in boiling water before adding them to the soup, then simmer together to marry the flavors for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Garnishes and topping ideas:
As you can see from the above photo, I used shredded cheddar cheese and some chopped scallions.
You can also top this soup with oyster crackers, popped corn, crushed tortilla chips, and maybe a little red onion for an extra flavor bite.
Sour cream, Greek yogurt (plain), or a dash or two of hot sauce would also make a nice finishing touch.
Renee's top tip for recipe success:
Even though this soup is ready in 30 minutes or less, the bay leaves are the ingredient that gives it that long-cooked flavor. Please make sure to add them to your soup for the final simmer and the very best flavor but remember to remove and discard them before serving.
Make it a complete meal:
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Additional soup or stew recipes:
German Onion Soup has plenty of caramelized onions, beer, and bratwurst, not to mention it's topped with pretzel roll croutons. Heaven!
Sit down to a big bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup with Leeks and Kale to cure whatever ails you. It's comfort food for the body and soul!
This hearty Italian Sausage, Fennel, and White Bean Soup will surely please the entire family. The depth of flavor in this 30-minute soup is incredible!!
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Printable Recipe Card
Baked Bean Soup with Beef and Bacon
- ½ pound bacon cut, cooked, and drained
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large can (28 ounces) baked beans your favorite variety
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons dehydrated minced onions
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1½ teaspoons yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 2 cups beef stock low sodium or no sodium, preferred
- 2 medium bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon butter
I sincerely hope you'll enjoy today's hearty, beefy bean soup as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you!
Thank you so much for visiting me today in my Kudos Kitchen. I hope you found something you'll love and that you will come back and visit me often. Please know that there is always room for you around my kitchen table!
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Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!