Three kinds of beans take the classic dish from ho-hum to fun, with different shapes and pleasing textures--from the al dente bite of chickpeas to the creaminess of Great Northern beans. If you happen to use hot smoked paprika, you can omit the ground red pepper.
4 applewood-smoked bacon slices, chopped
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
6 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup no-salt-added tomato sauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can organic Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 325°.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon to pan, and sauté for 5 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving 1 1/2 tablespoons drippings in pan. Set bacon aside. Add 2 cups onion, bell pepper, and minced garlic to drippings in pan, and sauté for 6 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and cool slightly.
Combine tomato sauce and the next 8 ingredients (through red pepper) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in onion mixture and beans. Spoon bean mixture into an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with reserved bacon. Cover and bake at 325° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake an additional 30 minutes.
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