If ever a side dish were worth making from scratch, these sweet, smoky, bacon-flecked baked beans would be it. Starting from dried lets you infuse the beans with another layer of flavor as they simmer. The beans’ starchiness will also help to bind the finished casserole together. Soak and cook the beans ahead to save time. We love the addition of curry powder for a warm, earthy note. You can omit it or add another spice for depth, such as smoked paprika or chili powder.
Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high 5 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Add onion; cook 4 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally.
Combine bacon mixture, beans, ketchup, syrup, dry mustard, pepper, and curry powder, if using, in a large bowl. Spoon bean mixture into a 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375°F for 45 to 50 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Carefully remove dish from oven; let beans stand 5 minutes before serving.
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