Southern Baked Beans

These are the BEST EVER Baked Beans that have won 4 bbq competitions! Prepped in just 15 minutes that are going to be the hit of your summer barbecue.

Just like with the immediately popular Super Crispy Fried ChickenBBQ Pulled Chicken and Easy Pulled Pork you can serve this summer favorite Coleslaw, Macaroni Salad and Pasta Salad for the perfect summer cookout!

Best Ever Baked Beans Recipe
 Best EVER Baked Beans Recipe

That’s right, these southern baked beans have won 4 competitions. And I’m not even talking about the office pot luck competition, we are talking about fun local bbq competitions. Back in the day before kids we used to love going to bbq competitions.

There were so many fun local ones and some huge ones. Finding our favorites was a job we took seriously. We started entering these beans into them a year before we moved and reality set in with full time careers and kids.

How do you make baked beans? You’d be surprised at how easy this recipe really is! They’re sweet, thick, rich, deeply flavored with molasses, a bit of salt from bacon and a hint of spice from the hot sauce. They’re everything and more that you could want from baked beans and I GUARANTEE these are going to be the hit of your barbecue.

Can you double this baked bean recipe?

The best part is the recipe can be easily doubled too. Just make sure your pan of beans are equally shallow. If you pour these into a deep baking dish you won’t allow the appropriate surface area of cooking and thickening to take place and the beans will be too soupy.

Tips for the PERFECT Baked Beans:

  • If you don’t have molasses you can substitute maple syrup with dark brown sugar in place of light brown sugar
  • Another IMPORTANT note, rinse your beans (except the can of baked beans). This reduces the sodium significantly. It also will cut back drastically on how gassy you’ll feel after eating the beans.
  • Want a deeper flavor? Swap the ketchup for bbq sauce, I love using stubbs or Tony Roma’s Original BBQ Sauce.
  • If you want to skip the bacon you can, losing the bacon grease will remove a layer of flavor so caramelize your onions well, the more flavor you can add to the beans the better.

Slow Cooker Baked Beans:

After the step of browning the onions and garlic add all the remaining ingredients into your crock pot together and stir. Cook on low for 7 hours, then uncover and cook an additional 1 hour on high heat to thicken.

Baked Beans RecipeAre baked beans good for you?

Beans are high in protein and fiber which are part of a healthy diet, but the beans are not considered “good for you” as a general rule because of the added bacon, sugar and fat in the recipe. A healthier option would be beans which are less saucy, with far less sweeteners. But with summer bbq, these baked beans are the perfect counterpart to a great grilled piece of steak or chicken.

How long do you bake beans in the oven?

The beans will bake in the oven in a dutch oven for a full hour covered with foil. The foil is removed and the beans will bake for an additional 10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken up and for a caramelization to take place on the top layer of the beans.

How do you make baked beans from scratch?

This recipe calls for one can of baked beans as a starter which is not necessary. You can also just add one additional can of beans and pump up the other sauce ingredients up by 25% (we did this in competitions). The ease and familiar flavor of adding the canned beans just seemed to be the flavor profile most of my clients preferred.

Which beans do you use to make baked beans? You can work with most types of beans, the most popular are butter, great northern, kidney, pinto beans or navy beans. Some people will use all of one kind, but this recipe has a good mix which allows for different textures and flavors as well. Beans such as kidney beans have a much firmer skin than those of pinto or butter beans which are creamier.

Bacon Baked Beans

More fun Easy Summer BBQ Recipes:

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Baked Beans Recipe

These are the BEST EVER Baked Beans that have won 4 bbq competitions! Prepped in just 15 minutes that are going to be the hit of your summer barbecue.
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1/2 pound bacon diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 can (15 oz) pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) butter beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) baked beans
  • 1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I use Tabasco)
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large cast iron skillet cook the bacon on medium high heat.
  • Remove the bacon and let cool.
  • Drain half the fat, then add the onion to the skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes or until it just begins to caramelize.
  • Add in the garlic and bell pepper and cook an additional 30 seconds, stirring well.
  • In a large mixing bowl add the bacon, onions, garlic and the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  • Pour the beans into a 9x13 baking pan and bake, covered with foil, for one hour.
  • Uncover and bake for an additional ten minutes.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 242mg | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Vitamin C: 14.1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 0.7mg
Keyword: Best Ever Baked Beans

Bacon Baked Beans Recipe

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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    1. I have not tried it with dried beans yet but it may change the flavor and consistency. Wouldn’t hurt to experiment though!

  1. How would you change up the instructions if I need to make this recipe a day in advance? For instance, what can I prepare in advance and finish in a crock pit the next day?

  2. Best Southern Baked Beans, always get the request to make these when the boys are smokin’ up some ribs. Everyone loves them!!

  3. Hello Sabrina,

    I have made many of your recipes and have loved everyone! I love the ingredients that you use! They are normal, everyday ingredients that most people have in their pantry. If a recipe has unusual ingredients, I will pass it by.

    When I go looking for a recipe, I always look for yours! I know when I find it, it will be scrumptious, non complicated and very flavorful!

    Thank you very much!
    Hazel Devitt

  4. I made this today for my adult sons birthday. Everyone loved them. All in attendance agree these ARE the best baked beans. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  5. I love all the different colors because of the different kinds of beans and the red pepper. Like other reviewers, I found them a little on the dry side. They were also a little too sweet for my taste. I drained and rinsed all the beans except the baked beans which I just drained (as noted in the directions).

    1. Hi, in the recipe card I detail which to drain and which to leave whole. Basically all except the can of baked beans is drained and rinsed. Hope you enjoy Katy

  6. I want to try these beans for a cook out where I have been asked to bring baked beans but am a little concerned that some thought they were a bit dry. How would you suggest I increase the liquid?

  7. My first time making baked beans and these really taste amazing. But they definitely are not saucey which is disappointing. I baked ahead and plan on reheating….should I make another batch of the “sauce” and mix in before reheating?? Or add some broth? Or another can of the baked beans?? Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!

    1. I had the same issue, twice! I still don’t know what I did wrong but the third time I added 2 cups of broth and they came out perfect.

  8. I took these beans to my granddaughters 5th birthday party, they were having a barbecue. There wasn’t anything left, even my picky brother took some home. We’re planning a camping trip and my family asked if I could bring this. What’s nice is you can reheat over a barbecue pit like I did at the first party.

  9. Smoked a Brisket today and these baked beans. I have to say, there were more compliments on these beans than my brisket.
    Absolutely Outstanding!

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