The BEST EVER Baked Beans that have won 4 bbq competitions! Prepped in just 15 minutes, they are going to be the hit of your summer barbecue.
Just like with the immediately popular Super Crispy Fried Chicken, BBQ Pulled Chicken and Easy Pulled Pork, you can serve this summer favorite with Coleslaw, Macaroni Salad and Pasta Salad for the perfect summer cookout!
That’s right, these southern baked beans have won 4 competitions. Not the office pot luck competition, we are talking about fun local bbq competitions. If you love going to BBQ competitions and trying all the styles of food, you’ll definitely want to try this award winning recipe.
Baked Beans are the perfect smokey and sweet side to go along with your favorite summer cookout meals. This recipe is prepared in just 15 minutes before popping into the oven, and you’ll have a big pan of beans that will have everyone going back for seconds.
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 beansm, and these are going to be the hit of your barbecue.
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, we 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, because the more flavor you can add to the beans the better.
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Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Beans are high in protein and fiber which are part of a healthy diet, but the beans are not considered u0022good for youu0022 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.
The beans will bake in the 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.
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 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 people prefer.
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.
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.
More Fun Easy Summer BBQ Recipes
- El Pollo Loco BBQ Black Beans (Copycat)
- Oven Fried Chicken (Super Crispy!)
- Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs
- Texas Caviar (Cowboy Caviar)
How to Store Baked Beans
- Serve: Baked Beans can be kept warm in a crock pot or chafing dish up to 4 hours, or at room temperature up to 2 hours.
- Store: Sealed in an airtight container, store Baked Beans in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
- Freeze: Let the beans cool completely, then portion into freezer safe containers or bags. Freeze up to 6 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, and reheat in a baking dish at 375, adding a little BBQ sauce or ketchup if needed.
- 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 brown sugar , packed
- 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 9×13 baking pan and bake, covered with foil, for one hour.
- Uncover and bake for an additional ten minutes.
Photos used in a previous version of this post.
Can your recipe be cut in 1/2?
I am known for “my” baked beans due to this recipe. Any time I bring these, people rave about them. Absolutely delicious!
These were wonderful. I don’t know what a butter bean is nor could I find any. I substituted yellow kidney beans. I used country style baked beans. I used precooked bacon and when heated it didn’t leave much behind, so I used a little bit of leftover fat I saved from my Christmas prime rib.
The beans came out amazing. Husband loved them. Had just a hint of spice. Sweet and tangy all at once. Beans were still firm.
Will be making them again.
I may be misunderstood in my previous post by not making clear I added ALL INGREDIENTS according to the recipe with the exception of my choice of beans and the sausage replacing the bacon.
I will be the first to admit I didn’t quite follow directions! I wanted to make this recipe simpler and only used Bushes Original Baked Beans in the 16.5 ounce cans along with some locally produced sausage cut into 1/4″ wide by quarter round pieces instead of bacon. Put this all into a crock pot for two hours on high and….oh my goodness! Great flavor, not dried out and the way to go. THANK YOU for offering such a great recipe. Can I give it 6 stars?
made this many times. loved by all! soooo gooood
I made these baked beans for a picnic. They were so delicious. Everybody raved about them. Will be making these again for sure
Can I cook the beans in a chocked pot.
I meant a 1/4 cup
They may get a little watery but it should work.
I would like to find a good baked bean recipe that doesn’t have any kind of sweetener. My grandmother made the best baked beans wit no sweetener at all. There’s no need to sweeten them, it’s a bean flavor killer in my opinion. There is altogether too much sugar or sweetener in many of today’s recipes.
Could I add a 1/4 of bourbon to this recipe?
I just saw your other comment, this worried me for a second! haha!
Can I transfer these to a slow cooker once they are baked?
I have made these before and a HUGE hit. My question is….I’m making them again and traveling a few hours for a gathering. Would you suggest baking and reheating or just prepping and baking them once I get there?
Either should be fine, I do love the fresh cooked beans personally though.
Can I use dried beans?
I have not tried it with dried beans yet but it may change the flavor and consistency. Wouldn’t hurt to experiment though!
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?
Best Southern Baked Beans, always get the request to make these when the boys are smokin’ up some ribs. Everyone loves them!!
Can I use a yellow pepper and a red pepper? I’m doubling the tecipe
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!
Thank you, Hazel! this is so sweet, thank you for your support!
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.
Thank you, Cindi, so glad it was a hit!
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).
Do you drain the cans of beans or add the entire contents of the can?
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
I also found them dry the first time. I now add 8oz of tomato sauce. My husband loves these beans!
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?
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!
Hello, maybe a little more ketchup and molasses would give you more sauce.
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.
Can you use half pork and beans and half Bush Bush baked beans?
I haven’t tried that!
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.
Took them to a church pitch in dinner last year and taking them again this year , They were a big hit.
What type of baked beans do you use?
Hi we bake the beans in this recipe.
Great flavor but they were a tad dry.
Hi can you make ahead and freeze?
Hi! Yes you can!
Smoked a Brisket today and these baked beans. I have to say, there were more compliments on these beans than my brisket.
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