Southern Baked Beans

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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

5 from 38 votes
  • 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
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.


  • 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


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet cook the bacon on medium high heat.
  3. Remove the bacon and let cool.
  4. Drain half the fat, then add the onion to the skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes or until it just begins to caramelize.

  5. Add in the garlic and bell pepper and cook an additional 30 seconds, stirring well.

  6. In a large mixing bowl add the bacon, onions, garlic and the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  7. Pour the beans into a 9x13 baking pan and bake, covered with foil, for one hour.
  8. Uncover and bake for an additional ten minutes.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 12 Servings, Amount per serving: 170 calories, Serving Size: 1 , Calories: 170g, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 305mg, Potassium: 242mg, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 395g, Vitamin C: 14.1g, Calcium: 30g, Iron: 0.7g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Best Ever Baked Beans

Bacon Baked Beans Recipe

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  1. I made this recipe and it is the best! Restaurant quality. My wife and I finally finished the last of it that was frozen. Didn’t save the recipe, but found it again and printed to save for always. Plan to share with all that will listen. Thank You Very Much. Cliff

  2. The taste was good, but where did all the liquid come from in the picture? Mine was quite dry with no juice. I checked the recipe twice to make sure I didn’t forget anything.

    1. Mine was dry but because I left too long in the oven after I took off the foil. I’m going to make again and am going to look for adjustments to make it more moist.

  3. Sabrina, this recipe is terrific!

    I love veggies and don’t like my beans too sweet, so added green and yellow bell peppers, doubled the fresh garlic, cut the molasses and brown sugar in half and used 1/2 cup catsup and 1/4 cup BBQ sauce.

    This recipe will be a staple in my kitchen. Perfect with to die for “Fresh Tracks Cornbread” (from Whitewater Cooks) and BBQ ribs or steaks.

    Thank you!

  4. Excellent recipe! I made these beans for our office holiday luncheon today to go with a home-smoked brisket. I put out a call on my old fashioned cooking group on Facebook for recipes because I’ve never made baked beans before and I wanted a recipe to knock everyone’s socks off. A kind person posted a link to your recipe. Wow! These baked beans hit the ball out of the park! Thank you very much for sharing!

  5. I’m excited to try this recipe. We have a holiday lunch coming up and this looks to be a good addition to the menu. Can’t wait thank you for this.

    1. This recipe looks amazing, I live in Australia and I’m making it for Christmas breakfast with lots of other things to go with it and I was wondering your yellow mustard is it the powder or American mustard for your hotdogs

  6. I have made these beans 3 times now. The first time, I followed the recipe. I don’t know if these beans are really “the BEST EVER”, as claimed, but they are not far from it!
    Here is what I did to approach the “BEST EVER” claim (my opinion, of course).
    I used 3/4 lb. bacon vice 1/2 lb.
    I used sweet onion vice yellow (this may not be the right approach?)
    I used half Red and 1/2 Yellow Bell pepper
    I used store bought minced garlic in water (a generous helping)
    Black beans vice pinto
    Kidney beans for chili vice regular kidney beans
    I used 1/3 Cup each of Ketchup, Bull-Eye BBQ sauce, Heinz Carolina BBQ sauce vice all Ketchup
    All other ingredients were the same
    I found the directions for cooking to be very accurate — the beans were thick and totally awesome.

    In general, I would say — this recipe is THE ONE TO HAVE! It is a real KEEPER.

  7. So glad I found this recipe! Absolutely the best baked bean recipe, I will only do this recipe from now on! It’s a winner everyone loves it, thank you.

    1. Yes, you can use dried beans but you’ll need to half the weight of the beans since they’ll need to be soaked before using. Hope this helps!

    1. You’ll need to use a bigger pan or multiple pans as you need to keep your beans shallow. If it’s too deep, it won’t allow the beans to thicken up and they’ll be soupy. Hope this helps!

  8. Lovely recipe, thank you so much.

    Site critique: please stop making the page jump around for ads or pictures. When I’m trying to read a recipe I would like the important bits to stay put.

  9. Wow just wow!!!!! Amazing!!! Recipe. If you could make it and can it you’d be rich, very tasty don’t change a thing. ??

    1. I forgot to buy the can of baked beans, is there anything else I can substitute for that ? Making tonight for bbq. They look amazing

      1. Oh no! I’m just now seeing this. You can substitute with a different bean in a pinch but it will change the flavor and texture. How did it turn out?

  10. Sabrina, I’m a firm believer that recipes like this taste even better the next day. I’m going to make this recipe today and then bring it tomorrow evening to a friends house. Since I will be transporting it, would it be best to cook in a slow cooker and reheat in the slow cooker tomorrow, or cook as instructed and reheat in the oven tomorrow evening?

    1. I’m so sorry I’m just now seeing this. It got caught in my spam filter. Either way you’ll be fine. I hope everyone enjoyed it.

  11. Hello I can’t wait to try this my mouth Is watering!! Do you think it’d be just as good to use all baked beans in the recipe instead of the different varieties of beans?? Or I it not noticeable? my family loves baked beans but won’t eat any other kind hahaha weird I know so I wasn’t sure if they’d notice the different variety in the recipe or should change it to all baked beans

    1. You will lose the different texture and change the flavor by using all one type of bean but it’ll still be good, just different. Enjoy!

        1. Yes, after the step of browning the onions and garlic add all of the ingredients into a slow cooker and stir. Cook on low for 7 hours then uncover and cook an additional hour on high heat to thicken it up. Enjoy!

  12. I made this for the most part as written except for the Molasses I swapped out with 4 teaspoons of liquid smoke and then I cooked it for 6 hours in my crockpot. It came out excellent with so much depth of flavor and sweet and smokiness to it which I love because it has enough sweetness from the brown sugar I thought that the Molasses would be overkill and I couldn’t find any.

  13. I think you may as well use the whole onion. I like fried onions, and I never think you can have too many in a recipe. So unless you have an urgent need for that half an onion in another dish, I suggest you add it to the baked beans.

  14. Could you do these on high in a slow cooker to reduce cooking time if serving for lunch?Would rather not get up at 4AM to start them if I don’t have to!

    1. I haven’t tested them in a slow cooker yet but these beans only go in the oven for an hour so depending on what time you’re having lunch, you should be ok cooking them the same day.

  15. When I went online to find a baked bean recipe, I found yours. So I made it for a Sunday brunch and served it with a “mock” cheese souffle, fruit, etc. Three of our guests who raved about it asked for the recipe. My husband and I loved it and will keep passing the recipe on to those who also want to try it. Rich flavors…..yum!!!

  16. Sabrina…I want to make these beans for Thanksgiving, but a couple of folks there are vegetarian….so I will have to skip the bacon….have you tried making this without the bacon?

      1. This recipe is very similar to one I got from a friend who is vegetarian. She substitutes crushed pineapple for the bacon. I’ve just made it (with no added brown sugar – its plenty sweet without). Its been simmering on the stove – for maybe an hour. Very good – don’t see any need for the baking process.

  17. My husband made these beans for a work picnic and they are amazing!! Absolutely the best baked beans we’ve ever eaten, and they were a HUGE hit at the picnic.

  18. I made this recipe for a Labor Day picnic and everyone loved it. So many people said they were the best baked beans they had ever had.

    1. Yes, after the step of browning the onions and garlic add all the ingredients into the slow cooker together and stir. Cook on low for 7 hours, then uncover and cook an additional 1 hour on high heat to thicken. Enjoy!

  19. Hi Sabrina,

    I am working on a project to encourage people to participate in the 2018 election in Colorado by voting on all the issue measures on the ballot. Colorado gives voters a lot responsibility for making laws by asking them to decide on issues other than candidates.

    One of our ideas is to create a “Ballot Bash in a Box”. The box will contain a few decorations, branded with our logo (the effort is called Count Me In!), a thumb drive with a video about why it is important to vote, and some recipes. The material will not advocate for any position on the issues, it will just ask people to be sure to express their opinion by casting a vote.

    I would love to include this bean recipe under a different name, “Ballot Box Baked Beans”. I would credit you or Dinner then Dessert, which every you prefer. I will not want to use the recipe without your permission.

    BTW, the beans are terrific! We think so good they will inspire folks to vote.

    Carol Hedges

  20. Instead of transferring to a foil-covered pan, can you bake these covered in the deep iron pot that you saute the bacon and veges in? Also, I have some hard sauce made with good bourbon and brown sugar I’d like to use up. How would I need to adjust recipe for that? Thanks!

    1. You can definitely use a deep iron pot instead of transferring. I’m not sure about the additional sauce though. I don’t feel comfortable giving a recommendation on adjustments because I’ve haven’t tested it and wouldn’t want to steer you wrong. If you decide to play around with it and try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Good luck!

  21. These were a hit on the 4th of July! We used a slightly different combination of bean types and sizes and wound up cooking for 2 hours for a thicker sauce. A keeper! Thank you!

  22. I made beans from dry in my instant pot and then baked them following the recipe they came out delicious!

  23. this recipe is delicious. I’m not a butter bean fan so I used extra pinto beans. I made the beans for my 4th of july BBQ and they were a hit. They were actually better the next day if that is even possible.

      1. Forest, not in my neighborhood! Canned beans are only for last-minute emergencies. In NOLA all the original families use dried.

        I made this recipe. It’s pretty good but I did “up” it in a few places AND I used dried beans, pre-cooked then added to the sauce.

    1. Bush’s Baked beans are great! They have been on the market since 1933. That’s 85 years! I doubt very much soaking, rinsing and boiling your own dried beans at home can compare to the ease or the flavor in this Baked bean recipe. Yes it may be a younger generation recipe and it is a great one!

      1. For sure, I have using a recipe like this for 40 years, I have always used canned beans
        they are the easiest and have a great favor to them, I am called all the time to bring my baked beans to all party’s we are invited to that will be serving food. Sir I am 70 years old. So I would sy this is not a young person recipe.

  24. bean were really good i add some little smokes cut in half. made 9×13 pan every one loved the bean will make again thank for recipes