Southern Baked Beans

12 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

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 ChickenBBQ Pulled Chicken and Easy Pulled Pork, you can serve this summer favorite with Coleslaw, Macaroni Salad and Pasta Salad for the perfect summer cookout!

Baked Beans in serving bowl

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.
Baked Beans collage of baking steps

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Are 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 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.

How long do you bake beans in the oven?

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.

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 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.

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.

Baked Beans collage of baking steps

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

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.
Baked Beans in serving bowl

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Baked Beans Recipe

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.
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

Ingredients
 

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

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
Baked Beans collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Best Ever Baked Beans Recipe
Bacon Baked Beans

Baked Beans Recipe

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 cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, 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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Comments

  1. I love the flavor but I have made this twice now and I have zero liquid. What am I doing wrong?

    The last time I added some broth and it turned out better. I also added ground beef and some kielbasa sausage. Everyone loved it!

  2. RAVE reviews from my family! They were skeptical of the big butter beans but ended up loving it!

    1. Hi, I plan on making these this weekend. Could you please provide measurements in metric (UK) for the US cups?

  3. I love these baked beans so much. Always a hit whenever I make them!

    Do you know about how much is in a serving? A cup? a half cup?

    1. Hi! I don’t have the exact measurements, but a standard serving size for sides is about half a cup. Glad you enjoy them!!

  4. Since stumbling upon this recipe, I have made it 3x in the last month and every time everyone has loved them! Its my favorite side to make for just about any occasion! Best of all I like trying it with different bean combinations. I found some recently at Broliums that i haven’t ever heard of (spicy cuban, european soldier, and yellow eye) and cant wait to try them tomorrow!

  5. Just made these up again and will heat up for a cookout tomorrow. At a previous gathering, one of the guests was a chef. His first question was “who made the baked beans? They’re unbelievable.” Id call that a compliment to you and this recipe. I just follow directions well. Thanks.

    1. Hi! I haven’t tried that yet so I don’t feel comfortable giving a recommendation. Off the top of my head, I know coconut sugar dissolves slower than brown sugar so I am just not confident in giving a yes or no, sorry!

  6. Made these with pulled pork for bible study at church. They were just as big of a hit as the pulled pork. Everybody loved them and what was left went home with them. Will use again. This is a keeper.

      1. My question is for those of us too lazy to do the math, have you a modified recipe that would help us people with lots of dried beans but no idea how to use them?

        1. Hi! Soak your dried beans overnight in a large uncovered pot of cold water, covering the beans by about 2 inches of water. Next morning, drain the soaked beans and place into a large pot. Cover the beans with several inches of cold water and bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to the level that will maintain just a gentle simmer, to avoid splitting the skin of the beans. Continue gently simmering the beans, stirring once in a while to prevent sticking and adding additional hot water to the pot if needed to make sure the beans are covered with water while cooking. Simmer until the beans are tender, but not mushy, about 1 hour (taste test to be sure they are tender).

  7. Seriously delishous!!! I made these tonight and everyone loved them! I used pre cooked homemade navy beans. I also didn’t have brown sugar so I used white and added extra molasses. I didn’t have bacon either so I can image they would be even better if I did. This is a definite keeper! Thanks so much for this great recipe!

  8. Best beans ever. Made them for Bible Study group with smoked ribs on the grill and they loved them. My go to recipes from now on. Thanks

  9. Amazing! Smoky, tangy and sweet. The perfect mix of all the flavours. I had some habanero pepper hot sauce that I used instead of tabasco. I used 1 c dried black beans ( as that is what I had on hand) that I pressure cooked until mostly soft ( 30 min). I added 3 cloves of garlic instead of 1. And OH my. my husband and I are just mad about them! They are soooo good.

  10. Hi! I am using dried beans that I am cooking. If I am using my own beans, how many cups would I use of cooked beans? Is the 15 oz of the canned beans weight or measurement?

  11. I have made these beans several times, except I double it, don’t cover it, and smoke for 3 hours on my Traeger, adding a little water or apple juice, if it gets too thick. It has made a bean lover out of several non bean lovers! Thanks much!

    1. Good evening! Looking to make these on my Recteq tomorrow. May I ask what temp you smoked them at (guessing 225)?

  12. Extremely good. I had a similar recipe that i made up myself, but only using pinto beans. Why I never thought to use other beans is beyond me. Next level good!

  13. These came out amazing! Question though. I want to incorporate the ingredients for my outdoor BBQ cook offs. I don’t have access to bake these on location so is there a way you would suggest making these in a pot on low heat to get similar consistency? I’m also just using 2 cans of pinto and 2 cans of kidney beans as I use the Juice from these cans in my chili and this recipe seems to work well for the leftover beans. Thank you for any help!

  14. I don’t have a range so I cook only with my slow cooker and my Air fryer.
    I would like you to send me only recipes that I can make in either one of the above.
    Thank you,
    Lou
    p.s. I am making your slow cooker turkey thighs for the first time for Thanksgiving so wish me luck! LOL

  15. BEST. BAKED. BEANS. EVER!!!! Oh my, were these ever a crowd pleaser, everyone went crazy for them! I thought I had a great recipe before..no, it’s now replaced, PERMANENTLY, LOL!!
    Love your website, love your recipes..thank you with all my heart!!

  16. I love this recipe. There are never leftovers and everyone who enjoyed them asks for the recipe. I substitute the green pepper for red bell pepper. It is also excellent with a minced Serrano and jalapeño pepper if you like a bit of heat.

  17. ABSOLUTELY AWESOME! Best beans ever!
    I have been cooking for decades and have two baked beans recipes that I love and use often BUT this recipe will absolutely take preference over my own tried and true recipes! Thanks so much!
    I followed your recipe but omitted the hot sauce. I very highly recommend this delicious recipe!

  18. I made these baked beans in the crockpot and my family are nuts over them and they make the house smell yummy

  19. This recipe was amazing! I did substitute the BBQ sauce instead of ketchup and also added a little spicy BBQ sauce in addition. I used the bacon (probably more than recipe called for) and also added some left over chucks of smoked brisket. They were wonderful and I still have people asking for the recipe.

  20. Hello,
    I have a bag of raw navy beans and I want to use these over canned beans. Just wondering if I just soak them and use them in or is there something else I need to do to make sure they get cooked.

    1. Yes, you can use them. One pound of dried beans equals 6 cups of cooked beans. Soak them and cook them prior to using them.

  21. I rarely leave comments because most recipes are “pretty good” and I end up thinking “yeah I might make that again.” Yours was A1-perfect. Outstanding! This one goes in the permanent file!

  22. I looked up your bean recipe and it sounds great and I want to try it, my only concern is I don’t like to use cans of beans because of them being processed, my question is. Can I used fresh beans from scratch instead, and can I cook the sauce with the beans from the beginning to the end? thank you.

  23. Great little recipe – followed it all the way although made it with Great Northern White Beans soaked over night and then cooked in stock with smoked ham bones. The wife and kids think I’m a culinary genius! 🙂 Many thanks

  24. I have been making an effort to make all things homemade and less processed food. I tried this recipe and it was great (I got a text the next morning still raving about this dish). I omitted the green pepper and used navybeans instead of baked beans and, as suggested, added more of the other ingredients. The only change I will make for next tune is to not use butter beans. Thise beans are so much bigger than the others that they stand out and some of my pickier eaters were turned off. Love the versatility of making in the oven or slow,cooker. GREAT recipe and I will definitely make again.

    1. I am going to make these for a potluck coming up. Can I make this the day before, and if so, how do I reheat them? They sound delicious!

  25. Made this yesterday on the stove to in a le creuset Dutch oven. Turned out amazing and was very easy. Try it!

  26. I wouldn’t bother changing the setting on a crock pot from low to high. The only difference between the low and high setting on a crock pot is how fast the cooker gets to “simmer point” (approx 209 deg F). The simmer point
    is the same regardless of the setting.

  27. Absolutely amazing a winner every time. I suggest making a day ahead of time so that the full flavors come through!

  28. Have made this three times now. The only thing I didnt like was the butter beans. I omit them and add one can extra of whichever bean you prefer.
    This recipe is simply perfect and has been a huge hit with everyone who has tried them.
    I use Wrights apple wood smoked bacon.
    This last time I cooked them in a pan on the stove top. Let them low simmer until the liquid thickened. Stirring frequently.

  29. Everyone loved them. Made them for the first time for this 4th of July. Adjusting the ketchup component with your preferred BBQ sauces can make it your own.

    1. Of course! I would just brown it before the bacon and add it all back in for step 6. Sounds delicious!

  30. I haven’t made this yet but, I wanted to ask about using the crock pot method. If after the 7 hours on low, can the crock pot be put in the oven to brown the beans? If so, at what temp. and, would it still be in the oven for an hour?
    Thanks, and this really sounds good.

    1. You’ll probably need to move the beans to a baking dish (unless your crock can be placed in the oven) and brown them at 325 in the oven. You might only need around 30 minutes instead of the full hour. I would just check them around 30 minutes and add time as needed. Enjoy!

  31. I made these because a friend brought them to a bbq and I really enjoyed them. I couldn’t find butter beans so I used great northerns. I left mine in the oven too long after I took the foil off (forgot to reset the timer) so they were not as moist as my friend’s. I’ll watch that closer next time!

  32. When you say 1 can “baked beans” can you give me a hint? Bush’s Baked Beans come in about 14 different flavors. One vs another could drastically change the result. Thanks !

    1. I just used the original but you can switch it up to something else if you’re feeling adventurous. Enjoy!

    2. Thanks for asking this question….I was scrolling through comments to see if these was a comment about the “baked beans” to make sure I had the right ingredient. And I bought the right thing! Yay

  33. How crispy to you make the bacon and do you sprinkle any on top when the casserole is finished baking?

      1. I made mine fairly crispy because it softens when it’s baked in with the beans and other good stuff.

  34. Made this recipe and it is absolutely DELICIOUS! I can see why it has won awards. I’d highly recommend trying this recipe!

  35. I’m excited to make this recipe!! Is it a meal that can be prepared a day ahead and still be good?