With just 7 simple ingredients, you can whip up a batch of the best ever, easy bbq baked beans. Perfect for picnics, potlucks, barbecues, and more!
This BBQ baked beans recipe brings a flood of summer memories along with it. After coming home from a full, hot day of swimming and diving and flipping and flirting at the pool, It seems like there was always a pot of bbq baked beans on the stove. Loaded with bacon, green bell pepper and onion, there was always a wooden spoon sitting to the side of the pot, tempting me to take a bite as they simmered and bubbled their way toward dinner. They’re the perfect companion to my favorite garlic burgers, grilled chicken or the baby back ribs, and they never disappoint.
Those pork and beans were always bubbling hot. Literally bubbling. When my mom wasn’t looking, I’d sneak a spoonful, then blow, and blow, and blow as I debated how long I could hold out for that first bite. Inevitably, I couldn’t take it one. second. longer. before taking the baked bean plunge way too soon, scorching and blistering the roof of my mouth, and leaving it totally raw. It made for a challenging second bite. But you can bet your barbecued baked bean dollar, it was 100% worth it and I was always up for the task. And still am.
Which Beans Are Used in Baked Beans?
If you’ve ever wondered what variety of bean is in a traditional can of baked beans, it’s the navy bean. In this recipe, a big can of pork and beans is the starting point. My mother-in-law said her mother-in-law’s recipe called for Great Northern beans, and some people use pinto beans, so if you’re up to it, feel free to experiment or mix and match. Also, if you’re feeling extra ambitious, you could use dried beans, but because my mom has always used canned for this recipe, I do too.
What’s in BBQ Baked Beans?
All you need to make this easy BBQ baked beans recipe are 7 simple ingredients (3 of which you probably already have on hand). The sweet, savory, and tangy flavors marry and get all happy, and this is the best treatment you can give a humble can of beans!
Here’s what’s in these BBQ Baked Beans:
- Bacon. Chop the bacon before cooking it in the same pot as you will for the beans.
- Green bell pepper
- Yellow onion
- Pork & beans. Because Mom always did.
- Barbecue sauce. Make it homemade, or store-bought is fine.
- Brown sugar
- Yellow mustard. It’s the tangiest of the crew.
How to Make Baked Beans
There’s nothing wrong with a can of baked beans, but there’s also nothing wrong with sprucing those beans up a bit! With only 7 ingredients and some time on the stove for all the flavors to get happy, this recipe is so easy to make. I guarantee it’s the side dish your friends and family will be requesting for years to come.
- Add the sliced bacon to a large Dutch oven and cook until it begins to crisp. There’s no need to add oil to the Dutch oven because the bacon releases its own fat.
- Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, and reserve 2 tablespoons of the drippings.
- Cook the diced onion and bell pepper in the reserved drippings until the veggies soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the pork & beans, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, crumbled bacon, and mustard to the Dutch oven.
- Bring the baked beans to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour until thickened.
Can I Halve This Recipe?
This recipe makes enough to serve a group for potlucks and makes a great take along dish for a summer get together. If you’re preparing for a smaller crowd and don’t want leftovers, go ahead and halve the recipe, but know this: These beans are awesome eaten straight from the fridge the next day and only get better with time.
To cut the recipe in half, everything divides pretty easily, but use just 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar.
Can I Make Baked Beans From Scratch?
If you’d rather not use pre-made, canned pork and beans, I’m sure you could make these bbq baked beans completely from scratch. However, canned is what my mom always used so I’ve never made them any other way.
Tips for Making the Best Baked Beans
Be generous with the bacon. Because those smokey bits are the best part, use a whole package of bacon in this recipe. Feel free to use less if you prefer.
Skip the cheap stuff and use a good quality barbecue sauce. Even though it’s mixed in and cooked down but is the main flavor builder, I still use a high quality barbecue sauce in this recipe. Make it from scratch, or buy a decent brand like Stubb’s. Since this recipe calls for mustard and brown sugar for extra flavor, I use regular barbecue sauce instead of mesquite or honey flavor.
Yellow mustard adds a vinegar tang to the dish. If you’re not a fan of tang, or vinegar, or mustard, start off with 1 teaspoon instead of 1 tablespoon, and build your flavor from there.
Good Side Dishes to Eat With Baked Beans
- Baked Potato Salad
- How To Make The Best Grilled Corn On The Cob
- BLT Pasta Salad with Avocado
- Dill Cucumber Salad
- How to Make the Best Creamy Coleslaw
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a star rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
The Best BBQ Baked Beans
- 1 pound bacon , sliced
- 1 green bell pepper , seeded and diced
- 1 medium yellow onion , diced
- 53 ounces pork & beans (a 3-pound can)
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- Bring a dutch oven or large pot to medium high heat and add the sliced bacon. Cook for about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until bacon begins to crisp. Drain the bacon slices on a plate lined with a paper towel, and reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the pan, discard the rest.
- Add the green bell pepper and onion to the bacon drippings and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables soften, stirring often.
- Add the pork & beans, barbecue sauce, brown sugar and mustard and stir to combine. Stir in the crumbled bacon.
- Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 1 hour. Stir occasionally so the beans don't stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
More Bean-Packed Recipes You’ll Love
- Classic Three Bean Salad
- Green Beans with Browned Butter Almondine
- Outrageous Herbaceous Chickpea Salad
- Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad
- Dilly Beans (Pickled Green Beans)
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Excellent BBQ beans! Turned out great. I did add some canned pineapple chunks. Think it worked out well…
WOW!! Made this recepie for a 4th of July BBQ yesterday. Recieved many compliments with several saying they were the best baked beans they ever had! Definitely will be made again. Thanks Heidi!!
So glad you liked it John!
I made this recipe for the 4th of July and my family loved them but honestly, I personally did not like the flavor..Not sure why. I think I’ll still make them again but I won’t partake in eating them.
While the beans don’t look bad, I wouldn’t call this the best BBQ baked beans. It contains canned pork and beans. I’m sure there are better recipes out there that start from scratch, rather than a can of already baked beans. JMO
Oh Jane! But they ARE! If you feel like it , you can certainly use baked beans or plain beans and add in all the goodies. That’s truly what makes this recipe. I use BBQ baked beans because that’s what my mom used. Or did she? I think she did!
Its pork n beans!! If you make them from fresh beans, you spend the xtra time to boil, then you would add your tomatoe products, which puts you in the same place, hours later as ypu would be to use pork n beans. Not a big deal!
In reading your recipe, I realized that you never actually state to re-add the cooked bacon. I’ll assume it’s at the same time you add the beans.
Your best BBQ beans remind me of a popular local BBQ joint who’s famous for their delicious BBQ beans. They use rib and smoked roast beef scraps instead of bacon and finely diced jalapenos instead of bell peppers along with a bit (2-3 Tablespoons) of apple cider vinegar. Give it a try!
Averie @ Averie Cooks
Thanks for linking up that bean dish of mine and the tweet! I have another baked beans recipe with bourbon and bbq sauce that I made about a year ago and now I have a craving for baked beans seeing yours and all the others. Pinned yours!
Chris @ Shared Appetite
Mmmmmm beans! Your baked beans look amazing! And loving the other recipes you linked up too! Thanks for including mine :)
Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps
Ahhhh that bacon pic!! Perfection. Must try these sometime this summer!
Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out
This recipe is absolutely something my boyfriend could in no way keep out of. Halve the recipe? Try needing to double it! ;-)
Thank you so much for sharing my recipe!
I have never made baked beans before, but I have to say these look so good I will have to try them this weekend for our cookout.
Ruth Gepford Flaherty
How were they?
Your mom nailed it with these, what an awesome recipe. Totally reminds me of my childhood summers as well.
Olivia - Primavera Kitchen
OMG these beans look so good. I love beans of any kind especially because I grew up in Brazil and down there we eat beans every day, no kidding ;-) The ingredients you used are almost the same ingredients Brazilians use too, but we like to cook beans in a pressure cooker cause it is faster. I’ve never had baked beans, but I must try it soon ;-)
Millie l Add A Little
Love the look of these bean! they look amazing!
Great BBQ Beans recipe! Will have to try this one out for our next cookout! :)
Annalise @ Completely Delicious
Definitely going to give your Mom’s recipe a try! I’ve yet to find my perfect baked bean recipe, sounds like this could be it!
Liz @ The Lemon Bowl
I am crying with happiness over this!! I just bought some heirloom beans at the farmers market and now I know what I’m doing with them!
Bri | Bites of Bri
Heidi, your timing is impeccable! My family is doing barbecue and baked beans for Fathers Day this weekend. I can’t decide which of these to make or should I make a few?! They all look so good!