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Easy Southern Baked Beans

These Easy Southern Baked Beans have the perfect balance of sweet and smoky flavors with plenty of crispy bacon! Starting with a can of store-bought baked beans saves a ton of time, but don’t worry, they will taste better than homemade when we are done!

Baked beans in a white bowl on a picnic table.

Southern Baked Beans with Bacon

Stop buying cans of baked beans and doing nothing with them! Listen, we get it – it’s all too easy to warm up a can of beans by itself and dig in. However, dressing up a store bought can makes it about a million times better and it’s SO easy to do!

Usually, a can of baked beans is pretty sweet, and doesn’t have a lot of other flavors going on beyond that. When you season them up at home, you can both enhance that sweetness and balance it out with more savory flavors. With just a few extra ingredients, the flavors will really pop!

Oh, and did we mention there’s bacon in the mix too?! Crispy fried bacon adds the perfect amount of savory and salty flavor to the mix. It also gives the beans a great bite with its chewy consistency. Plus, the bacon flavor is infused into the sautéed onions, which adds SO much more flavor these baked beans as a whole. Let’s get started!

Ingredients in bowls on a marble countertop.

Ingredients

  • Bacon – We love using classic pork bacon for this recipe, but you can opt for turkey or even a plant-based alternative if that better fits your dietary needs. 
  • Onion – Use a yellow onion! Yellow onions have a natural sweetness to them that compliments the other ingredients perfectly. 
  • Baked Beans – You can use any brand you’d like. We typically use Bush’s Original Baked Beans.
  • BBQ Sauce – Again, any brand you like will do the trick! Make sure you use whatever your favorite BBQ sauce is, that way, you know you’ll like the end result. 
  • Worcestershire Sauce – This ingredient adds a deliciously savory, tangy note to the beans. 
  • Yellow Mustard – For a little bit of a spicier taste, you can use Dijon mustard instead. 
  • Brown Sugar – The beans are already a bit sweet, so make sure you don’t go overboard with how much brown sugar you add. You can also skip it completely if you don’t like your baked beans sweet.

How To Make Baked Beans

These baked beans are incredibly quick and easy to make. The hardest part is sautéing the onion and bacon, the oven does the rest of the work for you!

  1. Preheat. Preheat your oven to 350°F. 
  2. Cook the bacon and onions. In a 5 quart dutch oven over medium heat, add bacon. Once bacon is halfway cooked, add the onion and continue cooking over medium heat until bacon is crispy and onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Combine the ingredients. Add the baked beans, bbq sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Stir until well combined. 
  4. Bake the beans. Place dutch oven into the preheated oven and bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. (You can also transfer the beans into a sprayed 9×13 casserole pan.) Bake for 30 minutes. If you use a 9×13, check beans at 30 minutes – they are more spread out, so they’ll cook faster.
  5. Enjoy! Let beans rest for 5 minutes, then serve! 

Tips For Best Baked Beans

  • Dutch Oven: If you use a dutch oven, these beans are a one pot recipe. You can sauté the onion and bacon in the skillet and then bake the beans in that same skillet. However, if you do not own a dutch oven, you can use a regular skillet and then place the beans into a large casserole dish (like a 9×13) to bake.
  • Extra Crispy Bacon: If you like a lot of crispy bacon in your baked beans, we recommend making double the amount of bacon. Add half of the bacon before baking and stir in the other half of bacon before serving. That way you get tons of bacon flavor AND crispy bacon!
  • Let Them Rest: When you first pull your beans out of the oven they will need to rest for about 5 to 10 minutes. If you serve them immediately, they will be too soup-y. If you let them rest, the sauce will thicken and be perfect!

Can I Make These Baked Beans In A Crockpot?

Yes! You absolutely can! I personally like them a little better in the oven because I find more of the liquid absorbs and the beans get a perfect baked top, but they are still very tasty in a crockpot. They also travel a lot easier for a party in a crockpot. There are pros and cons to both!

Here’s how to make baked beans in a crockpot:

  1. Follow directions in recipe below until the step of putting the beans into the oven. Instead, transfer the beans into the crockpot.
  2. Cook on LOW for 5 hours or HIGH for 3.5 hours.
  3. Leave crockpot on warm, if not serving immediately after cooking.

Variations to Try

  • Make it vegetarian. You can make these beans vegetarian friendly by skipping out on the bacon or replacing it with a plant-based alternative. Also, make sure you buy a can of vegetarian baked beans, and see if you can find a vegan Worcestershire sauce. If you can’t, replace it with tamari. 
  • Omit the sugar. Not a big fan of the sugar here? Omit it! The sugar that’s already in the baked beans might be enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, so you might not want the additional dash of brown sugar in the mix. 
  • Make it spicy. Like it hot? Add some cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes to the beans! Hot sauce also works well here too.

What To Serve With Baked Beans?

Here are some of our favorite dishes to serve with these delicious baked beans:

Main Dishes:

Side Dishes:

Baked beans in a small bowl in a red basket with a pickle and a sandwich.

Storage

  • Fridge: Once your beans have cooled to room temperature, store them in an airtight food storage container and pop them into the fridge. Properly stored, your leftovers should stay fresh for up to 3 days. And yes – these beans reheat very well in the microwave! 
  • Frozen: yes, you can freeze these slow cooker baked beans! Let them cool complete, then transfer them to freezer-safe bags or containers. Freeze the beans for up to 3 months. To reheat, let the beans thaw in the refrigerator before heating them on the stovetop.
Yield: 6 to 8

Easy Baked Beans With Bacon

Baked beans in a white bowl on a picnic table.

These Easy Southern Baked Beans have the perfect balance of sweet and smoky flavors with plenty of crispy bacon! Starting with a can of store-bought baked beans saves a ton of time, but don't worry, they will taste better than homemade when we are done!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cans (28 oz) baked beans (I used Bush’s Original Baked Beans)
  • 1/2 cup bbq sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a 5 quart dutch oven over medium heat, add bacon. Once bacon is halfway cooked, add the onion and continue cooking over medium heat until bacon is crispy and onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the baked beans, bbq sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Stir until well combined.
  4. Place dutch oven into preheated oven and bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. (You can also transfer the beans into a sprayed 9x13 casserole pan. Bake for 30 minutes. If you use a 9x13 check beans at 30 minutes. Because they are more spread out they’ll cook faster.)
  5. Let beans rest 5 minutes and then serve!

Notes

Storage:

  • Fridge: Once your beans have cooled to room temperature, store them in an airtight food storage container and pop them into the fridge. Properly stored, your leftovers should stay fresh for up to 3 days. And yes - these beans reheat very well in the microwave! 
  • Frozen: yes, you can freeze these slow cooker baked beans! Let them cool complete, then transfer them to freezer-safe bags or containers. Freeze the beans for up to 3 months. To reheat, let the beans thaw in the refrigerator before heating them on the stovetop.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 718mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 4gSugar: 17gProtein: 7g

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