No picnic or potluck is complete without a delicious pot of savory-sweet baked beans!

Baked beans is a classic side dish for everything from ribs to fried chicken. This version is easy to make, requires only a few simple ingredients, and everyone loves them.

The Best Baked Beans in a casserole dish

Why These Are The Best Baked Beans 

This is the last baked bean recipe you’ll ever need! I always hope for leftovers to have beans on toast for lunch (does anyone else love beans on toast?).

  • These are sweet, saucy, and delicious.
  • Since they taste even better the next day, they’re perfect to make ahead!
  • Using canned beans is a timesaver while adding a few extras makes them taste homemade.
  • These beans freeze well so make extras to enjoy throughout the summer.
  • This side dish is budget-friendly.

Ingredients in Baked Beans

Beans – Starting with canned baked beans adds flavor and also makes these extra quick since they’re already tender! Don’t drain the sauce from the beans, it will be ‘enhanced’ in the recipe!

Bacon – Bacon adds both salt and a nice smoky flavor.

Sauce – Ketchup adds some tang to the sauce while molasses and brown sugar sweeten the sauce. Apple cider vinegar adds a bit of tang.

Green bell peppers and onions add flavor to the baked bean sauce, jalapenos and green chiles can also be added. Stir in a little bit of garlic if you’d like!

Variations

These easy baked beans are delicious and versatile!

  • Mix and match with extra cans of white beans, black, kidney, or navy beans.
  • Add cooked ground beef, sliced hot dogs or even a leftover ham bone (bits of ham are great in beans). You can also add in meat drippings or leftovers like bbq pork loin.
  • Substitute barbecue sauce for some of the ketchup if you’d like. Stir in a spoonful of tomato paste.
  • Replace a some of the brown sugar with a bit of maple syrup.
Baked Beans with a spoon

How to Make Baked Beans 

This is an easy recipe that requires just a little time for the beans to cook in the oven.

  1. Cook bacon: Cook bacon in a pan and set aside.
  2. Soften onion: Soften the onion and pepper over medium heat in the bacon grease.
  3. Combine ingredients: All of the ingredients together.
  4. Cook: Bake the mixture, simmer in a large pot or cook in a slow cooker as directed in the recipe below.
Baked Beans in a dish garnished with green onions

Storing Leftover Beans

Keep leftover baked beans covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove or microwave (or enjoy them cold).

Place cooled baked beans in zippered bags and keep them in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Perfect Pairings for Baked Beans

Serve up baked beans next to these summer time favorites!

Did you make these Baked Beans? Leave a rating and a comment below!

The Best Baked Beans in a casserole dish
4.97 from 27 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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The Best Baked Beans

Classic baked beans are oven-baked & studded with onions, peppers, and bacon.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Author Rachael

Ingredients  

  • 1 pound bacon cooked crispy and diced
  • 1 red onion finely diced
  • ½ cup green bell pepper finely diced
  • cup brown sugar*
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 56 ounces baked beans or pork and beans, two 28 oz cans

Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons green onions sliced
  • 2 tablespoons bacon chopped (reserved from cooked bacon)

Instructions 

  • Cook bacon in a skillet until crispy and drain on a paper towel. Reserve some of the bacon grease.
  • Finely dice the bacon. Reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F, set the rack to the lower-middle position.
  • In the same skillet, heat reserved bacon grease on medium-high heat.
  • Add the diced red onion and green pepper, sauté until softened.
  • In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, ketchup, molasses, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard and whisk together.
  • Stir in the beans, onions, and green peppers.
  • Pour into a 9×13" baking dish. Bake for 2 hours, then stir in the chopped bacon.
  • Bake another hour or more until the sauce has cooked down, and has reached desired consistency.
  • Let the beans stand for 5 minutes to thicken sauce.
  • Garnish with reserved bacon and green onions. Serve.

Notes

If you prefer sweeter beans, add extra brown sugar. If you’d like them less sweet, reduce the brown sugar to 3 tablespoons.
Oven: Bake for 2 hours, stir in bacon, and bake for another hour or until desired consistency is reached.
Slow Cooker: Prepare the recipe as directed but cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Stir as needed.
Stovetop: Prepare the recipe as directed, except make the sauce in a Dutch oven, add the beans and simmer until desired consistency is reached. Stir as needed.
Leftovers can be kept in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.  Freeze beans in a zippered bag for up to 6 months.
 
4.97 from 27 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 296 | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 711mg | Potassium: 524mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 6.9mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 2.4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. These are delicious! I made them in my crock pot and added a can of black beans and will use less brown sugar next time. Will definitely make these over and over again.5 stars

  2. If you are looking for a sugar “rush” this is the recipe for you. Or you can just eat sugar right out of the bag! It is worth reading the comments first, to any recipe, in order to see the “tweeks”. I used 1/2 the sugar called for, and it was still ALL to sweet! Such a disappointment. Keep looking for that baked bean recipe that won’t put you in diabetic shock!

  3. Making these for a second time …they are awesome!
    My question: why do you wait to add the bacon to the beans? Why not just add them to begin with?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Sherry, we do bake these beans for 3 hours. In step 10 and 11 you will see we bake for 2 hours, add in the bacon, then bake for another hour or so until it reaches out desired consistency.

    1. You will find the print button on the recipe card Judith. You can also hit Ctrl F (or command F on Mac) and type “Print Recipe” and it will take you to the print button.