Baked beans is a classic side dish for everything from ribs to fried chicken.

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

This version is easy to make, requires only a few simple ingredients, and everyone loves them.

The Best Baked Beans Recipe with bacon

Why We Love 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

Bacon: Crispy bacon adds both salt and a nice smoky flavor to the dish. In a pinch, you can use real bacon bits.

Canned Beans: Starting with canned beans saves time and adds flavor as they are already softened. Do not drain the sauce from the beans; it will be enhanced in the recipe.

Red Onion: Red onion adds a savory and slightly sweet flavor to the baked beans.

Brown Sugar & Molasses: These sweetened the beans and add a caramel flavor.

Ketchup & Cider Vinegar: Adds tang flavor to balance the sweetness of the brown sugar and molasses.

Flavorful Additions: Green bell pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard add flavor.

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 some of the brown sugar with a bit of maple syrup.
  • Green bell peppers and onion 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!
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: Combine 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!

taking a spoonfull of The Best Baked Beans out of the pot
4.97 from 65 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
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Ingredients  

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

Optional Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons green onions sliced

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and set the rack to the middle position.
  • In a Dutch or deep ovenproof skillet, over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside, reserving 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the Dutch oven.
  • Add the red onion and green bell pepper to the Dutch oven and cook until softened, stirring frequently.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, ketchup, molasses, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard to make the sauce.
  • Add the beans and sauce to the the onion and green bell pepper. Stir well to combine.
  • Cover the Dutch oven and bake covered for 90 minutes. Stir in the bacon, reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish, and cover. Bake 20 to 30 minutes more or until the sauce has cooked down to the desired consistency.
  • Remove from the oven, uncover, and let the beans rest for 5 minutes to thicken the sauce. Garnish with reserved bacon and green onions if using. Serve.

Notes

If you prefer sweeter beans, add extra brown sugar – up to ⅓ cup. 
If you don’t have a Dutch oven, prepare the bacon and the onions/green peppers in a large skillet. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and transfer to a 3qt or 9x-13-inch baking dish and cover with foil when baking.
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 and simmer until desired consistency is reached, about 35 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water if needed.
Leftovers can be kept in an airtight 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 65 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
The Best Baked Beans Recipe with bacon and a title
The Best Baked Beans Recipe cooked in the pot with writing
The Best Baked Beans Recipe with writing
The Best Baked Beans Recipe in the pot and close up with a title

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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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Comments

  1. I loved it, froze the left overs in small size servings so I can defrost only what I need & not waste any.
    Thanks, I have looked everywhere, for a good Baked Beans recipe.
    Lise5 stars

  2. Hi confused what kind of baked beans at the store lol and they all are seasoned. What are you all buying?5 stars

    1. Any should work just fine Debbie! If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

  3. have these in the oven now, but to cover or not to cover? I’m used to old fashioned baked beans, cooked very low, and covered. Any other time I’ve made “cheater” beans, it’s been in a crock pot, so obviously covered. This pan I have uncovered, but I’m watching carefully, just in case. I could see not covering them to reduce the sauce from the canned beans.

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. 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.