This is the best baked beans recipe the perfect pot luck side dish, with so much flavor. These baked beans are studded with bacon, onions, and peppers, and offer a sweet and delicious sauce with the perfect depth of flavor.
Baked beans is a classic side dish for something like fried chicken, that is easy to make, requires only a few simple ingredients, and turns out perfect every single time. They don’t get easier than this side dish!
When making barbecue favorites like grilled chicken breasts, Grilled BBQ Chicken or even melt in your mouth Instant Pot Ribs this baked beans recipe and a side of coleslaw. These are the best of the best.
I have been making these baked beans for years. They are our favorite, and the nice thing is they turn out every single time. Sometimes I will make an adjustment or two, like if I am out of molasses, I just leave it out. But no matter what pot luck, party, or summer BBQ we attend, these are our side.
How To Make Baked Beans
These baked beans are not 100% from scratch, because you start with canned beans that are already in a sauce. I guess you could say that they’re baked beans from scratch using canned beans! To make homemade baked beans from scratch, use navy beans that aren’t in a sauce, and add 6 Tablespoons of tomato sauce to the recipe.
What are baked beans made of? Here is how you make these semi homemade baked beans:
- Bacon: The first step to making the ideal baked beans is bacon for a salty smoky flavor. Reserve some of the bacon to top the beans later.
- Beans: Use the entire cans of pork and beans or Bush’s baked beans. Don’t drain them. Adding the brown sugar, molasses, and other ingredients to the existing sauce will enhance it.
- Onions and Peppers: Reserve a little bacon grease, and cook the onions and peppers in it to add more flavor to your dish.
How To Cook Baked Beans
While I love being able to bake things…like these awesome baked chicken wings, I also love having other options for cooking. In the case of the wings I might grill or air fry, but in the case of these beans…it can be transformed into a slow cooker recipe.
Crock Pot Baked Beans
To make these brown sugar baked beans in the crock pot, follow all of the steps in the recipe, only instead of baking them in a casserole dish, put them in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-5 hours.
Every crock pot is a little different, so keep an eye on the beans from 3-4 hours on so they don’t burn.
Stove Top Baked Beans
To cook baked beans on the stove top, follow all the steps in the recipe, only instead of combining the beans in a bowl, add them to a dutch oven on the stove. Then simmer on a low heat for several hours until they reach the desired consistency.
Bring these to your next luncheon or potluck, and you’ll be the hit of the party!
Other Potluck Favorites:
- The Best Potato Salad Recipe – great to make ahead
- The Best Coleslaw – easy favorite
- Spaghetti Salad – loaded with healthy veggies
- Cucumber Onion Salad – Fresh and easy to make
- Italian Pasta Salad – Reader favorite!
The Best Baked Beans
- 1 red onion finely diced
- ½ cup green bell pepper finely diced
- 1 pound bacon cook crispy and diced
- ½ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup molasses
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 60 ounces baked beans or pork and beans
- 2 tablespoons green onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped bacon (reserved from cooked bacon)
- Dice the red onion and pepper into even, small pieces. Set aside.
- Cook bacon until it is crispy, 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 a skillet, heat reserved bacon grease on medium-high heat.
- Add the diced red onion and green pepper, sauté until softened.
- In a large sized bowl, combine ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard, and whisk together.
- Stir in the beans, onions, and green peppers.
- Pour into a 9x13" 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 your desired consistency.
- Let the beans stand for 5 minutes to thicken sauce.
- Garnish with reserved bacon and green onion. Serve.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)