Favorite Baked Beans with Bacon! These are the baked beans that EVERYONE loves! Loaded with a sweet, brown sugar sauce and seasoned with black pepper bacon. These beans are the perfect side for all your BBQs.

Overhead view of baking dish with baked beans, topped with fresh parsley as a garnish.

These Baked Beans are always a hit with family BBQs. They are easy to make and loaded with flavor thanks to the bacon and brown sugar sauce they are simmered in. These beans are the perfect side when serving some Pulled Pork.

How to make Baked Beans:

  1. Pre-cook the bacon: cook the bacon briefly, just enough to get a small amount of grease, the bacon will cook completely in the beans later on. 
  2. Saute the onion in the bacon grease. Add some green bell pepper or diced jalapeno if wanted.
  3. Sauce: Add beans and make the sauce for the beans by combining light brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, molasses, your favorite BBQ sauce, mustard, salt and lots of coarse black pepper. 
  4. Bake: let the beans cook. Can be cooked in a slow cooker, oven, or smoker. 

What beans do I use for baked beans? 

Traditionally baked beans are made using Navy beans. Navy beans are a smaller, white colored bean. They have a smooth, dense texture. Another popular option would be pinto beans, which are larger in size and have light brown color. 

How to make baked beans using CANNED beans:

  • Save time with this recipe and use canned beans. 
  • Don’t drain: Use the liquid from the cans to help create a thick sauce for the beans to cook in. Less Salt: When using canned beans less salt is needed in the sauce. 

How to make baked beans using DRIED beans:

  • Soak: Plan ahead and soak the beans overnight to soften them for cooking. 
  • Parboil: Add the beans to a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil, let the beans cook for an hour.
  • Strain: Strain the beans and reserve the cooking liquid to use to make the sauce for the baked beans. 

Cooking Methods:

  • Oven: If using dried beans: Cover the beans with foil and bake at 300℉ for 2 hours. Uncover and bake an additional 30-45 minutes. If using canned beans: cover and bake at 350℉ for 1 hour, then uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes.
  • Smoker: Pour the bean and sauce mixture into an aluminum baking dish or large cast iron skillet, top the beans with the diced bacon. Place in smoker and cook at 225℉ for 2-3 hours, longer if using dried beans, until the bacon on top has rendered and the sauce for the beans is nice and thick.
  • Slow Cooker: cook the bacon until almost crisp (the slow cooker method won’t allow the bacon to crisp so in this method we want to cook the bacon). Saute the onion in the bacon grease. Add the beans, bacon and onion together in the slow cooker. Mix the ingredients for the sauce and stir together.Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours for canned beans. LOW for 6-8 hours for dried and soaked beans. 
Up close view of baked beans in a thick syrup with bits of crispy bacon.

Layering the bacon on top of the beans while they bake makes sure that the bacon cooks up nice and crisp while all of the flavoring drips down into the beans!

More BBQ Side Dish Recipes:

Overhead view of baking dish with baked beans, topped with fresh parsley as a garnish.

Favorite Baked Beans

Favorite Baked Beans with Bacon! These are the baked beans that EVERYONE loves! Loaded with a sweet, brown sugar sauce and seasoned with black pepper bacon. These beans are the perfect side for all your BBQs

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dried navy beans, OR 4 (15 oz cans) navy beans
  • ½ lb bacon, peppered
  • ½ cup yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • ¼ cup bbq sauce
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1 tsp salt, (only use ½ tsp if using canned beans)
  • ½ tsp coarse black pepper

Equipment

Instructions

Using Dried Beans

  • Sort the dried beans ensuring no rocks and add to a large bowl. Cover with water and let soak overnight.
  • Drain the beans, rinse and add to a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Let the beans cook for an hour.
  • Strain the beans but reserve the cooking liquid and add 1 cup of the liquid back into the beans.
  • Preheat oven to 300℉.
  • In a large skillet cook the bacon over medium heat until some grease renders out. Don't cook the bacon until crispy.
  • Remove the bacon from the skillet, add the diced onion and saute in the bacon grease until softened and translucent.
  • In the same large skillet, add the beans with liquid, and the ingredients for the sauce. Stir until combined.
  • Pour the beans and sauce into a 3 qt baking dish. Chop the pre-cooked baocn and spread on top of the beans. Cover with foil and bake for 2 hours.
  • Remove the foil and continue baking for 30-45 minutes until the bacon is crispy and sauce is thickened.

Using Canned Beans

  • Skip steps 1-4 above.
  • Preheat oven to 350℉.
  • When adding the beans to the skillet after sauteing the onion, keep the liquid in the beans from the cans. Use half the amount of salt when making the sauce.
  • Bake at 350℉ for 1 hour. Remove the foil and continue baking for 30 minutes until bacon on top is crispy and sauce is thickened.

Notes

Storage:
  • Leftovers: store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on stovetop or in the oven when ready to serve. 

Nutrition

Calories: 318kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 463mg, Potassium: 684mg, Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 24IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 89mg, Iron: 3mg
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