This recipe for the BEST Baked Beans is perfect for sharing at a BBQ or potluck. An easy side dish recipe, with tons of flavor, that will have everyone coming back for seconds!
The BEST Baked Beans
Baked beans are a must have item on a menu for any backyard BBQ. Luckily, this recipe is easy to follow and gets rave reviews from even the pickiest little eater. It works perfectly as a dish for a potluck as well.
Easy recipes do not have to be bland – this recipe shows just that! To get started, I always like to make sure I have the ingredients ready and accessible. Since this recipe is perfect to put together at the last minute or to freeze for later, it easily has become a family favorite for me.
Kids can also assist with making this after the bacon is done, so keep them involved and tell them what spices you are using! Why not continue to pass down a good family recipe for the best baked beans?
Canned Baked Beans or Dried Beans?
While different parts of the country have favorite spices, or may change up the type of beans that are used, I find that canned beans are easiest! No need to soak the beans overnight or take out the pressure cooker to cook the beans.
Canned beans are the way to go. Once you add in all the other spices and flavors, you still end up with an authentic homemade taste. Along with a large can of Van Camp’s canned pork and beans, I add butter beans and light red kidney beans to bring a variety of taste and texture to these baked beans. Plus, lots and lots of bacon.
Ingredients for Homemade Baked Beans
- bacon, sliced in small pieces
- yellow onion
- brown sugar
- apple cider vinegar
- spicy brown mustard
- garlic salt
- 53 oz Van Camp’s pork and beans (undrained!)
- 16 oz can butter beans
- 16 oz can light red kidney beans
I know you may be wondering about the Van Camp’s pork and beans, but they are the perfect addition to this baked beans recipe. Without them, these baked beans are no where near as delicious. We add them undrained and flavor them up with our own seasonings and flavorful additions.
How to Make Baked Beans
This baked bean recipe has just 4 easy main steps and then into the oven they go. The long and lower baking time may seem a little different than you would expect, but it produces the most flavorful baked beans, that have marinated in all that flavorful sauce and bacon!
- Sauté bacon till crispy, drain excess grease. Add onion and cook until translucent.
- Add brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, spicy brown mustard and garlic salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add all cans of beans, remembering not to drain the Van Camp’s Pork and Beans, and stir to combine.
- Transfer to a large dutch oven or casserole dish. Bake at 250°F for 90 minutes.
Can I Make These Baked Beans Ahead?
Yes! This is a great make ahead recipe. You can do it one of two ways:
- Follow all steps until the baking step. Cover unbaked beans in casserole dish with foil or saran wrap and refrigerate. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking and let them warm up on the counter. Then bake according to recipe directions.
- Follow all steps including baking. Let cool and cover with foil or saran wrap. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking and let them warm up on the counter. Then bake them in the oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes, or just until hot.
You can also freeze baked beans! To defrost, simply put the frozen beans into the fridge overnight to thaw. Heat in the oven, on the stove or in the microwave until hot.
Can I make a double batch?
Do you love baked beans so much that you want to make a batch for home and for a potluck? Making a double batch is easy, you just need to make a few small changes.
- To ensure that your bacon is just right, you will need a larger skillet to fry them or fry them in two separate batches, and then combine them when you add the onions. This helps keep the flavor right and to ensure they all cook evenly and crispy!
- Then, bake in two separate casserole dishes – one for you at home and one for your potluck/bbq!
Enjoy your baked beans as a great side dish for home or as a crowd pleasing potluck dish. Either way, BBQ baked beans are a summer staple around here and are always a huge crowd pleaser. These are great to bring to a bbq or potluck — and don’t be surprised when they are the first thing gone!
This recipe was gifted to me by my friend Kerri and she graciously agreed to share it here with the world. This recipe truly makes the BEST baked beans! Enjoy!
The BEST Baked Beans
- 1 lb bacon, sliced in small pieces
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 53 oz can van camps pork and beans, undrained!
- 1 16 oz can butter beans, drained
- 1 16 oz can light red kidney beans, drained
- Preheat oven to 250°F. Grease a 9x13 casserole dish with non-stick spray.
- Fry bacon in a large, deep skillet. Once it starts to get crispy, add onions. Cook until tender, stirring often. Drain all extra bacon grease and return to heat.
- Add brown sugar, vinegar, brown mustard and garlic salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove from heat and stir in all the beans. Pour into prepared casserole dish and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Let set for 10 minutes to firm up a little, then enjoy!
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