The best baked beans slow cooked in a sweet and savory sauce with plenty of bacon. Baked beans is an easy side dish that pairs well with chicken, beef and pork. These are the best beans you’ll ever eat!
When I’m having a barbecue, I serve a variety of side dishes including tomato salad, street corn and these bacon laced beans. All of your guests will be begging for the recipe, these beans are just that good.
Baked beans are a classic dish for good reason – that combination of tender beans, bacon, and sweet and savory sauce just can’t be beat! My version can be prepared in just minutes, the hardest part is waiting a few hours for it to bake to perfection.
How do you make baked beans?
This baked beans recipe is about two things, the right mix of ingredients for the beans and the bacon. First, par-cook small squares of bacon in a pan. Remove the bacon from the pan and most of the bacon grease. Use the remaining bacon grease in the pan to cook the onions. Add the beans, mustard, brown sugar, molasses, ketchup and apple cider vinegar to the pan and stir them together. Pour everything into a baking dish and place the bacon on top. Bake the beans for 2 hours until they are thickened and the bacon is fully cooked. Take the beans out of the oven and garnish them with chopped parsley, then serve and enjoy.
Tips for oven baked beans
- Make sure that you use canned beans because they are already seasoned and cooked. This recipe calls for pork and beans which are packed in tomato sauce. That sauce forms the base for the flavorings in this recipe.
- To cut the bacon into squares for the topping, you will save yourself a lot of hassle if you use kitchen shears instead of a knife. Not only is it easier, but you will get better shaped bacon squares.
- Feel free to assemble your ingredients and keep them in a refrigerator for up to 8 hours before you plan to plan to cook them. You will want par-cook your bacon and cook your onions before you store them.
- These beans stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
Can you freeze baked beans?
Baked beans can be kept frozen for 3 months. Reheat them by thawing them in the refrigerator and pan cooking them on the stove. If you thaw the beans before reheating them they will have a better texture than just cooking them in a pan from frozen.
Baked beans are popular because everyone loves their sweet and savory flavor. If you want to add some other flavors to the beans here are some ideas.
- Beans: Different canned beans have different flavors and textures. If you want a bean with a creamy texture and less sweetness, use navy beans. Try great northern beans for a larger bean with a nuttier flavor that stays intact during cooking. Cannellini beans are a larger bean with a creamy consistency.
- Spicy: Hot sauce in the beans brings a nice heat and flavor. You can also add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
- Maple: If you want a sweeter dish or you don’t have molasses on hand, you can use maple syrup instead of molasses.
- Meat: Different types of pork can be used to flavor the beans such as salt pork or diced ham. Another option is “cowboy style” baked beans with ground beef instead of pork.
Slow Cooker Beans
You can make this dish in the slow cooker by cooking the bacon all the way through instead of par-cooking it, then adding the cooked bacon, along with the rest of the beans and sauce ingredients, into a slow cooker. Cook your beans on HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 4 hours. Sprinkle with parsley, then serve.
These homemade baked beans are WAY better than anything you’d get from the store. You’ll find yourself making this recipe over and over again!
More great side dishes
- Fried Corn with Bacon
- Scalloped Corn Casserole
- Sauteed Mushrooms in Garlic Butter
- Black Beans and Rice
- Roasted Green Beans
- 8 slices bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup onion finely diced
- 3 15 ounce cans pork and beans partially drained
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- cooking spray
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until partially done. Remove the bacon from the pan.
- Pour some of the bacon fat out of the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon of fat in the pan.
- Add the onions to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Season the onions with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the beans, mustard, brown sugar, molasses, ketchup and apple cider vinegar to the pan. Stir to combine.
- Pour the bean mixture into the prepared dish. Layer the pieces of bacon over the top.
- Bake for 2 hours or until bean mixture has thickened and bacon is browned. Stir to combine.
- Sprinkle with parsley, then serve immediately.