Delicious Baked Beans Recipe: A Southern Classic

Southern cuisine is a treasure trove of mouthwatering dishes that transport you to the sun-kissed hills and rustic charm of the American South. If you’re looking for an easy-to-make dish that packs a flavor punch and pairs perfectly with barbecued meats, picnic fare or even potlucks, look no further than southern-style baked beans.

As a chef specializing in southern cuisine, I can tell you that these beans are a staple that no get-together is complete without. And while there are countless variations to this classic recipe, my version of southern-style baked beans adds just the right amount of tangy sweetness and savory meatiness for a satisfying side dish that will keep your guests coming back for more.

Whether you’re hosting a summer cookout, a family reunion or just want to indulge in some comfort food on a lazy Sunday afternoon, these baked beans are an easy and delicious way to do it. So grab your ingredients and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Baked Beans Southern Style
Baked Beans Southern Style

My dear friend, let me tell you why you’ll fall head over heels for this southern-style baked beans recipe.

Firstly, these beans are packed with the bold, finger-licking flavors of the South. The combination of sweet brown sugar and maple syrup, tangy ketchup and mustard, rich Worcestershire sauce, and smoky bacon creates a heavenly blend of tastes that will have your taste buds dancing with delight.

Secondly, this dish is incredibly easy to make! Perfect for busy weeknights or when hosting guests without breaking a sweat. With just a few ingredients that can be found in any well-stocked pantry, you can whip up this crowd-pleasing dish in no time.

Thirdly, baked beans are an all-time favorite comfort food in the United States. That’s right! It’s a side dish that almost every American table has served at some point in time. And who wouldn’t love the heartwarming aroma that fills your home as it bakes in the oven?

Fourthly, this recipe is highly customizable – add some ground beef or sausage to make it meatier or stir in some bell pepper or red beans to give it your unique spin, so it fits your taste preferences.

Lastly, this baked bean recipe pairs well with a variety of dishes such as grilled meats, cornbread, and coleslaw. It is perfect for BBQs or an outdoor picnic with loved ones. Trust me; the moment you add this southern-style baked beans to your repertoire of recipes, it will become a household favorite in no time.

Ingredient List

 A hearty bowl of Southern-style baked beans, perfect for any occasion
A hearty bowl of Southern-style baked beans, perfect for any occasion

Let’s start with the ingredients you will need to make these mouth-watering Southern-style baked beans.

Ingredients 1:
– 8 slices of thick-cut bacon, chopped
– 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
– 3 cloves of garlic, minced
– 2 tsp of garlic paste
– 2 cups of ketchup
– 1 cup of brown sugar
– 1/4 cup of maple syrup
– 1/4 cup of yellow mustard
– 2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
– 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
– 3 cans (28 oz each) of pork and beans

Ingredients 2:
– 1 lb of ground beef or sausage (optional)
– 1 can (16 oz) of red kidney beans or pinto beans
– 1 large bell pepper, diced
– 1 medium onion, diced
– 3 tbsp of BBQ sauce

Note that you can always adjust ingredient quantities based on your liking, especially if you are looking for a variation in taste.

The Recipe How-To

 These beans have been slow-cooked to perfection, with just the right balance of flavors
These beans have been slow-cooked to perfection, with just the right balance of flavors

Now that you have all the necessary ingredients gathered up, let’s start cooking! My Baked Beans Southern Style Recipe is so easy to make, it practically cooks itself. Here’s how:

Preparing the Ingredients

Before you get into cooking mode, you need to prepare some of the ingredients that will be used. This includes:

  • Chopping the Onion: To begin, finely chop one medium onion using a sharp knife.

  • Chopping the Bacon: Once you are done with the onion, cut 8 slices of thick bacon into small pieces using a kitchen shear or a knife.

  • Mincing the Garlic: Next, finely mince 2 cloves of garlic by crushing them with the flat side of your knife and then cutting them as small as possible.

  • Chopping the Bell Pepper: Finely chop medium green bell pepper and ½ cup yellow or red pepper using a sharp knife.

Preheat Oven

Preheat your oven to 350 F (175 C).

Cook Bacon and Onion

Take a skillet or saucepan with high sides and heat over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until it begins to render its fat which should take about 4-5 minutes.

Once the bacon is cooked, remove it from the saucepan/skillet onto a plate lined with paper towels to soak up any excess oil.

Add onion chopped 1 over medium heat to saucepan/skillet for 5 mins which should take on a translucent color.

Combining Other Ingredients

Next, add all ingredients to your saucepan/skillet – beans (1 can baked pork & 1 can baked beans), sauteed onions, minced garlic, chopped green bell pepper and yellow bell pepper along with bacon. Stir in 2 cups ketchup, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons yellow mustard, and 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar.

Baked Beans

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly, and then add the mixture to a baking dish. You can use a 13” x 9” casserole dish or any other oven-safe dish of similar size.

Then, place the baking dish in your preheated oven uncovered for about 45-50 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, and the beans are cooked through.

Once cooked, remove the delicious smelling beans from the oven and allow it to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy Your Mouth-Watering Baked Beans

These mouth-watering Baked Beans Southern Style Recipe best served hot, straight out of the oven alongside your favourite southern-style dishes. Whether you’re having summery BBQ night with friends or cozy evening at home with family, these baked beans will not disappoint!

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect addition to your summer BBQ or potluck
The perfect addition to your summer BBQ or potluck

As with any recipe, there are always ways to customize and adapt it to your liking. Here are some ideas to tailor this baked beans Southern style recipe:

– Meat: If you prefer not to use ground beef, you can use ground sausage or even crumbled bacon as a substitute. Also, adding sliced smoky sausage can enhance the flavor and texture of the dish.

– Beans: While this recipe calls for pork and beans, you can experiment with other bean varieties such as red kidney beans or pinto beans. The Pioneer Woman used red beans in her southern-style baked beans recipe which adds a bit of color and interesting contrast.

– Bell peppers: You can add diced bell peppers (preferably green) to the recipe for an extra flavor kick. They add a slight bitterness that makes the dish more complex.

– BBQ sauce: Another option to add a bit of tanginess is by mixing your baked beans with your favorite barbecue sauce instead of ketchup.

– Maple syrup or apple cider vinegar: You can add maple syrup or apple cider vinegar to make it slightly sweeter or tangier at your choice.

Remember that these are only suggestions; feel free to experiment with different combinations until you find the perfect one that suits your taste buds!

Serving and Pairing

 These beans are bursting with flavor and texture, you won't be able to stop at just one bite
These beans are bursting with flavor and texture, you won’t be able to stop at just one bite

Southern Baked Beans are a versatile dish that can be served in various ways to create unique culinary experiences. You can enjoy them on their own, as a side dish or as part of a larger meal. They can also be paired with barbecue chicken, grilled meats, cornbread, or as a topping for hotdogs or hamburgers.

One classic way to serve Southern Baked Beans is as an accompaniment to barbecue ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket. These juicy meats complement the sweet, smoky flavor of the beans and create a well-rounded plate that is sure to satisfy any appetite.

If you prefer something lighter, Southern Baked Beans can still feature on your menu. Accompanying them with simple baked potatoes or crusty bread and a salad will make it a full meal. This dinnertime favorite is also perfect for potlucks, cookouts or backyard BBQs since they are easy to transport and serve.

For pairing drinks, nothing says summer like ice-cold beer. A light beer like Pilsner or Hefeweizen will not overpower the subtle flavors of the beans while cutting through their richness efficiently. Similarly, iced tea or lemonade makes an excellent non-alcoholic accompaniment.

In short, Southern Baked Beans offer endless possibilities for serving and can be enjoyed in any season with any type of meal. So why not try experimenting with them to find your personal favorite?

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A mouth-watering blend of spices and seasonings, adding extra depth to every mouthful
A mouth-watering blend of spices and seasonings, adding extra depth to every mouthful

One of the beauty of southern-style baked beans is that they are very versatile when it comes to storing and reheating. You can make them up to three days in advance and they will still taste delicious. They also get better with time as the flavors meld together.

To store leftover baked beans, allow them to cool down completely before transferring them into an airtight container. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When reheating, you can use either the microwave or the oven. If using the microwave, reheat in a microwave-safe dish, covered with a damp paper towel, for about 1-2 minutes or until heated through. If using the oven, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Place the baked beans in an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil. Place in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

If you want to freeze baked beans, be sure to undercook them slightly as they will continue cooking even after being frozen. Allow the beans to cool down completely before transferring them into a freezer-safe container or a freezer bag. Label and date them before freezing. They will last for up to 3 months in the freezer.

When you’re ready to use them, thaw the baked beans overnight in the fridge and then reheat them using one of the methods mentioned above.

It’s important to note that when reheating baked beans with meat such as ground beef or bacon, it’s best to reheat them fully to ensure that they are heated evenly and prevent any food-borne illnesses from happening.

With these tips in mind, you can make this easy southern-style baked beans whenever you want without worrying about wastage or fussing too much over leftovers.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect complement to your favorite grilled meats, or satisfying as a main course on their own
The perfect complement to your favorite grilled meats, or satisfying as a main course on their own

To achieve that perfect texture and flavor for your Southern-style baked beans, you need the right technique and some insider knowledge. Here are some tips that I’ve learned from years of making this recipe to help you create the best possible outcome.

1. Saute Your Onions

For a more nuanced flavor and tender texture, saute your onions in butter or oil before adding them to the beans. This will bring out their natural sweetness and create a richer taste that perfectly complements the savory beans.

2. Use Quality Bacon

Bacon is an essential ingredient in any Southern-style baked beans recipe, and it’s important to use high-quality bacon to get the best results. Look for thick-cut bacon with plenty of fat marbling, as it will render out slowly and infuse your dish with its delicious flavor.

3. Add Some Worcestershire Sauce

Just a splash of Worcestershire sauce can add complexity to your beans by adding savory umami notes that balance out the sweetness of the brown sugar and maple syrup. Be careful not to add too much, as it can quickly overpower the other flavors in the dish.

4. Experiment With Different Bean Varieties

While traditional Southern-style baked beans are made with navy or pinto beans, don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of legumes! Red kidney beans or black beans can make for a flavorful variation on this classic dish.

5. Let the Beans Rest After Baking

Allow your baked beans to rest for at least 10 minutes after removing them from the oven. This will give time for all the flavors to meld together and ensure that each bite is bursting with deliciousness.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a batch of perfectly cooked, mouth-watering Southern-style baked beans that everyone at your table will crave!


As we come to a close, you may have some lingering questions or concerns about this Southern Baked Beans recipe. Well, fear not – in this section, we’ll be tackling the most common queries from readers and providing answers to ensure that you get the best possible results from the recipe. So, if you’ve got any burning questions on your mind, keep reading!

What can I add to baked beans to make them taste better?

For this recipe, we will be using a combination of savory and sweet flavors to create a mouth-watering dish. The ingredients we will be working with are bacon, onion, maple syrup, spicy mustard, beef sausage, molasses, ketchup, and cider vinegar. Follow along as I guide you through the steps to make this delicious southern-style recipe.

What goes with Southern baked beans?

In this recipe article, I will be sharing with you some lip-smacking dishes that are sure to satisfy your Southern-style cravings. These dishes include slow-cooked BBQ ribs, creamy and cheesy mac and cheese, classic hot dogs and hamburgers, succulent pulled pork or chicken, hearty shepherd’s pie, baked ham, and flavorful brisket. So, get ready to fire up the grill and let’s get cooking!

Why do people put vinegar in baked beans?

When preparing a pot of beans, it’s best to wait until they’re almost tender before adding a flavorful splash of apple cider vinegar and a couple of teaspoons of salt. The addition of apple cider vinegar not only enhances the taste of the beans but also helps with digestion by breaking down the indigestible sugars. This allows for a tasty and easily digestible bean dish without relying on excessive salt.

Do you have to soak beans before making baked beans?

For those who are in a rush and crave some delicious beans, cooking dry beans without any prior soaking is possible. However, it’s important to note that unsoaked beans will take a longer time to cook, but don’t worry, they will still get cooked eventually.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this southern-style baked beans recipe is truly the best you’ll ever come across. The combination of savory and sweet flavors brought by Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, maple syrup, and yellow mustard creates an explosion of taste in your mouth. This recipe guarantees to be a crowd-pleaser at any gathering with family or friends.

Whether you’re looking for an easy southern side or adding protein with ground beef or sausage, this recipe has got you covered. You can also mix it up with different types of beans like red beans, pinto beans, or red kidney beans for some variation.

Don’t hesitate to put your spin on this dish by making substitutions or variations. You could swap out the bacon for sausage or add diced bell peppers for more flavor.

Lastly, don’t forget to store the leftovers properly for future use. Either freeze it for later consumption or store it in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat in the oven at 350°F with a dash of apple cider vinegar to retain the texture and flavor.

Overall, this southern-style baked beans recipe is perfect for any occasion and sure to impress even the pickiest eaters. Give it a try and become everyone’s favorite cook with these deliciously irresistible southern-style baked beans!

Baked Beans Southern Style

Baked Beans Southern Style Recipe

I saw this recipe on Paula Deen and gave it a try and it's the best baked beans I have ever eaten. I did replace a few ingredients to suit my style.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 243 kcal


  • 2 (16 ounce) cans van camps pork and beans
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons french yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 slices black pepper bacon


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a large bowl combine first seven ingredients, stir well.
  • Lightly spray Pam in a medium size casserole dish and pour in bean mixture.
  • Place slices of bacon over top of beans.
  • Cover and bake 30 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake extra 15 minutes.
  • Note: You can drain one can of pork & beans to keep it from having too much liquid in dish.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 180gCalories: 243kcalCarbohydrates: 43.1gProtein: 7.9gFat: 5.9gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 14.6mgSodium: 723.9mgFiber: 7.3gSugar: 15.4g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Beans, Healthy, Low Cholesterol
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