Mouth-watering Southern Baked Beans Recipe

Welcome y’all to my kitchen! Today, I’m excited to share with you my classic Southern Baked Beans recipe. These beans are the epitome of comfort food and they’re perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a backyard BBQ, potluck, or family gathering.

I’ve been honing this recipe for years, and trust me when I say that these baked beans are the best Southern-style beans you’ll ever taste. Simmered low and slow with the perfect blend of ingredients, these beans are smoky, sweet, savory, and oh so delicious.

Now, some folks might turn their nose up at canned baked beans, but let me tell you something: homemade baked beans are a whole different ball game. The flavors are richer and deeper, and the texture is infinitely better than anything that comes out of a can.

So if you’re ready to elevate your barbecue game and impress your friends and family with a batch of the best Southern baked beans they’ve ever tasted, follow me step-by-step through this recipe. Trust me, once you try these beans, there’s no going back to the canned stuff.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Classic Southern Baked Beans
Classic Southern Baked Beans

If you’re a fan of southern-style cuisine, there’s nothing quite like a classic batch of Southern Baked Beans. And let me tell you, this recipe is hands-down the best version you’ll ever try.

What makes it the best? Well, for starters, it’s got just the right balance of sweet and smoky flavors. The combination of molasses, brown sugar, and ketchup create a rich and savory base that perfectly complements the subtle hint of liquid smoke. And let’s not forget about the bacon – because everything is better with bacon.

But what really sets this recipe apart is the addition of ground beef. It adds another layer of hearty flavor to the dish, which takes these baked beans from a side dish to a meal in itself. Plus, it means that vegetarians and meat-eaters alike can enjoy this dish – simply substitute vegetarian baked beans for the pork and beans and voila!

These Southern Baked Beans are a classic recipe that has stood the test of time for good reason. They’re perfect for any occasion – from summer BBQs to potlucks to cozy nights in with family. Once you try them, they’ll become a staple in your recipe collection – I guarantee it.

Ingredient List

“One bite of these baked beans and you’ll be transported straight to the heart of the South.”

When it comes to making the best Southern Baked Beans, having the right ingredients is crucial. Here’s what you’ll need for this classic recipe:

Main Ingredients:

  • 3 (16 ounce) cans of pork and beans
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound of bacon, diced
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of molasses
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon of dried mustard

Additional Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound of ground beef (optional)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped (optional)

Most of these ingredients can be easily found at your local grocery store. However, if you can’t find the exact brand or ingredient listed here, don’t worry! There are many ways to substitute and customize this dish according to your preferences. Let’s get to the next section and find out why this Southern-style Baked Beans recipe is so popular!

The Recipe How-To

“Sweet, savory, and oh so satisfying – these classic Southern baked beans are a must-have side dish for any barbecue.”

Now, let’s dive into the main event – how to make this classic Southern dish. Don your apron and let’s get started.



  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook bacon until crispy; then remove from pan and crumble into pieces.
  3. In the same pan with bacon grease, cook onions until softened (about 5 minutes), then add garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. Add in all the baked beans ingredients, including mustard, liquid smoke, ketchup, molasses, and brown sugar.
  5. Whisk together and then stir in the canned pork and beans.
  6. Pour mixture into a casserole dish or a Dutch oven.
  7. Add cooked bacon pieces to the top of the mixture.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until everything is warmed through and bubbly hot.

Tada! Your Southern-style baked beans are ready to serve up for your next gathering. So savory and comforting, you’ll find yourself making a larger batch each time you make it as it always gets devoured quickly.

Keep in mind that you can easily scale up this recipe for large group gatherings as well – just double, triple, or even quadruple everything so everyone can have seconds…or thirds 😉

Now that you’ve learned how to make this dish, let’s move onto the next section and explore some substitutions and variations you can implement to make it your own.

Substitutions and Variations

“Slow cooked and packed with flavor, these baked beans are the ultimate comfort food.”

Welcome to the world of culinary creativity! Cooking is all about making a recipe your own. Here are some ideas for substitutions and variations that will allow you to put a personal spin on the classic southern baked beans recipe.

1. Vegetarian option

If you want to make the dish vegetarian, replace the bacon and ground beef with vegetarian substitute. Add an extra depth of flavor with liquid smoke, as it provides smokiness that is similar to bacon. Additionally, use vegetable stock instead of water or chicken stock.

2. Different types of canned beans

For this classic recipe, I suggest using canned pork and beans. It gives an authentic taste to the dish. However, you may replace them with other types of canned beans like red kidney beans, red beans, pinto beans, navy beans or bean soup to switch things up a bit.

3. Change your sweetener

One could experiment with brown sugar as a sweetener in place of molasses or even add a spoonful of honey for a subtle touch of extra sweetness.

4. Experiment with meat

Different types of meat can be used in place of bacon like ham hock, smoked sausage or beef hot dogs etc. Similarly, replace ground beef with hamburger meat or diced chicken if desired.

5. Add some heat

For those looking for a spicy twist in their recipe, feel free to add chili sauce or barbecue sauce along with Tabasco sauce to pack some heat.

Remember, these variations allow you to customize the dish according to your personal taste preferences while still preserving the soulful taste native to Southern-style cuisine. Prepare your apron and start experimenting!

Serving and Pairing

“Grab your favorite BBQ sauce and get ready for a flavor explosion!”

When it comes to serving up these classic southern baked beans, the possibilities are endless. These hearty and savory beans make the perfect accompaniment to virtually any backyard barbecue, potluck, or family gathering.

For a truly southern-inspired meal, consider pairing these baked beans with your favorite smoked meats. They’ll complement everything from pulled pork to grilled chicken and fish. Or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, try mixing in some cooked ground beef or bacon pieces for added flavor and texture.

Another great way to serve up these baked beans is as a side dish with cornbread, biscuits or even hot dogs. For an extra kick of flavor, add a dollop of spicy bbq sauce or homemade chili sauce on top.

And no southern-style meal would be complete without some good old-fashioned sweet tea or lemonade to wash it down with. So be sure to have plenty of cold drinks on hand to enjoy alongside this classic comfort food.

In summary, these southern-style baked beans are versatile enough to pair with any main course, but also flavorful and hearty enough to be enjoyed on their own. Whether you’re hosting a summer cookout or simply looking for a satisfying side dish for your next meal, this recipe is sure to become a fast favorite in your home.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“These beans are hearty enough to be a meal all on their own.”

As a busy chef, I understand the importance of being able to prepare and store food in advance. These Southern Baked Beans are perfect for making ahead of time and reheating when you’re ready to serve.

To make these beans ahead of time, simply follow the recipe as directed and then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When it’s time to serve, simply reheat them in a Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat until they are heated through.

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, either use the stovetop method or microwave them until they are heated through.

If you’re expecting company or want to make these beans for a party, they can be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, place the cooled beans in an airtight container or freezer bag and label with the date. When reheating from frozen, allow them to defrost overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

It’s important to note that stored baked beans tend to thicken as time goes on. If this happens, add some water or broth to thin them out before reheating.

Making Southern Baked Beans ahead of time is both efficient and delicious. You can rest easy knowing that the beans will maintain their rich and smokey flavor even if prepared hours or days beforehand.

Tips for Perfect Results

“No Southern-style feast is complete without a big pot of these beans on the table.”

Cooking Southern-style baked beans is an art, and like any art form, it takes practice to get it just right. To help you achieve perfection in your dish, here are some tips for making the best Southern Baked Beans ever.

Firstly, don’t skimp on the bacon. Bacon is an essential ingredient that brings a smoky and savory flavor to the dish that cannot be replicated with anything else. I prefer using thick-cut bacon as it renders fat and adds crunch to the beans.

Moreover, using canned pork and beans can save you time and convenience, but adding canned pea beans or other types of dry beans will bring more flavor and texture to the mix. So, feel free to experiment with other bean varieties such as navy beans, pinto beans, red kidney beans or red beans to take your Southern baked beans recipe to a new level.

Next, properly sautéing the onions in bacon grease will add depth of flavor to your dish. Ensure that you sauté them slowly until they caramelize well while giving off their natural sweetness.

Adding 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke also helps create a smokey flavor profile. Although traditionally real wood might have been used for smoking the meat while cooking these beans long ago, today we have liquid smoke as an excellent replacement for it. Use it sparingly; too much of it can be overwhelming.

When it comes to sugar addition in the recipe, use 1/2 cup of brown sugar or molasses as they bring sweetness without overshadowing other flavors. Add a dollop of ketchup and mustard paste each as well; Yellow mustard works perfect with barbecue-style dishes.

Lastly, don’t forget to preheat your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit if you’re planning to bake these babies away. A Dutch oven or a casserole dish with lid works best. Bake until the mixture becomes bubbly and hot in the center while being a little thick on top.

With these tips, you can make sure that every time you prepare Southern-style baked beans, they will be irresistibly delicious and full of flavors, just like the best ones you get in soul food restaurants.


As you prepare the Classic Southern Baked Beans Recipe, you might have some questions that come to mind. Here are a few frequently asked questions and answers to ensure that your experience with this recipe is enjoyable and successful.

What is in original baked beans?

For this recipe, we’ll be using pea beans soaked in water and combined with ingredients like sugar, molasses, salt, modified corn starch, pork fat, seasoning blend (including dried onion, dextrose, dried garlic, spices, and natural flavors), and mustard. It’s important to note that product formulation and packaging could be subject to change, so always check the label for the most accurate information.

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

For this recipe, we’ll need some crisp bacon, sweet maple syrup, flavorful spicy mustard, savory beef sausage, dark molasses, tangy cider vinegar, tasty ketchup, and aromatic onions.

What goes with Southern baked beans?

In this recipe article, I will be sharing some lip-smacking dishes that are essential for every southern-style cuisine lover. Some of the dishes you can learn to cook include juicy BBQ ribs, creamy mac and cheese, classic hot dogs, mouthwatering hamburgers, tender pulled pork or pulled chicken, savory shepherd’s pie, succulent baked ham, and flavorful brisket. So, get ready to roll up your sleeves and tantalize your taste buds with these famous southern-style dishes.

What’s the difference between Boston baked beans and regular baked beans?

When it comes to baked beans, there are slight variations depending on the recipe. In the case of Boston baked beans, molasses is added to the sauce whereas traditional baked beans use a mixture of brown sugar and corn syrup. This difference in ingredients gives each recipe a unique taste.

Bottom Line


In conclusion, this Classic Southern Baked Beans recipe is a surefire hit for any occasion. With its smoky and savory flavor, tender texture, and mouthwatering aroma, it’s the perfect side dish or even a main meal on its own. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make and customize to your liking.

Whether you’re cooking for a potluck, backyard barbecue, family gathering, or simply craving some soul-soothing comfort food, this recipe will not disappoint. You’ll love how the sweetness of the brown sugar and molasses blends with the tanginess of the ketchup and mustard, while the bacon and onion add depth and richness to the beans.

So why not whip up a batch of these Best Southern Baked Beans tonight? Or better yet, invite some friends over and share the joy of real Southern cooking. Trust me, they’ll thank you for it. Experiment with the recipe ingredients and create your variations that suit you best – after all, that’s what southern-style cooking is all about – creativity and making it your own.

Classic Southern Baked Beans

Classic Southern Baked Beans Recipe

The only way I know to make baked beans is the way my mother did. I freeze left over bacon individually, rolled into a ball, and it comes in very handy when putting together recipes that only need a few slices.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 312.1 kcal


  • 1 (32 ounce) can campbell's pork and beans
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 slices bacon, cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 -3 drops liquid smoke


  • Brown bacon with onion until onion is opaque. Mix in the rest of the ingrediants (I just mix in the skillet that I cooked the bacon and onion in) and then pour a medium casserole dish. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes until it has a slight crust. Can also be put in a crockpot for a few hours until the flavors melt together.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 160gCalories: 312.1kcalCarbohydrates: 53.1gProtein: 10.8gFat: 8.3gSaturated Fat: 2.8gCholesterol: 19.5mgSodium: 911.5mgFiber: 9.7gSugar: 15.1g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Beans, Easy, Summer, Weeknight
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