Mouth-Watering Southern Baked Beans Recipe

Welcome to my southern-style baked beans recipe! As a chef specializing in southern cuisine, I promise that this baked beans recipe will take you straight to the heart of the south. The dish is loaded with bacon, onions, ketchup, and prepared mustard, resulting in a sweet and tangy flavor profile that is simply irresistible.

I developed this recipe through years of experimentation in my kitchen, searching for the perfect balance of flavors and textures. I have cooked countless batches of baked beans, tweaking the combination of ingredients until I found the perfect harmony of sweet and savory flavors.

Now, I am excited to share this recipe with you. Whether you’re planning a summer barbecue or simply craving some real southern-style comfort food, these baked beans are sure to satisfy your cravings. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this recipe; it’s easy to make but packed with flavor that will have everyone coming back for seconds.

This recipe is easy to make and with only a few key ingredients, you’ll be on your way to a delicious meal in no time. So let’s get started and make some of the best southern-style baked beans you’ve ever tasted!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Baked Beans
Southern Baked Beans

If you love the taste of Southern-style cuisine, then you are in for a treat with this Southern Baked Beans recipe. Not only is the recipe easy to follow, but it uses simple yet delicious ingredients. You won’t need to spend hours scrounging around for rare or hard-to-find ingredients at your local grocery store.

The combination of salty bacon, sweet onions, and tangy ketchup gives these beans a flavor that’s unmistakable. But don’t just take my word for it – one bite of these Southern-style baked beans and you’ll be raving about them to anyone who will listen.

And if you’re someone who loves meal prepping, these baked beans are perfect. A large batch can be made ahead of time for easy reheating throughout the week or can even be frozen for later use. This makes it an ideal recipe to take to potlucks and family gatherings, as well.

So why settle for bland store-bought canned beans when you can enjoy the real southern taste of these homemade baked beans? Try this recipe and discover the difference that homemade, authentic southern cooking can make in your life!

Ingredient List

 These beans are baked to perfection!
These beans are baked to perfection!

Before you start cooking, ensure you have all the ingredients needed to make Southern Baked Beans Recipe. Here is a list of everything that you require:

Bean ingredients:

  • 3 (28 oz) cans pork and beans
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 8 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 oz yellow mustard
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

These are all the ingredients needed to make southern-style baked beans from scratch. If you have everything in the kitchen, you’re all set to get started on this remarkable recipe!

The Recipe How-To

 You'll want to dive into this pot of beans headfirst.
You’ll want to dive into this pot of beans headfirst.

Preparation and Cooking Time: 6 hours

Servings: 8-10

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

The key to making best Southern baked beans is a slow-cooked process. First, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Cook the Bacon

Take a large cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven and cook 8 slices of bacon chopped over medium heat until it’s slightly crispy. Once cooked, remove them from the skillet and keep them aside in a bowl.

Note: If you have cut the bacon into smaller pieces, take care that they don’t burn as smaller pieces tend to cook faster than larger ones.

Step 3: Sauté Onion and Green Pepper

In the same skillet, add 1 medium onion finely chopped and 1 medium green bell pepper chopped. Cook until they are translucent but not caramelized. You can add some salt (about 1/4 tsp) to season them.

Step 4: Add Ground Beef

Add 1 pound ground beef to the onion and green pepper mixture. Cook it for about ten minutes or until it is browned through and fully cooked.

Note: You can also add sliced sausages or any other meats of your choice; they’ll only add to the flavor of this dish.

Step 5: Add Garlic Paste and Worcestershire Sauce

Next, add 3 cloves garlic minced or 2 tsp garlic paste, whichever you have handy. Give it a good stir and let it cook for about 1-2 minutes until you begin smelling its aroma.

Then add 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce on top of this mixture, stirring continuously till all ingredients are well combined.

Step 6: Pour Ketchup and Mustard over the Mixture

Once mixed properly, pour in 1/2 cup ketchup and 1/4 cup yellow mustard over the onion-beef mixture. Keep stirring while you pour the ingredients in.

Step 7: Add Brown Sugar and Boston Baked Beans

Now add 1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar to this mixture and stir it in until fully combined. Then put in 4 cans (28 oz. each) Boston baked beans and stir them in.

Note: You can use other canned beans like red kidney beans, pinto bean soup, or southern pinto bean soup if Boston baked beans aren’t available (use the same amount mentioned above).

Step 8: Add Pork and Barbecue Sauce

Next, pour 2 cups of barbecue sauce over the mixture and stir everything in once again. Finally, include the chopped bacon that you’d set aside earlier.

Step 9: Bake It

Cover the skillet with a lid or aluminum foil and bake it in preheated oven for 5-6 hours at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until it forms a caramelized crust on

Substitutions and Variations

 Serve these southern baked beans at your next cookout and watch them disappear.
Serve these southern baked beans at your next cookout and watch them disappear.

Oh wow, you’re really going to love this part! One of the many reasons why cooking is so enjoyable is because of the endless possibilities for variation and customization. Here are some substitutions and variations that you can experiment with for the Southern Baked Beans Recipe:

– Instead of bacon, you could use salt pork or pancetta. Or, if you’re looking for a vegetarian option, you could use smoked paprika or liquid smoke for that smoky flavor.

– Want to kick up the heat a bit? Add some diced jalapenos or serranos, or sprinkle in some cayenne pepper.

– Don’t like onions? Leave them out! Or replace them with shallots or leeks for a milder flavor.

– If you don’t have ketchup on hand, tomato paste or tomato sauce will work as substitutes.

– For an extra boost of umami flavor, try adding some soy sauce or fish sauce.

– You can also tweak ingredients to fit your dietary restrictions. Try substituting brown sugar for honey or agave nectar if you’re looking for a vegan option, or using turkey bacon instead of pork bacon.

Remember, when it comes to cooking, don’t be afraid to get creative! Start with these ideas, then branch out and try your own substitutions and variations until you find your new favorite iteration of this delicious Southern Baked Beans recipe.

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready to lick your plate clean!
Get ready to lick your plate clean!

Now that your Southern Baked Beans recipe is ready, let’s talk about how to serve and pair it properly. There are several ways you can serve these beans, and they can be enjoyed for lunch, dinner or even as a side dish at a barbecue. You can opt to serve the beans on their own, or as a side dish along with some meaty ribs, pulled pork or a juicy grilled chicken.

For an even more excellent pairing experience, try serving your beans with some creamy coleslaw, cornbread or a crispy green salad. These options will help balance out the flavors and create a nice contrast of textures for your taste buds. With its rich flavor and hearty texture, this Southern-style baked beans recipe is sure to be a hit at any event or gathering.

Pro Tip: To kick up the heat and add some extra smokiness in your southern baked beans, add some hot sauce or barbecue sauce to the mix before serving. The hints of spice will create an extra depth of flavor that pairs well with beer, sweet tea or any drink you prefer.

In conclusion, Southern-style baked beans make for a versatile and delicious side dish that pairs well with many different types of meats and sides. Explore your creative tastes by trying out different combinations to get the best pairing experience for your taste buds. With bold flavors and sumptuous texture, these southern-style baked beans will be an instant hit at any dinner table or barbecue gathering.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These beans are worth begging for seconds.
These beans are worth begging for seconds.

Let’s be real, baked beans are always better the next day. So, the great news is that this recipe can definitely be made ahead of time! In fact, I would encourage you to make them ahead, giving all the flavors some time to really meld together.

To make-ahead, simply prepare the beans according to the recipe. Once cooked thoroughly, remove from heat and let cool completely. Once cooled, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

When it’s time to reheat your delicious Southern Baked Beans, there are a few ways you can do it. First, if you’d like a simple reheating option, then feel free to microwave them until they are warmed throughout. This should only take about 2-3 minutes on high power.

However, if you’d like to take a little extra time with your reheating process, then I would suggest using either a slow cooker or the oven. For the slow cooker method, simply place your beans in the crockpot on low heat and let them warm up slowly for about 1-2 hours. You’ll want to stir them periodically.

If you prefer using the oven method simply preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C), and transfer your baked beans to an oven-safe dish. From here sprinkle an extra tablespoon of brown sugar over the top and bake for around 15-20 minutes until everything is heated through.

No matter which reheating method you choose for your Southern Baked Beans – just be sure not to skip this step as these beans only get better with time!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Once you try these beans, you'll never go back to canned.
Once you try these beans, you’ll never go back to canned.

A great recipe can make all the difference in the world, but oftentimes it’s the little details that separate a good meal from a truly excellent one. Here are some tips to ensure that your Southern Baked Beans reach their full potential and wow your guests.

1. Use real Southern-style bacon:

The right bacon can make a big difference in flavor. Look for thick-cut, high-quality bacon made the old-fashioned way. Some of my favorites include Benton’s Bacon and Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Bacon.

2. Render the bacon:

Before cooking the onions and peppers, fry the bacon to render out its fat into the pan. This will give your vegetables extra flavor and help them cook more evenly.

3. Brown the onions and peppers:

To get the fullest flavor out of your onions and peppers, cook them until they’re golden brown and caramelized. This will give your dish depth of flavor and help balance out the sweetness of the other ingredients.

4. Add some heat:

For those who like extra spice, try adding some diced jalapeños or hot sauce to the mix.

5. Experiment with different beans:

Although traditional Southern baked beans call for pork and beans, you can experiment with other types of canned beans such as kidney beans or pinto beans. You might find a new variation that will become your favorite.

6. Don’t overcook your beans:

Keep an eye on your baked beans while they cook to ensure that they don’t dry out or become overly mushy. You want them to be soft yet retain their shape.

7. Let it sit:

When you take your baked beans out of the oven, let them sit for a few minutes before serving. This will allow time for the flavors to meld together and improve their overall taste.

By following these tips, you can create a truly memorable dish of Southern Baked Beans that will have everyone asking for seconds!


Before we wrap up this southern-style baked beans recipe article, let’s address some common questions that you may have. Here are a few frequently asked questions and detailed answers to make sure you get the best results from this recipe.

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

For this recipe, we’ll be using a few key ingredients to make a delicious Southern-style dish. We’ll need some crispy bacon, savory onion, sweet maple syrup, bold and spicy mustard, hearty beef sausage, rich molasses, tangy ketchup, and tart cider vinegar. These ingredients will come together to create the perfect balance of flavors in our recipe. So let’s get started!

What goes with Southern baked beans?

As a southern-style chef, I’ve got some can’t-miss recipes for you to try out! Sink your teeth into some tangy BBQ ribs, gooey mac and cheese, juicy hot dogs, classic hamburgers, or tender pulled pork or chicken. And don’t forget about the hearty and savory shepherd’s pie, the succulent baked ham, or the smoky and flavorful brisket. Whatever you’re in the mood for, I’ve got you covered with these must-try southern dishes.

Do you have to soak beans before making baked beans?

For those who are eager for a bean-centered meal and don’t have the time to soak their legumes, don’t worry – it’s still possible to cook them without pre-soaking. However, It’s worth noting that choosing to bypass the soaking process will result in longer cooking times for your beans. Nonetheless, your patience will pay off with a hearty, filling meal.

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

When it comes to baked beans, there’s a subtle but distinct difference between traditional baked beans and Boston baked beans. The key factor that sets them apart is the use of molasses in the sauce. While classic baked beans are cooked in a mixture of brown sugar and corn syrup, Boston baked beans are typically baked in a sauce that includes molasses.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, every home cook needs a recipe for Southern Baked Beans in their back pocket. Whether you’re serving them at a summer barbecue or as a side dish at Thanksgiving dinner, this hearty and flavorful dish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

With simple ingredients like bacon, onion, ketchup, and brown sugar, this recipe is easy to prepare and can be customized to suit individual tastes. From adding ground beef or sausage to including red kidney beans or pinto bean soup, there are countless ways to make this recipe your own.

But at the heart of it all, Southern Baked Beans represent everything that is best about Southern cuisine: hearty, comforting, and flavorful. So go ahead and give this recipe a try – I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Southern Baked Beans

Southern Baked Beans Recipe

My grandmother made these her entire life, where we all grew up, in the North Georgia Mountains. It's one of the few things I learned from her before she passed on. I have always just eyeballed the ingredients, and tasted it for flavor before popping it in the oven (before putting the bacon on, of course), so toy with it a little bit yourself if you'd like.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 501.7 kcal


  • 2 (31 ounce) cans pork and beans
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 slices bacon


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix together the first 5 ingredients in an 8 x 8 inch baking dish.
  • Break bacon strips in half and cover mixture.
  • Bake for one hour.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 383gCalories: 501.7kcalCarbohydrates: 87.2gProtein: 19.1gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4.2gCholesterol: 33.1mgSodium: 1570.4mgFiber: 18.4gSugar: 19.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Beans, Easy, Healthy, Low Cholesterol
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