Smoky BBQ Baked Beans: The Perfect Summer Side Dish

As I sit here, I reminisce on my childhood memories of growing up in the South. The aroma of collard greens on the stovetop, homemade peach cobbler in the oven, and the sound of meat sizzling on the grill always filled our home. But one dish that was a staple at every Southern gathering was none other than Southern-Style Barbecue Baked Beans.

There’s nothing quite like biting into a warm spoonful of savory, rich baked beans with a hint of tangy barbecue sauce. This dish has been passed down from generation to generation, each family putting their own spin on it. And today, I am excited to share with you my take on this classic side dish.

The recipe is straightforward and easy to follow, but it’s the flavors that will leave your taste buds begging for more. A little bit of sweet brown sugar, a pinch of dry mustard, and a generous helping of bacon make this southern style baked bean recipe unparalleled.

So, grab your aprons and join me in the kitchen as we whip up a batch of the best Southern-Style Barbecue Baked Beans you’ve ever had. Trust me; once you taste these beans, they’ll become a staple at your family gatherings as well.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern-Style Barbecue Baked Beans
Southern-Style Barbecue Baked Beans

Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you why you’ll absolutely fall in love with this Southern-Style Barbecue Baked Beans Recipe. Not only will it transport you to a sizzling pit barbecue or a comforting kitchen on a lazy Sunday afternoon, but the flavors and aromas of this recipe will also create lasting memories with your family and friends.

Think about sweet and tangy barbecue sauce intermingling with the rich and creamy beans. Imagine the smoky aroma of bacon as it combines with onions, bell peppers, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar to create an irresistible savory flavor profile. Can’t you feel your taste buds anticipating the explosion of flavors?

This recipe is more than just Southern-style baked beans; it’s a complete soul food experience that speaks to the heart of our country’s culinary heritage. By following these instructions and using high-quality ingredients, you can create an authentic homemade dish that rivals even the most famous Southern pit barbecue restaurants.

Convinced yet? Not only does this recipe taste amazing, but it’s also easy to make! You don’t have to be a professional chef or have a fancy kitchen to make these delicious baked beans. With simple ingredients and straightforward instructions, anyone can whip up a batch in no time.

But what truly sets this recipe apart from others is its versatility. Whether you’re serving a big crowd at a summer cookout or enjoying an intimate dinner with your loved ones at home, these baked beans are always a crowd-pleaser. And if you’re feeling creative, you can always add your twist by substituting different types of meat or vegetables, getting creative with toppings or trying various seasoning blends.

In the end, what matters most is that you try out these Southern-Style Barbecue Baked Beans for yourself – they’re not just another recipe; they’re an experience worth trying. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you for it!

Ingredient List

“Get ready to sink your teeth into these delicious barbecue baked beans!”

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s go over the ingredients you’ll need to make these Southern-Style Barbecue Baked Beans. Don’t be intimidated by the list, as most items are likely already stocked in your pantry.

What You’ll Need:

  • 4 cans of pork and beans
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of ketchup
  • 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Some alternative options include substituting red bell pepper for green bell pepper to add a slight sweetness to the dish. You can also use hamburger meat or pulled pork in place of bacon for a heartier flavor. Additionally, vegetarian baked beans can be used for a meatless option.

The Recipe How-To

“A Southern classic, these baked beans are perfect for any barbecue or potluck.”

Now that we’ve gathered our ingredients, it’s time to start cooking up a batch of these delicious Southern-Style Barbecue Baked Beans.

Step 1: Preheat and Cook the Bacon

To begin, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Take 8 slices of bacon and chop them into small pieces. In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until it is crispy.

Step 2: Add Vegetables and Meat

Once the bacon is cooked, add 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped green bell pepper, and 1 chopped red bell pepper to the skillet. Cook the vegetables until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Then add in 1 pound of ground beef or your preferred meat and cook until browned.

Step 3: Combine with Other Ingredients

While the meat is cooking, combine in a large mixing bowl 2 cans of pork and beans, 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce, 1/2 cup of ketchup, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.

After the meat has browned, add it to the mixing bowl along with the cooked vegetables and bacon. Stir everything together until it is well combined.

Step 4: Bake in Oven

Pour your mixture into an oven-safe baking dish and bake for about an hour or until everything is heated through and bubbling.

Once your Southern-Style Barbecue Baked Beans have finished cooking, remove from oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with sliced green onions or fresh parsley, if desired.

Now, sit back and enjoy these mouth-watering beans as they transport you to the heart of Southern cuisine!

Substitutions and Variations

“Smoky and savory, these beans are the ultimate comfort food.”

Ah, the beauty of cooking is that we can always branch out from the traditional ingredients and make it our own. Let me tell you, this southern-style barbecue baked beans recipe is no exception. Here are some substitutions and variations to switch things up at your next cookout or family gathering:

– Vegetarian Baked Beans: If you prefer a meatless diet or cooking for someone who does, simply omit the bacon or ground beef from the recipe. You can also replace pork and beans with canned beans such as red kidney beans or pinto beans for a flavorful twist.

– Cowboy Beans: Do you want to make these baked beans more rustic and hearty? Try adding sautéed onions, bell peppers, garlic, and black beans to elevate the dish’s texture and give it an earthy flavor.

– Slow Cooker Method: For those of us who don’t have all day to keep an eye on the stove, use a slow cooker instead. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker set on low for 6 to 8 hours until the flavors have blended well.

– Apple Cider Vinegar Twist: Love a little tangy note in your baked beans? Replace Worcestershire sauce with apple cider vinegar for that subtle sweetness to balance out some fiery bite from the spicy barbecue sauce

– Hamburger Meat and Barbecue Sauce: Got hamburger meat on hand? Use that instead of bacon or ground beef. When adding barbecue sauce, go for thick marinade with tomato base, smoky spices notes that would complete this diner classic taste.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to variations on this classic southern-style baked bean recipe. Quell that inner-culinary artist within you and create something new. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you!

Serving and Pairing

“This recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next outdoor gathering.”

Any southern-style barbecue meal wouldn’t be complete without a delicious serving of baked beans. These sweet and savory beans are the perfect side dish for any barbecue, but they can also be a meal in themselves.

Serving-wise, there’s not much that can’t pair with these hearty beans. Of course, they go perfectly with pulled pork or beef brisket, complementing the smoky flavors with their own deep sweetness. But they’re also great alongside grilled chicken, hot dogs or burgers for a classic cookout combo.

These beans can also be turned into a vegetarian delight by omitting the bacon and ground beef and using canned beans like pinto, red kidney or red beans. Vegetarian baked beans are flavorful and hearty enough to stand on their own as a main dish or served as a side dish.

When it comes to beverages, pairing your baked beans with iced tea or lemonade will hit the spot for a refreshing Southern meal. If you’re over 21 and looking for something stronger, try pairing them with a beer (pale ale or amber ale) or a glass of red wine for extra flavor kick.

Overall, these Southern-style barbecue baked beans are versatile, filling and will undoubtedly be the star of any cookout.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Add some flair to your side dish game with these Southern-style baked beans.”

Ah, my dear fellow cook, I know that sometimes time is of the essence and we need to have a few tricks up our sleeves when it comes to meal prep. Luckily, with these southern-style barbecue baked beans, they’re easy to make ahead and store for later!

– Make-Ahead: If you plan on making these beans for a barbecue or potluck, I suggest making them a day ahead of time. This will allow the flavors to meld together for an even more delicious taste. Once they’re cooked, let them cool completely and then transfer them to a large container with a tight-fitting lid. Store them in the refrigerator overnight.

– Storing: These beans store well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. From there, you can reheat them in the oven or on the stovetop.

– Reheating: To reheat the beans in the oven, preheat your oven to 350°F. Put the beans into a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. If you want a bit of crispy bacon on top, remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking.

Another option is reheating on the stovetop. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add your refrigerated beans, stirring occasionally until heated through. Add additional barbecue sauce if necessary to add some moisture.

And there you have it! With this recipe’s flexibility, you can make these delicious southern-style barbecue baked beans well ahead of time without losing any deliciousness!

Tips for Perfect Results

“With a rich blend of spices and a tangy kick, these beans are not your average BBQ side.”

Now that we have gone through the ingredient list and the recipe how-to, it’s time to talk about some tips for perfect results. These tips will help you in achieving a flavorful and delicious Southern-Style Barbecue Baked Beans Recipe every time you make it.

1. Soak the beans overnight

If you are using dried beans instead of canned ones, make sure to soak them overnight. This will help in facilitating the cooking process and making sure the beans are tender.

2. Cook the bacon first

Fry the bacon until crispy before adding it to the recipe. This will give it more flavor and provide a crispy texture that complements the softness of beans.

3. Use fresh ingredients

Using fresh onions, garlic, and bell peppers will enhance the flavors of your dish. They also provide a crunch factor that complements the softness of your baked beans.

4. Go easy on liquid smoke

Although liquid smoke has a unique taste, use it in moderation as using too much can over power your recipe’s natural ingredients and make your whole dish taste like smoke.

5. Experiment with variations

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients or techniques. You can try adding pulled pork or ground beef to make it meatier, or different types of beans such as pinto or red kidney beans for variety.

6. Avoid overcrowding

When baking or cooking stove-top, avoid overcrowding the pot as this can cause uneven cooking and result in undercooked parts which can spoil its taste

By following these tips, you will achieve success every time you make Southern-Style Barbecue Baked Beans.


As with any recipe, there are bound to be questions that come up along the way. Whether it’s your first time making this southern-style barbecue baked beans recipe or you’re a seasoned pro looking for new ideas, it’s important to have all the information you need in order to create the perfect dish. Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) that can help you troubleshoot any issues that may arise during the preparation of this flavorful and hearty side dish.

What can you add to baked beans to make them tastier?

For this recipe, we’re going to combine some savory and sweet flavors with a few staple ingredients. We’ll be using bacon, onion, molasses, spicy brown mustard (or yellow mustard if you prefer), Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and ketchup. If you want a hint of tang, you can also add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Trust me, the combination of all these flavors is going to make your taste buds dance.

Do you have to soak beans before making baked beans?

For those who are eager to cook their dry beans without any prior soak, it is possible but with a catch. Inevitably, unsoaked beans require more cooking time to soften up, but they will ultimately become tender.

What goes with Southern baked beans?

I’ll share some lip-smacking recipe ideas that will have your taste buds craving for more. Delight your senses with succulent BBQ ribs or juicy pulled pork/chicken. If you’re looking for comfort food, whip up a cheesy mac and cheese or a savory Shepherd’s Pie. Craving something for a quick and easy meal or backyard BBQ? Try grilling some classic hot dogs or hamburgers. For special occasions, go for a tender baked ham or a slow-cooked brisket.

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

When it comes to making baked beans, the type of sweetener used can make all the difference. While traditional baked beans call for a mixture of brown sugar and corn syrup, Boston baked beans rely on molasses to create their signature flavor.

Bottom Line

There you have it, my Southern-Style Barbecue Baked Beans recipe. This is one of my favorite dishes to make because not only is it delicious, but it is also easy and can be a perfect addition to any meal or occasion. The combination of flavors from the barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and bacon will leave you wanting more.

Southern-style cuisine is all about comfort food and bringing people together. Through this recipe, you can easily showcase your love for Southern cuisine and share this dish with your loved ones. Whether it’s at a family gathering, a potluck or just for dinner, these baked beans are sure to steal the show and have everyone coming back for seconds.

Remember, don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations and substitutions to make this recipe uniquely yours. And don’t forget to use high-quality ingredients such as fresh vegetables and homemade sauce to take this recipe to the next level.

So what are you waiting for? Fire up the grill or preheat your oven and get ready to enjoy the best Southern-Style Barbecue Baked Beans you’ve ever had. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you!

Southern-Style Barbecue Baked Beans

Southern-Style Barbecue Baked Beans Recipe

My favorite recipe for Baked Beans! Every time I make it, people love it...even if they normally hate baked beans! A teaspoon of liquid smoke can be added, but personally, I have never used it.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 321.3 kcal


  • 4 slices bacon, cooked to a crisp
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce (I use Kraft)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 (31 ounce) can pork and beans, partially drained


  • Fry bacon in a small skillet; drain and set aside.
  • In same skillet, saute onions and green bell pepper unil wilted.
  • In large bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce, and ground mustard.
  • Skim liquid from top of beans while still in can and remove fatty pieces of pork. Combine beans, bacon, onion and green bell pepper with other ingredients.
  • Pour into a greased 2 quart casserole dish.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 179gCalories: 321.3kcalCarbohydrates: 52.1gProtein: 11.1gFat: 9.8gSaturated Fat: 3.3gCholesterol: 21.7mgSodium: 1226.5mgFiber: 9.5gSugar: 15.7g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Beans
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