Southern style sweet beans recipe for all occasions

Southern Sweet Beans Recipe

Mmm…the aromas wafting from my kitchen are making my mouth water! As a chef specializing in southern-style cuisine, I am excited to share with you my recipe for Southern Sweet Beans. This dish is the perfect side for your next family dinner or backyard barbecue.

Growing up in the South, I have fond memories of sitting down with my family and enjoying a home-cooked meal that always included a soulful side of baked beans. This tradition inspired me to create my own version of Southern Sweet Beans that is sure to hit all the right notes.

The ingredients used in this recipe are staples in any southern kitchen – bacon, molasses, brown sugar, and red pepper, to name a few. These flavors come together beautifully to create a rich and smoky taste that pairs perfectly with any meat dish.

And the best part? This recipe is incredibly easy to make! Even if you’re not an experienced cook, you’ll be able to whip up these sweet beans in no time. So what are you waiting for? Get your apron on and join me in the kitchen as we delve into this delicious recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Sweet Beans
Southern Sweet Beans

My dear sweet friends, let me tell you a little something about this Southern Sweet Beans Recipe. This dish is the epitome of comfort food and will leave your taste buds dancing with joy. But it’s not just the delicious flavor that will make you fall in love with this recipe, there’s so much more.

First and foremost, it’s incredibly easy to make. With simple ingredients that you can easily find in your pantry, all you need to do is mix them together and bake them until they’re bubbling with goodness. Plus, this recipe doesn’t require any fancy cooking techniques, making it perfect for even the most novice of chefs.

But let me tell you about the flavor profile. From the sweetness of the molasses and brown sugar to the tanginess of the red wine vinegar and mustard Worcestershire sauce, this dish has layers of rich, bold flavors that will tantalize your taste buds.

And did someone say bacon? Oh yes, my loves, crispy thick-cut bacon is mixed into every bite of these Southern-style baked beans. It adds just the right amount of saltiness to balance out the sweetness and gives the dish a hearty texture.

But wait, there’s more! This recipe can be easily customized to your liking by using different types of beans or adding in ground beef or sausage for a heartier meal. And if you’re looking for a vegetarian option, simply omit the bacon and use vegetable stock instead of beef stock.

So to sum it up my dears, this recipe is easy to make, has layers of bold flavors thanks to the mix of sweet and savory ingredients (plus bacon!), and is highly customizable depending on your preferences. You simply won’t be able to resist it. Trust me, one bite and you’ll be saying “more please!”.

Ingredient List

“Savor the sweetness with every bite!”

Here are the ingredients you will need for this soulful southern dish:

  • 1 pound bacon, cut into thick slices
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or 2 tsp of garlic paste
  • 2 cans of pork and beans (28 oz each)
  • ⅓ cup of brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of molasses
  • ½ cup of catsup or barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of ground red pepper or white pepper (optional)

Note: you can also use homemade baked beans instead of canned beans.

Feel free to make this recipe your own by adding extra ingredients like ground beef, sausage, red beans, red kidney beans, pinto beans, or even diced apple chunks!

The Recipe How-To

“Pure comfort food in a bowl!”

Here comes the exciting part – the actual recipe! Let’s get started and whip up a batch of mouth-watering Southern Sweet Beans in no time.


For this delicious recipe, you’re going to need the following:

  • 1 pound bacon, sliced thick
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can pork and beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 large apple, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup catsup
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp prepared mustard
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

  2. In a large Dutch oven or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until it is crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set it aside.

  3. In the same skillet with the bacon grease, add onion and bell pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes or until they are soft.

  4. Add minced garlic to the skillet and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.

  5. Pour in cans of pork and beans, pinto beans, and red kidney beans.

  6. Add garlic paste to the mixture as well as peeled and chopped apples.

  7. Next, add molasses, brown sugar, catsup, red wine vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and chili powder.

  8. Stir everything together until all of the ingredients are combined properly. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  9. Finally, add the cooked bacon back into the skillet and give it a quick mix.

  10. Place the skillet in the preheated oven for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the beans are hot and bubbly.

  11. Once done, remove from the oven and let it cool for a bit before serving.

That’s it! You’re all done! Enjoy your scrumptious Southern Sweet Beans with your favorite barbecue dishes.

Substitutions and Variations

“A taste of the South in every spoonful!”

Ah, substitutions and variations – the spice of life! As a chef, I love experimenting with different flavor combinations and ingredients. Here are some suggestions for switching up this Southern Sweet Beans Recipe:

– Protein: This recipe is traditionally made with bacon, but you can also swap it out with ground beef, sausage or even red beans. If you are a vegetarian, don’t worry! You can skip the meat altogether and still enjoy the delicious flavors of this dish.

– Vegetable: I personally love adding bell pepper and diced apple to my sweet beans. It adds a subtle sweetness and tanginess that complements the overall flavor profile. You can also add in other vegetables like diced carrots or celery.

– Beans: While this recipe calls for canned pinto beans, you can use any type of canned beans you like such as red kidney beans. However, if you have more time, using dried beans give the dish a deeper flavor profile.

– BBQ sauce: While this dish has an ample amount of barbecue sauce, some people prefer a milder version of this dish. You can adjust the amount of bbq sauce to your liking.

– Liquid sweeteners: For those who don’t favor molasses, maple syrup is another alternative as well as honey.

No matter what substitution or variation you choose, it’s important to remember to keep the balance between these different ingredients. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make this recipe your own!

Serving and Pairing

“The perfect side dish for any meal!”

Southern Sweet Beans Recipe is a true delight for anyone who loves the rich and earthy flavors of Southern-style cuisine. This mouthwatering dish is perfect for a family gathering or any occasion when you need to serve a large crowd. The beans are cooked with a variety of flavorful ingredients, including bacon, molasses, brown sugar, and catsup, which give it a wonderful mix of sweet and tangy notes that everyone will love.

When it comes to serving Southern Sweet Beans Recipe, there are many options to choose from. You can serve it as a side dish with almost any meat dish, such as barbecued chicken or beef brisket. The beans also pair well with grilled vegetables or cornbread. You can even use the beans as the main ingredient in a chili recipe or as a topping for baked potatoes.

If you’re planning to serve Southern Sweet Beans Recipe at a picnic or barbecue, be sure to prepare enough to feed everyone because these beans are sure to be popular. They are also easy to transport and can be reheated easily, making them an ideal choice for outdoor gatherings or potluck meals.

When it comes to pairing wines, beer or non-alcoholic beverages with this Southern baked beans recipe, I would recommend something sweet like a Riesling or a rose wine to complement the sweet elements of the dish. For beer lovers, try pairing your Southern Sweet Beans with a light lager or pilsner. If you prefer non-alcoholic options, lemonade, iced tea or soda would work well too.

Overall, Southern Sweet Beans Recipe is an easy-to-make and versatile dish that will impress your guests with its delicious taste and delightful flavors. It’s perfect for bringing people together around the table and sharing great food and memories with loved ones.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Beans that are sure to give you a big ol’ hug!”

Now that you’ve tried this mouth-watering Southern Sweet Beans recipe, storing leftovers might be your next concern. Don’t worry, I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve to keep those flavors all week long!

If you’re looking to plan ahead or have a batch for meal prep, making the beans ahead of time is always an option. In fact, these beans get even better over time as the flavors meld together. I’d recommend preparing them no more than 3-4 days in advance and storing them in an airtight container.

When reheating your Southern Sweet Beans, there are a few methods that will preserve the texture and taste of the dish. You can reheat on the stovetop or in the oven, depending on your preferred method. If reheating on the stovetop, place a portion of beans in a saucepan with a dash of water or extra barbecue sauce to thin it out. Heat on medium-low heat until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.

For oven reheating, preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C). Place your beans in an oven-safe dish and heat for about 20-25 minutes (or until heated through). For best results, add some butter or bacon grease to the top of the beans before reheating in the oven.

Storing any leftover Southern Sweet Beans? Proper storage is crucial for maintaining flavor and freshness. I’d suggest placing any unused portions in a lidded container and refrigerate within two hours of cooking (or within one hour if outside temperature is above 90°F / 32°C). Properly stored cooked beans will last three to five days in the refrigerator.

If freezing your sweet beans is something you want to do, make sure they are cool before placing them into an air-tight freezer container. Frozen cooked beans will last six months before starting to degrade.

Now you can enjoy these delicious Southern Sweet Beans anytime you wish!

Tips for Perfect Results

“A bean dish so sweet, it’s borderline dessert!”

Now that you have all the ingredients and have carefully followed the instructions, it’s time to make sure your Southern Sweet Beans are cooked to perfection. Here are some tips to help you get the best possible results.

Firstly, remember to taste your beans throughout the cooking process. This will give you an idea of how they’re developing and whether they need any additional seasoning. Southern-style cuisine is all about bold flavors, so don’t shy away from using salt, pepper, and other spices generously.

If you prefer a thicker sauce, reduce the liquid in the recipe by cooking it uncovered for the last half hour in the oven. This will help evaporate some of the liquid and thicken up your sauce.

Another tip is to prepare your beans in advance. The longer your sweet beans cook, the better they’ll taste! If possible, prepare your dish a day ahead of time and allow it to sit in the refrigerator overnight. Doing this allows for richer and deeper flavors to develop.

For those who enjoy a bit of heat in their dishes – try adding a pinch of red pepper flakes when preparing your dish or serving it with hot sauce on the side, which brings out delicious flavors.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients or cooking methods! Try using beef or pork instead of bacon, or adding some BBQ sauce to your recipe for a real southern barbecue flavor. Let your creativity lead you in creating an irresistible dish that is uniquely made by you.

In following these tips for perfect results, you can create the best baked beans recipe ever tasted!


When it comes to cooking, there are always questions that need answers. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of frequently asked questions to answer any concerns or uncertainties you may have about making the best Southern Sweet Beans. From substitutions to serving tips, read on to ensure your cooking experience is seamless and successful.

How can I make my beans more flavorful?

I’ve got a pro-tip for all my southern-style cuisine fans out there – for perfectly seasoned beans, start by mixing in a good amount of olive oil or avocado oil. Then, add in your favorite seasonings, like crushed whole seeds (think coriander, cumin, fennel, mustard, and more), punchy herbs (like thyme, oregano, rosemary, and sage), spicy red pepper flakes, minced garlic cloves, and of course, a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Mix everything together until the beans are evenly coated, and let the flavors meld together for a perfect bite every time.

What goes with Southern baked beans?

In this cooking article, we’ll be exploring some classic southern dishes that you can easily prepare and enjoy at home. We’ll be delving into the secrets of creating mouth-watering BBQ ribs, velvety mac and cheese, juicy hot dogs and hamburgers, tender pulled pork or pulled chicken, hearty Shepherd’s Pie, succulent baked ham, and flavorful brisket. So, get ready to take a gastronomical journey into the south!

What makes Bush’s baked beans so good?

My signature Homestyle Baked Beans are an irresistible mix of tangy tomato sauce, brown sugar, bold spices, and savory bacon that have been cured just right. Trust me, these beans pack a flavor punch that will have your taste buds singing!

How do you make Paula Deen pinto beans?

Before beginning the recipe, make sure to clean the beans and let them soak overnight in cold water for ultimate tenderness. Afterwards, empty the beans into a slow cooker and generously stir in chili powder and oregano for added flavor. Introduce the ham hock beans to the mix and add enough liquid to cover the beans completely. Placing a whole onion in the slow cooker will elevate the recipe even further – as the onion cooks, it will infuse the beans with its delightful aroma. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Southern Sweet Beans Recipe is a delicious side dish that will enhance any meal. With its blend of smoky bacon, savory spices, and sweet molasses, this baked beans recipe is ideal for any occasion, from family dinners to summer barbecues.

This easy southern baked beans recipe can be made with a variety of ingredients including ground beef, sausage, ham or vegetarian options. You can experiment with different canned beans such as red kidney beans, pinto beans or any other dried beans.

Whether you are looking for a soul food staple or want to add some real Southern flavor to your meals, the Southern Sweet Beans Recipe is the perfect option. It’s easy to make and full of flavor that your family and guests will love.

So don’t hesitate to try out this classic Southern-style baked beans recipe with your twists and variations! You won’t be disappointed!

Southern Sweet Beans

Southern Sweet Beans Recipe

Sometimes I like beans with my breakfast eggs and biscuits and these beans suit me just fine. This dish is my own invention, based on some ideas that I picked up here and there. I also like them as a brunch side. They taste something like baked beans, a bit mushy, and with a slight southwestern twist combined with the traditional sweetness of Native Appalachian dishes. They're cooked on the stovetop, a bit of bother too, but I make up a batch and eat them all week at different times of day. I hope you enjoy these beans as much as I do.
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Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern US
Calories 192.9 kcal


  • 8 ounces bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
  • 30 ounces pork and beans
  • 12 ounces cola, Royal Crown (RC Cola)
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup catsup (I use Red Gold brand)
  • 3 tablespoons molasses (or, brown sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or, cider vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper


  • After you've fried the bacon crisp, pour off most of the grease and fry the apples in the same skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes and then add in the molasses. Cook for one more minute, remove from heat, and set aside.
  • In a large cooking pot, blend the bacon, beans (with juice), RC cola, catsup, 2 tablespoons of the butter, chili powder, mustard, vinegar, garlic powder, and white pepper.
  • Add the molasses and apples to the bean mix and then add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan in which you cooked the apples. As soon as it melts, pour in the onions and cook them until they are tender. Add the onions to the bean mix.
  • Simmer the beans over low heat, UNCOVERED, for one hour until they reduce by about half.
  • Serve or refrigerate until use.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 141gCalories: 192.9kcalCarbohydrates: 23.7gProtein: 5.2gFat: 9.6gSaturated Fat: 3.9gCholesterol: 19.5mgSodium: 559mgFiber: 3.9gSugar: 9.2g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Beans, Beginner Cook, Brunch, Easy, For Large Groups, Savory
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