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BBQ Baked Beans

This quick and easy recipe for BBQ baked beans makes the most drool-worthy side dish ever.

It’s a must-have at your next picnic, potluck, or barbecue party!

BBQ Baked Beans
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BBQ baked beans are hearty, tasty, and oh-so indulgent.

They’re delightfully sweet and smoky, making them the perfect companion to barbecued meats and burgers.

And making them is a breeze, too.

You need not be a culinary expert to whip up this addictive side dish.

Make this for your next summer grilling party, and your friends and family will be filled with so much joy.

This version is a guaranteed hit, so I suggest you double or triple the recipe!

Southern BBQ Baked Beans

Southern baked beans are so popular. There’s nothing like rich, meaty, smoky, and savory beans to keep your barbeque company.

They’re definitely a must at every cookout.

And while most recipes require baking the beans for at least 2 hours, this one only requires 40 minutes of your time, total.

There’s no need to wait for a special occasion to make these beans! With this super-easy recipe, you can have baked beans anytime you feel like it. 

But just because the recipe is a simplified version doesn’t mean it lacks flavor at all.

Don’t worry, you’ll still get all the sweet, smoky, and savory flavors, thanks to the molasses, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, and onion.


Here are the ingredients for these Southern-style BBQ baked beans:

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  • Ground beef – A must-have for every baked bean recipe.
  • Onion – Just a little goes a long way. The onion adds a lovely sweet and pungent sensation and a delightfully earthy flavor.
  • Dry mesquite flavored seasoning mix – This mix adds a nice smoky and spicy flavor. It’s a combination of chili pepper, cumin, paprika, rosemary, marjoram, mustard seed, sage, brown sugar, salt, garlic, onion, red bell pepper – the works!
  • Canned baked beans – These are the reason this recipe comes together in less than an hour. Don’t worry, it won’t have that tinny taste at all! For the brand, I like Bush’s Original, but feel free to use whatever you prefer.
  • Molasses – Molasses give the beans a deeper sweetness. They also add a hint of smokiness as they reduce during cooking.
  • Brown sugar – It helps sweeten and thicken the beans. 
  • Barbeque sauce – For that delicious smoky barbecue flavor, I like to use Neely’s BBQ sauce, but use your favorite.
  • Dry mustard powder – This is for a nice hint of tanginess. Not a fan? Start with just a teaspoon (instead of two) and keep adding according to your preference.
  • Cayenne pepper – The heat in the pepper balances out the sweetness from the sugar and molasses.

How to Make the Best Baked Beans 

You absolutely cannot go wrong with these 40-minute beans. Here’s what you’ll do:

1. Preheat. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Cook the meat. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Be sure to add the onion and mesquite seasoning, as well. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 10 minutes.

Remember to crumble and separate the meat as you cook it. Drain any excess grease.

3. Assemble the beans. Transfer the beef mixture to a large baking dish. Then, add the baked beans, molasses, sugar, BBQ sauce, mustard powder, and cayenne.

Mix well until the sugar fully dissolves.

4. Bake. Bake the beans for 20 minutes or until they start bubbling.

Then, serve and enjoy!

Homemade BBQ Baked Beans

Tips for the Best Baked Beans

Though the recipe is simple, there are still a few tips you can keep in mind:

  • Use high-quality BBQ sauce. The beans get their primary flavor from the sauce, so ensure you enjoy it. You can use homemade BBQ sauce or store-bought.
  • Reduce the brown sugar. Are you someone who doesn’t enjoy too-sweet beans? If so, go easy on the brown sugar. Start with 1/8 cup and see how it goes from there.
  • Simmer the ingredients. If you have more time, simmer all the ingredients in the pot for 5 minutes before you bake them. This will help the flavors to blend for richer, more flavorful beans.
  • Thicken watery beans. If your beans are too soupy, transfer a few spoonfuls of the liquid into a separate container. Mix them with a tablespoon of cornstarch until diluted. Pour the mixture back into the beans, stir, and simmer until thick. You can also let the beans simmer uncovered for several minutes to reduce the liquids.
  • Thin too-thick beans. If your beans are too thick, add half a cup of water or other liquids at a time. Keep adding as needed.
  • Darken the beans. If you want to make your beans a tad darker in color, add some coffee to the mix! Just a few tablespoons will do wonders.
  • Experiment with add-ins. This recipe doesn’t require bacon, but you can certainly add some. Other meats such as pancetta, pulled pork, and brisket work well, too!
  • Make them spicy. The recipe already contains cayenne and mesquite. But for an even spicier dish, add jalapenos, hot sauce, or red pepper flakes.
  • Make leaner beans. Simply use ground turkey instead.
  • Give them a smoky finish. Add half a teaspoon of Liquid Smoke. It makes a huge difference!

What Goes with Baked Beans?

As for what to eat with baked beans, they’re best with hearty, BBQ meats, in my opinion. However, you can pair them with practically any main course.

Here are a few of my favorites:

How Long Do BBQ Baked Beans Last? 

Want to make them ahead of time? No problem. Baked beans will last for up to a week when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Can you freeze baked beans? Absolutely.

If you have leftovers, freeze them in a freezer-safe, airtight container. They will keep well for up to 3 months.

To defrost, let the beans sit in the fridge overnight. Reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

BBQ Baked Beans



Prep time


Cooking time






  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 small onion, minced

  • 2 tablespoons dry mesquite flavored seasoning mix

  • 2 (28-ounce) cans baked beans (such as Bush’s Original)

  • 1/4 cup molasses

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

  • 3/4 cup barbeque sauce

  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard powder

  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper, or to taste


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the ground beef, onion, and mesquite seasoning in a large skillet over medium heat. Keep stirring for 10 minutes, or until the beef has browned and broken up into crumbles.
  • Transfer the mixture into a large baking dish, draining the excess liquid. Mix in the baked beans, molasses, brown sugar, barbeque sauce, dry mustard powder, and cayenne pepper. Mix until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Bake the dish for 20 minutes, or until the beans start to bubble.
BBQ Baked Beans

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

1 thought on “BBQ Baked Beans”

  1. This recipe is excellent. Made three changes to the recipe though to customize it to our taste. I added twice the pepper and a tsp cayenne, I used homemade bbq sauce instead of commercial, and had to bake the beans for 50 minutes instead of 20.

    Thank you for the recipe. My wife loves the addition of the ground beef.


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