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 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 Baked Beans
Southern baked beans are so popular. There’s nothing like rich, meaty, smoky, and savory beans keeping 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 does not 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.
Ingredients for Baked Beans
- Ground beef – A must-have for every baked beans recipe.
- Onion – Because a little fresh garnish goes a long way. The onion adds a lovely sweet and pungent sensation and a refreshing flavor.
- Dry mesquite flavored seasoning mix – This mix adds a nice smoky and spicy flavor to the beans. 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 – This is 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. It also adds a hint of smokiness as it reduces 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 just 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
Pick a good quality barbecue sauce, since that’s where the beans get their primary flavor. Homemade is great, but store bought is also fine. Aside from Neely’s, I also like Stubb’s.
I’m a huge fan of sweet beans, that’s why I love Bush’s. Some people find it way too sweet, though. So, if you’re more of a savory bean person, go easy on the brown sugar.
Start with ⅛ cup of brown sugar and just see from there.
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.
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 to the beans, stir, and simmer until thick.
Another trick to thicker beans is to let them simmer uncovered for several minutes to reduce the liquids.
On the other hand, if your beans are too thick, just add half a cup of water or other liquids at a time. Keep adding as needed.
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.
While this recipe does not require bacon, you’re more than welcome to add some. Other meats such as pancetta, pulled pork, and brisket work well, too!
This recipe is already spicy from the cayenne and mesquite, but for an even spicier dish, add jalapenos, hot sauce, or red pepper flakes.
A great thing about this recipe is that it’s so forgiving, and it’s easy to substitute ingredients. No molasses? Use dark brown sugar instead.
Don’t want to use mesquite seasoning? Use your own combination. A brisket rub works great here!
Trying to stay away from beef? Use ground turkey instead.
Want a smokier flavor? Add half a teaspoon of liquid smoke. It makes a huge difference!
How Long Do 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.
Got leftovers? This is unlikely, but if you do, you can freeze them in a freezer-safe, airtight container. It will keep well in the freezer 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.
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