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Bush’s Baked Beans

Turn an ordinary can of Bush’s baked beans into a phenomenal BBQ side dish!

These beans have a combination of sweet, tangy, savory, and smoky, and they’re simply phenomenal.

They’ll taste like they came straight out of a southern restaurant, but in reality, it’s just an easy, pre-made dish.

Bush's Baked Beans
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You’ll be surprised at how a blend of ketchup, mustard, and pancake syrup can make magic happen.

But enough talk. Let’s take a look at this fantastic Bush’s Baked Beans recipe!

Bush’s Baked Beans

Baked beans are a must-have at BBQs and potlucks. It’s a simple dish of soft, starchy beans in a thick sauce bursting with sweet and smoky flavors.

If you make them from scratch, baked beans typically take hours to cook. But with this recipe, this beloved classic can be enjoyed after just 45 minutes.

The beans are topped with crispy bacon, to boot. And we all know how bacon can amp up the irresistibility level of any dish. 

Don’t expect any leftovers! These beans will be inhaled in just minutes.

Bush's Baked Beans on a red mug


The thing I absolutely love about this recipe is that it uses basic ingredients that you already have on hand.

Together, they’ll create the most scrumptious, special occasion-worthy baked beans!

  • Bush’s Baked Beans. The dish isn’t called after this brand for no reason! I like Bush’s Baked Beans best because its sauce has a thick consistency. You can use other brands, too, but just choose one with a thick sauce.
  • Onion. This simple aromatic goes a long way. You can saute the onions beforehand, but it’s totally fine if you don’t, as they’ll cook through as the beans bake.
  • Brown sugar. For sweetness. I prefer brown sugar over granulated, here, because it contains molasses that gives the beans a deep flavor. 
  • Pancake syrup. It’s the magic ingredient that enhances the beans’ flavor significantly. Of course, if you have actual maple syrup or molasses on hand, use those. 
  • Ketchup. For that sweet, smokey, tomatoey flavor.
  • Yellow mustard. The tanginess provides a nice flavor contrast to the sweet ingredients.
  • Bacon. A strip of crispy, smoky bacon goes on top of the bacon for the perfect finish.

Tips for the Best Baked Beans

Be sure to follow these easy tips and tricks to ensure your beans are the life of the party. 

  • Don’t drain the baked beans! Most of the liquid will evaporate during cooking, and the rest will turn into a thick sauce with a wonderfully concentrated flavor.
  • Stick to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The beans need to cook at a lower temperature so they won’t become mushy. Low and slow is the name of the game. 
  • Bust out the Crockpot! If your oven is already too busy cooking up other dishes, use the Crockpot! Simply throw all the ingredients into the pot and cook for 2 hours on high or on low for 4 to 5. You may want to consider slicing the bacon into bits. 
  • Don’t cook the bacon completely. Brown it a little, but not all the way. You’ll want the bacon fat to incorporate with the beans, as they’ll bake to give them more flavor.
  • Make them in advance. Baked beans taste better the next day! Feel free to make them one day in advance and just warm them up on the stovetop before serving.
  • Bring on the spice! Want a little extra spice in your life? Try adding spicy ingredients like jalapeno peppers, or a dash of your favorite hot sauce.
Bush's Baked Beans Close-Up

Variation Suggestions

What I love most about this recipe is that it’s easy to make it your own. Whether you want more meat or a meatless option, I have you covered. 

  • Saute the onions. If you choose to brown the bacon beforehand, use the grease to saute the onions. This will ensure you won’t end up with raw onions, plus, it makes them extra aromatic and flavorful.
  • Make it smoky. Add a splash of liquid smoke for an extra smoky, BBQ flavor. Hickory BBQ sauce works wonderfully, as well.
  • Try different sweeteners. Pancake syrup is the secret ingredient that gives this dish a deeper, bolder flavor. But if you have the real things on hand – maple syrup or molasses – definitely use them.
  • Get boozy. Aside from pancake syrup, bourbon also does a fine job at enhancing this dish’s flavor, so go ahead and add a couple of splashes in there.
  • Make the dish meatier. Make it a full meal by adding ground beef or sausage crumbles. Brown the meat in oil, first, for about 5 minutes, or until it’s no longer pink.
  • Add more veggies. Bell peppers, carrots, onions – you name it. Just like the meat, though, you’ll want to saute the veggies before adding them to the bean mixture.
  • Raid the spice rack. For more flavor, season the beans with your choice of spices and seasonings. I find ginger and turmeric work great.
  • Make it vegetarian. Skip the bacon (insert sad face here), and use drained and rinsed navy or pinto beans. Increase the sauce ingredients by half to compensate for the lack of sauce from the canned beans.

More Great BBQ Side Dishes

Hellman’s Potato Salad
KFC Coleslaw
Sweetie Pie’s Mac and Cheese

Bush’s Baked Beans



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Prep time


Cooking time






  • 2 (28 ounce) cans Bush’s Baked Beans

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoons pancake syrup, maple syrup, or molasses

  • 2 tablespoons ketchup

  • 2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard

  • 4 slices bacon


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large bowl, combine the baked beans, onion, brown sugar, pancake syrup, ketchup, and mustard.
  • Pour the mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Arrange the strips of bacon in a single layer on top.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the bacon is browned and the beans have thickened. Serve and enjoy!


  • To make ahead: follow steps 1-3, cover, and refrigerate for 1-2 days. Take the dish out of the fridge 20 minutes early, then bake as instructed.
Bush's 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 :)

2 thoughts on “Bush’s Baked Beans”

  1. Can Bush’s baked bean recipe be made the day in advance and baked the next for party. I need 35 servings 4 cans of large cans be enough?

    • Hi Donna!
      4 cans will make around 24 servings. So you might want to triple the recipe to be safe.
      To make ahead, follow steps 1, 2, and 3, then cover and refrigerate until you’re ready.
      Take the dish out of the fridge about 20 minutes before baking. Bake when you need them as instructed 🙂


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