Today, I’m sharing this Paula Deen baked beans recipe with you, in all its Southern goodness.
This recipe is simple, delicious, and perfect for any occasion.
I know that many of you are probably familiar with Ms. Deen’s recipes, and this one is definitely a keeper.
In this classic recipe, the beans are coated with a thick sauce that’s brimming with flavors.
It’s sweet, savory, and smoky all in one bite. It’s like a party in your mouth.
Here’s the best part: you won’t need to spend hours cooking these beans. They taste like you worked hard all day on them.
So, if you’re looking for the perfect side dish to bring to your next potluck, the search is over. Let’s begin.
Paula Deen Baked Beans
Paula Deen is the queen of Southern cooking, so I think it’s safe to say that her version of baked beans is the absolute best.
It’s amazing how simple ingredients can transform a humble can of pork and beans into a stunning dish. Trust only Paula Deen to get the job done.
This dish is flavored with onions, bacon (and bacon grease), and a blend of maple syrup, ketchup, and mustard.
After getting baked to perfection, this dish is Southern comfort food at its best.
- Bacon Crumbles – Because everything is better with bacon. Be sure to cook it well to bring out its crunch and flavor. Use the grease to cook the other ingredients in for extra flavor.
- Onion – For that unique aroma and sweet flavor. I like to use yellow onions because they’re sweeter than the white variety, which has a sharper taste.
- Canned Pork and Beans – The star of the dish! The beauty in this baked beans recipe is the use of canned beans. You won’t need to slow cook for hours to achieve that perfect bean texture.
- Yellow Mustard – For a touch of tanginess and spice. Brown mustard works just as well.
- Maple Syrup and Ketchup – This combination creates the dish’s sweet and smokey sauce. Feel free to make your own blend if you wish! Add spices and seasonings as you please.
How Do You Make Paula Deen’s Baked Beans?
First up, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Next, cook the bacon in a skillet until it’s nice and crispy.
Then, add the chopped onions. Saute them in the bacon grease for about 3 minutes, or until they’re translucent but not brown.
You can also saute minced garlic and bell peppers along with the onions for more aroma and flavor.
Pour the canned beans, mustard, maple syrup, and ketchup, and stir them all together.
Transfer the mixture into a shallow casserole or baking dish. You won’t have to cook the mixture in the skillet further since you’ll be baking it, anyway.
Cover it with foil, and bake it for 45 minutes to an hour.
And that’s it. Easy peasy.
What Canned Beans are Best for Baked Beans?
Good-quality canned beans are great even on their own. You can certainly choose your favorite brand, but here are my most recommended:
- B&M – This brand has been around for 150 years, so to say it’s tried and tested is an understatement. The beans have a perfect texture. It’s soft and starchy, but not tough or mushy.
The sauce is wonderfully thick and coats the beans beautifully.
The flavor is also on point. It’s a perfect balance of sweet, smoky, and savory. You can also really taste the molasses and pork in every bite.
- Bush’s Best – This brand comes in second with its different varieties to choose from. But whether it’s the original, home-style, or vegetarian, each variety delivers a beautiful balance of sweetness, tanginess, and spiciness.
It’s sweeter than other brands, though, so if you’re not a fan of sweet beans, you might want to opt for another.
- Heinz – This family-owned food brand is my third most recommended because it’s simply delicious.
Its sauce is nice and thick. Unlike other brands with overwhelming flavors, Heinz is more mellow.
That said, it won’t clash with the flavors from the other ingredients in this recipe.
Tips for Making The Best Beans
- Is your dish too soupy? Thicken it with cornstarch slurry. Whisk together a tablespoon of cornstarch and a few spoonfuls of the liquid from the bean mixture. Pour the slurry into the mix and stir until thick.
- Or, you can also simply make the beans ahead of time. They’ll thicken up in a day or two.
- Cook the beans in a shallow baking dish or casserole. Deep pans will prevent the liquid to thicken.
- Is your sauce way too thick? Thin it out with chicken stock, broth, or water.
- Variations – The great thing about baked beans is they’re easily customizable. Add more personality to the beans with these variations:
- Add ground beef or turkey for an epic baked beans and chili mash-up.
- Try other flavor sources aside from bacon. Have leftover pulled pork or brisket? Throw it right in.
- Add a shot of espresso. This will enhance the beans’ flavor and give it a nicer, darker tinge too.
- If you love spicy food, add a dash of cayenne, hot sauce, paprika, or red pepper flakes.
- For a smoky flavor, add chipotle pepper powder or replace the maple syrup with barbecue sauce. A splash of liquid smoke also does wonders.
- Instead of bacon crumbles, use strips of bacon instead. Layer them on top of the casserole and bake as directed, but turn on the broiler at the last 1 to 2 minutes.
- If you don’t want bacon, you can skip it, but be sure to caramelize the onions well to still give the dish flavor.
- Serve baked beans as a side dish to barbecued meats, burgers, kabobs, and every dish you’ll find in a summer barbecue. You can even pair it with a bag of chips for a hearty snack.
- Storage instructions:
- Cover the beans with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to a week. Be sure the dish is completely cool before storing.
- For a longer shelf life, freeze the beans in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can I Cook the Beans in a Slow Cooker?
Baked beans that were slow-cooked, not baked? It doesn’t seem to make sense, but it absolutely works.
In fact, cooking the beans low and slow will thicken the sauce and make the dish significantly more flavorful.
Once you’ve combined all the ingredients in the skillet, transfer the mixture into the slow cooker and cook it on low for 8 hours, or 4 hours on high.
Stir the beans occasionally to prevent scorching the bottom.
More Paula Deen Recipes
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