Baked beans are a classic barbecue side dish offering smoky, sweet, and savory flavors in one bite.
They are also super easy to make, so you can bring them to any potluck or picnic without slaving away in the kitchen all day.
The thing I love most about baked beans is how versatile they are.
You can make them with extra brown sugar if you love them sweet, add in bacon or ham for different meaty flavors, or cook them up with sauteed onions and peppers for additional smokiness.
But since baked beans are usually served up as a side dish, you need to come up with the perfect foods to eat with them! There are so many options, you can’t really go wrong.
But if you’re at a loss of where to start, I’m here for you.
I’ve curated a list of the best sides and entrees to serve with baked beans so that all tummies are full and all appetites are satisfied.
Keep scrolling for the 13 tastiest things to eat with baked beans.
What to Eat with Baked Beans
1. BBQ Sandwiches
Nothing says summer quite like freshly-grilled meat slathered in BBQ sauce. Put it in between two halves of a pillowy, fluffy roll. Then combine it with smoky baked beans, steaming corn on the cob, or a tangy potato salad.
That’s heaven on a plate. Baked beans especially elevate the flavors of the meats, so your taste buds will thank you. My personal favorite BBQ sandwich is a succulent pulled pork sammy.
2. Hot Dogs
If you have some picky eaters on your hands, you can’t go wrong with the all-American hot dog. Kids and adults alike will appreciate this classic summer cookout food.
And don’t forget to smother them in ketchup and mustard, sauerkraut, or caramelized onions.
A big perk of hot dogs is that you can make them anywhere – at home on the backyard grill, in the park, or over a roaring campfire.
But no matter where you make them, they’ll always taste perfect with a big helping of baked beans.
You can’t have a cookout without cheeseburgers! Homemade burgers are one of my favorite guilty pleasures.
Paired with mouth-watering sides, everyone is sure to be satisfied. Since hamburgers have so many toppings, they offer a lot of different flavors, so a more simple side like baked beans is ideal.
4. Baked Ham
If you haven’t noticed yet, almost any meat can be a great entree with baked beans.
You might already be buying ham in some form to flavor your baked beans, so why not embrace the sweet, meaty flavor and have a big slice of juicy, baked ham.
You could even smother your ham in the beans. Just trust me, it’s so sinfully good!
5. BBQ Ribs
Last of all for the meat section is BBQ Ribs. If you’re going all out on the grill or simply want to impress guests at a picnic or potluck, ribs are the way to go.
Rib meat is just so tender and melts in your mouth! The sweet and tangy baked beans flawlessly complement the smokiness of the meat and offer a different texture for your palate.
6. Fresh Salad
Taking a quick left turn away from the heavy meat dishes, baked beans can always go with something a little lighter.
They are pretty healthy and offer a good amount of protein. So if you combine them with some veggies, you’ll have a very well-rounded meal.
I suggest a simple salad of your favorite greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers, with a light creamy dressing. The fresh veggies and velvety dressing will both offer a tasty contrast to your beans.
7. Grilled Cheese
For a simple lunch, go for an iconic main dish – a grilled cheese. No matter what cheese you use or toppings you add, grilled cheese and baked beans are the perfect combo.
Your sandwich will offer some sharp, creamy goodness, plus that perfect grilled bread crunch. You can’t go wrong!
Cornbread and baked beans are an epic combination. Both are Southern staples, and both are delicious.
Personally, I’ve never met a cornbread I didn’t love, so I take any opportunity to whip up a big batch of this delectable dish.
You can use your cornbread to mop up the sauce, or enjoy it smothered in butter and honey. So good!
9. Loaded Potatoes
A baked potato filled with butter, sour cream, and bacon is a simple and easy dinner solution. It’s filling, and you can choose from a wide variety of toppings to please everyone’s preferences.
Combine with baked beans for a full meal that offers a range of yummy flavors and textures.
10. Potato Salad
While we’re talking potatoes, you can’t have a picnic or backyard party without an amazing potato salad on the table.
Whether you go country-style with red potatoes, bell peppers, and an herb-filled sauce, or Southern-style with a mustard-based dressing and boiled eggs, a potato salad is always welcome.
And it’s the perfect contrast to the smoky, meaty flavors of your baked beans.
11. Deviled Eggs
Don’t let the name fool you! Deviled eggs are a heavenly appetizer. They’re basically the quintessential summer potluck dish.
They are so creamy and gluttonous in the best way, I could eat the whole plate of them by myself.
Serving up a big spoonful of steaming baked beans as the main attraction, with some deviled eggs as a treat on the side? Sounds good to me!
12. Macaroni Salad
Macaroni salad is a rich and scrumptious dish that goes with almost any other cookout classic.
A plate piled high with baked beans, macaroni salad, and some fresh-off-the-grill meat is guaranteed to be the hit of the potluck. Plus, it’s easy to make ahead of time.
13. Mac and Cheese
Alternatively, you can go with a hot dish – macaroni and cheese. Like other options on this list, a creamy dish is a gorgeous contrast to the smoky baked beans.
And honestly, who doesn’t love mac and cheese? Top it with bread crumbs, or even corn flakes or goldfish, and you’ll have everyone’s attention.