This Is the Greatest Recipe for Homemade Baked Beans (2024)

Whoa, Nelly. I never knew baked beans could be this good. I never knew baked beans could be improved upon. I never knew baked beans could be such a triumph, such a prayer, such a song.

But they can. I now know they can.

Pam Anderson—I sometimes like to call her "Pamanderson" just to conserve energy—whipped up some baked beans to go with her fall-off-the-bone slow cooker glazed ribs and Caesar salad once.

The beans? They were all that and a bag of doughnuts. And I live in one of the Southern states. I know about baked beans. I know about doughnuts, too. But that's another story for another time.

What makes these the best baked beans ever?

First and foremost, these baked beans are easy to make. They start with 3 big ol' cans of pork and beans, but it's the other ingredients you add that transforms them! That brings me to my next point: the other stuff. This recipe is filled with tangy barbecue sauce, sweet brown sugar, mustard for a kick, green pepper, onion, and maybe (definitely) the best addition of all—bacon! The beans are topped with strips of partially-cooked bacon, and baked low and slow until the bacon gets a little crispy and the beans thicken. The result is baked beans that are smoky, sweet, tangy, and absolutely unforgettable! You'll never make them any other way.

Can these baked beans be made ahead of time?

They can be made the night before, but wait until you're ready to bake the beans to add the bacon on top to ensure optimum crispness.

What pairs well with baked beans?

Baked beans are one of the best BBQ recipes! Make them for all the patriotic holidays this summer alongsidegrilled ribs, BBQ chicken, andburgers. Add a few other classic BBQ sides (this potato salad is so delicious!) and you're set!

This Quick Southern-Style Baked Beans recipe is by Pam Anderson.

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Yields:
18
Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 25 mins

Ingredients

  • 8

    slices bacon, halved

  • 1

    medium onion, chopped

  • 1/2

    medium green pepper, chopped

  • 3

    28-oz.cans pork and beans

  • 3/4 c.

    barbecue sauce

  • 1/2 c.

    brown sugar

  • 1/4 c.

    distilled or cider vinegar

  • 2 tsp.

    dry mustard or 2 tbsp. Dijon

Directions

    1. Step1Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325°.
    2. Step2Fry bacon in large, deep sauté pan until bacon has partially cooked and released about 1/4 cup drippings. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels.
    3. Step3Add onion and pepper to drippings in pan and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
    4. Step4Add beans and remaining ingredients to pan; bring to a simmer. (If pan is not large enough, add beans and heat to a simmer then transfer to a large bowl and stir in remaining ingredients).
    5. Step5Pour flavored beans into a greased 13-by-9-inch (or similar size) ovenproof pan. Top with bacon, then bake until beans are bubbly and sauce is the consistency of pancake syrup, about 2 hours. Let stand to thicken slightly and serve.

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Start with eight slices of bacon. The thick stuff is great. The thick, peppered stuff is even better.

Cut the slices in half, then fry them on medium-low heat. You don’t want to brown or crisp the bacon at all; the point is only to render the fat and get the bacon pieces ready to bake up and turn brown in the oven.

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Remove the bacon pieces once the fat is rendered, and in the name of all that is good and right, do NOT pour out the grease and clean the skillet! If you do, you’ll regret it for the rest of your days.

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Next, dice up an onion…

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And a green bell pepper.

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First cut it into strips…

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Then dice it right up.

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Next, measure 3/4 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce.

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Pour it into a bowl…

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And throw in 1/2 cup brown sugar.

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Add 1/4 cup distilled white or apple cider vinegar.

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Finally, add a couple of tablespoons Dijon mustard and mix the whole thing together.

Yummy!

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Now. Back to the skillet. You can pour off a little of the excess grease, but leave some in there for good measure.

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Put the skillet over medium heat, then throw in the onions and green peppers.

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Stir ’em around and cook ’em for a few minutes, or until tender.

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Then, pour in three cans of good ol’ pork ‘n beans. They’re the best beans for making baked beans. Everyone who’s anyone knows that!

I’ve made baked beans from scratch before—soaked the navy beans and everything. They just weren’t as good as the ones made with pork ‘n beans.

Does that make me a bad person?

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Stir it together, then pour in the barbecue sauce/brown sugar mixture.

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Bring this all to a simmer. And I think if you like things spicy, you could easily add in some chopped fresh jalapeño to the onion/green pepper mixture. That would give these some serious kick.

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Then pour it into a large casserole pan.

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Finally, put the half-cooked bacon slices all over the top. Since the fat has already been rendered from these, they’re going to cook up really nicely in the oven… and there won’t be that big layer of grease standing on top of the beans.

Not that I’ve ever minded that big layer of grease.

I’ve never minded bacon grease in my life.

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Now, here’s the key: bake this low and slow—325 degrees for two hours. You want the beans to be very, very cooked, the bacon very, very brown, and no soupiness to the dish whatsoever.

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You won't believe how delicious these are.

Labor Day: make these baked beans! I'm a serious baked bean fan, and I couldn’t get enough of these. They were absolutely perfect.

Thank you, Pamanderson. You cook reeeeel goooood. Has anyone ever told you that?

Enjoy, everyone!

This Is the Greatest Recipe for Homemade Baked Beans (2024)
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