Our Favorite Saucy, Smoky Baked Beans.
Okay hi! It’s basically officially summer so let’s just start doing the whole baked beans thing.
Because it’s time! It’s really time.
Even if you are making them for yourself. You’re worth the good beans, I’m telling you.
If you’ve been here long enough you may remember when I didn’t even like these summer favorite beans.
Times have changed!
Years ago I made these bourbon beans and they hooked me. Seriously, hooked me! They turned me into a baked bean lover and now I’m convinced that no outdoor cookout, barbecue or summer meal is complete without a side of baked beans.
While I do really love these slow cooker bourbon baked beans, this here is the recipe I’ve found myself making more often for the last few years. Probably since I’ve had kids and had a little less time on my hands.
Also, I should warm you that it’s kind of semi-homemade. I mean, it’s definitely semi-homemade. Not kind of.
But they are so easy!
While my slow cooker beans recipe uses dry beans (so, like, the entire recipe is from scratch), I actually used canned baked beans in this one and I LOVE them. Since making this, I’ve become quite the baked bean snob over here. I’ve tried many different brands and varieties but for this particular recipe, I always come back to the Bush’s Grillin’ Beans. Specially, we love the southern pit bbq or the bourbon bacon flavor. They are so good in this recipe!
That being said, you can use whatever can of baked beans you can find. Just throwing out my random recommendations in case you want them.
I find that this recipe yields a thicker, more syrupy baked bean, in a really good way if that makes sense. Don’t let it scare you off! They are not overly sweet, but they are obviously still sweet.
However, there is enough dijon, smoked paprika and chipotle in here that it’s no overwhelmingly sweet.
Yes. So much flavor.
I have adapted this over the years from Ree’s recipe. Her’s are absolutely amazing, they just make a ton of baked beans! And even when we have a party or I take the beans somewhere, I don’t need that many. Lots of people in my family have an aversion to baked beans – hey, even I had one up until the last decade!
My mom still puts cut up hot dogs in her baked beans and I just… cannot. I mean, I love a good hot dog. We ate hot dogs this past weekend; felt like summer. I just don’t want them cut up in my baked beans!
P.S. if any of you have been around long enough, do you remember when I discovered my obsession with baked beans and loved putting them on top of poached or fried eggs, on toast? That was SO GOOD. Def doing it again.
This makes a “nice” sized amount, even if I just make them for our family. We eat, save a bit for leftovers and freeze the rest if I don’t give it away. It’s perfect!
Give me a plate of these with a smash burger and I’m good to go!
- 2 sliced bacon, diced
- 1 small sweet onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 TO 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 (22 ounce) cans baked beans (I love Bush’s Grillin’ Beans for this recipe)
- 2 slices bacon, for topping (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat a large (oven safe, if you don’t want to transfer) skillet over medium-low heat and add the bacon. Cook until it’s brown and crisp and most of the fat is rendered.
Stit in the onion, pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until everything softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard and brown sugar until combined.
Stir in the baked beans directly from the can. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn off the heat. I suggest tasting the beans here and adding more salt, pepper or heat if desired. If you'd like, you can lay a few strips of bacon on top of the beans here too!
Place the skillet (or transfer to an oven-safe dish) in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until bubbly and syrup. Remove and let cool slightly before serving.
You can make these ahead of time - cook them in the skillet then let cook to room temperature and cover, placing in the fridge. Bake the next day (or whenever you’re ready!).
These also freeze well!
Oh so saucy.