The Best Baked Beans – Spend With Pennies


Baked beans is a classic side dish for everything from ribs to fried chicken.

No picnic or potluck is complete without a delicious pot of savory-sweet baked beans!

This version is easy to make, requires only a few simple ingredients, and everyone loves them.

The Best Baked Beans Recipe with bacon

Why We Love Baked Beans 

This is the last baked bean recipe you’ll ever need! I always hope for leftovers to have beans on toast for lunch (does anyone else love beans on toast?).

  • These are sweet, saucy, and delicious.
  • Since they taste even better the next day, they’re perfect to make ahead!
  • Using canned beans is a timesaver while adding a few extras makes them taste homemade.
  • These beans freeze well so make extras to enjoy throughout the summer.
  • This side dish is budget-friendly.

Ingredients in Baked Beans

Bacon: Crispy bacon adds both salt and a nice smoky flavor to the dish. In a pinch, you can use real bacon bits.

Canned Beans: Starting with canned beans saves time and adds flavor as they are already softened. Do not drain the sauce from the beans; it will be enhanced in the recipe.

Red Onion: Red onion adds a savory and slightly sweet flavor to the baked beans.

Brown Sugar & Molasses: These sweetened the beans and add a caramel flavor.

Ketchup & Cider Vinegar: Adds tang flavor to balance the sweetness of the brown sugar and molasses.

Flavorful Additions: Green bell pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard add flavor.

These easy-baked beans are delicious and versatile!

  • Mix and match with extra cans of white beans, black, kidney, or navy beans.
  • Add cooked ground beef, sliced hot dogs, or even a leftover ham bone (bits of ham are great in beans). You can also add in meat drippings or leftovers like bbq pork loin.
  • Substitute barbecue sauce for some of the ketchup if you’d like. Stir in a spoonful of tomato paste.
  • Replace some of the brown sugar with a bit of maple syrup.
  • Green bell peppers and onion add flavor to the baked bean sauce; jalapenos and green chiles can also be added. Stir in a little bit of garlic if you’d like!
Baked Beans with a spoon

How to Make Baked Beans 

This is an easy recipe that requires just a little time for the beans to cook in the oven.

  1. Cook bacon: Cook bacon in a pan and set aside.
  2. Soften onion: Soften the onion and pepper over medium heat in the bacon grease.
  3. Combine ingredients: Combine all of the ingredients together.
  4. Cook: Bake the mixture, simmer in a large pot, or cook in a slow cooker as directed in the recipe below.
Baked Beans in a dish garnished with green onions

Storing Leftover Beans

Keep leftover baked beans covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove or microwave (or enjoy them cold).

Place cooled baked beans in zippered bags and keep them in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Perfect Pairings for Baked Beans

Serve up baked beans next to these summer-time favorites!

Did you make these Baked Beans? Leave a rating and a comment below!

The Best Baked Beans Recipe with bacon
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The Best Baked Beans

Classic baked beans are oven-baked & studded with onions, peppers, and bacon.

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 3 hours 15 minutes

Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes

Skillet on white background
an empty white 9x13 inch baking dish
  • Preheat oven to 350°F, set the rack to the lower-middle position.

  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook 1 lb of bacon until crispy. Drain on a paper towel and chop, reserving 2 tbsp for garnish.

  • In the same skillet, sauté the red onion and green bell pepper until softened.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, ketchup, molasses, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard to make the sauce.

  • Stir in the beans, and sautéed onions and green peppers.

  • Pour the mixture into a 3qt baking dish and bake uncovered for 2 hours. Stir in the chopped bacon. Continue baking for 1 hour more or until the sauce has cooked down to the desired consistency.

  • Let the beans stand for 5 minutes to thicken the sauce. Garnish with reserved bacon and green onions. Serve.

If you prefer sweeter beans, add extra brown sugar. If you’d like them less sweet, reduce the brown sugar to 3 tablespoons. Oven: Bake for 2 hours, stir in bacon, and bake for another hour or until desired consistency is reached. Slow Cooker: Prepare the recipe as directed but cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Stir as needed. Stovetop: Prepare the recipe as directed, except make the sauce in a Dutch oven, add the beans and simmer until desired consistency is reached. Stir as needed. Leftovers can be kept in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.  Freeze beans in a zippered bag for up to 6 months.  

Calories: 296 | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 711mg | Potassium: 524mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 6.9mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 2.4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
The Best Baked Beans Recipe with bacon and a title
The Best Baked Beans Recipe cooked in the pot with writing
The Best Baked Beans Recipe with writing
The Best Baked Beans Recipe in the pot and close up with a title


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