Smoky, slightly sweet and tangy, lots of bacon and ground beef, these beans are absolutely amazing. Naming them Best Ever Baked Beans doesn’t feel like it does them justice, but I hope you will trust me when I say these truly are outrageously delicious, and everything and more than a baked bean recipe should be. You can make them in a Dutch oven over hot coals or in a regular pot in your oven at home. Incredibly delicious either way! The perfect addition to summer barbeques and campouts.
These baked beans could actually make a meal all on their own. They are so hearty, and the flavor is absolute perfection! I found myself coming back for just one more spoonful. This recipe comes from my friend, Bente. Her father-in-law loves and excels at Dutch oven cooking, and this is one of his signature recipes. After making it and taking a bite, I can see why! You are going to absolutely love these remarkable baked beans.
I realize I am waxing poetic about these beans, but trust me when I say you will be, too. Baked beans have never been something I get excited about, but I.could.not.stop going back for more of these beans. I can’t wait for you to make them!
More Perfect Sides for a Barbecue
- Classic Broccoli Salad
- Potato Salad with Old Bay and Bacon
- Frog Eye Salad
- Spaghetti Pasta Salad
- Ultimate Seven Layer Bean Dip
- Texas Caviar
Step-by-step pictures for how to make The Best Ever Baked Beans
Frequently Asked Questions for how to make the Best Ever Baked Beans
What type of Barbecue Sauce do you recommend in this recipe?
You can use any type of barbecue sauce. I recommend using your favorite. I used Original Sweet Baby Rays.
Do I Need to use those exact beans, or can I substitute a different type or use two cans of the same type?
The combination of beans is perfect, and if possible, you should keep to the exact ones called for. But if you are itching to make them and can’t make it to the store, use what you have. An extra can of black beans or white beans in place of the pork and beans will all yield awesome results. If you don’t use the pork and beans, add an extra tablespoon of brown sugar to make up for the sweetness they would have added.
Is it okay to cook the bacon in the microwave or oven instead of in the pot?
You can cook the bacon however you want. If you do it in the microwave or oven, try to retain at least a tablespoon or two of the grease to add flavor to the beans. I like to cook it in the pot, so when I add the onions, peppers, and beef, there is already a little grease to get them going.
Are these beans spicy?
I like to add two jalapenos (seeded) to these beans. It doesn’t make them spicy at all. If you would like them to be a little spicy, you can leave some seeds in the jalapenos instead of removing them.
Can I Bake these in disposable 9×13 pans instead of a large pot?
Yes. This is especially a great idea if you are taking them to a potluck or event. You don’t have to worry about leaving your pan there. The recipe makes a large amount so you will need the deep 9×13 disposable pan.
What is the best way to store the leftovers?
Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Just make sure they are in an airtight container.
Are these beans gluten-free?
As long as you use gluten-free barbecue sauce, these beans should be gluten-free.
- 1 lb bacon, sliced into small pieces
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped (optional)
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can white beans
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can butter beans (lima beans)
- 1 can pork and beans
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup barbecue sauce
- 1 tbsp liquid smoke
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- In a large oven-safe pot (or a Dutch oven if cooking over coals) cook the bacon. Remove the bacon and set aside. Also, remove all but 1-2 tbsp of bacon grease.
- Add the diced onions, chopped (seeded) jalapenos, and ground beef. Salt and pepper the meat as you brown it. Once the meat is browned, add in the cooked bacon and the remaining ingredients.
- When you add the beans, don't drain and rinse them. Just drain them almost all the way, leaving about 25% of the liquid, and pour them into the pot.
- Add the ketchup, brown sugar, bbq sauce, liquid smoke, and vinegar.
- Mix everything together well, cover with a lid, and bake in the oven at 350 for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- If using a Dutch oven, cover with a lid and continue cooking with the coals for 2 hours.
- Serve and enjoy!
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