Recipes, Photography, Musings

Barbecue Baked Beans

These delicious baked beans will be a hit at any barbecue or picnic!  Full of the sweet, smoky, and a little bit spicy flavor of good barbecue sauce, along with sautéed bacon and onions, these festive baked beans are a great mixture of comfort food and party food.  And though it is summer, which means picnics and potlucks, I can imagine these barbecue baked beans would be comforting and cozy in the winter months as well.  Either way, this dish is truly an easy crowd-pleaser that tastes like it was harder to make than it actually was!
I love how fluid recipes can be.  They evolve, change hands, get passed around among friends, and passed down through the generations.  This recipe has evolved from some super-tasty baked beans my cousin and his wife (who also feels like a cousin to me) make.  We were at their lovely home for a barbecue recently, and my husband, son, and I were all raving about the baked beans, so my cousin’s wife told me how she makes them.  Nothing written down, just telling me from memory, because this recipe is so classic and basic that it can be re-created and adapted to fit your tastes, according to your choice of sauce and type of beans.  Thank you, cousins, for this recipe idea!

barbecue baked beans 1426We have been thinking about those baked beans, so yesterday, my son and I set out to make a similar batch of barbecue baked beans, and they turned out great! Very much like the ones we were trying to re-create.  The grocery store we were at didn’t have the maple chipotle sauce my cousin’s wife mentioned, but we got another really tasty barbecue sauce, by a local Michigan company, called Rib Rack BBQ Sauce.  Then, like she told us to do, we used a mixture of different types of beans, and the sautéed bacon and onion gave the whole dish extra flavor and complexity. The beauty of these barbecue baked beans is that they are super-easy to make, but have such a rich flavor.  I think that has to do with the fact that everything is baked in low heat for an hour, so all the flavors get a chance to mingle and deepen.  And while they are baking in the oven, you have time to do other things, like barbecue the meat, or make a potato salad, or clean the kitchen, or sit on the porch with a beverage….

barbecue baked beans 1389Eating outdoors is one of my favorite aspects of summer time.  It seems like people are more relaxed outdoors, and conversation flows more easily.  Or maybe it’s easier to allow for spaces in between conversation outdoors, because the lulls are filled with the sounds of singing birds, or chirping insects, or children playing.  Food just seems to taste better when we are eating outdoors too.

We have just gotten out of a long heat wave here, and today the weather is perfect.  The breeze is blowing in the open windows, making the curtains flow and move like they are part of a dance.  In a couple of days, we will go pick up our daughter from camp, and hopefully stop by Lake Michigan on the way back.curtains in the windowBut first, I will take these barbecue baked beans over to Angie’s virtual potluck Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Antonia @ and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.  If you are looking for a side dish to take to a picnic, party, or barbecue, give them a try!  Have a great weekend!barbecue baked beans in hands

Barbecue Baked Beans

  • Servings: 12
  • Print


  • 1/2 cup of onion, finely diced
  • 6 strips of bacon, diced
  • 1 can (16 ounces) of dark red kidney beans
  • 1 can (16 ounces) of cannellini beans
  • 1 can (16 ounces) of pinto beans
  • 1 can (16 ounces) of mixed chili beans (you could also use black beans)
  • 1 can (16 ounces) of pork & beans
  • 1 jar, or if the jar is larger, about 11 ounces of your favorite barbecue sauce


Dice your onion and bacon.  In a skillet, cook the onion and bacon over medium heat until the onion is soft and bacon is cooked but not too crispy.  Drain off the fat and set the pan aside.  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Pour all of the beans into a large colander and drain and rinse them.  Spoon the beans, bacon, and onion into a 2 quart casserole dish.  Pour in your barbecue sauce and stir gently to mix and combine everything.  Bake in your 325 degree oven for an hour.  Serve the beans warm or cold. Enjoy!



  1. Jhuls

    I could use beans that’s without pork and I am sure it would still be delicious. 😀

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Jhuls! Yes, these would still be tasty without the bacon and pork! 🙂 Happy Fiesta Friday!

  2. Life Diet Health

    Ooo, what a fantastic recipe (minus the meat) for my homemade barbecue relish! What a great selection of beans too – I’m excited to try this! Oh, and that white and green dish in the last photo – my parents used to have that set (in the UK)! Thanks so much for linking and sharing with Fiesta Friday this week – enjoy the party!

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Laurena, and thanks for co-hosting Fiesta Friday last week! That’s funny about the dish set–that dish in my photo is a hand-me-down from my mom, from my childhood as well! 🙂

    • Angie | Fiesta Friday

      My MIL had those plates, too, lol. Corelle?

      • Jenny

        Yes, Corelle! Must have been a popular pattern back in the day. 🙂 Brings back memories for me! 🙂

  3. Antonia

    I absolutely adore baked beans! I really love your combination of beans. Delicious! Thank you for sharing your yummy dish with us over at Fiesta Friday!

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Antonia! Thank you for co-hosting Fiesta Friday last week!

  4. Angie | Fiesta Friday

    I really do love baked beans but the last time I made it from scratch my kids didn’t want to try it! It came out too watery/loose and they looked at it suspiciously ? Your recipe sounds delicious, I’ve pinned it so I’ll remember to give it a try.

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Angie, my son loved these baked beans, for what that’s worth! 🙂 I think they are a good balance between homemade, tasty, and super-easy! Hope you are having a good summer!

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