These baked beans are semi-homemade and the perfect blend of sweet, savory and smoky! Topped with delicious bacon, they’re sure to be a hit!
Baked beans are such classic summer cookout/bbq food… and really easy to make yourself! Don’t reach for a can of pre-seasoned and full of preservatives beans… whip up these easy and lip-smackingly delicious brown sugar and bacon baked beans instead! Your mouth will thank you.
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Baked beans are such a classic dish, and I love how many varieties there are! Depending on your tastes and where you live, your beans might be more savory, more sweet, or more smoky. These beans are a great combination of the 3! You get the savory flavor from the sauteed onions and peppers, sweetness from the brown sugar, and the smokiness from the molasses and of course, the bacon 🙂
You can cook your bacon any way you’d like, you’re going to want to use about 10 strips. I chose to bake mine since I have zero patience with frying bacon lol. I also seasoned my bacon with a sprinkle of pepper, chili powder, dried rosemary and brown sugar. That’s my signature bacon seasoning, it’s SO addicting!
However you decide to cook your bacon, just make sure you don’t cook it all the way. It will be finishing up cooking in the oven, so my advice is to cook it about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way done. That way it will be nice and crispy once the beans are finished 🙂
I’ve made these beans with plain pork and beans (I like Campbells brand – bottom shelf), and with canned, already seasoned beans. If you decide to use a seasoned bean variety, like a “country style”, “homestyle”, or “honey” you’ll want to cut back a little with the molasses and brown sugar, since yours are already seasoned 🙂 Although, if you forget and use the whole amount, they won’t be bad… just SUPER seasoned lol. Ahem, that may have happened to me a time or two…. possibly….
Making these baked beans is a cinch… in about 10 minutes they’re ready to pop in the oven and then you don’t have to mess with them for at least 2 hours.
Just saute your onion and green pepper for a few minutes, then add in all the rest of the ingredients. Stir and simmer for a minute or so, then pour into a 13×9 pan, lay bacon slices on top and bake! Simple 🙂
How long you cook them depends on how you like your beans… I like mine thick and pretty brown. So I cook mine about 2.5 hours, sometimes up to 3. If you like yours a little less thick, I’d cook them for 2 hours.
These baked beans go perfectly with just about any main dish you’d like! Typically I serve these alongside some burgers or a great grilled hot dog…. they just scream cookout food.
This is a recipe I’ve tweaked for a while… combining things from The Pioneer Woman’s recipe and some of my own touches. Whenever I make them, the pan is generally scraped clean by the end of the night!
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Brown Sugar and Bacon Baked Beans
- 10 slices bacon halved
- 1 yellow onion finely diced
- 1/2 green bell pepper finely diced
- 54 oz can pork and beans or equivalent number of smaller cans
- 4 Tbsp ketchup
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tsp dry mustard
Cook bacon about half way through (in whichever way you want), and set aside to drain on a paper towel.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and set rack to the lower-middle rack position.
In a deep skillet, heat about 2 Tbsp of bacon grease (or butter) over MED heat. Add diced onion and green pepper and saute about 5 minutes, until softened.
Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine well. Let mixture simmer for a minute or so.
While the mixture is simmering, grease a 13x9 baking dish.
Pour beans into the prepared baking dish and lay cooked bacon on top of the beans.
Bake for 2-3 hours, depending on your desired consistency.
Let the beans stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes** if you want to feed a larger crowd, you can up the amount of pork and beans to 84 oz, and just make your ingredients a heaping measurement.