Spicy Baked Beans with Bacon
Rich, savory and sweet with a spicy kick, these baked beans with bacon are easy to make! Perfect for outdoor parties or a casual summer dinner!
These baked beans with bacon hit ALL your favorite flavor notes, take just 15-20 minutes of hands-on cooking time, and have a spicy kick that sets them apart from other bland baked beans!
With us being definitely in the middle of cookout season, I’ve been thinking a lot about side dishes to bring. Generally when we’re invited over for a cookout, the main dish is already taken care of (usually hamburgers or hot dogs), so I like to bring a side or two. One of my summer staples are these brown sugar and bacon baked beans… everyone LOVES them!
Over the years, I’ve started to develop a taste for spicy things (I used to be a total spice wimp lol), and I started wondering what would happen if I used fresh jalapeños and a bit of cayenne to my signature baked beans? Well what happened was the birth of a NEW favorite side dish!
You still get some of that great smoky/sweet taste (from the molasses, bacon, and brown sugar), but with the added element of a backnote of heat. Almost every type of flavor is present here, and the result is phenomenal! If you’re worried about the spice, you can certainly scrape the seeds out of the jalapeño before chopping it, which results in a much milder heat level… or swap them out for green bell peppers, which will yield in a recipe that’s perfect for the kiddos.
If you’ve never made baked beans before, I can tell you that these spicy baked beans with bacon are really easy to make! I generally don’t have the time to soak and cook dried beans, so my version is semi-homemade and starts with a giant can of pork and beans (the kind with no additional flavorings).
I also like to use plenty of bacon, as I love the smoky savoriness it brings, so feel free to adjust that your preferred amount. But really, I mean, aside from health reasons, when is more bacon ever a bad thing right? The only real “trick” here is to only partially cook the bacon. I cook mine about halfway to crispy, since it’ll continue cooking the whole time the beans are in the oven, and you don’t want it to be burnt.
Other than that, after you saute the onions and jalapeños, you’re just dumping things into the pot and stirring until combined and hot. You can totally do this! I usually make mine in a big, deep skillet, then transfer the beans to a 13×9 baking dish if I’m taking them somewhere. I have this carrying case, which keeps the food super hot! But if I’m making these for here at the house, I make everything in the same deep round pan, which is less to clean up!
Perfect as a side dish for burgers, hot dogs, or basically any summer meal, I really hope you all give these spicy baked beans with bacon a try soon!
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Spicy Baked Beans with Bacon
- 8-10 slices bacon, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 yellow onion, diced finely
- 2-4 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed and diced finely (adjust amount to your desired heat level)
- 54 oz can pork and beans (or equivalent amount of smaller cans)
- 4 Tbsp ketchup
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (feel free to adjust amount to desired heat level)
- pinch of black pepper
- fresh parsley, minced for garnish
- additional jalapeño slices for garnish
- Preheat oven o 325 degrees F and adjust oven rack to the lower-middle position. Spray a 13x9 baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.
- To a large, deep skillet, heat bacon pieces over MED heat until cooked about halfway through. Remove to a paper towel lined plate, leaving grease in the skillet.
- To same skillet with the bacon grease, add onion and jalapeño and saute about 5 minutes, until softened.
- Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine well. Let mixture cook for a minute or so to combine the flavors.
- Carefully pour beans into prepared baking dish and lay cooked bacon pieces on top of the beans.
- Bake 2-3 hours, until bubbly and thickened to your liking. I prefer my beans fairly thick, so mine usually take 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
- Let beans stand 5 minutes or so before serving.
- If desired, garnish with parsley and/or jalapeño slices.
- add more jalapeño peppers
- leave seeds in the peppers
- add more cayenne
- use less jalapeño peppers
- decrease or omit cayenne
- use green bell peppers instead of jalapeños (1 small bell pepper should suffice)