Recipes » Side Dish Recipes » BBQ Beans

BBQ Beans

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Take plain baked beans to the next level with these delicious BBQ Beans full of onion, bacon, and seasonings in a tangy tomato sauce.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Finished BBQ Beans in a white serving bowl.

Take your plain baked beans recipe to the next level with these delicious BBQ Beans! Convenient, canned navy beans are baked with a luscious tomato sauce full of onion, bacon, and seasonings for the most scrumptious side dish you’ve ever tasted.

Today I’m taking the usual baked beans up a notch with my BBQ Beans recipe.
These take a little longer to cook than my regular Baked Beans recipe, but they are so worth the wait! This recipe is just loaded with onion, bacon, and tomato goodness along with some brown sugar, barbecue sauce, and herbs. Yum, yum.

Finished BBQ Beans in a white serving bowl.

You can use almost any white bean in this recipe, but my preference is navy beans. Cannellini or white northern work as well. And I do use canned beans, but dried beans work just as well. Be sure to soak them overnight and rinse well before cooking.

These BBQ Beans go with so many meals – burgers, hot dogs, barbecue sandwiches, fried chicken….whatever you like. Heck, I’ve had them leftover just by themselves.

About the Ingredients


  • Beans (Use any small-ish white beans that you like – navy, cannellini, or great northern beans all work well. My preference is navy beans.)
  • Barbecue Sauce (I recommend a sweet barbecue sauce such as Kraft original or Sweet Baby Ray’s.)
  • Red Pepper Flakes (Adjust the amount up or down to suit your preferred heat level.)
  • Fresh Rosemary (In my opinion, it’s the rosemary that really makes this recipe so delicious. If you don’t have fresh, substitute one teaspoon of dried.)

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING …

“Absolute genius to place the bacon & onions in the baking dish and cook in the oven!”
— Miss P

How to Make BBQ Beans


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the Bacon and Onion

Bacon, onion, and olive oil in a baking pan.
  • Place the onion and bacon in a 9×13 baking pan and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Cook for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the onion has softened and the bacon has browned lightly.

Add Beans and Other Ingredients

Beans and seasonings added to baking pan.
  • Add the beans, tomato sauce, and water, the brown sugar, barbecue sauce, red pepper flakes, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  • Stir together until well combined.

Return to the oven and bake for an additional 1 hour or until the beans are tender.
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Finished BBQ Beans in a white serving bowl.

Variations and Tips


  • Spice up your beans even more by adding a finely diced jalapeno or a couple of minced chipotles in adobe.
  • Add a bit of “tang” by stirring in a couple of tablespoons of yellow mustard.
  • If you don’t have light brown sugar on hand, you can make a substitute with 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of molasses stirred together. No molasses? Try a tablespoon of maple syrup or honey.

Storage


Cover tightly and keep in the refrigerator for about 5-6 days. Reheat slowly on the stovetop or in the microwave. You can also freeze them for up to six months.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I substitute dry beans in this recipe?

To use dried beans for the recipe, you’ll need 1 1/2 cups dried beans to equal 3 15-ounce cans. Rinse the dried beans and check through them for any bad beans or foreign material. Place in a bowl with enough water to cover by two inches. Cover and let sit for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse briefly and proceed with the recipe. Note that even after soaking, dried beans may need more time to become tender than canned beans.

Why such a long cooking time when canned beans are already mostly cooked?

Canned beans are definitely soft, but not fully cooked. The long cooking time allows for the beans to cook thoroughly and for the luscious tomato sauce to cook, thicken, and develop all its flavors.

Do I have to use white beans?

I prefer navy beans, but you can use any variety of beans you like.

Can I make this recipe in advance?

Yes! You can make BBQ beans a day or two in advance. They’re actually even better the second day.

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Recipe

Finished BBQ Beans in a white serving bowl.

BBQ Beans

Take plain baked beans to the next level with these delicious BBQ Beans full of onion, bacon, and seasonings in a tangy tomato sauce.
5 from 2 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 197kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • ½ large red onion thinly sliced
  • 4 slices bacon cut crosswise
  • Olive oil
  • 45 ounces canned beans navy, cannellini, or great northern beans, lightly drained (3 15-ounce cans)
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar packed
  • cup barbecue sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place the onion and bacon in a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Cook for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the onion has softened and the bacon has browned lightly.
  • Add remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  • Return to the oven and bake for an additional 1 hour or until the beans are tender.
  • Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

Ingredients:
  • Use any small-ish white beans that you like – navy, cannellini, or great northern beans all work well.
  • I recommend a sweet barbecue sauce such as Kraft original or Sweet Baby Ray’s.
  • If you don’t have fresh rosemary, substitute one teaspoon of dried.
Variations and Tips:
  • Spice up your beans even more by adding a finely diced jalapeno or a couple of minced chipotles in adobe.
  • Add a bit of “tang” by stirring in a couple of tablespoons of yellow mustard.
  • If you don’t have light brown sugar on hand, you can make a substitute with 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of molasses stirred together. No molasses? Try a tablespoon of maple syrup or honey.
Storage:
Cover tightly and keep in the refrigerator for about 5-6 days. Reheat slowly on the stovetop or in the microwave. You can also freeze them for up to six months.
How to Use Dried Beans:
To use dried beans for the recipe, you’ll need 1 1/2 cups dried beans to equal 3 15-ounce cans. Rinse the dried beans and check through them for any bad beans or foreign material. Place in a bowl with enough water to cover by two inches. Cover and let sit for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse briefly and proceed with the recipe. Note that even after soaking, dried beans may need more time to become tender than canned beans.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 832mg | Potassium: 652mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 298IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This post was originally published on January 22, 2019. It has been updated with additional information.

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4 Comments

  1. Absolute genius to place the bacon & onions in the baking dish and cook in the oven! I usually sauté those and then mix everything together in the baking dish. You just saved me a step, and one less pan to wash.
    I really do love baked beans, especially with BBQ chicken. That’s just such a classic combination.
    Can’t wait to try this.
    Miss P

    1. As I said in the post, you can certainly use dry beans. Just soak them and add in where the canned beans are added in the recipe. They come out just about the same though you may find they need some additional time. The baking time creates the lovely rich, sticky sauce and combines all the flavors.