In my family, no backyard barbecue or cookout would be complete without a helping of baked beans. Being from New England, baked beans are a year round staple. These baked beans start with your favorite canned baked beans and we doctor them up to a whole new level. Everyone is going to rave at this dish.
We call these beans Best Ever Meaty Barbecue Baked Beans for a reason. When I serve these at a party, there are never any leftovers. They are seriously that good. First, I brown some ground beef and bacon with some onions and diced bell peppers. If you wanted to substitute some chopped pork from a Smoked Pork Butt or some Barbecue Ribs, that would work great, too. I do often alter this recipe based on what ingredients I have on hand.
Next add some of your favorite spicy barbecue sauce, brown sugar, a little vinegar for some tanginess and mix well.
Finally, add your favorite baked beans and stir until well combined. Then transfer to a large 13 x 9-inch baking dish (or cast iron skillet) and bake. A wide, shallow baking dish does better for this recipe than a taller one to allow more surface area for the bean broth to condense and thicken.
To determine how many cans you will need, I estimate that each can serves about 6 people. This recipe is easily doubled or halved.
Best Ever Meaty BBQ Baked Beans
These Best Ever Meaty BBQ Baked Beans will be the hit of your backyard party or cookout this summer. Bring these to your next potluck - they are always a crowd favorite.
- 8 slices bacon, cut into quarter pieces
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion, diced small
- 1/2 medium bell pepper, diced small
- 3 large cans (28 ounces each) baked beans, such as Green Giant brand [See Note 1]
- 3/4 cup spicy barbecue sauce, such as Newman's Own
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup distilled or cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard [See Note 2]
- Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a large skillet or cast iron pan, fry bacon in large, deep sauté pan skillet until bacon has cooked and released about 1/4 cup drippings. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels.
- Add the ground beef, onions, and peppers to the bacon drippings and sauté until cooked through and tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add beans, bacon crumbles, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, ground mustard, and vinegar. Stir completely and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper.
- If using a cast iron pan, place the pan directly in the oven and bake until beans are bubbly and the sauce has thickened, about 2 hours. Otherwise, transfer beans to a large baking pan (13 x9-inch) and bake until the beans are hot and bubbly and the sauce has thickened. [See Note 3]
- Refrigerate leftovers covered for up to 5 days.
- For feeding a crowd, figure that one large (28 ounce) can feeds about 6 people. This recipe is easily doubled or halved.
- If you do not have ground dry mustard, substitute 2 tsp prepared yellow, spicy, or dijon mustard. If you prefer not to add mustard, you may omit it all together.
- These beans can also be made ahead and kept warm in the crock pot.
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