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 best ever meaty barbecue 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.
Too hot for the oven? Try my Crock Pot Loaded Baked Beans.
Best Ever Meaty BBQ Baked Beans
- 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 cans baked beans (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 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.