Brown Sugar and Bacon Baked Beans


When it comes to potluck, BBQ and summer party staples, nothing hits the spot quite like a big ol’ potful of baked beans. But we’re not talking about those sad, underseasoned beans from a can. Oh no, these Brown Sugar and Bacon Baked Beans are in a league of their own with their decadent sweet and smoky flavors that’ll have everyone going back for seconds and thirds!

Imagine creamy beans simmered until thick and richly seasoned with brown sugar, tangy mustard, and savory-sweet molasses. As if that isn’t drool-worthy enough, they’re topped with a heap of crispy bacon that gets nice and candied from the sauce as it bakes. Every forkful delivers an utterly crave-worthy combination of sweet, salty, savory and smoky flavors with that signature sticky, thick sauce and pops of chewy, caramelized bacon.

These crowdpleasing baked beans are shockingly easy to throw together but tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen. Just sauté some onions and peppers, mix up the sauce, pour it over the beans, top with bacon and bake until bubbly and thick. In just about 3 hours you’ll have the most insanely delicious baked beans that will seriously steal the show at any picnic or potluck.

The Best Baked Bean Recipe You’ll Ever Try:

  • Thick, rich and loaded with sweet and smoky flavors
  • Baked with crispy bacon slices that get deliciously candied
  • Simple, fuss-free prep using mostly pantry staples
  • Feeds a crowd and makes amazing leftovers or meal-prep lunches
  • Perfect for potlucks, BBQs, summer parties and picnics
  • Customizable with other proteins, veggies or heat level

Key Ingredients for Sweet and Savory Baked Beans:

  • Bacon – Cooked partway through to get crispy and candied on top
  • Molasses – Adds incredible depth of flavor and smoky notes
  • Brown sugar – Balances out the savory with touch of sweetness
  • Ketchup – Tomato base with a touch of tang and richness
  • Apple cider vinegar – Brightens up the flavors
  • Dried mustard powder – Another pop of tangy flavor
  • Onions and bell pepper – For savory aromatic flavor

How to Make Easy Southern-Style Baked Beans:

  1. Cook the bacon partway through and set aside to cool and chop into pieces. Reserve some of the bacon grease.
  2. Sauté the onions and bell pepper until softened in the skillet with bacon grease.
  3. Add the canned beans, ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and other seasonings. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour the bean mixture into a baking dish and top evenly with the chopped bacon pieces.
  5. Bake for 2-3 hours at 325°F until thickened and bubbly, with the bacon getting crisp and candied on top.
  6. Let cool for 5 minutes then serve warm!

Variations on This Easy Baked Beans Recipe:

  • Make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon and using veggie broth instead of bacon grease.
  • Add smoked sausage, ham or pulled pork for an extra protein boost.
  • Spice it up with jalapeños, chili powder or a dash of hot sauce.
  • Make it vegan by using vegan Worcestershire sauce and omitting the bacon.
  • Add bell peppers, corn or other veggies for extra nutrients.
  • Cook them in the slow cooker for fuss-free baked beans.

The beautifully thickened sauce packed with layers of sweet, smoky and savory flavors puts these Brown Sugar and Bacon Baked Beans in a league of their own. Studded with those crispy nuggets of candied bacon, it’s downright impossible to stop going back for more forkfuls. They make for the ultimate potluck crowd pleaser or easy summer side dish to complement anything you’re grilling up.

Let me know if you need any other tips to make these outrageously good baked beans for your next summer party! Whether you keep them classic or add your own spin, they’re guaranteed to be a hit.

Brown Sugar and Bacon Baked Beans Recipe

these Brown Sugar and Bacon Baked Beans are in a league of their own with their decadent sweet and smoky flavors that’ll have everyone going back for seconds and thirds!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 10 slices bacon diced
  • 1 yellow onion finely diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper finely diced
  • 54 oz can pork and beans or 4 15oz cans pinto/navy beans
  • 4 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp dried mustard powder


  • Cook the bacon partway through, about halfway done (8-10 minutes at 400F). Let cool and chop into bite-sized pieces.
  • In a skillet with the bacon grease or butter, sauté the onion and bell pepper for 5 mins until softened.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except bacon to the skillet. Stir well and let simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour bean mixture into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Top evenly with the chopped bacon pieces.
  • Bake at 325°F for 2-3 hours, until thickened to your desired consistency.
  • Let cool for 5 mins before serving warm. Enjoy!


For vegetarian, omit bacon and use veggie broth instead of bacon grease.
Jalapeños, ham, smoked sausage or other proteins can be added.
Baked beans can be made up to 2 days ahead. Store bean mixture and cooked bacon separately and assemble before baking.
Leftovers keep well refrigerated for 5-7 days. Reheat before serving.

1 Comment

  1. Julie

    5 stars
    These are the best baked beans

Comments are now closed.
5 from 1 vote