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Easy Smoky-Sweet BBQ Baked Beans
My friends and family request this recipe all the time!
These baked beans are one of the dishes I am "known" for. If we're having a family get together or a potluck with friends, chances are good that this dish will be requested, especially if the party is a barbecue or a cookout. Some say I should actually serve these as dessert rather than with the meal, because these BBQ baked beans are so rich, sweet and yummy.
You can use any brand of canned beans that you like. All the additions end up making the sauce so rich, smoky and sweet that even generic canned beans in the thinnest, plainest tomato sauce will end up being unrecognizably and ridiculously delicious. I do recommend Ranch Style brand beans where they are called for, but if they do not sell them in your area, try chili beans, chilli starter or cowboy beans, which are all very similar to Ranch Style beans.
I love these beans for entertaining on a budget. They don't cost much to make, are delicious and popular with guests, and the recipe can easily be doubled, tripled or even quadrupled if you are throwing a major party and have invited everyone you've met. You can even make them the day before, and just heat them up the day of the party.
Smoky-sweet BBQ baked beans go very well with these other dishes that make up my favorite delicious but budget-conscious party menu: crock-pot pulled pork, fresh green beans, homemade cole slaw, homemade beer bread and ooey-gooey chocolate marshmallow cake.
- 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat or butter
- 2 15-ounce cans baked beans, any brand
- 2 15-ounce cans Ranch Style beans
- 1 15-ounce can pork and beans, any brand
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, any brand
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 Tablespoon prepared mustard
- 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Chipotle Tabasco sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- Place diced onions and peppers in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 4 minutes. Stir to coat with butter or bacon fat, and microwave 2 more minutes, or until vegetables are tender. If you are trying to throw the beans together very quickly, you can skip this step, but without first being cooked they often are somewhat crunchy, even after the beans have baked for several hours. I like the throw them into a large Pyrex measuring cup and microwave them instead of sauteing them in a pan. They don't burn, and clean up is so easy -- I just put the Pyrex bowl in the dishwasher.
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. This is one of those "kitchen sink" recipes. Throw in whatever sounds delicious. Even though they are not listed in the official ingredients list, above, I often throw in a little molasses or honey. Stir well to mix ingredients evenly.
- Turn into a large baking dish and bake, uncovered, at 275 degrees F for three hours. Stir the beans after the first hour, and then every thirty minutes. After three hours the sauce should be thick and dense, and the beans themselves should be firm. Bake less or more depending upon the consistency you prefer. I prefer my sauce very thick and the beans on the verge of becoming dry (but definitely not actually dry).