12 Saucy Baked Bean Recipes

5 ingredient slow cooker beans with bacon

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Sweet, saucy, and tangy all at once, baked beans are an inexpensive, delicious all-American tradition. They have a stick-to-your-ribs texture and typically are made with common pantry ingredients, so they're an excellent way to feed your family dinner. They're also a time-honored potluck, barbecue, and picnic side dish that go well with pulled pork, sausages, and burgers. Whether you like your baked beans with meat or prefer a vegan and vegetarian bean bake, you'll find a winner with these budget-friendly baked bean recipes.

  • 01 of 12

    Boston Baked Beans

    Boston baked beans

    Susan Marie Andersson / Getty Images

    They don't call Boston "Beantown" for nothing. Boston baked beans, with their signature deep, sweet, porky flavor, have been a saucy staple of New England potlucks for hundreds of years. They are usually made with navy beans, but you could substitute any small dried beans you have on hand in the kitchen cupboard.

  • 02 of 12

    Instant Pot Baked Beans

    Instant Pot baked beans

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Skip the soaking and cook up a pot of tender barbecue baked beans in less than an hour using the Instant Pot. They're a sweet and sour treat for your taste buds, with salty bacon, chopped vegetables, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, molasses, dried spices, and plenty of garlic. Serve them as a side for sausages or a meal on their own with cornbread.

  • 03 of 12

    Beefy Barbecue Baked Beans

    Beefy barbecue baked beans

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Use a can of pork and beans from the pantry to boost these economical beefy barbecue baked beans. You can make them in an hour for a thick and hearty, one-dish family meal to enjoy with crusty bread or homemade dinner rolls. Or top them with shredded cheddar cheese for the ultimate game day lunch bowl.

  • 04 of 12

    Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans With Molasses

    Vegetarian Boston baked beans with molasses

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

    These budget-friendly, oven-baked vegetarian baked beans are low in calories and nearly fat free but have all of the sweet, salty, and tangy flavor you're looking for. They're also a cinch to prepare, with canned navy or pinto beans, vegetable broth, and basic condiments.

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  • 05 of 12

    Sweet and Spicy Bourbon Baked Beans

    Sweet and spicy bourbon baked beans

    Paul Poplis / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    Step up your side dish game with this amazingly tasty Southern-style recipe. Smoky, tangy bourbon baked beans are deliciously sweetened with brown sugar, molasses, and honey, plus a nice kick from chipotle peppers and whiskey. Use a less expensive bottle of hooch to enhance the beans, saving small-batch bourbons for drinking.

  • 06 of 12

    Homemade Baked Beans

    Homemade baked beans

    The Spruce 

    Homemade baked beans made with salt pork instead of bacon have a good old-fashioned flavor (but bacon can be used in a pinch). These slow-baked beans are an excellent choice for a snowy weekend meal. Feel free to add ketchup or your favorite bottled barbecue sauce if you like a tangier bean bake.

  • 07 of 12

    Kansas City Baked Beans

    Kansas City baked beans

    Lew Robertson / Getty Images

    What makes Kansas City baked beans so special? It's the brisket burnt ends that give these beans their deservedly famous smoky, sweet, and savory flavor. Baked in a tangy barbecue sauce with bacon, bell peppers, and onion added for good measure, there's really nothing like them.

  • 08 of 12

    Barbecue Baked Beans With Spicy Sausage

    Barbecue baked beans with spicy sausage

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Slices of spicy sausage make these saucy baked beans feel more like a main dish casserole than a side. This rib-sticking bean bake delivers a fantastic punch of flavor that is especially satisfying on chilly fall and winter days. Serve these beans with warm cornbread muffins and a side green salad for an easy, complete family dinner.

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  • 09 of 12

    5-Ingredient Slow-Cooker Beans With Bacon

    5-ingredient slow cooker beans with bacon

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Two magically delicious ingredients—brown sugar and bacon—flavor these awesome slow-cooked baked beans. It's made with canned beans, and it's effortless and great for potlucks. It makes an outstanding side dish for pork chops and bratwurst or an inspired topping for a baked potato.

  • 10 of 12

    Crock Pot Vegetarian Baked Beans

    Crock pot vegetarian baked beans

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

    Beans are a great source of protein when you are trying to eat meatless. These vegetarian baked beans are a cinch to prepare in the crock pot and deliver loads of satisfyingly tangy taste. Simply soak the beans before adding them to the slow cooker with a few other ingredients and let it cook all day. While they simmer, you can make a batch of vegan cornbread to round out your meal.

  • 11 of 12

    Baked Beans With Country Ham

    Baked beans with country ham

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Country ham and dark molasses flavor these tasty, tender, slow-baked navy beans. With only eight ingredients, they are an easy and inexpensive way to feed your family. Serve them with biscuits, buttered toast, or a fluffy baked potato for a delicious, low-effort dinner.

  • 12 of 12

    Crock Pot Honey Baked Beans With Ground Beef

    Crock pot honey baked beans with ground beef

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Flavored with a lip-smacking honey-barbecue sauce and onion soup mix, this crock pot beef and beans dish is a fantastic tummy warmer on cold winter evenings. You can also serve them as an ultra-hearty side dish for casual game day fare with meaty mains such as pulled pork and burgers.