Best Baked Beans Recipe

baked beans

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 15 mins
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
285 Calories
4g Fat
49g Carbs
15g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 285
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 685mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 15g 52%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 10mg 50%
Calcium 108mg 8%
Iron 4mg 19%
Potassium 682mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Baked beans are smoky, sweet, flavorful beans coated in a thick, bacon-infused sauce. This recipe is super easy because it uses canned beans. Simply fry up the bacon and veggies, add in the beans and sauce ingredients, top with more bacon, and bake for a few hours. You can make this recipe in a slow cooker or you can make it with dried beans for a true, from scratch baked bean recipe. 

It’s the perfect recipe for all of your favorite summer potlucks, picnics, and barbecues. The recipe can easily be made ahead of time and reheated. Serve them alongside macaroni and cheese, cornbread, and smoked ribs for a perfect backyard meal.

“These baked beans are much better than canned and they look beautiful all dolled up in a cast iron skillet. They fit perfectly in the standard 10.25” cast iron skillet though it was a bit challenging stirring everything together. Don’t skimp on the BBQ sauce as it adds a nice sweetness and tang.” —Carrie Parente

Best Baked Beans/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 4 slices Canadian bacon, diced

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced

  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced

  • 3 (16-ounce) cans navy beans

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon ketchup

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 6 slices bacon (not Canadian)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 325 F.

  2. In a large cast-iron skillet over high heat, add the diced Canadian bacon. Stir occasionally until the bacon has browned.

  3. Lower the heat to medium, add the diced onion and bell pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

  4. Add the beans with the liquid from the cans, the brown sugar, barbecue sauce, vinegar, ketchup, mustard, and garlic powder. Stir to combine the ingredients and cook on medium-low until the mixture is bubbling.

  5. Top the beans with the 6 slices of bacon. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the mixture is bubbly, thickened, and the bacon topping is crisp, about 2 hours.

  6. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then serve. Be careful not to stir too much to avoid breaking up the beans.

Recipe Variations

  • Dried Beans: To make this recipe with dried beans, simply soak 16 ounces of beans overnight in water. Drain and rinse the beans and then follow the recipe as directed, adding in one cup of water along with the soaked beans. You will likely need to bake for 3 to 4 hours to cook the beans.
  • Slow Cooker: Add all of the ingredients except for the bacon slices to a crockpot and stir to combine. Top with the bacon slices. Cover and cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 8 hours. 
  • Spicy: To make these beans spicy, simply dice a jalapeño and add it to the peppers and onions in the pan. Continue making the recipe as directed.

How to Store and Freeze

  • You can store the baked beans in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to five days.
  • You can also place the cooled beans in a plastic storage bag and freeze for up to six months. When you are ready to eat, defrost in the refrigerator overnight, and then rewarm in a saucepan with a few tablespoons of water on low heat.

What Beans are in Baked Beans?

You can use navy beans, great northern beans, or any other small white beans in baked beans. Kidney beans can be used but they will have a slightly different texture and flavor.

How Do I Make Baked Beans Thicker?

Baked beans can be made thicker by limiting the amount of liquid added and adjusting the amount of sugar. There needs to be enough sugar to make the sauce thick. Using the liquid from the can is the perfect amount of liquid to make a nice sauce without watering it down.

How Do You Keep Baked Beans From Getting Mushy?

You can keep baked beans from becoming mushy by not stirring them. They do not need to be stirred once they are hot and over-stirring can cause the beans to break up. Also, be careful not to cook them for too long.