Top Barbecue Beans Recipes

From Boston to California, barbecue is frequently served up next to a bowl of beans. Regardless of the type of beans, this dish makes the perfect accompaniment to any kind of grilled or smoked meats. In fact, a favorite addition to a bowl of beans is grilled or smoked meats, and several of the recipes on this list call for brisket burnt ends; these heavily smoked pieces of brisket are the perfect way to add flavor to any bean dish. You will also find traditional recipes as well as one with a bit of spice.

Beans of any type, whether dry or canned, should be given plenty of time to cook, low and slow. This lets the flavors blend together to create a well-balanced dish.

  • 01 of 08

    Carolina Barbecue Beans

    Carolina-style Barbecue Beans

    Steve Ross / Getty Images

    Carolina barbecue has a taste all its own, and these Carolina-style barbecue beans bring that Southern barbecue flavor to any cookout. Combining a can of pork and beans along with red kidney beans and lima beans provides a nice, hearty base, while the ketchup, cider vinegar, onion, butter, sugar, garlic, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce work perfectly together to flavor the beans in true Southern style. This is ideal with pulled pork, and the addition of some smoky barbecue bark makes it even better.

  • 02 of 08

    Boston Baked Beans

    Boston Baked Beans
    Regarding BBQ Inc.

    Although there are probably a thousand recipes for Boston baked beans, what distinguishes this centuries' old dish is the molasses. These beans are sweet and savory, but not spicy hot. The bacon adds a nice smokiness while the brown sugar and mustard round out the flavors.

  • 03 of 08

    Judy Mills' From-Scratch Baked Beans

    Baked Beans

    Molly Watson

    Mike Mills, barbecue legend and restaurant owner, as well as creator of the Magic Dust barbecue seasoning, acquired this recipe and altered it by making it with dried white beans. The bacon, onion, and garlic add a nice depth of flavor, while the Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, and seasonings contribute that anticipated tang and a little bit of spice. The ketchup, molasses, and brown sugar round it all out with a touch of sweetness.

  • 04 of 08

    Cowboy Beans

    Cowboy Beans

    Bob Ingelhart / Getty Images

    Cowboy beans are a Southwestern specialty, always consisting of pinto beans (and sometimes ground beef) in a sweet and tangy sauce. This version from Texas uses brisket burnt ends instead of beef, as this baked bean dish is often served alongside a smoked beef brisket. It is the smokiness that makes this dish authentic, so if you don't have a cooked brisket substitute cooked bacon or well-done steak.

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  • 05 of 08

    Kansas City Baked Beans

    Kansas City Baked Beans

    Lew Robertson / Getty Images

    Another region of the country known for their barbecue, Kansas City turns out some delicious recipes for anything to do with a smoker. These baked beans also get their flavor from brisket burnt ends; make sure to give the burnt ends time to absorb some of the liquid and release their smokiness. Pre-made barbecue sauce is a time-saver and works beautifully with the apple cider and vinegar, molasses, and mustard to create a great depth of flavor.

  • 06 of 08

    Smoked Beans

    Smoked Beans

    James Baigrie / Getty Images

    Although these beans cook for about 2 hours in a smoker, they are pretty quick to put together, thanks to the canned beans and bottled BBQ sauce. The recipe name is fitting not only because of how it's cooked but also because of the addition of burnt ends of any smoked meat you may have on hand. The only other ingredients you will need are onion, green pepper, honey, and paprika to make this rich-tasting side dish.

  • 07 of 08

    Hot and Spicy Barbecue Beans

    Baked Beans with jalapeno
    James And James / Getty Images

    Jalapeno peppers and hot sauce are what give this barbecue bean dish its heat. Canned baked beans, pre-made barbecue sauce, cooked bacon, onion, ketchup, and seasoned salt combine with the spice to make a side dish anyone who enjoys their food with a bit of kick will love. When making these barbecue beans, just remember that the spice will intensify with time.

  • 08 of 08

    Santa Maria Pinquito Beans

    Santa Maria Pinquito Beans


    Jacob Snavely / Getty Images

    The pinquito bean is a small bean that is a cross between a pink and white bean; it is an important part of the Santa Maria Barbecue, an annual food celebration in the Santa Maria Valley in Southern California. In this barbecue bean dish, the pinquito beans are combined with a mixture of pureed tomatoes, cubed ham, chili sauce, sugar, garlic, and dry mustard, making the perfect accompaniment to any grilled chicken or meat recipe.