This Southern Baked Beans Recipe makes the best baked beans! It’s a perfect side dish for so many meals and a family favorite recipe for years! So savory, scrumptious and easy to make!
As we’re about to step into all those fun cookouts, summer get togethers, and even family reunions, I thought I’d share this favorite recipe for my Southern Baked Beans.
These baked beans really go so perfectly with so many dishes I serve during this season – like pulled pork, grilled chicken, hamburgers, and everything in between – that they are somewhat of a regular occurrence around here and it is definitely a recipe you want to keep in your arsenal!
Baked Beans Recipe
Rich, smokey and oh so delicious, my recipe comes together quickly and then bakes slow so that all those flavors just meld perfectly together!
The fast-track of this recipe begins with canned navy beans, but you can of course begin with soaked dried beans if you prefer.
How to Make the BEST Baked Beans
While the oven preheats, pour your navy beans into a medium stockpot set over medium heat.
In a medium skillet, add diced bacon, onion, and garlic. Cook until the bacon is crisp and the onion is tender. Then, remove from the heat and add to the navy beans. Add Worcestershire sauce, molasses, brown sugar, ketchup, and yellow mustarded stir to combine well. Pour into deep dish you plan to serve from or leave in stockpot. Finally, top with the optional (but highly recommended!) bacon and sprinkle the top with brown sugar.
Place into the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Increase temperature to 425º F for 10 minutes to crisp bacon. Remove from oven and allow to rest about 5 minutes before serving.
Vegetarian / Vegan Baked Beans
To make this recipe vegetarian / vegan, simply omit the bacon from the recipe as well as the optional topping.
Slow Cooker Baked Beans
I’ve also included how to make baked beans in your slow cooker!
Add your navy beans to the slow cooker and set aside.
In a medium skillet, cook your diced bacon, onion, and garlic until the bacon is crisp and the onion and garlic are tender. Add to the slow cooker. Add Worcestershire sauce (or coconut aminos if sensitive to soy), molasses, dark brown sugar, ketchup, and mustard. Stir to combine well.
Cook on low setting for 6-7 hours or on high setting for 3-4 hours. If your baked beans are not as thick as you would like, remove the lid to the slow cooker about 30 to 45 minutes before serving and allow to continue cooking until thickened. If too thick, you can stir in water a few tablespoons at a time until it reaches the desired thickness.
Optional: top with baked bacon strips before serving.
How to Make Ahead, Store and Freeze Baked Beans
To make ahead, simply cook and allow to cool. Then wrap well or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To freeze baked beans, cooke and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat and serve.
So, here’s my Southern Baked Beans recipe. Get ready to make it often!
Southern Baked Beans Recipe
- 2 (16-ounce cans) navy beans
- 3 strips bacon diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ medium sweet onion diced
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup unsulphured molasses
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
For the Top of Baked Beans (optional):
- 2 slices bacon halved
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 325º F.
- Pour navy beans into medium stockpot.
- In a medium skillet, add diced bacon, onion, and garlic. Cook until bacon is crisp and onion is tender. Remove from heat and add to navy beans.
- Add Worcestershire sauce, molasses, brown sugar, ketchup, and yellow mustard. Stir to combine well. Pour into deep dish you plan to serve from or leave in stockpot. Top with bacon and sprinkle top with brown sugar.
- Place in oven and bake 45 minutes. Increase temperature to 425º F for 10 minutes to crisp bacon. Remove from oven and allow to rest about 5 minutes before serving.
Slow Cooker Baked Beans
- Add navy beans to a slow cooker.
- Cook bacon, onion, and garlic in a medium skillet until the bacon is crisp and the onion and garlic are tender. Add to the navy beans in the slow cooker.
- Add Worcestershire sauce, molasses, brown sugar, ketchup, and yellow mustard. Stir to combine well.
- Cook on LOW setting for 6 to 7 hours or HIGH setting for 3 to 4 hours. If the baked beans are too thin, remove the lid to the slow cooker for the last 30 to 45 minutes of cook time until the beans have thickened to desired consistency. If too thick, stir in water a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Top with optional baked bacon for serving.
Store baked beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Freezer Friendly:
Allow the baked beans to cool. Store in a freezer-safe, airtight container for up to 3 months. To reheat, allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat in a 350ºF oven for 15 – 20 minutes until heated throughout. Vegetarian/ Vegan:
To make these baked beans vegetarian and vegan friendly, simply omit the bacon from the recipe as well as the optional topping.
From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2013.