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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!

When you plan fun cookouts, summer get togethers, and potlucks during the year, baked beans are often a favorite dish to include. The best I’ve ever tasted are my Southern Baked Beans with this family favorite recipe.

Baked beans topped with crispy slices of bacon in a cast iron dutch oven // addapinch.com

These baked beans go perfectly with so many favorite dishes like pulled porkgrilled chicken, hamburgers, ribs, and everything in between. They are a regular around here and it is definitely a recipe you want to keep in your arsenal!

Baked Beans Recipe

Cast iron dutch oven with cooked Southern Baked Beans topped with crispy bacon // addapinch.com

Rich, smokey and oh so delicious, my recipe comes together quickly and then bakes slow so that all those flavors just meld perfectly together!

Baked Beans Ingredients

  • Beans – canned navy beans or soaked dried beans
  • Bacon – omit for vegan
  • Garlic
  • Sweet onion
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Unsulphured molasses
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Ketchup
  • Yellow mustard

Dark stock pot filled with Baked Beans topped with slices of bacon  // addapinch.com

How to Make Baked Beans in Oven

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

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 mustard and 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.

How to Make Baked Beans in 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

Make Ahead to Store

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.

Make Ahead to Freeze

To freeze baked beans, cook 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!

4.84 from 42 votes

Southern Baked Beans Recipe

Side Dish 1 hr

Southern Baked Beans Recipe - This recipe makes the perfect side dish for so many meals! This easy baked beans recipe will become a favorite! // addapinch.com
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Servings 10 servings
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone
Southern Baked Beans Recipe – This recipe makes the perfect side dish for so many meals! These easy baked beans are a family favorite!

Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

Make-Ahead:
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. 

Nutritional Information

Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 184mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 0.6mg

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Enjoy!
Robyn xo

Southern Baked Beans Recipe - This recipe makes the perfect side dish for so many meals! This easy baked beans recipe will become a favorite! // addapinch.com

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2013.

Bean Recipes

Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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Recipe Review




Comments

  1. Wow! These look amazing! I have been looking for the perfect baked beans and I think I just found them! Thank you!

  2. My mouth is totally watering just seeing the picture lol. I grew up on baked beans…YUM. Instead of navy beans we use pork n beans…throw in some ketchup, bacon, and brown sugar with a little bit of chopped onions….sometimes we toss in a lil bit of bbq sauce…woooo weeee!!! Good stuff!

  3. I’m reading this at 5:45 a.m. and my mouth is watering for those beans!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Wow, Robyn! These look SO mouthwatering and easy, I love it. A must-try for my next BBQ, for sure!

  5. My British husband insists that the only beans worth eating are Heinz beans, which are very hard to find in Honolulu. I’m trying to convince him of the complete awesomeness of American baked beans. Perhaps this recipe will do the trick.

  6. Oh yum! I’m thinking these will be perfect for just about any main dish we may serve this weekend.

  7. Just wondering if you drained the beans? may sound like a silly question but I know people who don’t drain canned beans.

  8. I made these beans yesterday — they’re amazing! Thank you for another fantastic recipe, Robyn! 🙂

    I used White Beans since I couldn’t find navy beans.

  9. I made these tonight and did not drain the beans…..big mistake! They did not look anything like these…..too soupy. Will try again but will drain the navy beans, before I pass judgment on the recipe!!

  10. This may be the dumbest question of the thread, but am I cooking the bacon before dicing? Thanks, folks.

  11. I drained my beans and put in about 1 cup of water. I always drain my canned beans, I can’t stand that slimy liquid that’s on them. Love this recipe, tastes great!

  12. Looked good but to watery even with draining beans and 1.5 hours cooking,I had to scramble to make them work.

  13. I made this recipe last night for a hot dog roast with friends. My husband loved these with his first bite as did everyone. The recipe is so easy to follow and the result is scrumptious! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe.

  14. Tried this recipe for the first time for the 4th of July Holiday. My Father requested baked beans and I planned to deliver. This recipe did not disappoint! Talk about DELISH!! Full of flavor, not too sweet. I drained my beans and I substituted turkey bacon for pork bacon. So good that I am cooking again tonight!! You will enjoy.

  15. I made these beans a week ago using two cans of Van Camp’s and one can Campbell’s pork and beans, undrained, and then followed the recipe as written except for using a few more slices of bacon. I baked them in a Piral Ware terracotta pot and ate them for three days with Italian bread from our small town bakery(fabulous bread). They could be the best I’ve made and I’ve tried a lot of recipes.

    1. I like both receipes, I used Van Camp’s pork and beans if I don’t have time for
      the navy beans. Both are great! Thanks

  16. I might have missed it, but what is the point of putting the beans in a stock pot? Are the beans supposed to be heated before putting them into the in the oven?

  17. Wanted to make southern bake beans in oven in Bean Pot, how long would I cook, at what temp, and if liq. gets low just add a little water? Sorry so many questions, been really wanting to try out Bean pot my mom passed on to me and this recipe looks wonderful ! I’m using soaked beans

  18. I found this recipe a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t wait to try it. I made it last night and OMG everyone raved about it. Now I am making it to take on vacation to serve with my smoked brisket! I love your site!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed them, John! Now I’m craving smoked brisket!!! 🙂

  19. Hi,
    I have made these before and found them to be the EPITOME of what baked beans should be. I want to make them again. Unfortunately, I only have White Kidney beans at home (and two babies so I don’t want to rush out to the store to buy navy beans.) Do you think it will turn out if I use them instead? Seriously though, best beans ever!!!

  20. These were so good! My husband said they were the best he’s ever had. I added in a small amount of liquid smoke to add even more flavor. Yum!

  21. Question – any suggestions for substitutions for the molasses? It’s not something I generally keep on my shelf.

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Kim!
      Yes, you can use maple syrup or honey in place of the molasses. It will change the flavor a bit from the flavor of the beans with the molasses. Hope you are having a great summer! xo

  22. Bacon and brown sugar! That looks so delicious… especially while camping. There’s nothing better than a meal outdoors.

  23. I really liked the way these turned out. They have really good flavor. They are sort of tangy and sweet and really rich. This recipe does not make a lot though. We only got about 3 cups of beans out of it. Next time I will double the recipe. Thanks

    1. I’ve been wondering about whether to drain and rinse the beans myself. I drained and rinsed and it turned out dry. Flavor was great, but I guess next time I’ll not drain.

  24. Now cut up a pkg of hot dogs 1/2″ ± thick to stir into beans and you have my version of Beanie Weenies.

  25. hmmmm….I have a 2nd cousin named Robyn Stone, originally from SC. I haven’t seen her in 40 years. …..just came across your website, I don’t think you are her, but hello anyway. Stone would have been her maiden name.
    I’m in Montana

  26. Made these tonight and doubled. Didn’t have bacon, so used leftover ham and just added a little oil so it didn’t burn. Used great northern beans (drained) from Sams 2-48 ounce jars. Tripled the molasses and only 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Wanted a little more zip so added 1/2 cup of Open Pit and 1 tsp. of seasoning salt. Didn’t change anything else. I have never made baked beans before and probably shouldn’t have tweaked so much, but know how I wanted them to taste. I searched for 1/2 hour on google and out of all the places I looked, this was the flavors I wanted. Might try a dash of liquid smoke next time. but we’ll see. Simply delicious! Thank you, Robyn!

  27. Just wanted to let you know that this has become my go-to recipe for homemade baked beans. So good! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. If I use a cast iron skillet to cook bacon, could I just add other ingredients to skillet and use it in oven ?

    2. Shoulda read the comments! It seemed like I needed to just have soaked the beans. ? I’ve cooked kidneys in a little water, chili seasonings and onion, garlic & pepper. How would I do these?

  28. I read all the reviews and wondered why some people said their beans turned out soupy. I have noticed canned beans vary from brand to brand on the bean to liquid ratio. Some brands seem to have a lot more liquid than others. I use Bush’s navy beans and the recipe is perfect.

    1. Hi Maggie,
      The brand I use is very thick and does not have extra liquid, but if yours has a lot of added liquid you may want to drain. Thanks!

    2. So are you supposed to use the whole can of navy beans without draining and rinsing them?

  29. Just tried them today and loved it! I discovered it helps to cook the bacon for a bit first before adding the onion and garlic .. Otherwise the onion is done before the bacon is crisp.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  30. Love this recipe! Thanks for sharing! I did find that the navy beans tend to be tough after they’re baked. I tried the recipe with great northern beans instead and they turned out 100x BETTER!!

  31. I’ve had this recipe pinned for a long time now and I’m finally going to make it. Are you supposed to drain the beans? I read through all the comments and I noticed that lots of people have asked you and you have never responded to them. It might be nice to see it noted in the recipe. It might seem obvious to you but clearly some of us aren’t getting it. Thanks!

    1. Hi Katie,
      When I use canned beans, the brand I use is very thick, so I don’t have to drain them as there is no extra liquid to speak of. I would suggest if there is a lot of extra liquid in your beans, you will probably want to drain some of it off.
      I hope this helps and that you enjoy them! They are a regular around my house all summer! Thanks!

  32. What a great baked beans! Can these beans be frozen like another baked beans were? How long will this dish last in the freezer?

  33. I realize is a side dish, but I can’t imagine two cans of beans feeding 8-10 people ? Can you give me an idea of how much you are considering a portion size ? Thank you !

  34. Tried this recipe and will.go back to my standard from my old Betty Crocker Cookbook. These have that grocery story deli ketchup flavor of which I am not a fan. I do agree with the one who commented recommending using great northern beans. The navy beans do get a bit tough with baking.

    1. Hi Kim,
      When I use canned beans, the brand I use is very thick, so I don’t have to drain them as there is no extra liquid to speak of. I would suggest if there is a lot of extra liquid in your beans, you will probably want to drain some of it off.
      I hope this helps and that you enjoy them! Thanks!!!

    1. I have not made this particular recipe in the slow cooker, CP. I hope you enjoy these! Thanks!

  35. I’m wondering if you can use black or red beans in this recipe. I always have those on hand (for chili) but not navy beans.

  36. I love how simple and delicious this recipe is. Thanks for the super easy recipe! It was just what I needed on a day when I got home from work and really didn’t want to put any effort into cooking!

    1. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it, Patricia! It’s been a family favorite for years! Thanks! xo

  37. Fabulous. Sweet and smoky (I used thick, smoked bacon both to saute the onions and in the topping). Also freezes well, and reheats beautifully, with just a wee touch of water to thin it out. A great dish for large family gatherings!

  38. This truly is the best baked beans recipe. I’ve been using this recipe since Robyn first posted it and now I am always the one that is asked to make the baked beans for cookouts.

    1. I’m thrilled to hear that, Joy! Thanks so much for letting me know that you enjoy it! xo

  39. Do I need to drain the bacon grease before adding to the beans? Looking forward to making for Memorial day!

  40. If using dried soaked navy beans, what amount should one use. I don’t know the ratio of dried beans to canned beans so I’m sure one doesn’t use two 16 oz packages of dried beans? Thanks in advance for this measurement.

  41. This dish is an amazing! I think immediately of rice that would be perfect for this baked beans!
    It’s unbelievable that it could be stored frozenly up to 3 months 😮

  42. What do you think of making these in a slow cooker? Near 100 degrees tomorrow and I’ve no desire to heat the house up even more. I’ve made these several times and it’s my go-to baked bean recipe. Yummy, delicious!

  43. Absolutely the best recipe ever. Everyone’s who has ever tried these beans has eaten seconds and thirds. My uncle who “HATES baked beans” loves this recipe. I make it all the time. 

    When making it for vegetarians I sautéed the onion with butter for the fat content and add a few drops of liquid smoke to the recipe. 

  44. Excellent recipe! I’ve made it twice for company and to share with a friend and it is a huge favorite of all who’ve eaten it.
    I partially drain the beans and cook it for hours longer than called for. And I prefer to use Great Northern White beans. The slightly larger bean helps balance the sugar for my preference. 
    Thank you for sharing this fabulous recipe.

  45. FYI, to make this recipe vegan you would also have to either omit the Worcestershire sauce entirely, or substitute vegan Worcestershire sauce. Regular Worcestershire Sauce contains anchovies. I plan on making this recipe (non-vegan for me) this weekend as a side for smoked brisket. Can’t wait to try it!

    1. I hope you enjoy these baked beans, Andrew! These are one of my husband’s favorite dishes with smoked brisket. Thanks for your suggestions for making this vegan.

  46. We will never buy canned flavored baked beans again, This is now a family staple. Thank you for the recipe! After trying the recipe as written, (which we loved) we started to substitute spicy BBQ sauce for the ketchup just to turn it up a notch

    1. The sauce was PERFECT! I doubled it for a Super Bowl party and used 1 can of each pork and beans, red kidney, navy, and pinto. My 5 year old grandson loved thrm so mush that I named them after him…Buddy Boo Baked Beans!
      Thank you for sharing.

    2. Thank you, Dan. It sounds delicious with the different types of beans. If it met a 5 year old’s taste test, it had to be good!

  47. Best baked beans recipe ever! I did not change or add anything. It was the highlight of our Sunday BBQ Family get together today and was good to the last bean. Thanks much for sharing this recipe.

  48. I always use great northern beans,,,,canned or in the bag,,the ones that need to be soaked ,,,only difference is I use about 3 X the bacon,,,everybody loves bacon ,,and try this with pineapple sometime,,,it’s also great.

  49. Looking forward to trying. One quick note, one would need to omit worcestshire sauce in order to make it vegan

    1. There are some commercial vegan Worcestershire sauces on the market if you want to try those, Brian. Hope you enjoy these baked beans.

    1. Tracey, you would need about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of dried beans for the 2 cans of beans in the recipe.

  50. If I use the slow cooker, do I use canned navy beans and not raw? Wouldn’t it be too mush? Please advise.

    1. I use canned navy beans for this recipe in my slow cooker, Lucy. The beans have never been mushy.

  51. Hi Robyn,

    I cannot find canned Navy beans in our supermarkets. Can I use canned pinto beans? Do I need to rinse and drain the beans before cooling? I am going to use the slow cooker method. Please help.

    1. Peggy, the brand I use is very thick and does not have extra liquid, but if yours has a lot of added liquid you may want to drain. Hope you enjoy!

  52. I’ve been making this for years. And they really are THE BEST southern baked beans. I’ve tweaked them slightly, letting the onions start to brown, then using Trappey’s navy beans with jalapeño and using scant measures of the sweeteners. Delicious! Thanks for this recipe, Robyn

  53. These are excellent!! I love baked beans, but due to newly developed dietary restrictions, I simply cannot have any of the canned options available. This recipe comes out tasting better than the canned version. I did make a couple of adjustments. I replaced a few tablespoons of the sweetener with maple syrup to give them that flavor and since my bacon was very thick, I used only two pieces. I also drained the bacon after cooking. The recipe doesn’t say whether to do this or not, so I opted to drain. Definitely will make again and again. 🙂

  54. Delicious!! l I used Trader Joe’s Great Northern beans. I should have drained some of of the liquid and drained the bacon.

    1. Thanks, Carol. The brand I use is very thick and does not have extra liquid, but if yours has a lot of added liquid you may want to drain.

  55. This is my go to dish for any picnic or guest dinner or covered dish dinner. Delish! I always leave with an empty Dutch oven.

    1. Linda, the brand I use is very thick and does not have extra liquid, but if yours has a lot of added liquid you may want to drain.

  56. I wish I would have seen your recipe a week ago , I was going to make BBQ this past weekend. I usually use Grandma Browns but they have been unavailable. This weekend I am going to a family picnic for the Holiday and will try these. I Will let you know how it went over. Thank you for this site , love the recipes

    1. Thanks, Suzanne. I hope you enjoy these baked beans. They are a favorite with my family and friends.

    1. Marge, you would need about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of dried beans for the 2 cans of beans in the recipe. Hope this helps.

    1. Lisa, sorry you missed it but it is in Step 1: Preheat the oven to 325ºF. I hope you enjoy these beans.