Round up the family, preheat the oven and whip up my Mama’s Southern Baked Beans! Made with ingredients like brown sugar, aromatics, and barbecue sauce, my Mama’s Southern Baked Beans are smoky and sweet in all the best ways. Nothing goes better with Summer BBQ than our BEST family baked bean recipe!
This week, I’m all about the grill baby! Bust out last Summer’s leftover coals and crank the grill on high because we’re getting this party started. From BBQ Baby Back Ribs to Marinated Spatchcock Chicken, I’m putting the grill to work and pumping out this Summer’s greatest grilled grub.
But wait, I’m not stopping there y’all! What’s a Southern style BBQ without a few tempting, mouth-watering sides? So, today I’m sharing a sacred recipe: Mama’s Southern Baked Beans! Smoky, sticky, sweet and tender, these beans go hand in hand with rich, grilled meat.
I can’t recall a childhood BBQ where my Mama’s beans weren’t center stage with her grilled catfish and steak. After you’ve tried this recipe, you won’t dare throw another BBQ without them either!
Our favorite variation of “American” Baked Beans originates back to Native American tribes, particularly the Iroquois, Narragansett and Penobscot. Their method involved taking soaked navy beans, mixing them with bear fat, adding maple syrup, then slowly cooking them in clay or deer-skin pots over fire. Cool, huh?
Almost every culture around the world has their own version of a stewed or baked bean dish. From Cuban Black Beans to French Cassoulet, folks have been cooking up luscious, savory beans for centuries!
The Heart and Soul of the Best Southern Baked Beans Recipe
Alright y’all, this may be the simplest recipe I have ever published on this blog. I mean, just by tossing together a few ingredients and leaving them to bake for about an hour, you’ve the perfect savory-sweet side! I promise, this recipe will become this Summer’s go-to addition to any weeknight or celebratory BBQ dinner.
Here’s what we’re gonna today:
- Vegetarian Baked Beans- canned baked beans are often cooked in a tangy sauce seasoned with brown sugar and a variety of spices. The result is a rich, full-flavored batch of navy beans that serve as the perfect base for this recipe.
- Light Brown Sugar- added brown sugar thickens the mixture while adding a deeper, more decadent sweetness.
- Finely Diced Onion- when cooked, onions become sweet while retaining their pungent nature.
- Finely Diced Green Pepper- peppers add a subtle spice and a delightful bite.
- Barbecue Sauce- a couple tablespoons darkens the color of the beans and layers in smoky, spicy flavor.
- Yellow Mustard- mustard offers a tang that introduces balance to our heavily-sweetened mixture.
- Optional: Bacon or Crumbled Ground Beef- this recipe is great as is, but if you’re looking to beef it up adding meat is great. Bacon (or ground beef) offers a substance and rich flavor that I absolutely love!
How to Make Southern Baked Beans
- Turn Up the Heat: Preheat that oven to a toasty 375 degrees, and let’s get this bean bonanza rollin’!
- Bean Bonanza Begins: Grab your favorite casserole dish (the bigger, the better for sharing… or not 😉) and lovingly pour your vegetarian baked beans into it.
- The Flavor Tornado: Now, dive into the fun part! Throw in the brown sugar, onion, green pepper, barbecue sauce, and yellow mustard. Mix it up until everything’s nice and friendly with each other.
- Bake ‘n Bubble: Slide your concoction into the oven and bake it uncovered for about 60 minutes. You’re looking for a bubbly, mouth-watering pot of joy – a sure sign of perfection!
- Patience, Darlin’: Once your kitchen smells like heaven, pull those sizzling beans out, give ’em a good stir, and let them rest for about 10 minutes. They’re piping hot and full of flavor!
- Serve and Savor: Dish out those delicious beans, and watch your family go back for seconds (and probably thirds!). You’ve just rocked their taste buds!
What to Serve With?
If left to my own devices, I could scarf down an entire bowl of Mama’s Baked Beans faster than you can say “bundt cake”. Seriously, I wouldn’t judge if you ate a few spoonfuls straight out of the pot! But, if you’re looking to put together a spread, I got you.
Mama’s Southern Baked Beans are best served alongside hot, smoky BBQ and a couple other classic Southern sides. Try out a few of my downright delicious recipes below:
Storage and Reheating
Best Beans Recipes
Beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, B vitamins and many other important vitamins and minerals! Not only can beans help to reduce blood sugar and improve cholesterol but they help maintain a healthy gut.
This week, shoot for a more well-balanced (and delicious) diet by stirring up a big ‘ole pot of Grandbaby Cakes’ Best Southern bean recipes:
Mama’s Southern Baked Beans
- 2 (28 oz) cans vegetarian baked beans my mom uses Bush's Beans
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/4 cup very finely diced onion
- 1/4 cup very finely diced green pepper
- 2 tbsp barbecue sauce we used Sweet Baby Ray's
- 1 tsp yellow mustard
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Pour beans into a large casserole dish.
- Mix in brown sugar, onion, green pepper, barbecue sauce and yellow mustard until combined.
- Bake uncovered at 60 minutes or until super bubbly.
- Stir beans together, rest for 10 minutes then serve.