Fast and Easy BBQ Baked Beans are sweet and tangy with saute’d onions and crispy bacon bits! They come together in minutes and no oven is needed! They are the perfect side dish for any summer meal or BBQ.
So BBQ Baked Beans, means they are baked right? And the answer is…yes! But not this recipe! Sure I call them that, because you can bake them, but sometimes I do not want to turn on my oven in the summer! So these are made on the stovetop! They can also be heated in your slow cooker! NO OVEN! Hallelujah! The flavors are just as great on the stovetop or in your slow cooker, and it doesn’t change a thing. If the name is making you all sorts of crazy, and you insist on baking them, them throw them in the oven.
The Beans for Fast and Easy BBQ Baked Beans
I always just used canned beans. Seems too simple right?! It is so simple, but with the other things you add, you end up with a deep rich, sweet and tangy sauce and nobody will know you didn’t spend hours soaking and cooking your beans!
Now about the beans, there are many varieties and I have tried my fair share, so I will leave that up to you. You can buy just the cheap, regular pork and beans that come in a basic sauce, or you can go the route of baked beans that come in a flavored sauce. Canned baked beans that come with a flavored sauce already on them is what I prefer. I add more seasonings and bbq sauce of my own as they cook to get more flavor depth. Bush’s Baked Beans are my favorite (I am not getting paid to say that). Bush’s baked beans have many varieties from Homestyle, to country Style and many more….so pick a type that speaks to you and go with it.
The BBQ Sauce for Fast and Easy BBQ Baked Beans
Once again I go for what is easy! Use bottled BBQ Sauce. I have a super yummy Homemade BBQ Sauce that I love, but I do not use it for this recipe…this is fast and easy after all! You will then need to grab your favorite BBQ Sauce, again just go with what speaks to you (it seems every family has a brand they love and swear is the best… so go with that)! You don’t need the entire bottle, it only takes about 1 cup of BBQ sauce or more depending on how saucy you want them (if you have some leftover BBQ sauce in the fridge, use it).
Onions and Bacon and Seasoning
So you have your beans and BBQ sauce, you will also need 1/2 a yellow onion, chopped/diced and some bacon chopped….don’t forget the bacon, and a little butter (to saute the bacon and onion – YUM)! I use thin sliced bacon, 8 slices to be exact. Yes, 8 slices….I like a lot of bacon! (Use less if that’s not your jam, that’s cool too)! Here is my opinion side about bacon….if possible, I DO NOT use bacon bits that are dehydrated from the store or prepackaged. Take the time to saute the fresh bacon and you will not be sorry! Take it from me, the Butcher’s Wife, fresh bacon is the way to go-EVERY SINGLE TIME!
For your seasonings you will need brown sugar, a small amount of yellow mustard, liquid smoke, garlic salt and salt and pepper.
Saute Onions and Bacon
You will start out with sauteing your bacon on low-medium heat. You want the bacon to warm and start to saute in its own fat. A higher temperature will get it way too crispy too fast. Once the bacon starts to get a little browned, add your butter and onion. Let the onion cook and saute until it is translucent and soft and the bacon starts to crisp up. I prefer my bacon not too crispy like I would have it for breakfast. I like my bacon a little chewy with a touch of crisp on the edges. After the bacon and onion are cooked to your liking, set it aside.
Making the Baked Beans
Grab a larger pot or dutch oven, and dump in your beans. Let me make a little mention of those weird chunks of what they call bacon that comes in the cans of beans….it doesn’t look like the bacon I know and love, the texture, the look-its all wrong and we do not want that so-called-bacon in your beans. REMOVE IT IMMEDIATELY-all of it-every last fake, weird bit! Next, heat the beans on medium heat, and add in the onions and bacon. (I am okay if the grease falls in too…it adds flavor!). Dump in the barbecue sauce and give it a good stir. If you like saucier beans, add more sauce.
Next, I add the seasonings. The seasonings can be adjusted to your own taste. Yellow mustard is a MUST…haha that could almost be funny! The mustard gives it a bite that is needed with the sweetness and tang of the BBQ sauce and brown sugar. If you hate yellow mustard, don’t worry, you can’t really taste it, but it is needed to balance the flavors. Add the brown sugar, mustard and liquid smoke. I love liquid smoke….and you will love it in your beans. The smoky hint is subtle but needed. Add your garlic salt, and salt and pepper and heat through.
Stove Top Heating
I heat mine for a good 20-30 minutes on med-low to let the flavors develop and come together. You can add in more or less brown sugar (I don’t like mine too super sweet, but depending on what beans you buy, the sweetness may need to be adjusted with the brown sugar and other seasonings). NOTE: I recommend adding more brown sugar, liquid smoke or mustard only after it has cooked for 20 minutes. I have found that flavor develops as it is cooks, so it’s best to wait until it’s fully warmed to adjust anything!
Baking the Beans- if you insist
Now this is where you can pour these into a 9×13 pan and bake at 375 until heated through…but they taste every bit as good on the stovetop and you won’t have to heat your oven, which in the hot summer months (when I usually make these) is a win!
Slow Cooker Option
You can saute your onions and bacon and then dump all of the ingredients in your slow cooker! All they need to do is heat through. After they have heated you can adjust the flavors as needed to your liking. Heat them on low in about 2-3 hours!
These beans are a delicious side. They compliment a juicy steak, ribs, or burgers and hot dogs! We serve them with our meat of choice, a green salad and crispy garlic bread!
Enjoy your next BBQ!
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Fast and Easy BBQ Baked Beans
- 2 28 oz cans Baked Beans any brand/flavor
- 1 cup BBQ Sauce any brand
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced/chopped
- 8 slices fresh, thin cut bacon see note
- 2 tbsp brown sugar see note
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tsp yellow mustard
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Chop/dice yellow onion. Chop your strips of bacon into small pieces. Set aside.
- Heat a non-stick skillet on med-low heat, and add bacon. Let the bacon cook in its own fat for about 10-15 minutes until it starts to brown. Then add butter and onion. Sauté together until onion is translucent and bacon is browned and slightly crispy on edges. Set aside.
- In a large pot or dutch oven, pour in both cans of beans (try and remove the weird peices of fake bacon if possible!). Heat on medium heat. Add bacon and onion (I would highly recommend scraping the pan to get every drop of bacon/onion goodness). Stir.
- Add in brown sugar, mustard, and seasonings (adding more or less of each to taste).
- Continue to cook on low-medium until heated through and flavors have fully developed. About 30 minutes.See notes below for baking option.
- SLOW COOKER OPTION: Saute the onion and bacon as the recipe states, then pour all of the ingredients into your slow cooker and mix well. Let it heat on low for 2-3 hours.
- Any brand of beans works great. I like the baked bean varieties the best because they come with some flavor in the canned sauce that is the perfect base that you can easily build on. I ALWAYS remove the weird fake bacon looking pieces!
- Any type of BBQ sauce works, so go with the flavor you like, whether its honey, mesquite or sweet and tangy.
- I always use fresh bacon and sauté it with the onion. You can skip this step and use precooked bacon, or dehydrated bacon bits. I always use fresh bacon and love the flavor the fresh cooked bacon brings as well as the texture of the fresh cooked bacon.
- The brown sugar may need to be increased if you are wanting the beans really sweet so adjust as needed, along with the other seasonings. I always wait until they have cooked 20 minutes to make adjustments to the flavor.
- These are delicious on the stovetop, and no baking is needed. But you can bake them in the oven in a 9×13 pan on 375 for 30 minutes. OR heat in a crockpot on low for 2-3 hours, and keep them ready to serve on warm.