This southern baked beans recipe was passed down by my grandma. Everybody loves these beans! It’s my favorite side dish to make for a cookout, potluck or family gathering.
While I love giving a new dish a spin, I still think family recipes are the best recipes.
Whenever I’m asked to bring a dish to share for a cookout or potluck, I’ll pick a tried-and-true, taste-tested favorite, like my Grandma Joyner’s Southern Baked Beans Recipe. This is why everyone thinks I’m such a good cook. I’m smart enough to stick to the basics and the dishes I know play well with crowds. They’re dishes like my fried wontons, baked brie, sweet and spicy chili, mandarin orange salad and my homemade hotdog chili.
I’ve eaten too many “experimental” dishes at cookouts and parties to know that you don’t try a new recipe for the first time when cooking for company! OK, some of them have been good, but I never want to risk a cooking fail when I’m entertaining. So, I stick with everybody’s favorites — things I’ve made dozens (hundreds?) of times.
This southern baked beans recipe with bacon is such an easy recipe to throw together for a cookout. It goes well with just about anything you might be grilling: hot dogs, ribs, hamburgers, steaks or chicken.
The combination of bacon, sauteed onions, brown sugar, beans and a few other ingredients results in a sweet and tangy side dish.
I suppose you could use any kinds of beans in this recipe, but my Grandma Joyner swore you had to use Van Camp’s Pork & Beans. Out of respect for family traditions and her memory, I’ve never tried anything else. (If you do, I don’t want to hear about it!)
When there’s a Joyner family get-together and someone is assigned to bring baked beans, it better be this version. One time, my aunt Donna, who is a fine cook, tried to get fancy and brought baked beans made with apples and sausage. Culinary blasphemy.
They weren’t bad, but they weren’t Grandma’s baked beans. So it just wasn’t the same!
While they’re particularly well suited for summer cookouts and outdoor gatherings, like Memorial Day parties and July 4th barbecues, you’ll find these beans will become a year-round, go-to side dish. I often serve this southern baked beans recipe with ham at the holidays and pretty much any time we make baby back ribs.
They travel well, too. After you’ve baked them, just load them up in a slow cooker and keep them warm until ready to serve.
- 2 cans pork & beans
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup ketchup
- 8 slices bacon
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a Dutch oven, fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels.
Simmer onions in bacon grease, over medium heat, for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned.
Once the onions are cooked, you can drain off some of the excess bacon grease, but it's not necessary.
Add the canned beans, brown sugar, ketchup and yellow mustard to the pan with the sauteed onions.
Crumble bacon slices into the bean mixture and stir everything to combine.
Bake in the Dutch oven, uncovered, at 300 degrees for 60 minutes.
Serve these southern baked beans at your next cookout, and you won’t be disappointed. You may also want to add these dishes to your menu: