The Essential Barbecue Side

Jul 4, 2017

There is lots of debate of which kind of barbecue is best …


… ribs versus pulled pork, dry versus wet ribs, who makes the best sauce … but all agree that baked beans are the perfect accompaniment to any type of barbecue – especially on the Fourth of July!

BBQ baked beans are surprisingly easy to make from scratch and infinitely better than what comes ready-to-serve out of a can.

The main ingredients are common pantry staples you probably already have on hand: beans, barbecue sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar, and yellow mustard.

Vegetables like onions and bell peppers are ways to add more flavor.  I like to add a little smokiness to my baked beans and bacon is a simple way to make that happen.  The addition of a little pulled pork would make it even better.

As for the beans, you could always soak dry beans but I find using canned beans is a great time saver. I like to use a variety of beans in my BBQ baked bean recipe – kidney beans, pinto beans, and even black beans. This simple twist provides both flavor and color to this classic picnic side.

The key to a good batch of baked beans is to let them slow cook for several hours.  The extended cooking time allow the flavors to blend and meld together. Most folks cook them in the oven, but you can also cook them in a slow cooker or even on a grill with the lid closed.

Southern BBQ Baked Beans are the perfect accompaniment to pretty much every grilled dish traditionally served during this summer. 

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Happy 4th of July!

BBQ Baked Beans

  • 1/2 pound bacon (about 10 slices), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green bell pepper (1 small pepper)
  • 1 can (15-ounce) black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15-ounce) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15-ounce) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the bacon in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onions and peppers are soft, about 5 minutes. 

Add the black eyed peas, red kidney beans, pinto beans, barbecue sauce, cider vinegar, yellow mustard, and brown sugar. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.  Remove from the heat, cover, and place in the oven. Cook until the beans are fork tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Serve warm.

Serves 6.

Variation: Want a traditional BBQ baked bean dish? Just use three cans of kidney beans instead of the various types listed in this recipe.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler.