Home » SIDE DISHES » Grandma’s Real Southern Baked Beans

Grandma’s Real Southern Baked Beans

Grandma’s Real Southern Baked Beans is down home southern cooking at it’s best. Made with ingredients like bacon, roasted red pepper, molasses, brown sugar and cider vinegar, this recipe will stay at the top of your list of family favorites! Even better when made ahead!

Grandma’s Real Southern Baked Beans is down home southern cooking at it’s best. Made with ingredients like bacon, roasted red pepper, molasses, brown sugar and cider vinegar, it's a family favorite! #mustlovehomecooking

Oh Em Gee, these baked beans are the real deal! Baked beans are usually the forgotten side at the party…but not these honking spoonfuls of bacon added deliciousness. Bacon and red pepper and molasses, can it get any tastier?

These baked beans go perfectly with so many other dishes, like pulled chicken, Pork Chops, Cookout Chicken and everything in-between. This is definitley a recipe you want to keep in your recipe box!

I love baked beans, always have and this is the best recipe EVER!  Hands down, thumbs up, high five, whatever! Anyway, the southern secret is not only the bacon..I mean, come on isn’t that enough…but the roasted red pepper, molasses and vinegar, that is southern all the way.  I lived in the south for  many years so I know about baked beans, and Grandma knew about them too!

Now, before you get started, this recipe makes lots and I mean LOTS of baked beans. Enough for a party of 20 people at least. Just letting you know! Buy you can cut the recipe in half for a family size dish!

Grandma’s Real Southern Baked Beans is down home southern cooking at it’s best. Made with ingredients like bacon, roasted red pepper, molasses, brown sugar and cider vinegar, it's a family favorite! #mustlovehomecooking

REASONS TO LOVE THIS BAKED BEAN RECIPE

  • Budget -friendly and leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 days
  • The dish is packed with essential Iron and protein
  • Versatile – perfect for adding your own special touch by using favorite add-ins like diced green pepper and garlic
  • Family-friendly comfort food – kid tested!
  • Makes a giant batch of beans – great for potlucks and cookouts

There is some controversy ( isn’t there always) about which is better….using red peppers or green peppers in true southern baked beans. Some people love the smooth sweetness of the red pepper and others swear by the bite of the green pepper. If I were guessing, I’d say the vote probably stands at 50/50. What I just said about the vote is totally unscientific and probably made up:) NOTE** I use roasted red peppers from a jar to save time and because I like them just as much as fresh red pepper that I cook in the skillet.

How To Make This Baked Bean Recipe

Frying bacon, cutting up onion and red pepper (easy stuff), opening cans and measuring out ingredients…that’s all you need to get these AMAZING beans ready for the oven!

INGREDIENTS FOR GRANDMAS REAL SOUTHERN BAKED BEANS

This is what you will need to make these amazing baked beans. Most of the stuff I have in the pantry all the time…that’s just how I roll! Do you always have canned beans in your pantry? Just checking😀!

  • 1 medium yellow onion, small diced
  • 8 thick sliced bacon pieces
  • 1 roasted red pepper from the jar, about 1/3 cup small diced
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar or plain distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 TBSP molasses
  • 2 tsp worcestershire  sauce
  • 2 (15 oz) cans great northern beans, drained
  • 4 (28 oz) cans  pork and beans, not drained (I used Bush’s) 

Directions:

Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees. Then heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure that the pan is hot before adding the bacon!! Trust me, you do not want to test this out or you will be scraping your bacon off the bottom of the pan. Next, add the bacon and fry the bacon until it is almost crisp. Transfer the bacon to a plate and cut the slices in half.

Now, DO NOT pour out the bacon grease!!! I’m just sayin’ that you WILL  want to cook up your onions in that grease. Life and the beans will not be the same if you pour out that grease!  So, in the same skillet you used for the bacon, fry the onions, stirring them around in the bacon grease until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain off most of the fat from the onions and then set the skillet aside.

In a large mixing bowl (I am in love with this farmhouse bowl) add the cans of great northern beans and the pork and beans. One time I decided to soak raw beans overnight and cooked them for hours the next day and guess what, I liked the canned ones better!! If you are a bean purist, then go ahead and make your own beans. For the rest of us regular people, use the canned ones. To the beans add the cooked onion and bacon, and the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.

Pour the bean mixture into a very large baking dish, or two  9 x 13 foil baking pans. Next, place the pans on the center rack of the oven and bake for 1 -1/2 hours. Cool the beans slightly before serving.

MAKING GRANDMA’S BAKED BEANS AHEAD OF TIME

Ahh, having dishes made ahead and ready in the fridge is a comforting thought. Like a warm blanket wrapped around you …okay, I’m kidding…but it does feel good and can keep you from being overwhelmed if you have way to much on your to-do list. These are the best two ways I’ve found to make these amazing beans ahead of time.

  1. Put everything together according to the recipe but DO NOT bake, cover and refrigerate until the next day…THEN bake the beans in the oven. Because they’re cold you’ll want to extend the baking time to about 2 hours.
  2. Put everything together according to the recipe and bake the beans. Let the beans cool, cover and refrigerate. To reheat, transfer the beans to a large pot, add 1/4 cup water (if you made the full recipe), stir and reheat over medium heat until heated thru, stirring occasionally. The beans can also be microwaved in batches (add a tablespoon or two of water) until heated thru.

Hungry for more recipes for camping, cookouts or picnics? Check these from my collection:

Grandma’s Real Southern Baked Beans is down home southern cooking at it’s best. Made with ingredients like bacon, roasted red pepper, molasses, brown sugar and cider vinegar, it's a family favorite! #mustlovehomecooking

Grandma’s Real Southern Baked Beans

Made with real ingredients like bacon, roasted red pepper, molasses, brown sugar, and cider vinegar – this recipe will be a favorites! They're even better made ahead!
3.63 from 119 votes
Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time :1 hour 45 minutes
Servings :20 servings
Calories :312
Course :Side Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 cup yellow onion small diced, about 1 medium onion
  • 8 slices bacon thick sliced
  • 1/3 cup roasted red peppers from a jar
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar or plain distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 15-ounce cans great northern beans drained
  • 4 28-ounce cans pork and beans DO NOT drain, use all of the included liquid

Instructions 

  • Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees. Then heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon to the hot skillet and fry the bacon until it is almost crisp. Transfer the bacon to a plate and cut the slices in half.
  • DO NOT pour out the bacon grease. In the same skillet you used for the bacon, fry the onions, stirring them around in the bacon grease until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain off most of the fat from the onions and set the skillet aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the cans of great northern beans and the pork and beans. To the beans add the cooked onion and bacon, and the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.
  • Pour the bean mixture into a very large baking dish, or two 9 x 13 foil baking pans. Place the pans on the center rack of the oven and bake for 1 -1/2 hours. Cool the beans slightly before serving.

Chef Tips

Add in sliced jalapeno or banana peppers to taste if you want spicier beans.
Recipe makes enough beans to serve a party, it can be easily cut in half for a family friendly amount.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1cupCalories: 312kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 13gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 904mgPotassium: 768mgFiber: 12gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 49IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 131mgIron: 4mg

© Copyright Christine Mello for Must Love Home. We would love for you to share a link to this recipe but please do not copy/paste the recipe instructions to websites or social media. We are happy for you to share a photo with a link back to this website instead.

Grandma’s Real Southern Baked Beans is down home southern cooking at it’s best. Made with ingredients like bacon, roasted red pepper, molasses, brown sugar and cider vinegar, it's a family favorite! #mustlovehomecooking

 

I’m Christine, a self-appointed foodie and almost empty-nester who is addicted to creating quick and tasty recipes that anyone can make. My goal is to give you the confidence and know-how to cook from scratch with easy, budget-friendly recipes. Welcome to my kitchen! Learn more…

Don't Miss A Thing! Follow Must Love Home on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram for more great recipe ideas!

If you made this recipe, please leave a comment and rating below. I would appreciate the chance to troubleshoot any issues you might have had before you leave the rating!

29 Comments

  1. Hi Vicki, yes…you can cut all the recipe ingredients in half to make a smaller amount of these delicious beans. Enjoy!

  2. These beans look amazing, but I was wondering if this recipe would work in
    a smaller volume (say, in half or 1/3). I look forward to your advice.

  3. Hi Kelly, you are very welcome! Glad you liked them😃!

  4. I made the recipe but think next time will decrease the amount of vinegar by half and drain at least half of liquid off of canned beans, just too much liquid for me.

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve made these twice now. Big hit here in SE North Carolina! Thank you for your recipe!

  6. Hi Shannon, any good brand of pork and beans will do. Bushs and Van Camps are both great. Baked beans are usually much sweeter and the sauce is thicker…but they’ll do in a pinch.

  7. I cant seem to find Bushs Pork and beans but only original baked beans. Is that the same thing? Or should I just get Van Camps pork and beans?

  8. Hi Paul, I checked the website, both desktop and mobile, and all questions from readers are showing. I’m not sure why they would not be showing on your view. Sorry about that.

  9. I would like to see the questions that were asked and not just the answers. Thanks.

  10. Thanks for the question – I would recommend using the roaster with a pan inside rather than the stove top. This recipe contains sweeteners (brown sugar, molasses) that may scorch on the pan bottom if the beans are made on the stove. Part of why these beans are so delicious is the long cooking time that blends the flavors – so baking or roasting is the best option. In a pinch, the stove top can work over very low heat and stirring frequently. Hope that helps😊.

  11. I don’t have a working over right now. Can I cook them in la cruiset pot on the stove by chance or I have a roaster I could put a deep dish pan in. I really want to make this recipe. Looks soo yumm

  12. Hi Sharon, I like to use dark molasses for this recipe. It’s thicker and less sweet than light molasses and in my humble opinion,adds more flavor. I hope that helps😊.

  13. Do you recommend light or dark mol

  14. Hi Emily. Great question…I’ll be adding these instructions to the recipe! These are the best two ways I’ve found to make these amazing beans ahead of time. 1) Put everything together according to the recipe but DO NOT bake, cover and refrigerate until the next day…THEN bake the beans in the oven. Because they’re cold you’ll want to extend the baking time to about 2 hours. OR 2) Put everything together according to the recipe and bake the beans. Let the beans cool, cover and refrigerate. To reheat, transfer the beans to a large pot, add 1/4 cup water (if you made the full recipe), stir and reheat over medium heat until heated thru, stirring occasionally. The beans can also be microwaved in batches (add a tablespoon or two of water) until heated thru. Hope that helps😀.

  15. These look amazing! What would be the best way to make these a day ahead and reheat?

  16. Hi Laura, thanks so much for the comment and rating! It really makes my day to know that my recipes are enjoyed! 😀

  17. 5 stars
    My family loved them… it is the best recipe! I have made this recipe twice and every time my family love it. Thank you!!!

  18. Hi Mike, I am so glad to hear that! Thanks for the comment and rating!😁.

  19. 5 stars
    Just made these beans. The family absolutely loved them! We have tried a couple of baked beans recipes lately and this one was the hands down favorite.

  20. Hi Karen, I use my own barbecue sauce recipe ,if I have some on hand, or Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Sauce. Thanks for the question!😃.

  21. What brand of bar b q sauce do you recommend?

  22. Hi Terri! Yes, add them! Baked beans are great for customizing to your own tastes. I would saute the green bell peppers with the onions first then add them right in. Thanks for the great question and for stopping by!

  23. i live in south louisiana and love Lots of onions and green bell peppers is it ok to add green bell peppers and more onions thankyou

  24. From one bacon lover to another..I agree! Thanks and have a wonderful day!😁

  25. Made 1/2 recipe exactly followed instructions and ingredients. These are delicious! Because we’re bacon fanatics the only thing I would do is add more! Thanks for sharing!

  26. Hi Edith, thanks for asking. Yes, I do drain the great northern beans, but not the cans of pork and beans. I revised the recipe to make that clear. Have a great one and thanks for stopping by!

  27. Do you drain the canned beans?

  28. Hi Elaine, thanks for the compliment and pin! I will look for your party again this week…love the reminder that gets emailed! Hugs- Christine

  29. Nothing better than a recipe past down from Grandma!! They look amazing!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday – Hope to see you again this week!! Have a great week!! Pinned!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




*