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!
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?
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!
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.
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. Except for frying up the bacon, cutting up an onion and a pepper (easy stuff) it’s just a matter of opening cans and measuring out to get these ready for the oven! Do you always have cans of 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)
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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Honey Pepper Ramen Noodle Salad – the secret is in the honey sauce
- Parmesan Chive Corn on the Cob – bursting with buttery flavor
- Amazing Asian Coleslaw – the sesame dressing is addictive
- Harissa Chicken with Cilantro Salad – the rub gets you every time
Grandma’s Real Southern Baked Beans
Click highlighted ingredients to buy them!
- 1 medium yellow onion, small diced
- 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
- 30 ounces great northern beans, 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained
- 112 ounces pork and beans, 4 (28-ounce) cans, NOT drained, use all of the included liquid
- 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.
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING
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