Best Baked Beans: No Matter Your BBQ Menu, You’ll Want to Make These Too
Burgers, hot dogs and ribs often steal the show at summertime cookouts, but side dishes are not to be forgotten. From creamy macaroni salads to vinegar-spiked potato salads and simply grilled vegetables, these accompanying plates help round out the meal, but perhaps no side dish screams true ‘cue quite like baked beans.
Tender, hearty and oftentimes a tad bit sweet, baked beans are a Southern specialty and surely worthy of a place on your outdoor buffet. Read on below to get both classic and creative takes on this seasonal staple from Food Network stars like The Pioneer Woman and Trisha Yearwood.
For guaranteed ease and simplicity, Ree Drummond starts with a few cans of baked beans to make this big-batch recipe, which can be conveniently prepped in a single pan. She boosts the flavor with smoky fried bacon, then stirs in additional ingredients, like fresh peppers and barbecue sauce, for next-level taste.
Ready to eat in only 35 minutes, Tyler Florence’s tried-and-true beans (pictured above) come together thanks to a largely hands-off recipe. Just blend together a molasses-Dijon sauce, toss it with the beans, then bake the mixture with a slice of pancetta on top. The single-serving crocks guarantee a wow-worthy presentation on the table.
“Once you make these beans, there is no going back,” Pat Neely says. “If you want to put your own spin on it, you can use kidney beans instead of pork and beans, but I say my mama’s way is best.”
There’s no shortage of meaty pork flavor in this recipe for satisfying beans, studded with both bacon and pancetta. Follow Food Network Magazine’s lead and opt for a mix of pinto and navy beans for varied flavors and textures; before baking, blanket the beans with breadcrumbs and more bacon for a crunchy coating.
Trisha starts with premade barbecue sauce to make the base of this top-rated recipe, then she doctors up the taste by adding a few glugs of ketchup, plus spicy brown mustard and soy sauce — all to achieve a craveable sweet, savory, sticky mixture.