BBQ baked beans are a summer staple. This shortcut version relies on ordinary canned baked beans, which we dress up with fresh peppers, onions, cider vinegar and barbecue sauce. The sweet and tangy side dish is perfect for a summer barbecue, picnic, potluck or weeknight dinner. The beans taste even better the next day, so they can be prepared ahead of time and reheated or served at room temperature.
Heat an oven-proof heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until the fat has started to render and the bacon is beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and bell pepper and continue to cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the canned beans, barbecue sauce, molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire, brown sugar, mustard powder, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper. Bring to a simmer and let cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the pot to the oven and bake (uncovered) until the sauce thickens and the beans on top begin to brown, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature.
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