Hearty, sweet, and savory baked beans with ground beef, bacon, and brown sugar are super easy to put together! It is a perfect side dish recipe for a holiday, cookout, bbq, picnic, tailgate, or if you just love baked beans. This recipe is a meat lover's dream!
Baked beans are a year-round favorite. Whether for a summer cookout or a fall holiday. If you're looking for another summer side dish, my Southern Grilled Corn on the Cob has always been a hit. Grilling corn brings out that wonderful sweetness and crispness of the corn.
The ground beef makes these baked beans hearty and the bacon gives it a wonderful smokey flavor. And of course, the brown sugar makes it all come together with just the right amount of sweetness.
This recipe using canned beans will be your new go-to recipe because it's just so simple. You and your guests will want seconds!
Why this Recipe Works
This recipe is an easy side dish because there isn't a lot of chopping involved. Use your kitchen scissors to chop the green onions and the bacon. Also, there aren't a lot of complicated, unnecessary steps to follow. Who wants to deal with that.
More than likely, if you're making these baked beans, you have company coming over and you've got other things on your to-do list! So having an easy, delicious recipe like this is like having a gold mine.
please scroll down to the printable recipe card for detailed ingredients
- Ground Beef
- Hickory Smoked Bacon
- Bush's Original Baked Beans
- Dark Brown Sugar
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Green Onions
- Salt and Pepper
Kitchen Tools Needed
Large saute pan
Step by Step Instructions
STEP 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
STEP 2: Brown the ground beef and drain off the fat. Add the dark brown sugar, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and salt. Mix well. TIP: Pour off and discard some of the liquid but don’t drain all the liquid from the canned beans. You want to pour off just the little bit of liquid that’s settled on top of the beans. Then add the canned beans and gently mix. Over mixing will cause the beans to get too soft and/or mushy.
STEP 3: Pour into a large casserole dish. Lay the bacon strips on top. MY BEST TIP: Cut the bacon first, with a pair of scissors, into approximately 1-inch squares. Then spread the chopped bacon on top of the beans. This method makes serving the beans a lot easier as you don't have to deal with the bacon flopping around! Also, it ensures everyone gets a bite of delicious bacon.
STEP 4: Bake in the oven uncovered for about 30 minutes. Then, turn on the broiler and broil the baked beans for about 5 minutes or until the bacon is nice and crispy.
Southern Baked Beans
I would say this is a southern baked beans recipe because of the brown sugar, which adds a sweet, savory flair. However, using brown sugar could also be a personal preference, or a family tradition passed down from one generation to another.
There are many delicious recipes for baked beans that use molasses or maple syrup. If you haven't tried the brown sugar version, I encourage you to give it a try.
The hamburger meat adds a hearty texture. And the bacon adds the smokey flavor. There's no need to cook the bacon beforehand. It will cook in the oven and toward the end of the baking process, you'll turn on the broiler to crisp the bacon.
When you take these baked beans out of the oven, you'll be very impatient to taste them! Be patient and let them cool a little bit as they will be boiling lava hot! And, oh the smell of these baked beans will make your mouth water. Sounds like a grand slam to me!
Main Course or Side Dish Debate
Well, it depends on who you ask as to whether this is the main course or a side dish. But here in the south, this is definitely a side dish!
This year, we made these baked beans as a side dish for a Thanksgiving meal. These baked beans were served with smoked turkey, pork tenderloin, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole, and yeast rolls. And man oh man, everybody was happily stuffed!
These baked beans are a perfect side dish for hamburgers or ribs. Every time I make these beans, people compliment them. Try them with my popular Ultimate Blue Cheese Stuffed Hamburgers recipe!
My husband can make a meal out of baked beans, but most other humans prefer to have the beans as a side to the main course. Baked beans are fantastic with anything you put on the grill. Hamburgers, steaks, hot dogs, chicken, etc.
This post from ehow.com provides some more great thoughts on what to serve with your baked beans. This post mentioned baked beans as a breakfast food. Now that was a new one on me but sounds good :).
Other holiday side dishes to try are:
FAQs about Baked Beans
Storing Leftovers in the Refrigerator
Keep any leftover baked beans in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make sure they are stored in an airtight container. We like to use the BPA-free glass food storage containers with locking lids. Check them out here!
You’ve made some delicious baked beans, but you still have some left over? You obviously don’t want to waste any. What do you do? Can you freeze baked beans? The short answer is YES - you can, but there are proper ways to go about it.
Food Lovin' Family has a great post on the steps and best practices to make sure your leftover baked beans are saved and ready for your next meal. As pointed out in the post, it is important to remember to only freeze COOKED baked beans.
If you try these delicious baked beans, please let me know in the comments below.
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Easy Baked Beans Recipe
- Large Saute Pan
- measuring spoons
- measuring cup
- Kitchen shears
- Casserole dish
- 1 lb Ground beef
- 2 each 28-oz cans baked beans Bush Original
- 6-8 strips Hickory smoked bacon
- 1 cup Dark brown sugar
- 1 cup Green onions, chopped approximately 1 bunch
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Black pepper
- Dash salt taste test before adding salt!
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a large saute pan, brown the ground beef and drain off the fat. Add the dark brown sugar, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and salt. Mix well. Pour off and discard some of the liquid but don’t drain all the liquid from the canned beans. You want to pour off just the little bit of liquid that’s settled on top of the beans. Then add the canned beans and gently mix. Over mixing will cause the beans to get too soft and/or mushy.
- Pour into a large casserole dish. Lay the bacon strips on top. MY BEST TIP: Cut the bacon first, with a pair of scissors, into approximately 1-inch squares. Then spread the chopped bacon on top of the beans. This method makes serving the beans a lot easier as you don't have to deal with the bacon flopping around! Also, it ensures everyone gets a bite of bacon.
- Bake in the oven uncovered for about 30 minutes. Then, turn on the broiler and broil the baked beans for about 5 minutes to get the bacon nice and crispy.
- Keep any leftover baked beans in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make sure they are stored in an airtight container.
- Use low sodium bacon, and/or lower-sodium baked beans, if preferred.