Hearty, sweet, and savory southern 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!
If you've ever wondered how to doctor up canned baked beans, then welcome to my blog! I'm glad you found me 🙂 This recipe not only doctors up canned baked beans, heck, it's a complete makeover. I've been told these are the best southern-style baked beans - and I agree!
Whenever there is a holiday, these baked beans and my Southern Mac and Cheese are always the top two favorites on my blog!
Why this Recipe Works
10-minute Prep Time - This recipe is an easy side dish because there isn't a lot of chopping involved. Use your kitchen scissors to cut or slice the green onions and the bacon. Also, there's no need to cook the bacon first since it cooks with the beans!
Canned beans - This recipe using canned baked beans will be your new go-to recipe because it's just so simple. You and your guests will want seconds!
Crowd Pleaser - Just about everyone loves baked beans! They go with just about any kind of meat, and this recipe makes 8 servings. Easily double the recipe for a larger crowd.
Hearty Side Dish - The ground beef gives this side dish a hearty texture, 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.
What Goes into these Southern Baked Beans
please scroll down to the printable recipe card for detailed ingredients
- Ground Beef - makes for a rich and hearty side dish (or main meal!).
- Hickory Smoked Bacon - adds a delicious smoked flavor; so no need to add any liquid smoke. Cut the bacon into small pieces about 1-inch squares.
- Bush's Original Baked Beans - the canned beans are what makes this recipe so tasty and easy! Use the barbeque flavored beans if bbq sauce is more your style. I have not tested this recipe using the bbq sauce flavor, but I'd have to think they would work just fine.
- Dark Brown Sugar - adds sweetness and a hint of molasses flavor.
- Worcestershire Sauce - gives this recipe a flavor booster.
- Green Onions - or use minced yellow chopped onion if that's all you have.
- Green Bell Pepper - this is an optional ingredient because I know some of you don't like onions at all. So in place of the onions, you can use one small chopped green bell pepper. I recommend sauteeing them with the ground beef to soften them up.
How to Make Southern Baked Beans
(1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large pan or iron skillet, cook the ground beef and drain off the fat. Add the dark brown sugar, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and salt. Mix well.
(2) Add both cans of beans and gently stir.
(3) Pour the mixture into a large baking dish. Lay the cut bacon strips on top.
(4) Bake in the oven uncovered for about 30 minutes. Then, turn on the broiler and broil the beans for about 5 minutes or until the bacon is nice and crispy. Be careful not to burn the bacon.
You can view my Google Web Story at Easy 30-minute Baked Beans.
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. When served as a main meal, serve with rolls or french bread. As a side dish, baked beans are fantastic with anything you cook on the grill such as hamburgers, steaks, hot dogs, chicken, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
These baked beans are a perfect side dish for all kinds of meats such as hamburgers, hot dogs, or ribs. Every time I make these beans, people compliment them. Try them with smoked chicken or turkey, pork tenderloin, and brisket.
Keep any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make sure they are stored in an airtight container. We like to use BPA-free glass food storage containers with locking lids.
Yes, you can! The beans must be completely cooled off before placing them in the freezer. Tip - I like to refrigerate them first, for about 4 hours to get them nice and chilled. Then place them in an airtight, freezer-friendly container (such as the ones I mention above) and store them for up to 4 months.
Don't over mix - Over mixing will cause the beans to get too soft and/or mushy.
Cut up the bacon first - Use a pair of scissors to cut the bacon 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.
More delicious side dishes
This recipe was originally published in 2018 and was updated in 2021.
If you try this delicious side dish recipe, 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 pan or iron skillet, cook the ground beef and drain off the fat. Add the dark brown sugar, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. 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. Taste the mixture and add salt if desired; gently stir again. 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 leftovers 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.
- You can substitute the green onion with green bell pepper if you don't like onions. Use one small chopped green bell pepper. I recommend sauteeing them with the ground beef to soften them up.
The nutritional information does not include tequila. Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy to my readers. I'm not a nutritionist and I don't guarantee the accuracy of this data. The data may differ according to the brands I used versus the brands you use. To calculate the data yourself using your brands, try using an online nutrition calculator or app.