Best Southern Baked Beans Recipe! (2024)

This Southern Baked Beans Recipe makes the best baked beans! It’s a perfect side dish for so many meals and a family favorite recipe for years! So savory, scrumptious, and easy to make!

If you’re looking for a simple yet delicious recipe that’s perfect for any meal, baked beans are the way to go! We love it with hamburgers, grilled chicken, ribs, and more! This classic dish is a crowd-pleaser that’s easy to make and can be customized to your taste.

Best Southern Baked Beans Recipe! (1)

How to Make Baked Beans Recipe

Rich, smokey, and so delicious, my recipe comes together quickly and then bakes slowly so that all those flavors just meld perfectly together!


Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.

Best Southern Baked Beans Recipe! (2)
  • Beans – Use canned navy beans or soaked dried beans.
  • Bacon – My recipe included diced bacon in the baked beans and then strips of bacon on top of the beans.
  • Garlic – Use 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced, or substitute with 1 teaspoon of Stone House Seasoning.
  • Onion – Dice and include 1/2 of a medium sweet onion. If you do not care for onions, omit them. You can also use 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder instead of fresh onion if you prefer.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Use Coconut Aminos if sensitive to soy.
  • Unsulphured molasses – Adds a deep, smokey flavor to the cooked beans.
  • Dark brown sugar – Dark brown sugar contains more molasses than light brown sugar. I prefer the richness of dark brown sugar in my baked beans, but you can use either. You’ll use brown sugar mixed in the recipe and a little sprinkled on top. You can also use brown coconut sugar as a replacement for brown sugar for a lower glycemic option.
  • Ketchup – Use 1/4 cup of ketchup in this recipe
  • Yellow mustard – I have found that yellow mustard helps to round out the flavor in the baked beans.
Best Southern Baked Beans Recipe! (3)

Oven-Baked Beans

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • While the oven preheats, pour your navy beans into a medium stockpot set over medium heat.
  • In a medium skillet, add diced bacon, onion, and garlic. Cook until the bacon is crisp and the onion is tender. Then, remove from the heat and add to the navy beans. Add Worcestershire sauce, molasses, brown sugar, ketchup, and yellow mustard and stir to combine well. Pour into the deep dish you plan to serve from or leave in a stockpot. Finally, top with the optional (but highly recommended!) bacon and sprinkle the top with brown sugar.
  • Place into the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Increase temperature to 425º F for 10 minutes to crisp bacon. Remove from oven and allow to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

  • Add your navy beans to the slow cooker and set aside.
  • In a medium skillet, cook your diced bacon, onion, and garlic until the bacon is crisp and the onion and garlic are tender. Add to the slow cooker. Add Worcestershire sauce, molasses, dark brown sugar, ketchup, and mustard. Stir to combine well.
  • Cook on a low setting for 6-7 hours or on a high setting for 3-4 hours. If your baked beans are not as thick as you would like, remove the lid to the slow cooker about 30 to 45 minutes before serving and allow them to continue cooking until thickened. If too thick, you can stir in water a few tablespoons at a time until it reaches the desired thickness.

Optional: top with baked bacon strips before serving.

Storage Tips

To make ahead. Cook and allow to cool. Wrap well or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

To freeze. Cook and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat and serve.

So, here’s my Southern Baked Beans recipe. Get ready to make it often!

Best Southern Baked Beans Recipe! (4)


Southern Baked Beans Recipe

Southern Baked Beans Recipe – This recipe makes the perfect side dish for so many meals! These easy baked beans are a family favorite!

Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes minutes

Total Time: 1 hour hour

Servings: 10 servings


  • 2 (16-ounce cans) navy beans
  • 3 strips bacon, diced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup unsulphured molasses
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard

For the Top of Baked Beans (optional):

  • 2 slices bacon, halved
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar


  • Preheat oven to 325º F.

  • Pour navy beans into medium stockpot.

  • In a medium skillet, add diced bacon, onion, and garlic. Cook until bacon is crisp and onion is tender. Remove from heat and add to navy beans.

  • Add Worcestershire sauce, molasses, brown sugar, ketchup, and yellow mustard. Stir to combine well. Pour into deep dish you plan to serve from or leave in stockpot. Top with bacon and sprinkle top with brown sugar.

  • Place in oven and bake 45 minutes. Increase temperature to 425º F for 10 minutes to crisp bacon. Remove from oven and allow to rest about 5 minutes before serving.

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

  • Add navy beans to a slow cooker.

  • Cook bacon, onion, and garlic in a medium skillet until the bacon is crisp and the onion and garlic are tender. Add to the navy beans in the slow cooker.

  • Add Worcestershire sauce, molasses, brown sugar, ketchup, and yellow mustard. Stir to combine well.

  • Cook on LOW setting for 6 to 7 hours or HIGH setting for 3 to 4 hours. If the baked beans are too thin, remove the lid to the slow cooker for the last 30 to 45 minutes of cook time until the beans have thickened to desired consistency. If too thick, stir in water a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Top with optional baked bacon for serving.


Store baked beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Freezer Friendly:
Allow the baked beans to cool. Store in a freezer-safe, airtight container for up to 3 months. To reheat, allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat in a 350ºF oven for 15 – 20 minutes until heated throughout.

Vegetarian/ Vegan:
To make these baked beans vegetarian and vegan friendly, simply omit the bacon from the recipe as well as the optional topping.


Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 184mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 0.6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Robyn xo

Best Southern Baked Beans Recipe! (5)

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2013.

Categorized as:All Recipes, Bean Recipes, By Cooking Style, By Special Diets, Camping, Cooking, Egg-Free Recipes, Essentials, Father’s Day Recipes, Freezer Friendly Recipes, Game Day Recipes, Holiday and Occasion Recipes, July 4th Recipes, Make-ahead Recipes, Mother’s Day Recipes, Recipes, Side Dish Recipes, Simple Recipes, Slow Cooker Recipes, Southern Favorites

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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Best Southern Baked Beans Recipe! (2024)


What is the secret to soft baked beans? ›

soak them about 20 hours. Depending on how much water they soak up you may add more halfway through - if you set them soaking in the early evening, check them in the morning. drain, rinse, and then boil for about two hours, checking to see if they are soft.

What can I add to Bush's baked beans to make them better? ›

Stir together baked beans, onion, syrup, brown sugar, ketchup, and mustard in a large bowl. Pour into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Lay bacon slices across the top. Bake in the preheated oven until the bacon is browned and the beans have thickened, 35 to 40 minutes.

How do you pimp baked beans? ›

Mixed Chopped Herbs + Breadcrumbs + Cheddar Cheese

Give your baked beans the gratin treatment, which also makes for an impressive presentation. Combine breadcrumbs with chopped fresh herbs and seasonings, then sprinkle the top of the beans with the mixture and plenty of grated cheddar cheese.

How do you enhance the flavor of canned baked beans? ›

You might try adding some dry mustard and uncooked bacon along with chopped onion and baking them long enough to cook the bacon. I would not add molasses because they are already too sweet. Add fried onions, done to your taste, bacon, not too crispy, and brown sugar.

What can you put in beans to make them taste better? ›

Those aromatics in the pot will revolutionize the beans' final flavor. The aromatics I tend to use are onions, carrots, garlic, and celery, and then heartier, woodsy herbs, like rosemary, sage, and thyme, which marry beautifully with the earthy-sweet flavor of beans.

How do you cook beans and make it soft quickly? ›

Hot soaking is the preferred method since it reduces cooking time, helps dissolve some of the gas-causing substances in beans, and most consistently produces tender beans. Quick Soak: This is the fastest method. In a large pot, add 6 cups of water for each pound (2 cups) of dry beans.

What can I use in place of molasses in baked beans? ›

  • Honey. Generally speaking, honey is very sweet, floral in flavor, and golden in color. ...
  • Sorghum. Sorghum is sometimes known as sorghum molasses, which tells you how similar these syrups are. ...
  • Maple Syrup. ...
  • Dark Corn Syrup. ...
  • Golden Syrup. ...
  • Brown Sugar. ...
  • Simple Syrup. ...
  • Black Treacle.

What can I add to baked beans to prevent gas? ›

The one tried and true method she taught me to reduce the gassy effect of beans, is this: add a tiny amount of baking soda to the pot half an hour or so before you're ready to serve them to “release” the gasses from them. Be set to stir down the violent reaction. This works no matter how you've seasoned them.

What is the white stuff in Bush's country style baked beans? ›

If you're worried about the white stuff on top, it's fat that cooked out of the bacon & rose to the top as it cooled.

Why put ketchup in baked beans? ›

Ketchup: slathered over the top of the bacon caramelizes in the oven as the beans bake low and slow. The caramelized ketchup not only creates a gorgeous, lacquered top, but a savory, tangy taste, too.

Should I drain baked beans before cooking? ›

For that reason, most of our Test Kitchen recipes call for draining and rinsing canned beans, which can also help remove the metallic flavor sometimes found in cans. It's an added step that takes less than a minute but improves the flavor and texture of your finished dish.

Why put baking soda on beans? ›

Baking soda creates an alkaline environment which reduces soaking and cooking time and preserves the beans' skin. As a result, the old bean's color comes to life, keeping them vibrant instead of dull. Compared to the grainy texture offered by old beans, baking soda beans can yield a creamy and smooth texture.

Why do my baked beans taste bland? ›

Undercooking your beans

Overcooking can detract from the eating experience, leaving your beans bland and lifeless. Undercooking beans, on the other hand, can put yourself at risk of food-borne illness. This is especially true for red beans like kidney beans.

What thickens baked beans? ›

Use starches to thicken beans

Simply add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to 1 cup of water or to the liquid from the baked beans (scoop it out into a separate bowl and let it cool first) and mix. Once the starch is thoroughly incorporated, pour the slurry into the baked beans dish and stir.

Should you rinse canned baked beans? ›

Do You Need To Rinse Canned Beans? According to The Bean Institute, you can reduce up to 41 percent of the sodium in canned beans by rinsing them. "It's fine to add the bean liquid to many recipes, but if you want to reduce the amount of sodium, it's best to drain and rinse canned beans," the website states.

How do you keep baked beans from getting hard? ›

As they cook at a low temp in the oven, I add more liquid to keep them just covered. Toward the last 2 hours of cooking, I add acidic stuff like tomato juice. If you use anything acidic at first the beans may not soften properly as they cook.

Does adding baking soda help soften beans? ›

The addition of baking soda to the cooking water does two things: It adds sodium ions that weaken the pectin as explained above, and more importantly, an alkaline environment causes the pectin molecules to break down into smaller molecules that greatly weakens the pectin causing the beans to soften much more rapidly.

What causes beans not to get soft? ›

There are three primary reasons why dried beans do not soften despite extensive cooking time: 1) they are old; 2) hard water; or 3) the presence of an acid. If you don't think your beans are old, then perhaps your water is the problem. Beans cooked in hard water will never soften properly.

How do you soften beans without soaking them? ›

dried pinto beans in a large pot. Add cold water until it's about 2 inches above the top of the beans. It's important for beans to remain submerged in a few inches of water throughout the cooking process so they don't dry out. Cover pot, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then remove from heat.

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