Southern BBQ Beans

The Ultimate Southern BBQ Beans Recipe: A Flavorful Delight

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There’s something undeniably comforting about the rich, smoky flavors of Southern BBQ beans. Whether you’re firing up the grill for a summer cookout or craving a cozy side dish for a family dinner, these hearty beans are sure to steal the show. Packed with layers of flavor from bacon, molasses, and aromatic spices, this recipe will transport your taste buds straight to the heart of the South. Join us as we dive into the delicious world of Southern BBQ beans, complete with variations, keto-friendly alternatives, and answers to your burning questions.


  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) of Van Camp’s Pork and Beans
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 cup yellow onion, small diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces


  1. Preheat and Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and set aside, leaving the bacon drippings in the pan.
  2. Saute Aromatics: In the same skillet with the bacon drippings, sauté the diced onion and minced garlic until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  3. Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked bacon, sautéed onion and garlic, pork and beans, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and molasses. Stir until well combined.
  4. Bake: Transfer the bean mixture to a baking dish or Dutch oven. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, or until the beans are bubbly and heated through.
  5. Serve: Remove from the oven and let the beans cool slightly before serving. Garnish with additional crispy bacon pieces and chopped parsley, if desired. Serve warm and enjoy the irresistible flavors of Southern BBQ beans!

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Customize the Sweetness: Adjust the amount of molasses to suit your taste preferences. If you prefer sweeter beans, add a bit more molasses. For a less sweet option, reduce the amount accordingly.
  • Add Heat: For a spicy kick, add a dash of hot sauce or a pinch of red pepper flakes to the bean mixture before baking.
  • Vegetarian Option: Omit the bacon and sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil or butter for a vegetarian-friendly version of this dish. You can also add diced bell peppers or mushrooms for additional flavor and texture.
  • Make It Smokier: Enhance the smoky flavor of the beans by adding a splash of liquid smoke to the bean mixture before baking.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use homemade baked beans instead of canned? A: Yes, you can certainly use homemade baked beans if you prefer. Just be sure to adjust the seasoning and sweetness levels accordingly to match the flavors of the recipe.

Q: Can I make these beans ahead of time? A: Absolutely! These Southern BBQ beans can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving. Simply store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, then reheat in the oven or on the stovetop until warmed through.

Q: Are these beans suitable for freezing? A: While you can freeze these beans, keep in mind that the texture may change slightly upon thawing. To freeze, let the beans cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container or resealable bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Q: Can I substitute the molasses with another sweetener? A: Molasses adds a unique flavor to these beans, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute it with maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar. Adjust the amount to taste.

Keto Version and Low-Carb Adaptation:

For those following a keto or low-carb lifestyle, here’s a modified version of the recipe:

Keto Southern BBQ Beans:

  • Use Sugar-Free Sweetener: Replace the molasses with a sugar-free sweetener such as erythritol or stevia to reduce the carb content.
  • Omit Baked Beans: Instead of canned pork and beans, use a combination of cooked black soybeans and sugar-free barbecue sauce for a low-carb alternative.
  • Add Smoky Flavor: Enhance the smoky flavor by adding smoked paprika or liquid smoke to the bean mixture.

Southern BBQ beans are a timeless classic that never fails to satisfy. With their rich, smoky flavor and hearty texture, they’re the perfect accompaniment to any barbecue, potluck, or weeknight dinner. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or experiment with your own variations, one thing’s for sure: these beans are bound to be a hit with family and friends. So fire up the oven, gather your ingredients, and get ready to enjoy the irresistible taste of Southern comfort in every bite!

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