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person holding a spoonful of baked beans

Southern Baked Beans

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 10 cups 1x


These Southern baked beans are sweet and smoky with the amazing flavors of bacon, brown sugar, molasses, and maple syrup.  They’re simple to make in the crockpot, stovetop, or baked in the oven.  There is enough for a crowd, so make this ahead for your next BBQ or party.



  • 1 pound applewood smoked bacon, cut in 1-inch pieces (455g)
  • 2 tablespoons melted bacon fat (30 ml)
  • 3 1/2 cups yellow onions, chopped (610g)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 7 15.5-ounce cans navy beans, rinsed and drained (3 kg 75g)
  • 1 1/4 cups ketchup (300 ml)
  • 1 1/4 cups BBQ sauce (Heinz’s Kansas City Sweet and Smoky) (300 ml)
  • 1/2 cup prepared yellow mustard (120 ml)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (60 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke (10 ml)
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed (300g)
  • 3/4 cup molasses (175 ml)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (120 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


Oven Method

  1. Cook the cut up bacon in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat until it’s crisp, frequently stirring with a wooden spoon.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.  Pour out all the grease into a small bowl and keep in the fridge.  Reserve some of the bacon pieces for a garnish.
  2. Add two tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat back to the skillet and turn the heat to medium-high.  Saute the onion for 8 minutes over medium high heat, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Drain all 7 cans of navy beans in a large metal colander.  Rinse well under cold water.
  4. Place the onion mixture into a Dutch oven or large bowl.  Add the rinsed navy beans and stir well to combine.
  5. Add the cooked bacon and the ingredients for the sauce (ketchup, BBQ sauce, prepared mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke) to the Dutch oven and mix that in really well.
  6. Next, mix in the sweeteners (brown sugar, molasses, and maple syrup) until it is well mixed.
  7. Finish up with the spices (salt and black pepper).  Stir again so everything is mixed in well.
  8. Transfer them to two 9×13-inch baking pans and cover with foil.
  9. Bake at 300 F for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the beans are soft and the sauce has thickened.  Taste and season, if necessary.

Stovetop Method

  1. Follow steps 1 to 7 from above.
  2. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and simmer for one hour.  Stir every 15 minutes to prevent the bottom from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Next, taste it and season if necessary.  Simmer again on the lowest heat for 2 hours with the lid on, stirring every 15 minutes.

Crockpot Method

  1. Follow steps 1 to 3 from above.
  2. Place all the ingredients into a large crock pot.  Stir with a large metal spoon until well mixed.
  3. Place the lid on.  Cook on low for 8 hours covered or 4 hours on high.
  4. Taste. Season if necessary.


  • If you want to save some time, use canned navy beans.  Make sure to rinse them well to help with gas and to reduce the sodium.
  • This recipe doubles well, so go ahead and make a big batch.  It also freezes well.
  • Make this the night before, as the flavor will improve the second day.
  • My the secret ingredient is liquid smoke.
  • Bake it in a shallow pan to help thicken the sauce if it is too soupy.
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: easy baked beans recipe, baked beans with bacon

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