barbecue baked beans
This post is sponsored by Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q
Little known fact — I grew up on hot dogs. There was always a package in the meat drawer when I was a kid and I can remember chopping them up to be added to macaroni and cheese for quick and easy dinners when Mom and Dad were working late. I mean, hey – a kid’s gotta eat, right?
As an adult, I still enjoy an occasional hot dog – but more than that, I crave the go-withs. Those unctuous side dishes that scream summer. Southern-style potato salad, vinegary cole slaw and sweet and spicy baked beans.
For years, my baked bean of choice came from a can (I know, you expect more from me). But I frankly, I didn’t want to be in the kitchen all day making beans while the rest of the clan was enjoying pool-time.
So I’ve developed this quick and easy cheater version, to satisfy my baked bean cravings. Don’t judge.
My prep starts in the pantry…
The first convenience ingredient are the canned beans. Yes, you could start with dried beans and soak them overnight, cook them for several hours until they’re tender and then start making this dish — but come on.
I’ll do that on a rainy, blustery winter day. Not on a blue-sky Saturday in June.
The second short-cut is Stubb’s Sweet Heat Barbecue Sauce. It’s got the perfect balance of molassas-y sweetness and tongue-tingly spice with a little tang.
Combined with a little tomato sauce and yellow mustard, it’s a winner! You can doctor it more to your tastes with a shake or two of worstershire and/or a little molasses or maple syrup for additional sweetness. Personally, I think the combination in Sweet Heat is spot on and doesn’t need much embellishment.
I bake the beans in my dutch oven to really infuse that barbecue flavor into the beans, but if you’re rushed, you could skip the bake and serve it right from the stovetop. Don’t forget the hot dogs.
This is a cheater's version of baked beans because it uses store bought barbecue sauce. It's so good!
- 2 slices thick cut bacon or 4 slices thin sliced bacon 1/2" dice
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 cans small white beans 15 ounces each
- 1 cup Stubbs Sweet Heat Barbecue Sauce
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1/4 cup water
- a few shakes worcestershire optional
- 1-2 tablespoons molasses or maple syrup optional
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place a dutch oven or heavy pot on medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain. Discard all but one tablespoon of the bacon grease.
Heat the remaining bacon grease over medium high heat and add the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Saute until slightly softened and translucent about 4-5 minutes.
Remove from heat and add beans, barbecue sauce, tomato sauce, mustard and water. Stir to combine.
Place the lid on the pot and transfer the pot to the oven. Bake for 1 hour, check for consistency - according to your tastes. If you prefer thinner, more saucy beans, an hour should be enough time. If you like them thicker, cook longer.
You can adjust the sauciness by adding a few additional tablespoons of barbecue sauce and water after baking.