Southern Baked Beans

Sweet and savory Southern Baked Beans get a delicious twist with the addition of bacon and barbecue they're extremely quick and easy to whip up since they start with canned white beans!

Southern Baked Beans with text overlay.


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If you enjoy bean dishes, you'll also love Slow Cooker Charro Beans, Ranch-Style Beans, Instant Pot Refried Beans, and Quick & Easy Stovetop Baked Beans.

Summer means it's almost time for the Fourth of July, and America's birthday is certainly something to celebrate. So do you have your menu decided yet? Well, you won't want to miss the recipe I've got up my sleeve today...Southern Baked Beans!

Spoonful of Southern Baked Beans out of baking dish.

What Are Southern Baked Beans?

That's right, I'm sharing a super simple, absolutely yummy side dish that would be a perfect accompaniment to just about any Independence Day fare.

While traditional baked beans are a cooked-all-day, northeastern (think Boston) specialty often associated with wintertime comfort food, Southern Baked Beans are the perfect side dish for just about any variety of barbecue or grilled entree.

They boast the sweetness of brown sugar and pure maple syrup alongside the savory notes of barbecue sauce, mustard, and -- best of all! -- bacon. Y'all know I love me some bacon.

Close-up of Southern Baked Beans in bowl.

Shortcut Ingredient

And have I mentioned how easy this dish is to throw together?

It takes the shortcut step of using canned white beans, so it can literally be assembled in mere minutes.

That's right, overnight soaking or long, slow cooking. Just mix everything together, top with pieces of bacon, and bake until the beans are bubbly and the bacon is crispy.

Other Ingredients

As for the other ingredients, they're few and they're simple:

  • Maple syrup.
  • Barbecue sauce.
  • Brown sugar.
  • Yellow mustard. The prepared kind that you squirt from a bottle.
  • Lemon juice.
  • Bacon. See notes below!
Close-up with big scoop being removed with bacon all over surface.

Bacon Tips

Speaking of the bacon, I prefer to use relatively lean, regular to thin-cut strips for this recipe.

Since the bacon bakes right with the beans, you don't want to have to worry about excess bacon grease floating on the surface as a result of using fatty bacon. Plus, the thick-cut stuff may not suitably crisp up situated on top of all those beans.

I find that snipping raw bacon into small pieces using kitchen shears is always faster and easier than trying to cut it with a knife.

And if my bacon hasn't started browning around the edges by the end of the cooking time, I like to switch on the broiler for a few extra minutes until it's nice and crispy. If you end up taking this step, just promise me that you'll watch it carefully, because you don't want to ruin such a tasty dish by burning your bacon!

Aerial view of Southern Baked Beans in serving dish and baking dish.

Even if your July 4th menu is set at this point and your groceries are already purchased (go, you!), I hope you'll still try these Southern Baked Beans the next time you need a speedy, simple, scrumptious summer side dish.

I especially enjoy taking these to potlucks and get-togethers because, not only are they easy to make in mass quantities, but they are also always a hit with kids and adults alike.

Spoonful being removed from bowl.

Happy almost-Fourth, friends!

More Summer Sides

Aerial view of Southern Baked Beans in bowl with spoon.

Southern Baked Beans

Sweet and savory baked beans get a southern spin with the addition of bacon and barbecue they're extremely quick and easy to whip up since they start with canned white beans!
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 267kcal
Print Pin Rate


  • 2 cans (16-ounces each) white beans (such as Navy or Great Northern beans), drained
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ pound lean bacon, NOT thick-cut, cut into 1-inch pieces


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In an 8- by 8-inch square baking dish (or any baking dish with 1 ½ to 2 quart capacity), combine beans, syrup, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, mustard, and lemon juice. Mix well. Evenly top beans with a single layer of bacon pieces. Cover dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes to brown bacon. If bacon is not sufficiently crisp by the end of the baking time, turn on the broiler and broil for a few more minutes (watch carefully the entire time!) until bacon is to desired doneness.


  • Keep in mind that the type of barbecue sauce you use is going to contribute that same flavor to your beans (smokey vs. spicy vs. sweet, etc.).
  • If there is excess bacon grease on the top of the dish when you take it out of the oven, lay a paper towel over the surface to quickly blot it up.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9- by 13-inch dish.


Calories: 267kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 567mg | Potassium: 735mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 4.6mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Post originally published on June 30, 2014.

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5 from 9 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This is a quickie recipe that we've always enjoyed at summer barbecues, but it makes a great winter comfort food also.

  2. 5 stars
    Made these tonight and they were wonderful! Added a tiny bit of sautéed red onion ( cause we needed to use it) .

    1. I made these beans and used the canned great northern bean. I baked them with the sauce and bacon bits for the allotted time and they came out hard as a brick. I used the foil to cover the dish while baking. No one in my family liked them. Would not recommended this recipe.