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close up of southern baked beans in pot with wooden spoon

Southern Baked Beans

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Southern


You’ll love these Southern Baked Beans that are sweet, smoky, and savory! Mouthwatering flavors from bacon, a ton of flavorful spices, brown sugar, maple syrup, and bourbon. This recipe is so easy to make, extra saucy, and the perfect baked beans to serve at cookouts, family gatherings, and more! So delicious!


  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste or 5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon, optional
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsulphered molasses
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans baked beans (we use Bush’s® original beans)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Note: This recipe starts on the stovetop and then gets transferred into the oven to finish. As such, you can use an oven-safe vessel or just empty the mixture into a casserole baking dish (at step #6).
  2. Heat a large dutch oven or deep skillet (that’s oven-safe) over medium heat. Add in the chopped bacon and cook, stirring often, until the bacon is brown and crispy. Then use a slotted utensil to transfer the crispy bacon pieces to a plate lined with paper towels, set aside. There should be plenty of rendered bacon fat in the pot.
  3. Toss in the chopped onions and sauté until tender and golden, about 3-4 minutes. Then stir in the garlic and continue cooking with the onions until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. 
  4. Add in the smoked paprika, chili powder, salt/pepper- to taste, ketchup, mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, worcestershire, bourbon (if using), maple syrup, and molasses. Sprinkle the reserved bacon pieces into the pan. Then add in the beans from the can and stir everything together to fully combine.
  5. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a slight boil for 5 minutes. Then remove the pot from the heat. Give the beans a taste test and season with more salt/pepper, if desired.
  6. Place the vessel into the oven, uncovered. Bake the beans for 1 hour, or until the beans are super bubbly. 
  7. Stir the beans together and allow them to rest for at least 10 minutes. Then serve the baked beans immediately alongside cornbread or your favorite main entrees. Enjoy!


  1. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.

Keywords: baked beans, southern baked beans, beans, saucy beans, southern dishes, southern side dish, beans with bacon