BBQ Baked Beans Recipe

Sweet & Tangy Secret BBQ Baked Beans Recipe

Fall-off-the-bone ribs and tender pulled beef are stars of the barbecue, but the humble baked bean plays an important supporting role. Either it’s baked potato on grill or baked beans on your table; you’re going to have a taste of both worlds!

Smoky, sweet and saucy, baked beans are a longtime favorite sidekick for barbecue. I’m about to share my go-to recipe for lip-smackingly good Smoked Baked Beans.

This recipe for BBQ Baked Beans is my absolute favorite to make for backyard barbecues and potlucks. 

I load these beans up with a special homemade barbecue sauce featuring molasses, mustard and chili powder for flavor depth. Baking them low and slow creates the most tender beans and thick, luscious sauce that sticks to the beans perfectly.

Trust me, after one bite of these finger-lickin’ beans you’ll be begging for the recipe! So grab your cowboy boots and let’s get cookin’!


– 3 (15 oz) cans navy beans, drained and rinsed 

– 3⁄4 cup barbecue sauce

– 1⁄2 cup molasses  

– 1⁄4 cup mustard  

– 1 small chopped onion

– 3 cloves garlic, minced

– 2 tablespoons brown sugar

– 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

– 1 teaspoon chili powder

– 1 teaspoon paprika

– 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper

– 5 slices cooked bacon, chopped


Prepare the Beans:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Drain and rinse 3 (15 oz) cans of navy beans. 

Make the Sauce:

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 3⁄4 cup barbecue sauce, 1⁄2 cup molasses, 1⁄4 cup mustard, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon paprika and 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper.

Assemble and Bake: 

3. Add the drained beans to a 11⁄2 to 2 quart baking dish. Pour the sauce over top and stir until fully combined. 

4. Distribute the chopped onion, minced garlic and chopped bacon evenly over beans.

5. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes or until they are cooked, stirring twice during baking. Remove foil and continue baking uncovered for 30 minutes.

Finish and Serve:

6. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. To serve, spoon baked beans into bowls. Top with diced green onion and shredded cheddar cheese if desired.

Tips and Variations:

– For spicier beans, add 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the sauce. 

– Substitute different types of beans like great northern, kidney or pinto.

– Make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon. 

– Garnish with diced red onion, shredded barbecue pork or crumbled cornbread.  

– Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

baked beans preparing


These BBQ Baked Beans are the perfect sweet and saucy side to complement any barbecue feast. Smoky, molasses-lanced and packed with meaty flavor, this easy bake recipe always disappears fast. Whip up a batch soon and leave your friends begging for more!

Related article: Smoked Salsa : Savoring the Smokey Delight


What are the most popular baked beans?

While classic baked beans use navy or great northern beans, you can experiment with other varieties. Pinto and red kidney beans hold up well to long cooking times. For a bean medley, use a mix like ranch style or four bean bake. Just stick to dried beans or give canned beans a good rinse before baking.

Canned vs Dried Beans: which is better?

Canned beans are quicker since they don’t require overnight soaking and long cooking. But dried beans are cheaper and don’t have added sodium. If using dried beans, be sure to hydrate by soaking 8 hours or boiling for 2 minutes before baking. 

How to Make Smoked Baked Beans?

1. Prep your ingredients while your smoker heats up  

Rinse the beans, dice the onions/garlic, open the canned goods, and measure everything out before firing up your smoker. Bring your smoker up to 225-250°F.  

2. Brown the bacon, onions and garlic

Sauté the bacon, onions and garlic in a skillet for 5-7 minutes until the bacon starts to crisp and the onions soften.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients  

In a foil pan, mix the browned bacon and veggie mix with beans, tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and spices. Stir well, cover the pan with foil.

4. Smoking the Beans  

Once smoker temp holds steady between 225-250°F, add a foil pan of beans. Smoke beans uncovered for 2 1/2 hours, stir every 45 mins. 

What can I add to make baked beans better?

Here are some ideas for ways to make baked beans even more delicious:

Add Meat:

  • Cooked bacon – The smoky, salty flavor takes beans to the next level. Chop into pieces and mix in.
  • Ground beef or sausage – Brown the meat first, then mix into beans.
  • Pulled beef, brisket, or shredded chicken – Excellent for using up leftovers!

Flavor Boosts:

  • Brown sugar or molasses – Caramelizes nicely and gives depth of sweetness.
  • Mustard – Yellow, spicy brown or Dijon all pair well. The tang cuts through richness.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Umami depth.
  • BBQ sauce – Pick your favorite regional style like Kansas City or Texas flavors.  

Mix-ins and Toppings:

  • Onion – Red onion or shallots, caramelized if you have time.
  • Garlic – Sautéed lightly first adds a big flavor.  
  • Bell peppers – Diced red, orange, yellow peppers add sweetness.
  • Cheddar cheese – Melts nicely on top when serving. A BBQ classic.

Other Tweaks:

  • Use a mix of bean varieties.
  • Add heat with cayenne and chipotles. 
  • Swap some of the tomato sauce for beer or (unsweetened) cola.
  • Top a scoop with crispy fried onion strings. Smoky and sweet.

The options are endless for customizing baked bean flavors. Part of the fun is experimenting with favorites and always tailoring to your taste!

Now get smoking and make these beans the star of your next cookout! Let me know if you have your own twist on smoked baked beans.

Explore my other sides recipes full of variations!

Rita Williams

Rita Williams

Hey, it’s me Rita! My love for BBQ began at an early age, learning the art of smoking meats from my dad in their small town in Texas. Weekends were filled with smoky aroma of brisket or ribs as family and friends gathered for backyard cookouts.

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