Barbecue Baked Beans from Scratch

Barbecue Baked Beans From Scratch - With bacon, brown sugar, and Magic Spice, these beans are sweet and spicy and always get rave reviews!

I had planned on not posting a single thing I thought we ought to make for Independence Day.

I planned to let everyone else do that sort of timely, ultra-organized posting that requires all kinds of pre-planning and fake 4th of July prop-age.

I was going to let it niggle by – a day of sparklers and ice cream and hometown parades – with not a peep about it here but to holler, “Happy Independence Day, America!” from the heart-felt clickety-clack of my keyboard. From me to you – Happy Fourth of July!

Then, these beans came wildly careening onto our dinner table and to then to a screeching halt in a heaping mass on my dinner plate Sunday night.

And my plan changed.

Barbecue Baked Beans from Scratch - With bacon, brown sugar, and Magic Dust, these beans are sweet and spicy, and always get rave reviews!These saucy legumes have Fourth of Joo-ly written all over them.

All I could think, (besides watching the psychedelic hippos doing the cha-cha slide in my brain as these beans sent me into an all-out food pleasure hallucination) was that there must be some sort of moral obligation that says I am required to let you in on this winner-winner-bbq-dinner.

Preferably before your next big cookout.

I cannot, in good conscience, not tell you about them – even if I am just squeaking in before the big day.

You can still fit them in.

And if you just can’t, then save the pleasure for another summer weekend.

But they belong there – on your backyard picnic table – right along with hotdogs and ketchup, coleslaw, and beers in metal buckets. . . and apparently with psychedelic hippos waving American flags. . . .

And probably some good ol’ country music.

OK, maybe not. But you get it.


BBQ Baked Beans from Scratch


  • 1 pound dried great northern beans, rinsed and drained (you can substitute canned beans here if you don't have a day to soak and pre-cook the dried ones. It would be about 6 cups of canned beans, rinsed and drained)
  • 8-12 slices of bacon
  • 1 medium to large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Magic Dust
  • 1 1/2 cups water


If using dry beans, start the night before. Start by pouring dry beans out onto a cookie sheet and sorting through them, picking out any foreign objects. Rinse them in a colander, then place beans in a large saucepan and cover with salted water by 2 to 3 inches. Soak the beans overnight.

The next day, drain and rinse the beans.

Return them to the saucepan and cover with fresh water by about 4 inches. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender, but not bursting open.

While the beans are cooking, whisk the ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, chili powder, Magic Dust, and water together in a large bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon. Drain the bacon on paper towels, crumble it, and set aside. Drain HALF the bacon grease. Add the onion to the remaining bacon grease and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Add garlic, continue to cook and stir until garlic is fragrant, but not brown. Remove from heat.

Pour drained beans into the bowl with the sauce. Add the bacon, onion, and garlic and stir to combine well.

Pour into a 9"x13" baking dish and bake, uncovered, for one hour or until bubbly.

Will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

I also made my beans earlier in the day - all the way up to the last step before putting them in the oven,then covered them with plastic wrap, and hour before we were ready to eat, I popped them in the oven.


Adapted from, Judy Mills's From Scratch Baked Beans


13 thoughts on “Barbecue Baked Beans from Scratch

  1. These look dee-licious. When I saw them, I thought about making them for a company picnic my husband is having…. but then I thought, “are baked beans REALLY the kind of thing you should make for an office party when people are going to go back to their cubicles?” Hm…. I must ruminate on this….

    • Ha! Very good forethought on your part. I had some for lunch yesterday. Let me just say again. . . very good forethought!!

  2. Look at you, so trendy with your holiday post 😉 I hope to one day be organized enough to cook Christmas recipes in August so they’re ready to go, but really, I’m not holding my breath 🙂 These look delicious for any day!

    • Ha! Yes, so timely of me – just squeaking in under the wire! They really are great for any day!! I’ll be watching you for those Christmas recipes! 🙂

  3. Yes, it isn’t July… but I made these up three days ago using dried beans. They were delicious right out of the oven, and even better as leftovers! Coupled with burgers and some sweet corn that we put in the freezer last August, we enjoyed July in January this year.

  4. Not sure if you’re still monitoring this list but I was wondering how,many servings this recipe makes? My Christmas dinner is going to be spicy apple glazed ribs (to die for) and potato salad. These beans look perfect. I will be feeding around 12 people. Do I need to double it? Thanks

    • Hi Lisa! You’re dinner sounds delicious! I think this would feed 8-10 people some hearty portioned sides. I don’t think it’s necessary to totally double it, but if there’s a way to work out 1.5, that would probably be perfect. I always err on the side of too much food, but the good thing about these is that they keep really well in the fridge for a few days of you have leftovers!

  5. Should there be a ton of liquid leftover? I’ve never made baked beans from scratch before. These look amazing! They are sitting on my counter cooling right now but I started to think I took them out too soon since they are pretty soupy.

    • Hey Rachel – I wouldn’t say there should be a “ton” of liquid left over – but some, for sure. It really comes down to personal preference. If you let them cook longer, they will get thicker for sure. However you like them!

  6. Your BBQ Baked Beans are now an absolute must for every family get-together! I follow the recipe exactly EXCEPT I reduce the water to 1/2 cup (use your bean liquid!) I also bake them for over an hour. The recipe is pretty flexible for baking. I have made them twice this week for different potlucks! No leftovers! Nuts!! None to eat at home!

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