Spicy Baked Beans with Bacon

Spicy Baked Beans with Bacon are a fun twist on the classic barbecue side dish that have a serious kick. Make these big batch baked beans in the oven for any type of gathering! Makes 8 servings.

Love baked beans with a classic backyard barbecue? You’ve got to pair ’em with Instant Pot BBQ Brisket and Oven Fried Okra!

Three bowls of spicy baked beans from above with a blue striped towel

2023 Update: This recipe was originally shared in June 2015. I have simplified the recipe and it now includes measurements by weight. The post has been updated to include new photos, as well as more tips and tricks. I hope you love them!

I’m a Memphis girl, and I love me some barbecue, as well as all the “traditional” barbecue sides that come with it, like baked beans and coleslaw. Pair ’em with Memphis Style Ribs (Dry Rub Oven Baked Ribs Recipe), and I’m a happy girl.

Since moving to Texas, the land of beef barbecue, I’ve learned about some new barbecue sides.

They’re all delicious, and I certainly won’t complain when served fried okra or macaroni and cheese with my barbecue… but I like what I grew up with.

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    And whenever I think about making barbecue at home, I gravitate to those sides from my past.

    Why I love this recipe:

    These baked beans in the oven pack in a ton of flavor—they’ve got spice from Bloody Mary Mix and sriracha sauce (or your fave hot sauce). They’ve got some smokiness from the bacon. And they’ve got sweetness from honey instead of the traditional brown sugar.

    Quite honestly, I love ’em because they are less sweet than the canned variety.

    These beautiful baked beans from scratch are not too sweet and pack a major punch of heat. (But of course, you can adjust the heat level to your tastebuds!)

    It also makes a big batch, so they’re fantastic for sharing.

    While they’re not as fast to make as my Instant Pot BBQ Baked Beans, they’re worth the effort!

    Dishes you should pair these BBQ baked beans with: Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with Mustard Coleslaw | Apple Cider Pulled Pork with Apple Coleslaw | BBQ Chicken Burger Bites with Avocado Slaw | Pear BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Pear Slaw | Pulled Pork Coleslaw Eggrolls

    Need some barbecue inspiration? Head on over to my Outdoor Entertaining Recipe Index for more ideas!

    What you need to make this recipe:

    The Speckled Palate participates in affiliate programs. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information about these affiliate programs.

    Let’s talk ingredients!

    In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

    Here’s what you need:

    • Navy beans — the dried variety, please and thank you. We’re going to soak them overnight before cooking, so make sure to do this! You could also use another white bean, like a northern white bean or a cannellini bean.
    • Water — this is important to the soak, friend! It’s also important for cooking the beans.
    • Kosher salt — I use a medium grain kosher salt for this recipe. You could also use a similarly sized sea salt, too.
    • Bacon — use your favorite kind.
    • White onions — yellow onions would work in a pinch, too!
    • Garlic cloves — while pre-chopped garlic is really convenient, I find that garlic cloves you chop yourself have a lot more flavor.
    • Bloody Mary Mix — we’re using this to give us a ton of flavor to the beans! This is in place of ketchup or a tomato puree, which is sometimes found in baked beans. Zing Zang is our favorite Bloody Mary Mix. Tabasco Bloody Mary Mix also has really good flavor!
    • Barbecue sauce — you can get your favorite at the store (we prefer Rendezvous and Stubb’s brands in our house) or you can make your own barbecue sauce
    • Honey — this is our sweetener. I love how the honey plays with the hot sauce. That said, I think maple syrup would make an excellent substitute for this if you do not eat honey.
    • Sriracha sauce — or another hot sauce of your choosing! I love the heat sriracha brings to these oven baked beans.
    • Dijon mustard — while some baked beans recipes call for dry mustard, that’s not what we’re using here. You could substitute yellow mustard for this, though I prefer the Dijon.
    • Worcestershire sauce — just a splash gives us some major umami! It’s a nice addition to this baked beans with bacon recipe.
    Beans in a braised pan with water before cooking
    Cook the beans after an overnight soak

    How to make Spicy Baked Beans with Bacon

    First and foremost, go through the beans. Pick out any broken beans, plant debris or small rocks, and place them in a large bowl that has more than enough room. Soak the dried beans in water overnight.

    Cook the beans. Drain the beans, and place them in a large Dutch oven.

    Add water, and bring to a boil over high heat for 1(ish) hour, or until the beans are tender. Drain and set aside.

    Pro tip!

    Keep an eye on the beans as they cook. You might need to add more water to the pot if the water level gets low. Because if your water completely boils off, the beans will burn.


    Cook the bacon. In the same Dutch oven, cook the strips of bacon until caramelized.

    Remove the bacon, but leave the bacon fat in the pan.


    Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft. (This will take 4-6ish minutes, depending on your stovetop.)

    Give them an occasional stir so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.


    Add the liquid ingredients. Pour in the Bloody Mary Mix, barbecue sauce, honey, Sriracha sauce, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Bring it to a boil.

    Add the beans. Give ’em a stir, and sprinkle on the bacon.


    Bake for 45 minutes with the lid on.

    Remove the lid, and bake for an additional 30-45 minutes before serving. The sauce will be sticky and gooey.

    Enjoy!

    Close up of a pot of beans with sauce before baking in the oven

    Erin’s Entertaining Tips

    Baked Beans with Bacon are one of my favorite dishes to serve at a backyard barbecue or any other outdoor gathering involving food because they go so well with so many dishes.

    Whether you’re making actual barbecue, like Memphis Style Ribs (Dry Rub Oven Baked Ribs Recipe) or Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork, this recipe is a delicious side dish.. You could also serve them something like Juicy Lucy Burgers

    With that in mind, here are a few tricks I’ve learned over the years while making homemade baked beans.

    • Give yourself more than enough time. I always start cooking mine with 3-4 hours to go before guests arrive. Why? Sometimes, the beans take longer to soften when boiling. And if they finish early, they can always be kept warm or reheated in the oven.
    • Give ’em a good taste. These baked beans are less sweet than the canned variety, and I like that. However, before you serve them, give them a taste and doctor them as needed.
    • Double the easy baked beans recipe if you’re feeding a crowd. The bean’s cooking time might need to be a little longer since there are more beans.
    A spoon lifts baked beans out of a braiser pan

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are Baked Beans?

    Baked Beans are a dish that contains beans. Sometimes, it’s baked. Other times, it’s not. The beans cook in a sauce, which is normally includes molasses.

    Fun fact: One of Boston’s nicknames is “Beantown.” Apparently, it got this name because of the Colonists love for beans baked in molasses and salt pork. (Which is the traditional way to make Boston Baked Beans.)

    How can I thicken baked beans without cornstarch?

    The sauce will thicken on its own as it cooks. Also, if the sauce is a little runny for your liking, use a spoon to smash a few beans to thicken up the sauce!

    What type of bean is used in baked beans?

    Navy beans are the classic beans for baked beans!

    A small ramekin holds a serving of baked beans next to plates of pulled pork sandwiches

    Quick Tips And Tricks To The Best Baked Beans in the Oven

    • Use the right ingredients. We’re using dried beans in this recipe, not canned beans. Also, choose your favorite bacon and use that!
    • How to store Spicy Baked Beans: Once these beans have cooled off, place in an airtight food storage container. Store in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave until they’re at the optimal temperature.
    • Season to taste. While I think this combination is pretty dang perfect, you might like your baked beans with bacon a little sweeter. That’s OK. Follow the instructions below, then give the beans a taste. If it needs more sweetness, add in another drizzle of honey. If you like it spicier, feel free to add in more hot sauce.
    Two bowls of baked beans on a white tabletop with a blue striped towel

    Spicy Baked Beans with Bacon

    Erin Parker Skinner, The Speckled Palate
    Sweetened with honey and barbecue sauce and spiced with Bloody Mary Mix and Sriracha, these Sriracha Baked Beans are a tasty side dish for any summertime get-together.
    5 from 3 votes
    Servings 8 servings
    Calories 298 kcal
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 3 hours
    Soak Time 8 hours
    Total Time 11 hours 20 minutes

    Ingredients
      

    Beans

    • 1 lb. dried navy beans soaked overnight and drained
    • 10-12 cups water
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

    Baked Beans

    • 4 slices bacon
    • 2 small white onions diced (2 ½ cups / 340g)
    • 3 garlic cloves minced
    • 2 cups Bloody Mary Mix 500ml
    • 1 cup barbecue sauce 250ml
    • ½ cup honey
    • ¼ cup Sriracha sauce or your favorite hot sauce
    • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • Soaked cooked and drained beans (above)

    As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Instructions
     

    • The night before: Fill a large bowl with water. Sort through the beans and remove any broken ones. Place the beans in the water, and soak overnight. Cover with a kitchen towel, and leave on the countertop.
    • The day of: Drain the beans in a colander.
    • Place the beans in a Dutch oven. Cover the beans with 6-8 cups water. Season with salt.
    • Cover and cook over medium-high heat until the beans are tender, then drain and set aside. This took about 1.5 hours for me in a smaller Dutch oven. Keep an eye on the beans as they cook, as the water can all boil away and the beans can burn.
    • In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crispy, then remove. (Chop for later.)
    • Leave the bacon drippings in the pan and warm it over medium-high heat.
    • Add the onions and garlic to the drippings, cooking until soft. This should take 4-6 minutes, depending on your stovetop.
    • Pour in the Bloody Mary Mix, barbecue sauce, honey, Sriracha sauce, mustard and Worcestershire sauce, stirring and bringing to a boil.
    • Lower the heat, and add the beans, stirring until incorporated.
    • Sprinkle the chopped bacon on top of the beans.
    • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    • Cover the Dutch oven with its lid, and transfer it into the preheated oven. (You can also do this with a casserole dish with a lid if you do not have a Dutch oven.)
    • Bake the beans for 45 minutes covered, then remove the cover for an additional 30-45 minutes or until the sauce is sticky and delicious.
    • Serve warm!

    Notes

    These Baked Beans have a serious kick to them! If you're concerned that they will be too spicy, use half of the suggested hot sauce above.
    How to store Spicy Baked Beans: Once these beans have cooled off, place in an airtight food storage container. Store in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave until they’re at the optimal temperature.
    How to make this recipe your own:
  • Use the right ingredients. Dried beans are necessary for this recipe. Canned beans will fall apart. Choose your favorite bacon and use that!
  • Season to taste. While I think this combination is pretty perfect, you might like your baked beans with bacon a little sweeter. That’s OK. Follow the instructions below, then give the beans a taste. If it needs more sweetness, add in another drizzle of honey. If you like it spicier, feel free to add in more hot sauce.
  • Nutrition

    Serving: 1 servingCalories: 298kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 10gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 1326mgFiber: 9gSugar: 36g
    Keyword Baked Beans, baked beans with bacon, barbecue, barbecue side, barbecue side dish, barbecue sides, BBQ side, BBQ side dish, bbq side dishes, bbq sides, classic baked beans, easy side, easy side dish, homemade baked beans, side dish, side dish recipe, side dishes, spicy baked beans, sticky baked beans
    Course Side Dishes
    Cuisine American
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    A woman with dark curly hair wearing a black tank top in front of a white wall

    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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    6 Comments

      1. Thanks so much, Heather! They’re pretty darn good… and we made them again yesterday. Because you can’t have a 4th of July celebration without some kind of baked beans!

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