Only 11 minutes of hands-on time goes into the summer side dish recipe that my friends and family can't stop raving over. Who doesn't love an easy win? With our Baked Beans recipe, that's exactly what you'll get.
No matter whether there's a brisket on the smoker or burgers on the grill, our Baked Beans with bacon are most assuredly in my oven. I've been cooking up a version of this summertime staple for nearly a decade at this point, and they still go down as one of my requested dishes—side or no. When I pass along the recipe—against my inclination to disregard the request with a nonchalant "oh, it's just something I whipped together"—it's always eyed suspiciously, almost as if the reader is determining whether or not the flavor payoff is worth crisping bacon and sautéing onions. After the first bite they realize the answer is a resounding, yes!
After the aforementioned bacon crisping and onion sautéing, grab four (15-ounce) cans pork and beans in tomato sauce and give them a good drain. Grab your trusty casserole, lightly grease it, then pour in the beans and next five ingredients (ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, brown sugar, and molasses or sorghum syrup). Give the mixture a stir and you'll be rewarded with a thick and flavorful concoction that'll have you taste-testing before it even hits the oven—trust me, it's that good. Oh, and don't forget to top it with the bacon.
Once the beans hit the oven to bake at 350° for 45 minutes, you'll almost immediately start getting wafts of savory, sweet, barbecue-y goodness. It's been my experience that this is typically when our dinner guests start arriving—and the timing could not be more ideal. I don't even need to usher them into the house, somehow, the scents coming from the oven lead them in a type of trance straight to the kitchen.
Hot Tip (literally): These beans will be absolutely molten when you pull them from the oven. Let them sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.