These spicy baked beans are savory, spicy, sweet and smoky. Perfect easy recipe for any casual backyard BBQ or potluck. Sprucing up a can of pork and beans with your favorite zesty ingredients provides an easy way to serve an exciting side dish. A delicious baked bean recipe from the Oklahoma Jr. League Cookbook.
About This Recipe and Why it Works
If you’re reading this smack dab in the middle of backyard BBQ season, you’re most certainly browsing Google for side dishes. And there are so many choices aren’t there?
This is a very tasty and very easy big flavored spicy baked beans recipe. This isn’t a recipe for soaking beans overnight and bake them for hours until done. This is a baked beans recipe using canned beans. Throw in some might fine flavors – the good stuff.
Using a large can of pork and beans baked beans this recipe kicks things up by adding Worcestershire and chile powder for starters. Making them spicy and feisty.
Which turns simple baked beans into a masterpiece of a side dish. Baked until bubbly and caramelized, you’re going to love every bite.
Table of contents
Ingredients to make baked beans with pork and beans
- Onion: Dice a yellow or sweet onion.
- Liquid Smoke: Available on the condiment aisle of your grocery store, just a few drops will add a smoky flavor to any dish. Liquid smoke is a natural by-product of smoked wood. A great condiment to have on hand.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Worcestershire sauce is a powerhouse umami condiment. Tangier than soy sauce, it’s rich with flavor from fish sauce, vinegar and molasses. It’s wonderful in this baked bean recipe.
- Ketchup and Mustard: Key ingredients to make these baked beans sweet and tangy. For the mustard, use prepared yellow mustard.
- Brown Sugar: Using brown sugar rather than granulated white sugar brings more of a caramel toffee like flavor. I used light brown sugar for this recipe. You can also use dark brown sugar.
- Chile Powder: How to spice up baked beans? Bring on the heat .. or not. There are many types of pure chile powders, and they all have different heat levels. I use New Mexico Chimayo Chile Powder, which is medium hot on the heat scale. You can use Ancho chile powder, which is milder. Cayenne pepper works great in this recipe.
- Green Bell Pepper: The somewhat bitter grassy flavor of a green bell pepper works well to balance the overall sweet and spicy flavor of this baked bean casserole. You can also use milder and sweet varieties such a red bell pepper or orange bell pepper.
Step by Step Instructions – It’s Easy!
With just a little slicing and dicing you’re on your way to a great little big-time baked bean side dish.
- Step 1: In a 2 quart mixing bowl, combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, chile powder, Liquid Smoke, mustard and brown sugar. Whisk until smooth.
- Step 2: Add the beans and gently mix with a spoon.
- Step 3: Add the chopped parsley, sauteed bell pepper and onions to the bean mixture. Gently combine.
- Step 4: Pour the mixture into your favorite 2 quart casserole dish. Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Pro Tip: The beans inside that can have been cooked to a very soft stage. During anytime during the preparation process, stir the beans gently to combine ingredients. If you over-stir the beans can become mushy.
FAQ’s for Spicy Baked Beans
I drain about half of the liquid from the can of pork and beans. You’re adding a lot of flavor and liquid to this recipe, so draining the beans a bit will make the end dish a little thicker.
The beans inside that can of pork and beans are navy beans. If you have dried navy beans, soak a cup of them overnight in enough water to cover by an inch. The next morning, boil the beans for two minutes and then simmer than for two hours. Drain and proceed with the recipe.
I’ve never tried it, but black beans would be a good substitute for this recipe.
Absolutely yes. You can prepare the casserole ahead of time, refrigerate and then bake just before serving. Or you can bake ahead of time then gently reheat in the oven at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes. Or until nice and steamy.
Yes. The sauce around the beans protects them. Let them cool down and then grab a freezer friendly container and seal well. They’ll keep for a couple of months. Just remove the container from the freezer and place in the refrigerator overnight. Then reheat either using the microwave or oven.
The more shallow the baking dish, the more caramelized the end result will be. I’ve tried this with both shallow and deep dishes and prefer the more shallow dish.
Yes. If you’re hosting a gathering and need oven space, feel free to use the slow cooker for this recipe. Just follow the recipe and instead of placing the ingredients in a baking dish for the oven, add it to the slow cooker, that’s been sprayed with non-stick spray. Cook on low around 6 hours and on high for 3 – 4 hours. Check on them every couple of hours so they don’t burn, as every crock pot is a little different.
How To Make These Beans More Kid Frindly
The heat level is easy to control here. Simply omit the spicy chile powder. Use a milder chile powder like ancho or even chili powder (with an “i”) which is a blend of spices used in your favorite chili soup recipe.
What To Serve With Spicy Baked Beans
There couldn’t be a more perfect side dish for any grilled entree than these spicy baked beans. Check these out:
- Oven Spare Ribs with Beer Mustard Sauce
- Silver Spur Ranch Blue Cheese Burgers
- Perfect Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Tenderloin with Mango Chutney
With Chili Powder, Worcestershire Sauce and Liquid Smoke, you won’t even notice that there’s no bacon in the recipe.
Next time you’re thinking about baked beans for a side dish, take the easy route, and take canned beans to the next level.
And if you’re looking for even more side dishes for picnic style gatherings, don’t miss this line-up of Summer cook-out sides. I’m positive you’ll find something you love.
More Bean Side Dish Recipes
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Spicy Baked Beans with Pork and Beans
- 2 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 Cup Ketchup
- 1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 teaspoon chile powder New Mexico Red or ancho
- 1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
- 1 Tablespoon mustard prepared yellow
- 1/4 Cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 28 oz pork and beans half of the liquid drained
- 2 Tablespoon flat leaf parsley chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat olive oil in skillet and sauté onions for 4 minutes. (Onions should be transparent.) Add peppers and sauté another 2 minutes or until vegetables are just turning tender.
- In a 2 quart mixing bowl, combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, Liquid Smoke, mustard and brown sugar. Whisk until blended.
- Add the beans and gently stir with a spoon.
- Add onions and peppers to bean mixture. Add parsley and gently stir.
- Prepare a 2 quart casserole dish by spraying with non-stick spray. Pour bean mixture into dish and bake for 45 minutes.
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This recipe was first published in 2015 and updated in 2021 to add step by step instructions and new photos.
Why Trust These Recipes? Lea Ann Brown has lived, worked and played in Colorado for 45 years. She has immersed herself in the Colorado Culinary space, is a Culinary School Graduate and publishes her Colorado food Blog, Cooking On The Ranch.