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Dressed Up Baked Beans

Brimming with bacon, spicy mustard and sausage, these dressed up baked beans take those boring old canned baked beans and make them really, really interesting!


baked beans in a pot with made with extra ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and sausage.

Up Your Side Dish Game

Summertime is also known around here as “side dish season”, because it feels like all season long, we’re invited to barbecues and told to “just” bring a side to share. The thing is, the side dishes are often more work than the mains—especially if we’re talking about a barbeque. And if you phone it in with a side dish—we’re looking at you, store-bought veggie platter—you’ll feel kind of guilty going to town on that really delicious homemade potato salad that your friend brought. And we’re not sure about you, but we want to be able to dig in to all of the deliciousness with abandon. The perfect solution? These dressed up baked beans! Because they used canned baked beans, they take almost no time at all, but they still taste super delicious. Served warm, they’re a hearty side that’s sure to win you raves—not to mention carte blanche with all of the other goodies everyone else brought.

canned beans in a soup pot with Worcestershire, ketchup, mustard in bowls

How To Improve Canned Baked Beans

Honestly, we love baked beans. Eating them straight out of the can takes us right back to every camping trip we’ve ever been on. You know how it is—when the fire’s taking too long to get going and you just can’t wait for your burger to be ready, you crack open a can of baked beans and scarf about half of it in three bites. Hey—hiking makes you hungry! But we digress. When you’re eating canned baked beans at home, they don’t have quite the same rustic charm. They need, shall we say, a little help to taste their best. Our doctored baked beans recipe is just the thing! Here’s what we dress them up with:

  • Bacon
  • Onion
  • Maple syrup
  • Spicy mustard
  • Beef sausage
  • Molasses
  • Ketchup
  • Cider vinegar
bacon fried in a cast iron pot
chopped onion, browned sausage and bacon in a cast iron pot
canned baked beans in a pot with made with extra ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and sausage
baked beans in a pot with made with extra ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and sausage.

How to Cook Canned Baked Beans

While you can simply warm them up in a pot as-is, our easy baked beans recipe will be well worth your (short) while. Here’s how to improve canned baked beans:

  1. Improvement #1: bacon! Fry some up and set it aside.
  2. Improvement #2: sausage! Fry up some pre-cooked beef sausages with onion to create a super-flavorful base for your dressed up baked beans.
  3. Improvement #3: a plethora of condiments! Maple syrup, molasses, ketchup, vinegar, mustard—basically throw every sweet, salty, tangy condiment you’ve got at those canned baked beans and you know they’re going to taste delicious.
  4. Improvement #4: heat. Despite our nostalgic camping trip experiences, baked beans are best warmed through. So warm that pot of doctored up baked beans, add the bacon back in and gobble away.
baked beans in a pot with made with extra ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and sausage.

What To Serve These Doctored Canned Baked Beans

What doesn’t go with baked beans?! Loaded with all of the bacon and sausage, these baked beans are nearly a meal all on their own. But we love to pair them with:

Tools You’ll Need:

baked beans in a pot with made with extra ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and sausage.
baked beans in a pot with made with extra ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and sausage.

Best Side Dish of Summer?

What do you think? Are these easy baked beans a contender? If you make them, let us know! Snap a photo or video and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Dressed Up Baked Beans

  • Serves: 15
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  20 min
  • Calories: 260


  • 10-12 oz thick cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (12oz) fully cooked beef sausage link, 1/2 inch, sliced at an angle
  • 3 (28oz) cans original baked beans
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp unfiltered apple cider vinegar, optional


  1. Fry the bacon in a large dutch oven or soup pot set over medium heat. When the bacon is cooked through, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a paper towel lined plate. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons bacon grease into a heat proof container.
  2. Add the onion and sausage to the pot. Cook onion until soft and translucent and the sausage begins to brown on both sides.
  3. Add the beans, syrup, mustard, molasses, ketchup and vinegar to a large pot set over medium heat. Stir until ingredients are fully incorporated. Add the Bacon, onions and sausage. Heat through and serve.

**Transfer these to a crock-pot to keep them warm for a longer time.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories260
  • Protein19 g
  • Carbohydrates53 g
  • Total Fat10 g
  • Dietary Fiber11 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium871 mg
  • Total Sugars24 g

Dressed Up Baked Beans

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • steven wilcox

    brown sugar sustitute how much

    It depends which substitute you are using. The bag should tell you the replacement like 1:1 or 1:2.

  • Susan

    would you please elaborate on "fully cooked beef sausage". What would be an example of this?

    Hillshire Farms Beef Smoked Sausage is one example. You can look that up and get anything similar. It is a fully cooked sausage made of beef so you can just heat it up in the beans without having to cook it yourself first. Hope you enjoy, Susan!

  • Chris U

    We have been making our baked beans like this for years except brown sugar instead of the maple syrup.

    mmm. sounds delicious!

  • Em

    These turned out so great! Made them as written for a potluck/cook off and they won the blue ribbon.

    NO WAY! That is so great to hear Em! Thanks so much for making them and congrats on your blue ribbon!

  • Lay Lay

    It is very helpful I love it.

    Thanks Lay Lay!

  • jenn

    absolutely delicious, I'll never go back to canned baked beans!

    Amazing, that is such a compliment, thank you Jenn!