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May 17, 2024

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 interesting!

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A large pot of baked beans with sausage, bacon, brown sugar, ketchup and mustard being stirred with a wooden spoon
Photography by Gayle McLeod

What To Do With Baked Beans

Summertime is also known around The Modern Proper as summer side dish season, and we take this time of year seriously. These dressed up baked beans use canned baked beans, take almost no time at all, are super delicious, and 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 eat them with Classic Cheese Burger with Secret Sauce, Hot Dogs, and Classic Potato Salad. For more summer side inspo check out our 56 Best BBQ Side Dish Recipes.

canned baked beans, bacon, sausage, onion, brown mustard, molasses, maple syrup , ketchup & Apple cider vinegar in prep bowls

Ingredients You’ll Need To Dress Up Your Baked Beans

Canned baked beans can use a little jazz. They need, shall we say, a little help to taste their best. Our doctored up 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

chopped bacon being cooked in a dutch oven
sliced beef sausage being cooked in bacon fat in a dutch oven pot
onion and beef sausage being cooked in bacon fat in a dutch oven pot
Baked beans in a pot with bacon, onion, maple syrup, spicy mustard, beef sausage, molasses, ketchup and cider vinegar.

How To Dress Up 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. Upgrade #1: Bacon! Fry some up and set it aside.

  2. Upgrade #2: Sausage! Cook up beef sausages with onion to create a super-flavorful base for your dressed up baked beans.

  3. Upgrade #3: All of the 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. Upgrade #4: Heat. Despite our nostalgic camping trip experiences, baked beans are best warmed through. So warm that pot of doctored up baked beans, and add the bacon back in.

baked beans, maple syrup, mustard, molasses, ketchup, vinegar, bacon sausage and onion being stirred together in a dutch oven

How to Store Baked Beans + Tips

  • You can freeze beans for like, ever, or up to three months in an airtight container.

  • Get yourself a nice casserole dish, because it’s going to get a workout this season! And a good can opener while you’re at it!

  • Make sure bacon is crispy before adding to the beans for best texture. We don’t want to see any unidentifiable pork ‘n beans style white bits floating around!

  • Dressing up canned baked beans is kind of a maximalist kitchen art. Don’t hold back!

A large pot of baked beans with sausage, bacon, brown sugar, ketchup and mustard being stirred with a wooden spoon
dressed up baked beans in a serving bowl. made with bacon, sausage, onion, brown mustard, molasses, maple, ketchup & vinegar

More Bean-tastic Dishes From The Modern Proper

Side Dish Summer

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Dressed Up Baked Beans

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

Ingredients

  • 10 to 12 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (12-ounce) cooked beef sausage link, sliced into ½-inch-thick pieces (optional)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 (28-ounce) cans original baked beans
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon unfiltered apple cider vinegar

Method

  1. Place the bacon in a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Set the Dutch oven over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon crisps and the fat is rendered, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate, reserving 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan.

  2. Add the sausage and cook until browned on both sides, 3-4 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring until softened, 5-6 minutes.

  3. Stir in the beans, syrup, mustard, molasses, ketchup, and vinegar. Stir in the bacon. Cook until warmed through and serve.


Note: Transfer to a crock-pot to keep them warm for a buffet-style party.

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.

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  • Stacey

    Do you have a brand of canned beans you prefer? I haven't bought canned beans for ages.

    Any brand would do. Bush's is a good universal go-to that you can get pretty much anywhere. Hope you enjoy!

  • steven

    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

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

    mmm. sounds delicious!

  • Seth

    Super!! Brought them to a block party and everyone loved them and asked for the recipe. My wife and I are both very good cooks, and we were surprised how easy they were to make. I would suggest that you get high-quality bacon and kielbasa. We got maple-cured bacon and pecan-smoked kielbasa. They are even better cold from the fridge the next day, if that is possible!

    Thank you Seth! We are so happy you loved these!

  • 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

    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!