This easy recipe for Ultimate Baked Beans is going to be your new go-to beans recipe. They’re super flavorful and topped with bacon – what’s not to love?

Ultimate Baked Beans

These baked beans aren’t just any baked beans- they are manly baked beans. They’re meaty, mouth-watering, and topped with bacon. They’re perfect for parties, pot lucks and 4th of July. They also are an excellent accompaniment to this Perfect Pulled Pork.  Not only is this scrumptious side dish sure to please, it’s also quite convenient- you can make it up a day ahead and pop it into the oven when you get ready to make it. If your goal is to win friends and influence people at your 4th of July party- make these right away. ;)

Here’s what you’ll need. Wait. First let me say- since I made this for just me and Kevin, I halved my usual recipe. It normally makes an entire 9×13 dish of baked beans. Which, yes, of course I could eat the entire thing, all in one sitting, because they’re just that good– but anyway. Bathing suit season people. I halved it. The half recipe makes an 8×8 dish. If you want to double this recipe, double everything except the onion soup and the bacon. Still use just one package of onion soup and 1 lb of bacon, even if you double it. Got that? Alright. :) Here’s what you’ll need for the half recipe:

1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 cup water
1/2 tbsp white vinegar
1 pkg onion soup mix
1 (15 oz) can Van Camps pork & beans
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp prepared mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb  bacon

How to Make The Best Baked Beans

I start by cutting my bacon in half (to get it out of the packaging) and putting it in the bottom of a 9×13 dish. It takes two 9×13 dishes, and if it doesn’t quite fit, I just shove it in there anyway. :) There’s no way I’m using more than 2 dishes! I’m not even happy about using the two- but it’s *way* better than doing it on the stove.

Oh yeah! I’m doing my bacon in the oven these days. Turns out great! I’ve even got my *dad* doing it and he is the KING of frying bacon. I don’t mind doing bacon on the stove, it’s just that you have to stand there for 30+ mins and watch it the whole time. With the oven, you can just stick it in there and forget about it for at least 25 mins. Here’s how I do it- put the bacon in a cold oven, then turn the heat to 400 degrees. Check on it after 25 mins. If it’s not done to your liking, check on it every 3-5 mins after that. For this recipe, you don’t want it allllll the way done. It’s still going to cook for another 45 mins in the oven on top of the baked beans. So you don’t want it to be extra crispy or anything. But you do want it to be mostly done. (I did mine for 25 mins.) Got that?

While the bacon’s going, brown and drain the hamburger meat.

Then throw the hamburger meat, and all the other ingredients- the water, vinegar, onion soup, beans, ketchup, mustard (don’t skip this even if you hate mustard like I do :D), brown sugar, and garlic- into a large bowl. Now, I like to let my Kitchenaid mixer (with the paddle attachment, on low) stir this up for me. But you could certainly also just use a spoon, of course. :)

Whoops! Did you notice anything missing from the mixing bowl picture?? The BEANS! I forgot add the BEANS!! But don’t worry- I remembered and added them before I got to the dishing up point. :P

When the meat and beans mixture is combined, layer it in the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish and cover it with plenty of bacon. Yes. I realize that doesn’t really look like an 8×8 dish. As it turns out, all of my 8×8 dishes were dirty. Along with the two 9×13 dishes I used to make the bacon in. I’m going to have a lot of dishes to do tonight. But anyway! Since I didn’t have an 8×8 dish, I used the next size up. Not quite as big as a 9×13 dish, but slightly bigger than 8×8. Oh, nevermind. Now at this point, I wasn’t ready to cook it, so I covered it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight. But you could definitely go ahead and make it right away if you wanted to.

Either way, when you get ready to make it, preheat your oven to 350, cover the beans with aluminum foil, and bake covered for 30 mins, and then uncovered for 15 mins, for a total of 45 mins cooking time. And when it comes out it’ll look crispy and delicious. :D

When it’s ready, dig in! And be sure and get plenty of that bacon. :D We had this tonight with Perfect Pulled Pork sandwiches. I’m happy to report that I tried the pulled pork in the crock pot for the first time today and it turned out great! For a 5lb roast, it needed at least 10 hours on low. I put it in at 8 this morning, and by 6 pm, my meat thermometer was reading 198. Usually I cook it to an internal temperature of 200, and then turn off the oven and let it cool for another couple of hours until it cools down to 170, but tonight I just couldn’t wait so I went ahead and pulled it at 198. It was perfect and literally falling apart in my hands. Just right. :)

Have some baked beans leftover? They make a *great* lunch- it’s got your beans and your meat all in one dish! :) I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit I’ve eaten this straight from the fridge- cold. It’s GOOD! :)

Whether you’re looking for something to make for a crowd or just a weeknight side dish- give these Ultimate Baked Beans a try! :)

Image of Ultimate Baked Beans

Ultimate Baked Beans

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This easy recipe for Ultimate Baked Beans is going to be your new go-to beans recipe. They’re super flavorful and topped with bacon – what’s not to love?



  • 2 (15 oz) cans Van Camps pork & beans
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pkg lipton onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1 lb mostly cooked bacon


Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients except bacon together and spread in a 9×13 dish. Top with cooked bacon. Cover with aluminum foil and bake covered for 30 mins, then uncovered for 15 mins.

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43 Responses
  1. Marty

    I made this for the neighborhood potluck last month, and now it has been requested for our Memorial Day neighborhood party tomorrow. This is a great side ! Thanks and WDE!!

  2. Rachel

    This recipe looks incredible! My husband and I are having a Southern-Style anniversary dinner (pulled pork, mac&cheese, and this!!) however he has some issues with onions. Would replacing the onion soup with beef broth suffice?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated!

  3. Katlyn

    I can’t speak highly enough about these beans! I made them yesterday for the 4th and they were awesome. My husband was disappointed there weren’t any leftovers he could take to work today. They were certainly worth the time and I LOVED the bacon cooked in the oven! I’d never tried that before… Usually I pick the bacon out of the beans, because it’s too squishy. This time it was nice and crispy without the mess on my stovetop. Thanks, Amanda! :)

  4. ava-j

    Would definitely try making this for our next class reunion(which is almost every 2 months…we love each other that much,lol!). But we don’t have any Lipton onion soup packs here…is there an alternative?

  5. Diana

    making these for my family tomorrow night–can’t wait! just wondering, can you put up the nutritional info on like you do for some of your other recipes?

    thanks! and can’t wait to try this :)

  6. Chastity

    These are the absolute BEST baked beans I have ever had. I have 5 kids, and they all loved them, as did my husband. It is so hard to stop eating them. I will make these over and over again. The only thing I did different was chop the bacon up into smaller bite size pieces to make it easier for the kids to eat. Yummy!!!!

  7. ryan

    This looks so good Im gonna make this now that the weather is so chilly out. This will be perfect Plus its so different Ive never made anything like it before and that bacon Yummy…..

  8. Rhiannon

    this recipe is gonna save me tonight! i needed some kind of hamburger recipe to make that wasnt the usual and I’m going for it! Its in the oven right now, I cant wait to blog about it tomorrow! Thanks Amanda! ♥

  9. Stacy

    I am curious if you have ever tried this with Bison? I may try the recipe with this substitute, I was just curious. Bison is much less greasy and has a slightly more complex taste than beef! I love your site!

  10. Jen

    I just shared on 2peas but I made these for a party this weekend and they were a BIG hit! So easy and tasty, they disappeared! Making them the day before was extremely helpful. I’ll be making these again and again.

  11. Jessica

    OMG!!! this recipe just turned out to be GREAT!! this is just soooo awesome. i’ve brought them to school and my classmates just loved them!! :)

  12. Karen P

    I gotta tell you….even my, I don’t like anything husband actually liked this recipe. It was so easy to put together, I’m going to try it again this weekend with the pulled pork. Thank You Thank You Thank You.

  13. Crystal S

    I am making this recipe as we speak. It smells awesome. I will let you know how it turns out. Oh BTW we had the pulled pork. IT WAS GREAT!!!!

  14. Saysha Wilson

    I made this last night for my family and that said it was the best pork n beans ever! Thanks so much for hsaring your recipes. This dish was SCRUMPTIOUS!

  15. Cindy

    OH MY GOD!!!! I just put this in the oven, I had to use all my will power not to eat it before I let it cook! I am so excited!!!! I heart your website :)

  16. darci

    can i just say i LOVE the way you put all of these pics on with the recipes…very helpful for the self-doubter that i am when it comes to the kitchen! i’ve made chicken enchiladas and fretted and fretted over whether or not i did them right- and they look just like yours! so THANK YOU! i think i love you a little bit.

  17. kelle

    I have made this recipe twice and both times received a lot of compliments. Mostly from men….
    I used deer meat but didn’t tell anyone :) GREAT recipe!

  18. Val

    This recipe was absolutely delicious. I made it for our 4th bbq and everyone loved it. I doubled it so luckily we had leftovers and you’re right – it’s just as good cold right from the fridge.

  19. Carla

    Have to tell you… I made this for the 4th celebration and it received rave reviews!! The recipe was requested, so she could make it to take to a dinner later this week!!! I gladly shared with her and I will definitely be making it again – delicious! Thanks so much!

  20. Cindy

    I’m so glad you tried the pulled pork in the crockpot like I had wondered. I hadn’t had a chance to try it. Now I plan on doing it soon.

  21. Lillian Child

    I would never have thought to add hamburger to baked beans … must give this a try, although I would have to leave out the soup mix (doesn’t agree with me) and add some fresh onion in its place. Awesome! Thanks.

  22. MaryEllen Briseno

    Amanda…about cooking the bacon. My husband and I always cook bacon in the oven only we put it in a half sheet pan (12″x17″). We put foil on the botton for a no mess clean-up and a 1 pound package of bacon will fit completely in the pan. Just a suggestion. Ü

  23. Becky

    Wow. Instead of a side dish this looks like a main dish. I can’t wait to try it out. You take such great pics of your food. I’m drooling just looking at them. Thanks for sharing, Becky

  24. Carla

    That’s it – you just told me what to take to the big 4th of July Pool Party we’re going to!! Woohoo! Can’t wait!
    Thanks Amanda ~ you ROCK!

  25. Jennifer Bergamini

    Oh mercy! This looks so good I don’t know if I’ll be able to wait a whole entire week before trying it out! Thanks for sharing.

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Meet Kevin & Amanda

Kevin and Amanda

We love to travel and to eat! Here we share our favorite quick and easy recipes, plus travel tips and guides for our favorite places around the world. If you have any questions about what camera I use or how I edit my photos, check out my photography tutorials.


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