Best Ever Bean Bake

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The Best Ever Bean Bake Recipe – easy delicious bbq baked beans loaded with beef and bacon flavor in the oven or slow cooker.

bacon and beef with beans in bbq sauce

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Easy Meaty Bean Bake

This easy bean bake recipe first appeared on my site in 2011 as “Grandma Curly’s Bean Bake” – but we’ve given it a bit of a facelift, as well as directions on how to make these baked beans in an Instant Pot, slow cooker, and the traditional oven method – so it works in whatever situation

These beans have been my favorite family recipe for years – they are loaded with flavor and one of my favorite game day recipes, thanks to my great Grandma Curly and her knockout recipe!

These beans are really adaptable – you can bake them, or make them in the slow cooker or Instant Pot – and they can use different sauces, herbs, or seasonings depending to your preferences (try using some Aleppo pepper for a knockout smoky-spicy twist that turns up the heat!)

We love making these beans for cookouts, BBQs, and big parties – and the leftovers even get better as they store, too!

We hope you love this recipe for my Grandma Curly’s baked beans as much as we do.

To see our web story for this post, click here.

bacon and beef with beans in bbq sauce on a wooden spoon

Slow Cooker Bean Bake

To make this bean bake in the slow cooker, you will use the exact same method as the baked beans version, but add it all to a slow cooker instead of casserole dish – and cook for 4 hours, instead of 1 in the oven.

Making these beans in the slow cooker brings the exact same flavor – I taste-tested the two ways side by side, and found zero difference – so go ahead and pop in the slow cooker if kitchen space for your party or big game watching is limited on space.

What Slow Cooker To Use

For our traveling slow cooker (pictured, in red), click here.

For a slow cooker that has a temperature probe to check your food as it cooks, click here.

For a simple small slow cooker that is perfect for beans or drinks, and easier to store than big slow cookers, click here.

bacon and beef with beans in bbq sauce

Instant Pot Bean Bake

If you’d like to make this easy recipe in your Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi, please follow our directions below to make the conversion:

  • Brown bacon and beef using saute function of pressure cooker. Be sure to scrape up any browned bits.
  • Add pan to instant pot, and place over trivet with 1-2 cups water in the Instant Pot.
  • Stir beans into pot insert, close lid, and cook at high pressure in the soup/stew function for 40 minutes.
  • Let naturally release.
bacon and beef with beans in bbq sauce

Other BBQ Recipes You’ll Love

If you’re planning a big cookout with baked beans, you need some hearty meat dishes to go along with them!

We love our crispy baked pork shoulder (pulled pork with a crispy, crunchy skin outside and tender juicy meat inside), our knockout smoked ribs, a delicious juicy smoked brisket, or our baked chicken drumsticks that taste like they are grilled – right from the oven!

For more deliciously easy side dishes, please visit our side dish recipe index here.

For more delicious BBQ recipes, please visit our BBQ archives here.

bacon and beef with beans in bbq sauce


How long can I keep bean bake leftovers?

These leftovers keep for up to five days in the refrigerator, when stored in an airtight container.

Can I skip mustard?

I’m actually allergic to mustard, and I omit it when I make this (I always end up making two batches, since my husband loves mustard but it gives me hives.) You can skip it without majorly altering the flavor.

What type of BBQ sauce should I use?

You can use store-bought BBQ sauce or make your own. The choice of BBQ sauce will depend on your personal preference, whether you like it sweet, spicy, tangy, or smoky.

How can I make a vegetarian BBQ bean bake?

Simply omit the meat and ensure that your BBQ sauce and other ingredients are vegetarian. You might also want to add extra vegetables or a meat substitute for added protein.

The Best Ever Bean Bake Recipe

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bacon and beef with beans in bbq sauce

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A bowl of the best ever slow cooker bean bake, served with a wooden spoon.

Best Ever Bean Bake

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

The Best Ever Bean Bake Recipe - easy delicious bbq baked beans loaded with beef and bacon flavor in the oven or slow cooker.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 lb bacon, diced into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup bbq sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained
  • 15 ounce can pork and beans
  • 15 ounce can butter beans, drained


  1. In a large pan, cook bacon until crunchy and brown.
  2. Remove bacon and set aside, do not drain fat from pan.
  3. Cook ground beef, crumbling as it browns, until no longer pink.
  4. In a slow cooker or casserole dish, add cans of beans.
  5. Add bacon and cooked ground beef and stir.
  6. Stir in molasses, bbq sauce, mustard, sugar, and ketchup.
  7. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes - 1 hour, until bubbling hot and lightly browned on edges. If cooking in slow cooker, cook on high for 4 hours.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 553Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 88mgSodium 1245mgCarbohydrates 45gFiber 8gSugar 19gProtein 37g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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