Brown Sugar And Bourbon Baked Beans

These Brown Sugar and Bourbon Baked Beans are the perfect barbecue side dish.  Tangy, sweet, and just a hint of smoky bourbon flavor, this dish is a crowd-pleaser.  I like to serve it with Fall Off The Bone Baby Back Ribs, Southern Cornbread Salad, Southern Style Coleslaw, and Southern Hush Puppies.  Finish your meal with a cool and creamy Homemade Orange Creamsicle.

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Dutch oven full of Brown Sugar And Bourbon Baked Beans - made with bacon, brown sugar, onions, red bell pepper, and bourbon.

In my house, any barbecue meal must include baked beans.  It doesn’t matter if I’m serving grilled chicken, ribs, or pulled pork.  This recipe is our favorite. 


  • Bacon – because isn’t everything better with just a bit of bacon?  You are going to saute the bacon and then use the rendered fat to saute the veggies.
  • Onion – doesn’t matter what type, red bell pepper – for color and a hint of sweetness, and garlic.
  • Canned beans.  I like Bush’s Baked Beans, but use whatever you have on hand or enjoy.
  • Bourbon – it adds moisture and a depth of flavor that compliments grilled meats so well.  You could use broth or apple juice, but live a little and use the bourbon.
  • Ketchup, molasses, dark brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, and Worcestershire sauce all combine for a rich and delicious sauce.

Dutch oven full of Brown Sugar And Bourbon Baked Beans - made with bacon, brown sugar, onions, red bell pepper, and bourbon.


  • Instead of bacon, you can use sausage instead.  I like bulk breakfast sausage, but hot Italian sausage or Mexican chorizo would also work well.  Diced ham is delicious also.
  • Vary the veggies – Jalapenos for heat, diced tomatoes, green peppers, corn kernels.  
  • Use flavored bourbon.  Apple bourbon is amazing in this dish, especially if you’re serving it alongside pork.  
  • Have you ever tried fruit in baked beans?  It’s ridiculously good.  You can cut the sugar a bit and add diced, peeled peaches or apples.
  • No molasses?  Try maple syrup or additional brown sugar.
  • If you like a smokey flavor, a bit of smoked paprika or Liquid Smoke will do the trick.  You could also use a smoked ham hock or hickory-smoked bacon.
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Dutch oven full of Brown Sugar And Bourbon Baked Beans - made with bacon, brown sugar, onions, red bell pepper, and bourbon.



These thick, rich, brown sugar and bourbon baked beans are the perfect side dish for your next barbecue.



5 slices bacon, diced

1 large onion, diced

1 large red bell pepper, diced

4 large garlic cloves, minced

4 (16-ounce) cans pork and beans (I like Bush’s brand)

1 cup bourbon

¼ cup ketchup

¼ cup molasses

¼ cup dark brown sugar

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons yellow mustard

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon until it starts to brown.  Add the onion, red bell pepper, and garlic.  Cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to turn translucent.

Pour in the four cans of pork and beans, bourbon, ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, vinegar, yellow mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.  Stir well to combine.

Cover the Dutch oven and place in the preheated oven.  Bake for 1 ½ – 2 hours, until the sauce, is thickened.

Remove from the oven and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.

Serve hot.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: brown sugar and bourbon baked beans, side dish recipes, baked bean recipes, barbecue side dish, barbecue side dish recipes

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