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Oven-baked Canned Baked Beans

Just say no thank you to the same-old boring baked beans at cookouts. Super-charge your side dish menu with this easy Oven-Baked Canned Baked Beans recipe that takes ordinary canned beans from meh to WOW! A simple dump-and-bake method creates layers of smoky, sweet, and tangy flavors. The result? A beautifully caramelized layer capping thick and rich baked beans in sauce. It’s a crowd-pleasing side that’s perfect for summer barbecues, cookouts, potlucks, and any occasion where you need a flavorful, fuss-free dish.

Oven-baked Canned Baked Beans in an oval white baking dish.

Why I love these baked beans, and hope you will, too!

It’s cookout season, and if you’re a frequent party host — or the one that everyone always taps to contribute a super tasty covered dish — then you know the pressure to come up with dishes that burnish your rep while not falling down exhausted at the end of it all.

This is one of those recipes. It’s an oldie but a goodie from my mom, who hosted most of our family gatherings year-round and always put out an amazing spread.

So delicious, in fact, that we had cousins who would show up announcing that they hadn’t eaten all day, and then retreated to my parents’ bedroom after the meal to take a nap (note that no one else napped, not even the kids). Lol. Everyone has that one corkscrew branch of the family tree, right?

I have numerous recipes sourced from my mom right here on this blog, including other summer sides such as Broccoli Grape Salad, Smoked Salad Pasta Salad, and Cottage Cheese Toast. And, of course, one of my most popular soups and a staple of my teenage years, Mock Turtle Soup.

Ingredients for Oven-baked Canned Baked Beans in a mixing bowl.

Main Ingredients, Prep Notes, and Substitutions

Canned baked beans — Rather than starting with dried beans from scratch, we shave considerable time off the preparation by using quality canned baked beans. In the U.S., you can’t go wrong with Bush’s — my favorite is their Steakhouse Recipe Grillin’ Beans. They’re delicious on their own, and for this recipe, they provide a strong foundation to make the leap from good to fantastic.

If you’re cooking for a large crowd and doubling or tripling this recipe, it’s a great time to employ some frugality and use whatever baked beans are on sale. The other ingredients in this recipe will more than likely make up for any shortfalls found in a store brand.

Don’t feel guilty and back away from this can-opening shortcut. Cooking from scratch is great, but there’s also nothing wrong with time-saving steps when it comes to party planning!

Veggies — Onions and green bell peppers add some lovely aromatic notes to these beans. No need to saute before getting started. The long bake time of the beans will soften them quite nicely. Chopping up the onions and peppers is the only prep in this recipe, aside from measuring out ingredients!

Liquids — Most of the flavor of this dish comes from a lovely collection of condiments that are familiar cookout seasoning staples: ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and more. These ingredients blend together to create a deeply savory, sweet, and tangy dish of cookout beans.

Overhead shot of the baked beans in a white baking dish with a spoon on the side.

Cook’s Notes

  • There really is just minimal prep! — My mom intentionally created this recipe to be fuss-free: There’s no stove-top cooking involved. The onions and bell peppers do not need to be sautéed first; they’ll cook in the oven. You absolutely can, though. Saute them first and then add to the bean mixture.
  • Where’s the bacon? — In line with the no-fuss nature of this recipe, there’s no bacon. And I’m glad for it — Mom was so smart! This recipe includes Liquid Smoke, which I think adds plenty of grilled/smoky/bacon’ish goodness. If I really wanted to add bacon, I would probably just mix in some prepared, real bacon pieces into the bean mixture, rather than go through the hassle of frying up from raw. I love dump-and-bake recipes!
  • Can this be made in a slow cooker? — Technically speaking, yes. Add everything the inner pot, stir well, cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. The downside, though, is that the beans will remain fairly loose, as there’s no dry oven heat to evaporate the excess moisture to form that lovely caramelized top layer and thicken the sauce overall. This would not be a method I would choose, but yes, you can do it.
  • Slow cooker serving suggestion — Where I think a slow cooker would really come in handy, though, is the serving of the baked beans during your get-together. Cook up the baked beans ahead of time, per the recipe, then transfer to a slow cooker and keep warm.
  • Can I freeze the leftovers? — Yes, they freeze and reheat beautifully! In fact, I usually make the full recipe, even when it’s just for a regular summer dinner in my two-person household. I just freeze the leftovers.
  • Can I spice this up for my heat lovers? — Yes! This recipe is primed for the addition of some zesty heat. Here are some suggestions:
    • Replace (or add to) the green bell pepper with some chopped jalapeño peppers.
    • Mix in 1 or 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers. And maybe a chopped chipotle.
    • Add a 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
    • Add a few shakes of your favorite hot sauce.
    • Drizzle hot honey over the top just before serving.

How to Make Oven-Baked Canned Baked Beans with Photos

Ready to make the recipe? Skip to the recipe card now to get the full ingredient list, quantities, prep/cooking times, and detailed instructions. Or, keep scrolling for a visual walk-through of making this dish.

Step 1: Mix

Mixing the beans and all other ingredients together in a bowl.

Preheat your oven and spray your 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray. This is actually optional, but it makes clean up a snap. The baked beans will be doing a long stint in the oven, and sauce will get baked onto the sides of the cookware.

There’s no stove-top prep! Just mix all of the ingredients in a big bowl — make sure to break up any clumps of brown sugar — and that’s it!

I underestimated the size of my mixing bowl in the photo above. Overload! But, I had already committed to it lol, so I powered through.

Step 2: Bake

Baked beans in a white baking dish in the oven.

Pour the bean mixture into the prepared baking dish, level out the top, and place in the oven. Bake for about an hour or so.

Step 3: Rest

Overhead view of the finished Oven-baked Canned Baked Beans resting on the stove prior to serving.

When the top layer is bubbly and caramelized, remove from the oven, let the dish rest for five minutes, then serve.

So easy, and the reward is substantial!

Side angle view of baked beans in an oval baking dish.

I love how Mom’s recipe walks the fine line between extraordinary flavor and low effort, succeeding with both. There’s just nothing like summer cookouts with a selection of wonderfully tasty sides to go with the smoky burgers and brats!

Karen xo
Overhead view of Oven-baked Canned Baked Beans in a white baking dish, with a spoon.
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Oven-Baked Canned Baked Beans

This Oven-Baked Canned Baked Beans recipe transforms ordinary canned beans into a flavorful BBQ side dish. It’s a dump-and-bake recipe with a blend of onions, green bell peppers, and rich and savory sauces, and baked until caramelized, thick and delicious. Perfect for cookouts and picnics!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked beans, oven baked baked beans
Servings: 10
Author: Karen Gibson


  • 2 28-ounce cans baked beans with juices*
  • 1/3 cup diced onions
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup barbeque sauce (use your favorite)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Position a rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven (not the bottom notch, but maybe the one above)
  • Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Spray a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray (for ease of cleanup) and pour in the bean mixture. Level out the top.
  • Bake uncovered for 60 to 70 minutes. The top layer should be nice and caramelized with a thick sauce below.
  • Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.


*My favorite baked beans to use with this recipe are Bush’s Steakhouse Recipe Grillin’ Beans, which are packed in 22 ounce cans. You can still use the recipe above, just back off slightly on the liquids, or drain the liquids from the cans before using.
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.
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