These baked beans with ground beef and bacon are a satisfying side dish for BBQ dinners, cookouts, and more! Not only are my baked beans made sweet with brown sugar, but they are ultra-flavorful from the added smokiness of hickory-smoked bacon and liquid smoke! Once you try it, you won't want baked beans any other way!
Baked Beans With Hamburger & Bacon
Now if you don't have liquid smoke on hand, don't sweat it. But when I make baked beans, either homemade or doctored canned baked beans made to taste like homemade baked beans, liquid smoke is my secret ingredient!! Everyone will ask what your recipe is (it's that good)!
With the delicious addition of brown sugar, this baked beans recipe can also be called Southern baked beans. Use light brown sugar with your baked beans, or try dark brown sugar for an added depth of flavor from the incredibly rich molasses!
If you're looking to host a BBQ, try pairing these sweet and smoky baked beans with any of my delicious BBQ Grilling Recipes!
🥘 Baked Beans with Ground Beef and Bacon Ingredients
You only need a handful of ingredients to pull off these delicious baked beans! You can use light or dark brown sugar, just keep in mind that dark brown sugar will have more of a 'molasses' taste.
- Ground Beef - 1 pound of ground beef. I used 80/20 ground chuck.
- Bacon - 4 strips of hickory smoked bacon (for the best flavor), or any bacon.
- Brown Sugar - ½ cup of light or dark brown sugar.
- Worcestershire Sauce - 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.
- Liquid Smoke - ½ tablespoon of Liquid Smoke, I recommend Wright's Hickory.
- Black Pepper - 1 teaspoon of black pepper, freshly ground is best.
- Bush's Baked Beans - 2 28-ounce cans of Bush's Baked Beans, original flavor.
- Green Bell Pepper (optional) - ½ of a green bell pepper diced and sauteed.
*Be sure to see the free printable recipe card below for ingredients, exact amounts & instructions with tips!*
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🔪 How To Make Baked Beans With Ground Beef And Bacon
I like making this easy baked bean recipe for potlucks, barbecues, and picnics all summer long! You will need a casserole dish (or crockpot), a large skillet and spatula, and a sharp knife for cutting bacon.
One batch of these baked beans makes 8 servings when served as a side dish or 4-5 servings if served as the main course!
- Prep. Preheat your oven to 400ºF (205ºC) and set out a large casserole dish.
- Brown the beef. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 pound of ground beef and allow it to cook until browned. Break the ground beef up while cooking. *If you want to add onion or green bell peppers, cook with ground beef.
- Add flavor. Once the hamburger is browned and the grease has been drained, add ½ a cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, ½ a tablespoon of Wright's hickory liquid smoke, and season with 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Stir well to combine. *You can use either light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, if you have dark brown sugar on hand it will add a deeper flavor from the higher molasses content.
- Drain the beans. Open 2 28-ounce cans of Bush's Original Recipe Baked Beans and drain off the liquid that is settled at the top of the can. Add the beans to the ground beef mixture, stir just enough to mix well then transfer into your casserole dish.
- Cut bacon. Cut 4 strips of bacon into ½" pieces and place the cut bacon onto baked beans, or use kitchen shears and cut the strips directly onto the beans in the casserole dish.
- Bake. Put the beans in the oven uncovered at 400ºF (205ºC) for 30 minutes. If you want extra crispy bacon, broil for 5 minutes after baking.
Slow Cooker/Crockpot Instructions
- Cook beef and bacon. To make your crockpot baked beans, cook 1 pound of ground beef as directed above and drain off the excess grease. Cook 4 strips of bacon over medium heat until crispy, about 5 minutes.
- Combine ingredients. Combine the ground beef, cooked bacon, ½ cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, ½ tablespoon of liquid smoke, and 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Stir to mix well.
- Stir in beans. Add 2 28-ounce cans of baked beans to the ground beef mixture, stir just enough to mix well then transfer into your crockpot.
- Cook. Place the lid on your slow cooker and cook on the low setting for 4 - 5 hours, or on the high setting for 2 - 3 hours.
This is a super easy side dish, but meaty enough to stand on its own as a main dish for lunch or dinner! I love digging into a hearty bowl of baked beans with a side of soft cornbread on chilly nights. Enjoy!
🥡 Storing & Reheating
Store any unused baked beans in an air-tight container and keep them refrigerated. The baked beans will last up to 4 - 5 days when refrigerated.
Freeze your baked beans in an air-tight container or freezer storage bag. Be sure to remove as much air as possible from the bag or container. Frozen baked beans will last up to 3 - 4 months when properly frozen.
Reheating Baked Beans
Thaw the frozen baked beans in the refrigerator the night before using.
To reheat your baked beans with bacon and ground beef, place the desired portion into an oven-safe dish. Warm at 350ºF (175ºC) for approximately 15 minutes, or until heated through.
You can also reheat your baked beans in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat until simmering. Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave on high power for approximately 2 minutes, depending on your portion size and microwave power.
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Once your beans have cooled off, transfer them to an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag with the air squeezed out. They will keep well frozen for up to 4 months! Let them thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
If you plan on serving your baked beans potluck-style, be sure to cover the baking dish (or metal disposable baking pan), with foil right out of the oven. If using a crockpot, you can let these beans sit on warm for up to 2 hours. Just be sure to stir them occasionally!
I use canned Bush's Baked Beans (the original flavor) for this recipe. My secret is to play into the smokey flavor by adding Liquid Smoke and Hickory smoked bacon. A hefty scoop of brown sugar and a little Worcestershire sauce doesn't hurt either!
😋 More BBQ Favorites
- BBQ Baked Pork Spare Ribs - Fall-off-the-bone tender BBQ pork spare ribs are always a crowd favorite!
- BBQ Baked Sausage - You can use your favorite sausage to make this easy and delicious 4-ingredient recipe!
- Air Fryer BBQ Lil Smokies - Who knew Lil' Smokies, BBQ sauce, and brown sugar could taste this good?
- BBQ Meatloaf - A classic homemade meatloaf with a sweet and smokey BBQ glaze!
- Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs - Tender and juicy grilled chicken thighs with a thick, sticky coating of caramelized BBQ sauce!
- BBQ Bacon-Wrapped Brussel Sprouts - If you aren't a fan of brussel sprouts, that will all change once you try these delicious bacon-wrapped sprouts slathered in BBQ sauce!
Baked Beans with Ground Beef and Bacon
- 1 lb ground beef
- 4 strips hickory smoked bacon
- ½ cup brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tablespoon liquid smoke (Wright's hickory)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 28 oz cans Bush's Baked Beans (original flavor)
- green pepper (optional, diced and sauteed)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F ( 205 degrees C ) and set out a large casserole dish.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the ground beef and allow it to cook until browned. Break the ground beef up while cooking. *If you want to add onion or green peppers, cook with the ground beef.
- Once the hamburger is browned and the grease has been drained, add the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, Wright's hickory liquid smoke, and season with ground black pepper. Stir well to combine. *You can use either light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, if you have dark brown sugar on hand it will add a deeper flavor from the higher molasses content.
- Open your cans of Bush's Original Recipe Baked Beans and drain off the liquid that is settled at the top of the can. Add the beans to the ground beef mixture, stir just enough to mix well then transfer into your casserole dish.
- Cut your bacon into ½ wide strips and place cut bacon onto baked beans, or use kitchen shears and cut the strips directly onto the beans in the casserole dish.
- Bake uncovered at 400 degrees F ( 205 degrees C ) for 30 minutes. If you want extra crispy bacon, broil for 5 minutes after baking.
Slow Cooker Baked Beans with Ground Beef and Bacon
- To make your baked beans in the slow cooker, cook up the ground beef as directed above and drain off the excess grease. Cook your bacon over medium heat until crispy, about 5 minutes.
- Combine the ground beef, cooked bacon, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and ground black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add the beans to the ground beef mixture, stir just enough to mix well then transfer into your crock pot.
- Place the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low setting for 4 -5 hours, or on high for 2 -3 hours.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!
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