Southern Baked Beans are the perfect side dish for your summer BBQ or holiday get-together. These oven-baked beans with ground beef and onions are a little bit sweet and a little bit spicy. This is a family-favorite dish that is requested over and for holiday dinners.
Baked Beans are a southern specialty and this recipe is a classic. It’s full of ground beef, onions, and a hint of spice.
This recipe can be on your table in about an hour (and much less if you use the tip in the recipe notes below.) What are you waiting for?
Southern Baked Beans are one of the recipes I printed onto my recipe card set when I left for college and I still have it all these years later. I still love it just as much.
Disclosure – I may get a small commission for purchases made through links in this post.
Key to Success #1 – Start with Browned Ground Beef
I’m very particular with my baked beans in that I like for the onions to be cooked through and soft. I don’t like crunchy onions in my baked beans.
But like the heading says, let’s start with the browned ground beef.
As it is written, this recipe calls for ground beef that is already browned.
If you’re starting with uncooked beef, you can add the diced onions in with your beef while it’s cooking. This step is a great tip to ensure that your onions are fully softened and it will save you time in the oven too.
Cook the beef and onions until the beef has lost its color and is fully cooked through. And make sure the onions are soft and translucent.
If you want to brown the ground beef and add the raw onion separately, that will work perfectly as well. After spending an hour in the oven, the onions will still get soft and your baked beans will be wonderful.
More often than not, Istart with ground beef that is already cooked because I keep some in the freezer at all times.
Browning Ground Beef in Bulk
When ground beef is on sale, I buy a big package and brown it all in my big stockpot as soon as I get home.
Next, I drain the meat well in my over-the-sink colander then let it cool.
When it is almost cool, I divide the cooked ground beef into 1-pound packages then let it cool completely.
If you don’t have a FoodSaver vacuum sealer, you can use quart-sized freezer bags.
When the meat is completely cool, vacuum seal the bags using the FoodSaver.
TIP! If you sometimes struggle to get a good seal on the bags when you’re vacuum sealing meats because of the juices, try putting your open bags of meat into the freezer for about an hour until the liquid in the meat starts to freeze.
I can’t stress this enough but make sure your meat is completely cool before vacuum sealing it.
Frozen cooked hamburger meat will retain its quality in the freezer for 2-3 months.
The convenience factor is huge for me. I always know that I have a pound or two of hamburger meat that I can pull out of the freezer and use in lasagna, spaghetti, enchiladas, or any other number of quick dishes.
Key to Success #2 – Finely Dice the Onions
Like I said, I’m not a fan of big chunks of onions in baked beans so it’s important to me that the onions are cut very small.
If you like a little more or bigger onion bits in your baked beans, it’s not going to hurt my feelings.
You can use either white or yellow onion in this recipe. Most of the time, I use white onion because that’s what I have on hand most often.
A large Santoku knife is the perfect knife to use to dice onions. I love the thin blade and the knife that I have stays super sharp. The key to keeping your good knives sharp is to hand wash it and never put it in the dishwasher. The knife set that I have has served me well for many years.
Onions are one of the easier vegetables to dice because of the natural rings inside the onions are already separated so you don’t have to slice the onion in that direction. You can just slice perpendicular to the rings to get nice, evenly sized onion bits.
Key to Success #3 – a baking Dish that’s not too big, not too small
For these baked beans, you’ll want to use a baking dish that is not too big and not too small so that the beans will cook properly.
I recommend a baking dish that is about 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch. It does not have to be a square dish though. The dish I used for my baked beans is about 10×4-inch and that works too.
You would not want to use a 9×13-inch baking dish for these baked beans unless you’re doubling the recipe. The beans would be too spread out and might get overcooked.
You can use an oven-safe saucepan with a lid if you have one. A 3-quart or 4-quart stainless steel saucepan with a lid would be perfect for this recipe.
Properly sizing your baking dish to your recipe will ensure that your food is perfectly cooked and not overcooked or undercooked.
Save this Southern Baked Beans Recipe to your favorite BBQ board or your Side Dishes board.
- 1 lb ground beef, browned
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 28 oz Pork & Beans
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 8x8-inch baking dish.
- Combine all ingredients in greased casserole dish. Stir well.
- Cook covered for 30 minutes then remove cover and cook another 30 minutes.
If you're starting with uncooked ground beef, you can add the onions into the skillet while you are browning the beef. Cook beef and onions until beef is fully cooked and onions are soft and translucent. Bake uncovered for only 30 minutes.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 188Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 491mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 10g