4.85 from 20 votes
Easy Homemade Bacon Bourbon & Brown Sugar Baked Beans
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 45 mins
These southern style Homemade Bacon, Bourbon & Brown Sugar Baked Beans are jam packed with bold BBQ flavor and a billion times better than the stuff from a can! Smoky, spicy, sweet and slightly boozy, these beans are perfect for your next potluck, barbecue or summer soiree!
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bacon, baked, BBQ, beans, bourbon, brown sugar, Easy, homemade
Servings: 12
Calories: 516 kcal
  • 12 ounces Bacon , chopped
  • 1 medium Sweet Onion , finely diced
  • 1 small Green Bell Pepper , finely diced
  • 3 large Cloves Garlic , minced
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans Navy Beans , drained and rinsed*
  • 1 Cup Bourbon
  • 1 Cup Ketchup
  • ½ Cup Light Brown Sugar , packed
  • 1/3 Cup Molasses
  • 2 TBS Yellow Mustard (can substitute Dijon)
  • 2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper , to taste
  • 1 Cup Hot Water or Broth* (more as needed)
Candied Bacon: (optional)
  • ½ pound Thick Cut Bacon
  • ½ Cup Dark Brown Sugar , packed
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
Optional Garnish: More Cooked Diced Bacon, Chopped Parsley
  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat* and add chopped bacon. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the onion, bell pepper and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant and the bacon is browned, about 1 minute.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients (if using slow cooker method, reduce water to ½ cup*), stirring to make sure everything is well combined. Season generously with salt and pepper. Bring everything to a simmer and cover with a tight fitting lid.
  3. OVEN: Cover pot and transfer it to a preheat 300 degree F oven. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Remove the lid, stir, and continue to bake until the sauce is thickened and sticky, about an additional 30-45 minutes. If needed during baking, add more water to adjust consistency.
  4. STOVE TOP: Cover pot and reduce heat to maintain a simmer (between medium to medium-low). Cook, stirring at 30 minute intervals, for 1 ½ hours, or until the sauce is thickened and sticky.
  5. SLOW COOKER: (Make sure you reduced water to ½ cup in step 2) Transfer everything to the slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on LOW.
  6. Taste beans and adjust for salt and pepper to taste. Top with crumbled candied bacon if using.
  7. For the candied bacon: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Place a wire rack insert into the sheet pan. In a shallow dish combine the sugar, cayenne, cinnamon and a pinch of black pepper. Working one slice of bacon at a time, press and rub the sugar mixture onto the bacon. Transfer to the wire rack. Repeat with remaining slices of bacon. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bacon is crip and cooked through. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Allow to cool. Cut or crumble bacon into desired sized pieces.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

*Yield: Roughly 10 cups

  1. You can substitute any kind of beans you would like: Northern, Pinto, Red Kidney Beans, or use a mix of two!
  2. If your bacon is lean, add a small drizzle of oil to the pan before adding the bacon.
  3. If the beans aren’t thickened and sticky, continue to cook them with the lid OFF until mixture thickens to desired consistency.
  4. If you want to cook the beans in the oven AND garnish with candied bacon, cook the candied bacon in advance. It will keep in a zip-closure bag, or container with a tight fitting lid, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

*To Use Dried Beans: (You will need 1 pound of dried beans)

1. Soak Beans:

Overnight method: Whisk together 8 cups of water with ½ tsp baking soda and 2 TBS kosher salt in a large pot. Add the beans, cover, and let soak at room temperature overnight (or about 8 hours). Transfer to a colander to drain and rinse well with running water.

Quick soak method: Place beans in a large pot with ½ tsp baking soda and 2 TBS kosher salt. Add enough water to cover the beans by 2-3’’. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 3 minutes. Remove beans from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Transfer beans to a colander to drain and rinse well with running water.

2. Cook Beans: Add beans back to the pot and add enough water to cover the beans by 3’’. Bring beans to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 1 hour. Drain and proceed with recipe as instructed.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Homemade Bacon Bourbon & Brown Sugar Baked Beans
Amount Per Serving
Calories 516 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 24mg8%
Sodium 483mg21%
Potassium 850mg24%
Carbohydrates 66g22%
Fiber 14g58%
Sugar 30g33%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 150IU3%
Vitamin C 6.9mg8%
Calcium 136mg14%
Iron 4.1mg23%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.