The best loaded baked beans

Photos for this recipe are from Erin Hungsberg (IG: erin_hungsberg)

These are the best loaded baked beans and are hearty, full of flavor and packed with ingredients like ground beef, bacon, onion and bell peppers. Not only that but you can dump everything into a cast iron skillet, stir and cook! It’s the ultimate side dish that eats like a main course! 

Also shout out to my sister for the inspiration for this recipe. She first introduced them to me one Thanksgiving and I haven’t stopped thinking about them since!

Ingredients you will need: 

Baked beans 

Ground beef 

​Smoked sausage 

Slices of Bacon diced 

Diced Green bell pepper 

Diced yellow onion 

Maple syrup 

Dark Brown sugar

Salt, pepper and garlic powder 

Bbq seasoning

Why I like this recipe

Anytime I’m cooking I try to think of ways to make recipes easier without sacrificing flavor. The beauty of these loaded baked beans is I can put all of the ingredients into one pan and cook everything together. Not only that but these are always a hit when I serve them up to my friends and family. There’s nothing like this hearty side dish! 

How to make the best loaded baked beans 

The only thing you need to cook separately is the ground beef. In a large cast iron pan on medium heat, cook your ground beef, season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder then drain the excess grease and set aside. 

While that is cooking, dice your green peppers, onion, bacon, and slice the smoked sausage. There are no hot dogs here! Then simply dump everything into the cast iron pan that you cooked the ground beef in. If you don’t have a skillet or want to save on clean up, you can also use a disposable foil pan. 

After you have placed all of the ingredients together, add maple syrup, brown sugar, and bbq seasoning. Use your favorite bbq seasoning or try my homemade bbq seasoning.

Give everything a good stir to combine and then add a half cup of water just to make sure the beans are not too thick. As everything cooks down the other ingredients will release some moisture and help everything come together.  

I like to place the pan into my smoker at 225 degrees for 1 hour to get nice and smokey and then increase the temperature to 350 for another 30-40 minutes to finish cooking.

loaded baked beans in a cast iron pan

If you don’t have a smoker, don’t worry just place them into your oven at 350 for about 40 minutes. You may need to stir once or twice during the cooking process. Once the bacon is cooked through and the vegetables are soft you are ready to go! 

This is a great recipe and is the perfect way to serve up a plate full of hearty baked beans. Bring this one to your next cookout or to the dinner table and it will be a family favorite. 

How to store

If cooking in a foil pan or cast iron pan you can just cover it with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 3-4 days. The beans actually taste better the next day! Or you can place them in an airtight container and store for up to a week. 

Variations to try

Spice it up: If you want to spice up this dish, add some fresh sliced jalapeños, chorizo, or a few dashes of hot sauce. 

Serve over rice: Make it more like a main dish by serving the beans over rice. It’s a delish idea!


loaded baked beans in a bowl

Serve these easy loaded baked beans with these recipes: 

Smoked Spatchcock chicken 

Grilled ribeye steaks with cowboy butter 

Buffalo chicken bird dogs 

Steak sandwich with au poivre sauce 


Should you rinse canned baked beans? 

You do not have to rinse these beans. In fact we want all of the good stuff in that can to go along with the additional ingredients we are adding. 

Do I have to use a smoker? 

I like the addition of smoke to these loaded baked beans but you can definitely use your oven or even a slow cooker and let them simmer on low heat for hours before serving. 

What else can I do to enhance baked beans? 

Be creative with your dish and feel free to add other ingredients to make it your own. You could always thicken these beans up with bbq sauce and some yellow mustard, add a little depth of flavor with Worcestershire sauce or infuse a little tang with apple cider vinegar. 

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The best loaded baked beans

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4.8 from 8 reviews

  • Yield: 8 1x


  • 28 ozs canned baked beans (I used Bush’s) 
  • 1 lb ground beef 
  • 1 cup of smoked sausage sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced 
  • 1/2 pound bacon diced 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup 
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon bbq seasoning 


  1. In a large cast iron pan brown your ground beef and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Drain the excess grease and set aside. 
  2. Prep the remaining ingredients by slicing the smoked sausage and dicing the onion, green bell pepper, and bacon. 
  3. In the same cast iron pan add the remaining ingredients you just prepped along with the canned baked beans, maple syrup, light brown sugar, bbq seasoning and water. Stir to combine well. 
  4. Place cast iron pan in your smoker at 225°F for one hour then increase the temperature to 350° for the last 30-40 minutes. Stir occasionally during the cooking process. (If cooking in an oven, cook for 30-40 minutes at 350°F) 
  5. Remove cast iron pan from smoker (or oven) stir one more time and serve. 


* If beans look too dried out after cooking stir in more water and mix to combine until desired consistency. 

  • Author: Jordan Hanger
  • Category: Side

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  1. Great recipe as is, but here in Australia I went for Fully Loaded.

    Beef mince 500g
    Chorizo 2 sliced
    Franks 8 long thin sliced
    Diced onions 2
    Diced bacon 400g
    Mixed veg (carrot corn peas) 2 cups
    Brown sugar 1/2 cup
    Garlic powder salt and pepper
    Honey 1/2 cup
    Stubb bbq sauce 1/2 cup
    Worcestershire and soy sauce 1/4 cup
    2 tins watties banked beans drained of juice

    Smoked at 100*c for 2 hours
    Then covered at 180*c for 30min

    The family loved it. Fully loaded.

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