Root Beer Baked Beans

Looking to elevate your side dish game? Say hello to Root Beer Baked Beans – a delightful twist on the classic recipe that adds a unique, irresistible flavor to your table. Combining the sweetness of root beer with the smokiness of bacon and the tanginess of barbecue sauce, these beans are guaranteed to steal the spotlight at any gathering, from laid-back picnics to festive barbecues. Follow this simple recipe to whip up a batch of these flavor-packed beans that will have everyone coming back for seconds!


  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) pork and beans
  • ½ cup root beer (opt for regular, not diet)
  • ¼ cup smoky barbecue sauce
  • ⅛ teaspoon hot sauce (adjust to taste)


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) to ensure it’s ready for baking perfection.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until it reaches a crispy golden-brown texture. Once done, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess grease. Remember to reserve about 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the skillet – this will infuse our beans with that irresistible smoky flavor.
  3. Now, it’s time to add some aromatic goodness to our dish! Sauté the finely diced onion in the hot bacon drippings until it turns beautifully tender and translucent, releasing its sweet fragrance into the air. This should take around 5 minutes.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sautéed onions with the crumbled bacon, pork and beans, root beer, smoky barbecue sauce, and just a hint of hot sauce for that extra kick. Give everything a good stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated and coated in flavor.
  5. Lightly grease a 1-quart baking dish to ensure nothing sticks, then transfer the bean mixture into it, spreading it out evenly for uniform cooking.
  6. Pop the baking dish into the preheated oven, leaving it uncovered to allow the flavors to mingle and intensify as the sauce thickens. Bake for approximately 55 minutes, or until the sauce reaches the perfect consistency and the flavors have melded together in a symphony of taste.
  7. Once done, remove the dish from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.


Serving and Storage Tips:

  1. Serve with Style: Present your Root Beer Baked Beans in a charming serving dish to elevate their visual appeal. A rustic ceramic bowl or a classic cast iron skillet adds a touch of charm to any table setting.
  2. Garnish for Flavor: Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley or green onions over the beans just before serving for a burst of color and freshness. A sprinkle of crispy fried onions or a dollop of sour cream can also add extra layers of flavor and texture.
  3. Pairing Perfection: These beans are incredibly versatile and pair well with a variety of dishes. Serve them alongside classic barbecue favorites like grilled chicken, ribs, or pulled pork. They also make a delightful accompaniment to burgers, hot dogs, or grilled sausages.
  4. Make Ahead: Need to save time on the day of your event? You can prepare these beans in advance and simply reheat them when ready to serve. Store the cooled beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in the oven or on the stovetop until warmed through, adding a splash of water if needed to prevent drying out.
  5. Freeze for Future Enjoyment: Root Beer Baked Beans also freeze well, making them a convenient option for meal prep. Allow the baked beans to cool completely before transferring them to freezer-safe containers or resealable bags. Label with the date and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.
  6. Revitalize Leftovers: Have leftover beans? Don’t let them go to waste! Repurpose them into new dishes such as bean burritos, chili, or stuffed baked potatoes. You can also use them as a tasty topping for nachos or as a filling for savory pies and casseroles.
  7. Share and Enjoy: These Root Beer Baked Beans are meant to be shared and enjoyed with friends and family. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, a potluck dinner, or a cozy family meal, these flavorful beans are sure to be a crowd-pleaser. So gather your loved ones, pass around the beans, and savor the delicious moments together!


  1. Vegetarian Option: For a vegetarian twist, omit the bacon and sauté the onions in a tablespoon of olive oil instead. You can also add diced bell peppers, mushrooms, or vegetarian sausage for extra flavor and texture.
  2. Spicy Kick: Craving some heat? Amp up the spice level by adding diced jalapeños or a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to the bean mixture. For an extra fiery kick, swap out the hot sauce for your favorite spicy chili paste or sriracha.
  3. Sweet and Smoky: Enhance the sweetness and smokiness of the dish by incorporating maple syrup or brown sugar into the bean mixture. You can also experiment with different types of barbecue sauce, such as honey BBQ or hickory smoke-flavored sauce, to achieve your desired flavor profile.
  4. Customized Beans: Get creative with your choice of beans! While this recipe calls for pork and beans, feel free to use your favorite variety, such as navy beans, black beans, or kidney beans. Mix and match different types for a colorful and flavorful twist.
  5. Beer Infusion: Replace the root beer with your favorite type of beer for a boozy twist. Stout or porter beers add depth and richness to the dish, while lighter beers impart a subtle hoppy flavor. Experiment with different beer styles to find your perfect pairing.
  6. Fruit Infusion: Add a fruity twist to the beans by incorporating diced pineapple, peaches, or apples into the mixture. The natural sweetness of the fruit complements the savory flavors of the beans and adds a refreshing touch to the dish.
  7. Herbaceous Flavors: Elevate the dish with the addition of fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or cilantro. Finely chop the herbs and stir them into the bean mixture before baking for a burst of aromatic flavor.
  8. Cheesy Delight: For a decadent twist, top the baked beans with a generous sprinkling of grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese during the last few minutes of baking. Let the cheese melt and bubble until golden and gooey for an indulgent finishing touch.

Feel free to experiment with these variations to customize the recipe to your taste preferences and dietary needs. Whether you prefer a spicy kick, a sweet and smoky flavor, or a cheesy indulgence, there’s a variation of Root Beer Baked Beans to suit every palate. Enjoy getting creative in the kitchen and discovering new flavor combinations!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. Can I use diet root beer for this recipe? While you can technically use diet root beer, it may alter the flavor profile of the baked beans. The sweetness of regular root beer enhances the overall taste of the dish, so it’s recommended to use regular root beer for best results.
  2. Can I make these baked beans ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the bean mixture ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake. Simply cover the baking dish with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking as directed.
  3. What can I substitute for bacon in this recipe? If you prefer a vegetarian option or don’t have bacon on hand, you can omit it entirely or substitute it with vegetarian bacon strips or smoked tofu for a similar smoky flavor.

These Root Beer Baked Beans are more than just a side dish – they’re a culinary experience! Serve them alongside your favorite grilled meats for a match made in flavor heaven, or enjoy them as a hearty standalone meal. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or cozying up for a family dinner, these beans are guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into a bowlful of deliciousness and savor the unexpected with Root Beer Baked Beans!