Labor Day BBQ: Homemade BBQ Sauce and Bacon BBQ Baked Beans

by Chrissy

I bring to you part deux of the Labor Day Weekend BBQ series.

Now what you are about to see is a total BBQ home-run. Seriously, don’t forget to add these next few items to that list that you started yesterday.


Feast your eyes upon this.

As much as everyone loves Bush’s can of baked beans and the most lovable talkin’ golden retriever that you’ve ever seen to go alongside the must-have side dish, I say no. Partially because I have a cuter dog and he doesn’t endorse baked beans from the can. He likes the real deal.

But really, make yourself some tried and true BBQ baked beans for some high quality BBQ chow, and you’ll see why. I say tried and true because Pioneer Woman says so. This was my first time making them, but it won’t be the last. Truth be told, I don’t ever see myself opening a can of baked beans…well, ever again.


First things first. Want to know why these baked beans turned out extra amazing? Why because I got crafty and made me some good ole’ BBQ sauce with a ketchup and cider vinegar base. It was perrrrrfect. My mom and I were eating it my the spoonful, until we realized that we needed to have enough for the BBQ baked beans. After all, that was the whole reason why we embarked on this mission. That and because the ever-so-delicious Stubb’s BBQ Sauce was fresh out at the grocery store.

This, my friends, is how BBQ sauce is made:

Dump the ketchup–or catsup, if you prefer– into a saucepan.

Then pour in the water and the apple cider vinegar. Buy the unfiltered, raw type. It’s better for you and it tastes delicious!

Add a good squeeze of lemon.

Oops… you caught me and my nails taking part in the new nail-painting trend. In my defense, I used to use multiple neon colors on various fingers all at once, back when I was in 6th grade, so maybe I actually started it? Who knows.

I just like that it’s socially acceptable now, via Pinterest.

Add the brown sugar, Worcestershire, garlic, mustard, spices, cayenne included if you like to get a little crazy.

Mix it all together and let it simmer on low for 30-40 minutes, stirring often. It’s about to get realllll good.

Then, voila! You’ve got yourself an awesomely zesty homemade BBQ sauce. This will come in handy when you have a pound of ketchup and spices in your kitchen…it’s something that happens to us, often.

Mmmm… zesty.

Add some to this BBQ Baked bean recipe and call it a day. Your guests will adore you for this 2-part venture. I also believe that the angels in Heaven will be smiling down on you for blessing mankind with these hearty beans and homemade BBQ sauce.


Sweet and Tangy Homemade BBQ Sauce

Makes about 2 cups


¾ Tbsp onion powder

2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed into a paste

1 ½ cups ketchup

1/8 tsp allspice

pinch of ground clove

¾ cup water

5 Tbsp light brown sugar

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

¾ Tbsp worchestershire

½ cup apple cider vinegar, unfiltered

½ tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp lemon juice

pinch cayenne, adding more for additional spice, if desired

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp chili powder



Add all ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stirring often, let simmer over low heat for about 30-35 minutes, until thick and tasty.

Enjoy on burgers, chicken, and fries.


Bacon BBQ Baked Beans w/ Homemade BBQ Sauce

adapted from Pioneer Woman and Pam Anderson

Serves 10-12


6 slices bacon, halved

1 medium onion, diced

1 medium green pepper, diced

1 can (15 oz ) baked beans

2 cans (15 oz) pinto beans, drained

3/4 cup Homemade BBQ Sauce (see recipe, above), or store-barbecue sauce

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp black pepper



Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

Fry bacon in large, deep sauté pan (cast iron works well) until bacon has partially cooked, flipping as needed (about 3-4 mins per side) Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels, reserving about 1 1/2 Tbsp bacon drippings and discarding the rest. Add the onions and peppers to bacon drippings in pan and sauté until tender, about 5-6 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the BBQ sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and pepper. Add beans and BBQ sauce mixture to the sauteing veggies and bring the pan to a simmer. Pour flavored beans into a greased 13-by 9-inch (or similar size) casserole dish or ovenproof pan. Top with torn bacon pieces, then bake until beans and sauce has cooked down and thickened substantially, about 80-90 minutes. Let stand to slightly thicken and serve while nice and warm.

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,





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4 Responses to “Labor Day BBQ: Homemade BBQ Sauce and Bacon BBQ Baked Beans”

  1. This looks soooo delicious it was actually difficult to continue reading the post.

  2. I haven’t tried BBQ sauce recipe but I like looking at it. And here’s why I can see the ingredients. Can’t wait to try it. Just started culinary art but been cooking and baking on 30+ years.

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