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Root Beer Baked Beans

This Root Beer Baked Beans recipe is summer picnic ready. They’re filled with ground beef, bacon, onion, peppers and a blend of flavorful seasonings all smothered in a root beer infused barbecue sauce. Serve them as a main dish or a side dish, either way they’re certain to become a family favorite.

Root Beer Baked Beans

Easy Root Beer Baked Beans Recipe

We often think of baked beans as only a side dish. That’s how I most often serve them, too. Because there’s both ground beef and bacon in these hearty root beer baked beans they’re filling enough to be served as a main dish. When serving them as an entrée, my pick would be ladled over a piece of fresh from the oven buttered cornbread. I can’t imagine a summer picnic or holiday weekend when we’re grilling without barbecue baked beans.  The “secret” ingredient is always a great conversation starter leaving people a bit in awe of the flavor it lends to the dish overall. How to make Root Beer Baked Beans: (Scroll down fo full printable recipe.)

  • Prepare Skillet – Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a 12-inch cast iron skillet or spritz a 13×9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Bacon – Cook the bacon over medium-high until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Reserve drippings.
  • Onion – Add the diced onion and pepper to the pan. Season with seasoned salt and black pepper to your taste. Cook until beginning to brown then add the minced garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Ground Beef – Add the ground beef, and continue to cook until no pink remains. Drain any excess fat from the pan.
  • Combine – Mix the cooked beef with the remaining ingredients. Add half of the crumbled bacon. Stir well.
  • Bake – Pour into the skillet and bake for 1 hour. After baking, stir well and rest for 10 minutes on the counter before serving to allow the sauce to thicken.
  • Garnish with chopped green onion and remaining bacon.
Root Beer Baked Beans

How to Make the Best Root Beer Baked Beans Recipe

Why root beer? The root beer gives the base a pop of flavor without making them overly sweet. I love to prepare these baked beans in my cast iron skillet but, a 13 x 9-inch baking dish will work as well.  The root beer base isn’t overpowering. In fact, it gives just an edge and hint of flavor to the barbecue sauce. It’s a fun twist on a classic dish and tends to spark conversation. That’s always a good thing.

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe for homemade Root Beer Baked Beans: Diced onion, bacon, poblano pepper, salt and black pepper, garlic, root beer, honey barbecue sauce, two cans baked beans, one can pinto beans, one pound lean ground beef, dark chili powder, ground cumin and green onions for garnishing.
  • Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: A 12 inch cast iron skillet or similar size baking dish, measuring cups and spoons a sharp knife and chopping board and a large spoon for stirring the ingredients together.
  • You can bake these root beer baked beans in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish if you don’t have a cast iron skillet.
  • It’s perfectly acceptable to adapt these baked beans using your favorite brand of barbecue sauce. A thicker sauce does best so pick one that you already enjoy for the most tasty end result.
  • You could also use ground chorizo, ground chicken or ground turkey in these beans in place of ground beef.
  • Store leftover baked beans for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave in single serving portions.
  • You can also freeze fully cooked baked beans for up to 2 months.
  • I like to top these beans with green onion for color and a little crunch. You can serve onions on the side or omit them altogether.
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Southern Style Recipes to Serve with Root Beer Baked Beans

These beans are practically a meal themselves when paired with cornbread muffins or a skillet of honey cornbread. The combination of sarsaparilla and sassafras root bark gives root beer its unique flavor and it shines in this recipe. More main dish recipes you may like to try:

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5 from 1 vote

Root Beer Baked Beans

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Resting time10 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: homemade-baked-beans-recipe, root-beer-baked-beans
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 228kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 small poblano or green bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 2 clove garlic minced
  • seasoned salt and black pepper
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 2 16 oz cans baked beans
  • 1 16 oz can pinto beans drained
  • 1 cup root beer
  • 3/4 cup honey barbecue sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon or brown mustard
  • 1 Tbsp dark chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • dash ground cinnamon
  • 3 green onion sliced

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a 12-inch cast iron skillet or spritz a 13×9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Discard all but 3 Tbsp drippings from the pan.
  • Add the diced onion and pepper to the pan. Season with seasoned salt and black pepper to your taste.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes until beginning to brown then add the minced garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the ground beef, and continue to cook until no pink remains. Drain any excess fat from the pan.
  • Mix the cooked beef with root beer, honey barbecue sauce, Dijon or brown mustard, dark chili powder, ground cumin, ground cinnamon and  green onions. Add half of the crumbled bacon reserving 1/2 for garnishing. Mix to combine.
  • Pour into the skillet and bake for 1 hour. After baking, stir well and rest for 5-10 minutes on the counter before serving to allow the sauce to thicken.
  • Garnish with chopped green onion and remaining bacon.

Notes

Want to add more heat? Use a jalapeno in place of the poblano pepper or add hot sauce in desired amounts to the sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 631mg | Potassium: 245mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 297IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!

9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is so delicious!! My son-in-law doesn’t care for baked beans and he loved them! The poblano adds wonderful flavor as does the root beer. This is now a requested recipe in my home.

  2. Since canned baked beans are flavored to start with (we use Bush’s Original with Bacon & Brown sugar) I’m confused about this combination of flavors. What brand of baked beans do you use for your recipe? It seems that our flavored beans would clash with the mixture.

    1. Hi Michael, it adds such a nice flavor to these beans when you want something just a little different. Hope she likes them!

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