Well, it's May and that means that BBQ season is upon us. Time to clean up the grill grates, check the propane tank, and bust out the barbecue tools. While the meat is usually the star of dinner, side dishes run a close second. One of our favorite side dishes to grilled chicken and burgers is baked beans, or as my daughter has always called them, "sweet beans". On this Memorial Day weekend, the kick-off for grilling season, I thought I'd share this recipe for these delicious Sweet Heat Baked Beans.
I was recently asked to partner up with Stubb's Legendary Bar-B-Q to create some recipes for the upcoming grilling season. They sent me a box chock full of sauces and marinades to try out. Talk about "happy mail"! I love that all their sauces, rubs, and marinades are made with real ingredients and contain no artificial preservatives flavors, colors MSG or high fructose corn syrup. I was more than willing to grill up some dinner and sample their selection.
Last week, when we had a quick break in the rain, I fired up the grill to make some chicken. Normally, I'll buy canned baked beans for the side dish and doctor them up a little with brown sugar and a touch of mustard. However, there were no baked beans in the pantry. As usual, necessity was the mother of invention. All I had on hand was a couple of cans of Great Northern Beans... no doubt because I had planned on making some white chicken chili at some point. The chili never got made, so the cans just sat... and sat. I thought I might be able to pull off my own version of sweet beans with the help of some Stubb's Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce. The result was this batch of Sweet Heat Baked Beans... It certainly lives up to its name and definitely wakes up the tastebuds!
Here's what you need: Great Northern Beans, Stubb's Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce, molasses, brown sugar, onion, bacon, ketchup and mustard.
Sweet Heat Baked Beans
2 cans Great Northern Beans, drained, but reserve liquid
1/3 cup Stubb's Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp. yellow mustard
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. molasses
3 slices bacon, chopped then cooked
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
In frying pan, cook bacon to desired doneness; set aside. Discard all but about 1 Tbsp. bacon grease. Add onions to pan and cook until translucent. In bowl, combine beans, Stubb's Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q sauce, brown sugar, bacon pieces, onion, molasses, ketchup, salt and pepper.* If the mixture is too thick, stir in some of the liquid from the beans. Pour into 2 quart baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbly.
*You may want to taste the mixture before adding the brown sugar and molasses to adjust the sweetness according to your tastes.
After grilling the chicken, we topped it with more of the Stubb's Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce, for added punch to the meal.
Need a side dish to round out your Memorial Day cookout? You'll love these Sweet Heat Baked Beans! In case you need some more ideas...
Here are some other great BBQ side dishes: