Root Beer Baked Beans

Root Beer Baked Beans Recipe

These Root Beer Baked Beans are a unique twist on classic baked beans, infusing them with the rich and distinct flavor of root beer. Perfect for picnics, barbecues, or cozy family dinners, this recipe combines the smokiness of bacon, the sweetness of root beer, and the tanginess of barbecue sauce for a deliciously satisfying side dish.


  • 3 bacon slices
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 16-ounce cans pork and beans
  • ½ cup root beer (not diet)
  • ¼ cup smoky barbecue sauce
  • ⅛ teaspoon hot sauce


  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Cook the Bacon: In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and drain it on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons of drippings in the skillet. Crumble the cooked bacon.
  3. Sauté the Onion: In the same skillet with the reserved bacon drippings, sauté the diced onion over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until tender.
  4. Combine Ingredients: In a lightly greased 1-quart baking dish, stir together the sautéed onion, crumbled bacon, pork and beans, root beer, barbecue sauce, and hot sauce.
  5. Bake the Beans: Bake the beans, uncovered, for 55 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and the flavors are melded together.
  6. Serve: Serve these flavorful Root Beer Baked Beans as a delicious side dish alongside your favorite grilled meats or as a hearty addition to any meal.


  • For Extra Smokiness: Use a smoky flavored bacon or add a drop of liquid smoke to the mixture.
  • Spice It Up: Adjust the amount of hot sauce to your preference for a spicier dish.
  • Make Ahead: These beans can be made a day ahead and reheated before serving, allowing the flavors to meld even more.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

  • Calories: 140
  • Protein: 6g
  • Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 10g

Enjoy these Root Beer Baked Beans at your next gathering and watch them become a crowd favorite!

Creating the perfect Root Beer Baked Beans involves paying attention to detail and mastering specific techniques. Here are 30 secrets to help you achieve the best results:

Preparation and Ingredients

  1. Quality Bacon: Use high-quality, thick-cut bacon for the best smoky flavor and texture.
  2. Fresh Onion: Choose a fresh, medium-sized onion for a balanced sweetness and sharpness.
  3. Good Pork and Beans: Use a quality brand of pork and beans for a solid base.
  4. Regular Root Beer: Use regular, not diet, root beer to ensure proper sweetness and flavor.
  5. Smoky Barbecue Sauce: Select a smoky barbecue sauce that complements the root beer and bacon.
  6. Hot Sauce Quality: Use a high-quality hot sauce for a well-rounded heat.

Cooking the Bacon

  1. Even Cooking: Cook the bacon over medium heat to render the fat slowly and evenly.
  2. Drain Well: Drain the bacon on paper towels to remove excess grease, but reserve some drippings for sautéing the onions.
  3. Crispy Bacon: Make sure the bacon is crispy before crumbling to add a nice crunch to the beans.

Sautéing the Onion

  1. Uniform Dice: Dice the onion uniformly to ensure even cooking.
  2. Caramelize Lightly: Sauté the onion until it’s tender and lightly caramelized to bring out its natural sweetness.
  3. Deglaze Pan: Use a splash of root beer to deglaze the pan after sautéing the onions, incorporating any browned bits into the mixture.

Mixing Ingredients

  1. Balanced Ratios: Stick to the recipe ratios for a balanced flavor profile.
  2. Combine Thoroughly: Mix the ingredients thoroughly to ensure even distribution of flavors.
  3. Layer Flavors: Add the bacon last to maintain some of its crunchiness.


  1. Proper Dish Size: Use a 1-quart baking dish to ensure the beans cook evenly and the sauce thickens properly.
  2. Lightly Grease: Lightly grease the baking dish to prevent sticking and ensure easy cleanup.
  3. Preheat Oven: Make sure the oven is fully preheated to 400°F before baking.

Cooking Time and Temperature

  1. Consistent Temperature: Maintain a consistent oven temperature for even cooking.
  2. Check Consistency: Bake until the sauce is thickened and bubbly, which typically takes around 55 minutes.
  3. Avoid Overcooking: Avoid overcooking to prevent the beans from becoming too dry.

Enhancements and Variations

  1. Add Smoky Depth: For extra smokiness, add a drop of liquid smoke to the mixture.
  2. Spice It Up: Adjust the amount of hot sauce or add a pinch of cayenne pepper for more heat.
  3. Sweetness Balance: Adjust the sweetness by adding a tablespoon of brown sugar if desired.

Serving and Presentation

  1. Garnish: Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or green onions for a pop of color and freshness.
  2. Serve Warm: Serve the beans warm for the best flavor and texture.
  3. Complementary Sides: Pair with grilled meats, cornbread, or coleslaw for a complete meal.

Storage and Reheating

  1. Proper Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  2. Reheat Gently: Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave to avoid drying out the beans.
  3. Make Ahead: Prepare the beans a day ahead and reheat before serving to allow the flavors to meld even more.

By following these secrets and techniques, you’ll be able to create perfect Root Beer Baked Beans that are flavorful, satisfying, and a hit at any gathering.

Here are  popular questions and their answers related to Root Beer Baked Beans:

  1. What type of root beer should I use for Root Beer Baked Beans?
    • Use regular, not diet, root beer to ensure proper sweetness and flavor.
  2. Can I make Root Beer Baked Beans ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can make them a day ahead and reheat before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  3. How do I store leftover Root Beer Baked Beans?
    • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  4. Can I freeze Root Beer Baked Beans?
    • Yes, you can freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  5. What type of bacon is best for this recipe?
    • Use high-quality, thick-cut bacon for the best smoky flavor and texture.
  6. Can I use a different type of beans instead of pork and beans?
    • Yes, you can use baked beans or navy beans, but the flavor and texture might differ slightly.
  7. How can I add more smokiness to the beans?
    • Add a drop of liquid smoke or use a smoky-flavored bacon and barbecue sauce.
  8. Can I make this recipe vegetarian?
    • Yes, omit the bacon and use vegetarian beans. Add a bit of smoked paprika for the smoky flavor.
  9. How do I prevent the beans from becoming too dry?
    • Ensure you don’t overbake them and cover them with foil if they start to dry out during baking.
  10. What can I use instead of barbecue sauce?
    • You can use ketchup mixed with a bit of brown sugar, vinegar, and spices as a substitute.
  11. How spicy are these beans with the hot sauce?
    • The recipe calls for ⅛ teaspoon of hot sauce, which adds a mild heat. Adjust to your taste.
  12. Can I use a slow cooker to make Root Beer Baked Beans?
    • Yes, cook the bacon and onions first, then combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  13. What can I serve with Root Beer Baked Beans?
    • They pair well with grilled meats, cornbread, coleslaw, or a green salad.
  14. How can I adjust the sweetness of the beans?
    • Add more or less root beer, or adjust with a bit of brown sugar or molasses.
  15. Can I use fresh beans instead of canned?
    • Yes, but you need to cook the beans until tender before using them in the recipe.
  16. Is it necessary to use a specific brand of barbecue sauce?
    • No, use your favorite brand or homemade barbecue sauce for the best flavor.
  17. How long should I cook the bacon?
    • Cook the bacon until it’s crisp, which usually takes about 5-7 minutes over medium heat.
  18. Can I add other ingredients to the beans?
    • Yes, consider adding diced bell peppers, jalapeños, or a splash of apple cider vinegar for extra flavor.
  19. What if I don’t have an oven?
    • You can cook the beans on the stovetop over low heat, simmering until the sauce thickens.
  20. How do I know when the beans are done?
    • The beans are done when the sauce is thickened and bubbly, usually after 55 minutes of baking.