There are so many iconic bean dishes, from chili to veggie burgers. But one of the most beloved bean recipes worldwide is without a doubt baked beans.

Just as popular in England as they are across America, these sweet and savory beans are a summertime cookout must-have and even enjoyed by many for breakfast!

But, with so many kinds of beans out there, which beans make the best baked beans? If you want the traditional answer, look no further than the roots of the recipe!

White beans are the original

When it comes to the origins of baked beans, most traditional recipes utilize white beans! Whether it is a more tomato-based version you often see in European cuisine or the famous Boston-style baked beans, you’ll often see baked bean recipes call for white beans like our great northern beans.

White beans, discovered in the Americas by early explorers and then brought back overseas, were quickly adopted in Europe as the baked bean standard because their rich, creamy and nutty flavor balanced perfectly with the sweet tomato base they were added to. Later on, recipes from the Southern United States that got their sweetness from molasses, syrup or brown sugar relied on them for similar reasons.

Great northern beans also have a firm exterior meaning they can sit, stew and help develop flavors of the dish under high heat for long durations without turning mushy. This was a perk cooks in America and Europe could agree upon!

Try them with any bean!

We love great traditions as much as anyone, but just because great northern beans are a traditional choice doesn’t mean they are the only bean worthy of being used in your baked beans.

There are so many different types of beans, each bringing a little something special to the dish they are used in. The versatility of beans that makes them so awesome in so many dishes makes them perfect for making all kinds of different baked bean recipes.

Need a little more convincing? Check out delicious baked bean recipes, each using a different kind of Randall Beans like our kidney beans, pinto beans, mixed beans and, of course, traditional great northern beans.

Be sure to give these recipes a try this summer and see for yourself how well different kinds of beans can work in baked bean recipes. Who knows, you may find a new favorite!


Southwest Spicy Baked Beans

Summertime Root Beer Baked Beans

Bacon BBQ Baked Beans

Sweet Smoky Chorizo Baked Beans


Whether you enjoy your beans more tomato-y and served on toast for breakfast or made with molasses and severed on a paper plate at a 4th of July BBQ we can all agree on one thing: beans are delicious!

Have more burning bean questions? Be sure to check out this blog post where we answer the question: “What beans are best for chili?”

And if you are now feeling hungry for the best baked beans, you are in luck! Follow the link below to get your free copy of our Kitchen to Campground Baked Beans cookbook! This collection of baked bean recipes can be made equally delicious enjoyed in the comfort of your dining room or prepared over a campfire.