Sweet & Spicy Michigan Baked Beans 1

There isn’t quite any recipe quite as perfect for summer as baked beans! 

This hearty recipe is a barbecue staple: easy to make and a large scoop of baked beans is always perfect alongside other summer favorites like sweet corn and burgers.

Most summer baked bean recipes follow a similar structure of ingredients: beans, BBQ sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, onions, ham or bacon, you know the drill. However, just because these base ingredients are used throughout many different baked bean recipes shouldn’t convince you that all baked bean recipes are the same!

Baked beans can be made with different beans and in a variety of different ways with tweaks and changes to these familiar steps that can change the entire dynamic and make them entirely unique and special from any other recipe. 

With more and more people returning to normal summer activities like backyard barbecues, it is going to be important to have plenty of baked bean recipes to prepare whether you are hosting the party or attending a potluck. Here are some of our favorite summer baked beans recipes!     


Settlers Beans

Named after the wholesome, hearty, no-frills meals that fueled early settlers during their treks across the country to settle the West, this recipe from One Lovely Life uses three different kinds of beans and a special secret sauce to give these beans “a sweet, tangy, smoky, finger-licking” kick! This dish uses great northern beans, kidney beans, and butter beans as a surprising addition. Though not normally in baked beans, butter beans fit the theme of the dish and add great texture and unique, buttery flavor that makes this recipe one of a kind. 


Baked Beans & Cornbread Skillet

Baked beans can be much more than a great side dish. With the right summer baked bean recipe packing so much flavor and that extra “something-something,” baked beans can be a meal all of their own. This Randall Beans recipe is a perfect example of that! Using a tomato and vinegar base baked beans recipe, this dish is upgraded to a full-fledged meal by adding a layer of buttery and flaky cornbread that turns it into more of a casserole dish! This layer adds a visual wow factor once you cut or scoop into it and adds a perfectly balanced element to the dish.


The Best Vegan Baked Beans

While baked beans don’t necessarily have to have pork, it is certainly true that you’ll find ham or bacon as a common element to most baked bean recipes. But what about those who have dietary restrictions or choose to eat vegan? This vegan baked bean recipe from Shane and Simple is a great vegan-friendly option! Replacing ham or bacon with green and red pepper, this recipe maintains all the great heartiness and texture you would expect from any other recipe. With a dash of liquid smoke as well, these summer baked beans have an extra smokey kick to them too!