These Easy BBQ Baked Beans are comforting, sweet, spicy, smoky, and healthy. You can serve them at a backyard barbeque, a holiday potluck, or even as a weeknight meal with fried eggs – which is how I served this amazing bean recipe. The best part is, this version is vegetarian friendly.
One of the first smells I recognize when I enter my parent’s house for our family Christmas Eve party, or for Easter Sunday dinner, and even for the Father’s Day barbeque, is the aroma of baked beans. There is something comforting about that smell. When I put a heaping amount on my plate, I like to top it with a little yellow mustard and there’s not a better side dish than that. My wife thinks I’m weird for topping the beans with mustard but that’s just what we always did with them. What about you?
The one problem with baked beans is that it can be on the heavy side and loaded with bacon grease and extra fats and after a few too many servings, the guilt sets in.
One way to make a healthy version of baked beans is to go the vegetarian route. But don’t worry, you’re not sacrificing any flavor here. In fact, I think these came out better than any baked beans I’ve ever had before – just don’t tell my mom that – and the secret ingredient is a good BBQ sauce.
Well, it’s not any BBQ sauce. This BBQ Baked Beans uses Kevin’s Natural Foods Original Paleo BBQ Sauce instead of coming up with a combination of molasses and ketchup and other seasonings – or another brand of sauce that’s filled with sugars and high in calories. This sweet and bold sauce is made with crushed tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and hints of smoked onion. It’ll taste great on chicken, steak, or pork, and amazing with baked beans.
I entered this recipe into the Vegetarian category for the Kevin’s Natural Foods Eat Clean Live Happy blogger challenge. There are different food categories for the contest (vegetarian, chicken, beef, and seafood) with different sauces to try for each one. Today, I used the BBQ Sauce and decided to go against the grain and pair it with my favorite: beans.
The great thing about baked beans is that you can choose any bean style to mix-and-match, for different textures and flavors. With this recipe, I used a can of red kidney beans and two cans of white kidney beans, also known as cannellini beans. The cannellini beans have a meatier feel and are packed with protein and fiber. They are considered a superfood by the American Diabetes Association since they are loaded with folate, vitamin B1, potassium, magnesium, and iron. And red kidney beans are an excellent plant-based source of protein and help in weight loss, help moderate blood sugar levels, and promote a healthy colon.
Just eating a cup and a half, a day can improve your overall health. WebMD says that in a study of people who regularly eat beans consume less saturated fat while taking in more fiber, protein, folate, iron, and other important minerals. Do you eat that much in beans a week?
With this Easy BBQ Baked Beans recipe, I took the beans to another level by adding a fried egg on top along with a garnishment of green onions (and a good Louisiana based hot sauce). Adding the egg offered additional high-quality protein, good cholesterol, and omega-3s. There are benefits to eating eggs every day, in moderation of course. 3 large eggs per day are perfectly safe. Some of the benefits include aid in muscle growth, it’s good for the brain, and helps in controlling the nervous system.
Now that we have healthy beans and know some of the benefits of eggs, each day, let’s talk about the secret ingredient to this recipe: Kevin’s Natural Foods BBQ Sauce. If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, they are Paleo and Keto-certified, and non-GMO verified. The pre-made sauces are made without refined sugar, dairy, are gluten and soy-free, and allow you to have a delicious meal without skipping out on any of the flavors. I absolutely love the flavor of this sauce and can’t wait to use it at my next outdoor barbecue.
This was an amazing dinner, and the beans didn’t last long at all. Just adding the fried egg on top really enhanced the meal. So, if you’re wondering how do you make BBQ beans from scratch? Or, how can I make canned beans taste better? This recipe right here shows you. And the best part, you don’t have to feel guilty for going back for more.
So when the next barbeque rolls around, or pot luck for a family get together, tell them you’ll bring the beans and surprise them with all the flavor-packed in this dish.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe and will try it with Kevin’s Natural Foods BBQ Sauce. They offer a variety of sauces besides this BBQ sauce, including Classic Taco, Thai Coconut, and Lemongrass Basil. They mailed me packages of each in exchange for me creating a recipe to enter into this contest, which ends December 15, 2020. I’ll have recipes to share for each, as well.
Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments below. Are you familiar with Kevin’s Natural Foods and the sauces that they offer? Tell us what your favorite sauce is.
Easy BBQ Baked Beans
Comforting, sweet, spicy, smoky, and healthy. You can serve these beans at a backyard barbeque, a holiday potluck, or for a weeknight meal with fried eggs - which is how I served this fantastic bean recipe. The best part is, this version is vegetarian friendly.
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp yellow mustard
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
- 3 15- oz canned beans I use red kidney and cannellini, drained and well rinsed
- 1 cup Kevin's Natural Foods BBQ Sauce
- 1/2 water plus more if needed
BBQ BAKED BEANS with Fried Egg
- 1-2 egg fried, per person
- green onions chopped for garnishment
- hot sauce if desired
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a large pot over MEDIUM heat, saute the onions, bell pepper, and garlic until the onions are transparent. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot: the smoked paprika, cumin, celery salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, Kevin's Natural Foods BBQ sauce, and the beans. Mix all the ingredients together. Allow the pot to come to a slight boil then transfer the contents to an oven-safe casserole dish.
Place the beans in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 1-hour, or until the beans are tender. If the beans appear to dry out, add water as needed. Towards the end of the cooking time, I added another 1 cup of water.
BBQ BAKED BEANS with Fried Egg
For each serving, in a small skillet, fry 1 to 2 eggs in extra virgin olive oil. Place hot BBQ Baked Beans in a shallow bowl and spread the beans aside in the center. When the eggs are finished, slide in the center of the beans and top with chopped green onions, salt and pepper and serve with your favorite hot sauce.
PRO TIP: To enhance the flavor of the beans, instead of adding water, add vegetable stock, coffee, or more barbecue sauce.
FOLLOW KEVIN’S NATURAL FOODS
For more information on Kevin’s Natural Foods, you can visit them online at https://www.kevinsnaturalfoods.com. While there, you can also find out about the contest results, more recipes featuring their great line of products, and ways you can purchase them.
They are also on your favorite social media sites, so be sure to follow them:
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Keep the red beans cookin’!
Eric Olsson is the food blogger of RedBeansAndEric.com. He publishes new recipes and interviews weekly. He has developed recipes and written articles for the famous Camellia brand in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has been mentioned in Louisiana Cookin‘ magazine and has had recipes featured in Taste of Home magazine – with his Creole Turkey recipe being runner up in their annual Thanksgiving recipe contest. He lives outside of Detroit, Michigan, with his wife and four children.