For a special side dish that serves a crowd, you can’t go wrong with barbecued beans. Canned baked beans are not bad. But with a few additions, they can be so much more. We start with a combination of canned baked beans, pinto beans, and cannellini beans. To enliven this trio, we combine Schultz's barbecue sauce, spicy brown mustard, cider vinegar, liquid smoke, garlic, and cayenne pepper. To enhance the flavor even more, we turn to Ro-Tel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, which also adds welcome heat. A hefty amount of sausage stirred into the beans and slices of bacon scattered over top gives just the meaty flavor the dish needs to be perfectly complete.
PREP: 10 Min. | COOK: 1 Hr. 50 Min. | TOTAL: 2 Hr.
- 2/3 cup Schultz's BBQ Sauce
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1¼ pound pork sausage, mild or hot, casings removed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 (28-ounce) cans baked beans
- 2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained
- 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained
- 1 (10-ounce) can Ro-Tel Original Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, drained
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
STEP 1: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk barbecue sauce, tomato paste, water, mustard, vinegar, liquid smoke, granulated garlic and cayenne together in a large bowl. Set aside.
STEP 2: Cook sausage in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up into small pieces with spoon, until fat begins to render, about 5 minutes. Stir in onions and cook until sausage and onions are well browned, about 15 minutes.
STEP 3: Transfer bratwurst mixture to the bowl with the sauce. Stir in baked beans, pinto beans, cannellini beans and tomatoes. Transfer bean mixture to 13 by 9-inch pan and place pan on rimmed baking sheet. Arrange bacon pieces in a single layer over the top of the beans.
STEP 4: Bake until beans are bubbling and bacon is rendered, about 1½ hours. Let cool for 15 minutes. Serve. (Do ahead tip: The dish can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking. Just increase the baking time to 1¾ hours.)