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Upgrade your cookout with these yummy Dr. Pepper Baked Beans. This is an easy and delicious side dish. It features bacon, onions, bell pepper, and a blend of sauces and spices, they bake to perfection, becoming thick and rich.
Opt for the oven or use a slow cooker for an effortless, fabulous dish ready by cookout time!
Step-by-step photos and instructions are below!
Doctor up your can of pork and beans with Dr. Pepper! Seriously, you knew that was coming, right? Dr Pepper is a secret ingredient that is really not so secret at all. I usually make baked beans from scratch, but sometimes, I just want a little short cut.
This is such an easy side dish to make. I make this with canned pork and beans, smoky bacon, onions, and bell peppers. We then add a flavorful sauce made with Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, mustard, and a little Dr. Pepper! This will be an instant family favorite!
This is baked on a low temperature for up to 2 hours. This help the sugars caramelize, the beans to become even more buttery, and allows the sweet and tangy flavors in the sauce to develop.
It is all made in one skillet and requires just 10 minutes of prep time. Then it’s 2 hours of hands-off time in the oven resulting in amazing flavor.
If you’re not going to be making my cracked pepper baked beans or Instant Pot baked beans, then these are a must-try! Make my Dr. Pepper baked beans recipe the next time you need a side dish to any grilled meats such as BBQ ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, you name it. Honestly, I could eat a whole bowl on its own!
Why you’ll love Dr. Pepper Baked Beans:
- They are super easy to make with just a handful of ingredients, 10 minutes of prep time, and of course, a can of soda!
- Comfort food. The epitome of comfort food! They’re soul-warming, tummy-filling, and crazy delicious!
- Serves a crowd. This is the perfect side dish, as it makes enough to feed 12 people. It’s perfect for game days parties, tailgate parties, family barbecue, potlucks and cookouts.
- Hands-off. Once this dish is in the oven, you are free to go grab a beer.
- Packed with flavor. The Dr. Pepper adds incredible flavor, a deeper color, and a bit of extra sweetness. Combined with the remaining ingredients, it is mouthwatering.
Frequently Asked Questions
I don’t recommend it. Obviously, you can, but the idea is to have the original flavors of Dr. Pepper and its sugars caramelize to give the beans maximum flavor. If you eliminate the sugar, it just isn’t the same. If you do try it, please let me know how it goes!
Certainly, and they won’t exactly be Dr. Pepper baked beans anymore, I won’t tell if you don’t. You can use Root Beer, Pepsi, or Coke instead.
Because it’s acidic, you can use it in all kinds of marinades for meat. It helps to break down the muscle fibers, so not only does it add flavor, but it also tenderizes the meat.
It needs to be oven-safe and able to withstand heat for long periods. A cast-iron skillet is my top recommendation.
Definitely! This is a great idea if you want to free up some room in the oven. Pour the mixture into your crock pot and cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 2-3 hours.
What to serve with Dr. Pepper Beans
There are so many things that you can serve saucy beans with!
They make a great side dish for Smothered pork chops, fried chicken, slow cooker pulled pork, pulled beef, or pulled chicken, ham, brisket, macaroni and cheese, and skillet cornbread. Just to name a few!
I have included step-by-step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
What to do with leftovers
Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. They are great when you heat them up, but no one would blame you for eating them cold straight out of the fridge!
I’m partial to using cans of pork and beans just because they already start a little saucy, with sweet and savory flavors. We’re just building on that!
However, if you prefer to use canned beans, you can! Use drained and rinsed pinto beans, navy beans, Great Northern beans, or cannellini beans (any kind of white beans). Or, whatever you’ve got in your cupboard!
No BBQ sauce on hand? No problem. Just use a combination of ketchup and molasses.
Sprinkle in some chili powder for heat.
If you prefer less sweetness in your Dr. Pepper baked beans, you can omit the brown sugar.
Freeze them for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw them in the fridge overnight. Easily reheat them the next day in the microwave or over low heat on the stove.
Recipe Ingredients and Possible Substitutes
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Canned pork and beans. You’ll need about 4 cans added to the skillet as is. These are NOT beans you need to rinse and drain.
- Bacon. Cooked and chopped bacon adds a salty, smoky element. I use thick cut bacon so it doesn’t overcook by the end. An easy way to cook it ahead would be to use the oven since you already need to turn it on.
- Diced onion and Green bell pepper. These add flavor to your beans.
- Brown sugar. Light or dark brown sugar, it’s up to you.
- BBQ sauce. I have a great homemade BBQ sauce I usually have on hand, but when I don’t, a store-bought jar works just as well.
- Yellow mustard & Worcestershire sauce. You can use a little apple cider vinegar if you don’t have mustard. You could also use Dijon mustard or ground mustard.
- Dr. Pepper. Don’t worry, the beans won’t end up tasting like you’re drinking soda! They will take on a subtle hint of it, however, and it’s amazing.
- Salt & Black pepper. To taste.
How to make this recipe
Scroll for Recipe
The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Use a can opener to open the cans of beans.
- Mix the ingredients
In a large bowl, combine pork and beans, cooked bacon, diced onion, bell pepper, brown sugar, BBQ sauce, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.
Pour in Dr. Pepper and stir to make sure everything is well combined.
Pour the bean mixture into an ovenproof skillet or 9×13 baking dish.
Transfer to the oven and bake for up to 2 hours, adjusting the time based on your bean texture preference. They will thicken more the longer you cook them.
Leave them in for 2 hours if you like thicker and stickier beans.
If you prefer them saucier, 1.5 hours should suffice!
Remove from oven, garnish with fresh parsley, and serve immediately.
More delicious recipes:
Complete your meal with any of the following that would pair so well with Dr. Pepper Baked Beans!
- Buffalo chicken tenders. Tender and juicy on the inside, and crispy and saucy on the outside, these tangy tenders are the perfect finger food!
- Twice baked potatoes. So nice, we bake them twice! Crispy skin, fluffy potatoes, and topped with gooey melty cheese!
- Cheesy corn casserole. Cornbread meets creamed corn in this comforting casserole. We also add in sharp cheddar for good measure!
- Cheddar Bay biscuits. Just as buttery and addicting as the ones you’d get at Red Lobster!
- Smashed oven potatoes. Boiled, seasoned, smashed, then baked until the crispy little bites are also creamy on the inside.
Dr Pepper Baked Beans
- Get prepped
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Mix Ingredients
- Combine pork and beans, bacon, onion, bell pepper, brown sugar, BBQ sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and Dr Pepper in a large bowl. Mix well and pour into an ovenproof skillet or 9×13 baking dish.
- Bake for up to 2 hours, adjusting the time based on your bean texture preference (see notes).
- Remove from oven, garnish, and serve immediately.
- Slow Cooker Option
- Pour the mixture into a slow cooker. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 2-3 hours.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.