1-Pot BBQ Baked Beans

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Pot of our gluten-free vegan BBQ Baked Beans recipe

When BBQ season comes around, my mind goes straight to the beans.

I’ve loved BBQ baked beans for as long as I can remember. They’re equal parts savory and sweet with a little spice. My version includes instructions for both dry pinto beans and canned, depending on how much time you’ve got on your hands. Let us show you how easy it is!

Ingredients for making our 1-Pot BBQ Baked Beans

This 1-pot recipe starts with pinto beans that are soaked overnight (or at least 6 hours). They’re then simmered with a little vegetable broth and water. That’s where the fun begins.

Adding spices our flavorful vegan BBQ Baked Beans recipe

Mustard is added for a little tanginess, tomato paste for a hearty tomato flavor, coconut sugar for natural sweetness, and chili powder for heat. Next come salt and pepper to taste and an optional dash of hot sauce for a little heat to balance the sweetness.

The real secret of these beans comes from a dash of liquid smoke, which adds a smokiness that traditionally comes from bacon. This meat-free version is just as rich and satisfying as the “real deal.”

Big pot of freshly cooked BBQ Baked Beans for a vegan meal

We hope you LOVE these beans! They’re:

Hearty
Smoky
Salty-sweet
Subtly spiced
Easy to make
Super versatile
& So delicious

These beans would make the perfect side to just about any grilled dish like our Grillable Veggie Burgers, BBQ Black Bean Burger, and Grilled Veggie Skewers. They would also pair especially well with our Garlicky Kale Salad and Simple French-Style Potato Salad!

For more bean recipes, check out our Hummus From ScratchActually Crispy Baked Chickpeas, 1-Pot Mexican Pinto Beans, and Easy 1-Pot Black Beans from Scratch!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Grabbing a spoonful of vegan gluten-free BBQ Baked Beans

1-Pot BBQ Baked Beans

Saucy, smoky BBQ pinto beans simmered in 1 pot in a rich sauce of spices, tomato paste, mustard, and coconut sugar. A healthier take on this classic dish!
Author Minimalist Baker
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Using a wooden spoon to stir a pot of our simple 1-Pot BBQ Baked Beans recipe
4.94 from 30 votes
Prep Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 6 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 21 minutes
Servings 10 (1/2-cup servings)
Course Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Southern-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 5 Days

Ingredients

  • 3 cups dry pinto beans* (soaked overnight in cool water, or at least 6 hours)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (if avoiding oil, sub water)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or store-bought // we prefer Imagine brand, not Trader Joe's)
  • Water (enough to cover beans by 1 inch)
  • 2 Tbsp yellow or spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste (plus more to taste)
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar (more or less to taste // or sub maple syrup or stevia)
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 1-2 Tbsp chili powder* (adjust to preferred spice level)
  • 1-2 tsp liquid smoke (adds smoky flavor that typically comes from bacon)
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (optional // we like Tapatio)

Instructions

  • Add pinto beans to a large pot and cover with cool water (at least a few inches above the beans as they will expand). Soak for at least 6 hours or overnight* uncovered at room temperature. Once beans are soaked, drain and set aside.
  • Heat your large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil (or water), diced onion, and bell pepper. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, or until onion is soft and translucent.
  • Next, add drained beans and vegetable broth and cover with water about 1 inch over the top, as the beans will expand while cooking. Bring to a low boil. Then reduce heat to low or medium-low so it simmers but doesn’t boil. Cook uncovered for 1 hour or until beans are tender.
  • Once the beans are tender and cooked through, add remaining seasonings: Mustard, tomato paste, coconut sugar, salt, pepper, chili powder, liquid smoke, and hot sauce (optional). Stir to coat and cook on low for 10-15 more minutes to let the flavors meld.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt to taste, chili powder or hot sauce for heat, coconut sugar for sweetness, mustard for tanginess, or tomato paste for depth of flavor. You want them very well seasoned, so don't be shy!
  • Your beans are now ready to enjoy! Store leftovers well covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Will keep in the freezer for 1 month (oftentimes longer).

Video

Notes

*For reference, 1 pound dried beans typically equals about 2 cups dried or 4 cups cooked.
*The chili powder I used was from Whole Foods and contains a blend of chili peppers, cumin, garlic, oregano, coriander, cloves and allspice.
*6-8 hours is the optimal amount of time for soaking your beans. The longer you soak them, the more tender they will become, and the more likely they will split and separate during cooking. So if you can't get to them right away, simply drain, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
*I recently discovered that Trader Joe's beans are BPA-free, which is great news if you forget to prep ahead of time. In a pinch, buying cans that are BPA-free is still a good option. Just use about 5 cups well-drained beans (measured after draining) in place of the dry beans. Cook the onion and pepper as instructed. Then add beans but omit the vegetable broth and water, skip the 1-hour simmering time, and go straight for the tomato paste, mustard, and spices, etc. Cook as instructed from there.
*Recipe method adapted from Ree Drummond.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 half-cup serving (of 10)  servings. The recipe as written yields roughly 5 cups cooked beans.

Nutrition (1 of 10 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 259 Carbohydrates: 47 g Protein: 13 g Fat: 2 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 427 mg Potassium: 1009 mg Fiber: 10 g Sugar: 8 g Vitamin A: 770 IU Vitamin C: 18.1 mg Calcium: 80 mg Iron: 3.6 mg

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  1. May says

    It was the end of the week, so I was running low on fresh ingredients- but always have beans. I prefer to make small portions of beans because there are only two of us and neither of us have the digestive system to eat a whole bowl. I made one-third of the recipe (i.e., 1 cup dried beans). I used RG Rio Zape beans, which alone are ridiculously tasty. Substitued minced celery for bell pepper, because that was all I had in my veggie bin. The beans turned out very tasty, and a nice change from the Greek/Italian bean recipe rut I’ve been in. Also, THANK YOU FOR describing the type of chili powder you used. …since I have started experimenting (and collecting!) spices, I am shocked at just how many chili & chile spices there are!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, May! xo

  2. Monica says

    I happened to have the perfect combination of leftover ingredients to make this. I just reduced the amounts since I had less beans and I had already precooked them, so I just added the same seasonings listed in the recipe and I happened to have the perfect secret ingredient… Ghost chili maple syrup from trader Joe’s. I finally found the perfect recipe to use it for.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Monica. We are so glad you enjoyed them and were able to modify based on what you had! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  3. Connie says

    Delicious – loved it! I used canned beans and followed everything except used an entire onion. Will make again. Thank you!

  4. Sharon R says

    Made yesterday using dried (Italian) cannellini beans & Better than Bullion veg stock. Delicious! My hubby likes his Bush’s baked beans so added extra maple syrup & liquid smoke. (made 1/2 recipe as just 2 of us – really appreciate that recipe adjusts when I play with # servings). Thanks for another excellent recipe!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks so much for the lovely review, Sharon! xo

  5. Jessie says

    I needed a recipe that I could take to a potluck and wanted to use my new crockpot. I used dried beans and soaked them in boiling water while I prepared everything else. I wasn’t trying to make this meatless so I skipped the liquid smoke and added chopped bacon to my onion and peppers – I did a poblano plus a small red. When that was done I threw it in the crockpot, added the beans, added all of the other ingredients, substituting brown sugar for coconut, stirred it up, and left it cooking on low overnight while I slept. When I woke up the house smelled amazing! I added some maple syrup and a bit more brown sugar, along with some apple cider vinegar and it was PERFECT. The entire crockpot was gone by the end of the party. This is going to be a go-to bean recipe for potlucks and picnics. Thank you!

  6. Mary says

    This recipe was delicious! :) For the following few days we used it as a chili base, added other leftover bbq proteins, corn and diced tomatoes. Thank you!

  7. B says

    So SOO SOOO good! Amazing! Sweet, smokey, tang with fire! Thank You once again for adding smiles, memories and good conversation to our dinner table. We are so grateful! xo

  8. Evan Halperin says

    Made this yesterday and I must have added a bit too much liquid as they’re a bit broth and not thick. Could simmering the day after with more tomato paste and pouring off some liquid help?

    They do taste delicious

  9. Heidi says

    Hi – I have a bag of dried mix beans, – White pea bean, black turtle beans, split yellow peas, chickpeas, pinto beans, split green peas, light red kidney beans, green lentils, and red lentils. Could I just use these? Thinking it’s worth a try:)

  10. Tracey says

    I’m having a group of about 50 for a barbecue and would Love to make these beans!! Any suggestions on amounts for the ingredients?!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tracey, it depends what else is being served, but we would say probably 4-5x the recipe! Let us know how it goes!

  11. Samantha says

    This recipe couldn’t be simpler and yield a wonderful result! Made a batch for a weekend gathering with friends and the whole group loved the beans! I followed the recipe and cooking instructions exactly, leaving the beans on the stove just slightly simmering away for most of the day until guests arrived. The flavor was deeply developed and the beans perfectly tender with a slight bite. I’ve been inspired to prepare beans from scratch more often!

  12. Karri says

    Would I need to adjust the liquid measurements if I wanted to cook the beans in a pressure cooker? Thank you

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Karri, we haven’t tried this recipe in a pressure cooker and aren’t certain! Some other readers have commented about using a pressure cooker, so we would recommend searching the comments for “pressure cooker” to see what they did.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm we haven’t tried and can’t say for sure.. if you experiment, report back on how it goes but I would think that molasses would change the flavor quite a bit in place of sugar. Good luck!

  13. Edward Blocker says

    I just loved it, I’m not only going to give it 5 stars. But, I’m going to share it with all my website’s followers on social media. Thank you for giving me something useful to share it today!

  14. Kristyna says

    As always, an incredible recipe! I used my crockpot and adapted the recipe, it turned out great! I followed everything the same till step 3, where I transferred my mixture from the stove top to the crock pot. I left it on to meld. Lo and behold perfectly majestic bbq baked beans awaited me!

  15. Frank says

    This woman knows how to cook. This is yet another home run for this site. I cook out of necessity and don’t really enjoy it and would be disgrj tled to make something that wasn’t any good. No such fear of that happening here

    I miss or should say, missed my UK beans on toast. I now have a superior replacement. These are excellent. Used canned pinto beans due to bone idleness and they were perfect.

  16. Kristamav says

    Love this recipe!! These are so lovely on sourdough bread. I tend to leave out a bit of chilli powder though because that can be a bit overwhelming… 5 stars isn’t enough, I’ve made them every week since I discovered them :)

  17. Kerstin says

    I made this today with kidney beans from a can and it was absolutely delicious. I didn’t have time to make corn bread so I made socca and it went very well with the beans. Took me 20 mins altogether. I left out the hot sauce and the kids really loved it too. Next time, I’ll try it with pinto beans!
    Thank you for yet another lovely recipe, Dana. BTW, I bought your book and it is great.

  18. Robyn says

    These beans are the bomb!!! I make them in a pressure (instant) cooker and then freeze individual servings. Thank you for the yumminess

  19. Shelly says

    Hi Dana,
    I just made this recipe and did not make any modifications.
    These bbq beans are soooo delicious! I’m will eat them for dinner tomorrow with a portabella mushroom burger.

    Thank you for sharing these yummy recipes!!!!

  20. Brooke says

    Too good!! It has a southern baked bean texture and taste to it which I loved! I served it over a big pile of arugula, roasted veggies and some cornbread! Thanks for another great recipe!!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      It sounds like that may be an idea for another recipe, Viola! I’ll be sure to add it to the recipe request list :)

  21. Laura says

    Really yummy! I ended up adding almost the whole can of tomato paste, more sugar, more mustard, and only 1tsp liquid smoke. Ate it with your cornbread and coleslaw, and froze extras, probably would make a good baked potato topping or to eat with chips.

  22. Leigh Harris says

    I’ve been enjoying these beans with coleslaw and avocado. I’ll definately be making this again. It makes for a hearty and delicious meal. Thanks for sharing :-)

  23. Anne says

    I followed the recipe as written for ingredients and than modified for an Instant Pot based on another user’s suggestion and it was delicious! I used the saute function and then pressure cooked my soaked beans ~18 minutes and my husband said the beans were perfectly cooked. thanks for a great recipe!

  24. Shannon says

    Another sensational recipe Dana! I took the canned bean shortcut with kidney beans (in Australia) and the flavour was amazing. Love it!

  25. Heather PS says

    Could you put this recipe in a slow cooker? Low for 6-9 hours? Would like to give it a try so we can eat this when we get home :)

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried it in a slow cooker but its worth a shot! If you give it a try, let us know how it goes :)

  26. Laura, Manhattan, KS says

    I made these in my pressure cooker. I subbed great northern beans for pintos and organic ketchup for tomato paste. I also added fresh Hatch green Chile. So good! My family loved this!

  27. Diana says

    Hi! This looks absolutely amazing! We don’t have pinto beans here unfortunately (the Netherlands). What bean could I use as a substitute?

    Thanks!

  28. Andrea Roth says

    Un-freaking-believable as always with your recipes! The Cole slaw was fabulous…the creamy dressing thinned out perfectly after an hour or so in the fridge after preparing. The BAKED BEANS are an absolute KEEPER!! First batch with canned pinto beans second time around with fresh made them as you instructed except made them in the instapot..omg just so yummy!
    I’m just so glad I have you in my life to come up with all these fabulous, fairly simple recipes, that always have a delicious ending. You are incredible thank you for all your hard work…its working for us!

  29. Heather says

    Holy moly. I’m so excited to have a big ole vegan BBQ dinner tonight! Thanks for the inspo! I think my dried pintos might have been a little old and didn’t get as soft as I’d like them, but one quick pulse with the immersion blender gave me a hint of creaminess that covers the problem. The bean flavors are AMAZING though!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lindsay! Typically, it can be found in the barbecue sauce section in most grocery stores.

  30. Devan says

    I made this yesterday and for some reason, it wasn’t very flavorful…I even added extra where you said to for taste!! & I know it’s supposed to be pretty flavorful from all of the comments praising it! I don’t know if I put too much water in or what…I’m going to try and make it again next week.

    • Elizabeth says

      I ended up using A LOT more salt than the recipe called for, more tomato paste, and 3 times the amount of chili powder, that fixed the flavour problem. After I did all of the adjustments, they tasted great!

      • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth! I usually share a range, or start on the low end with spice and salt as some people are quite sensitive to it. But I do prefer heavier salt and spice so season to taste!

  31. Sabina says

    I soaked the pinto beans overnight and on the next day I replaced the water and cooked them in the pressure cooker for 15 min.
    I roasted the onions and bell pepper without oil and then added the beans with their water together with a broth cube and the spices.
    Since I’m European, I don’t like using sugar other than in desserts ;) so I omitted it.
    I also left out the chili powder because the hot sauce was enough for my taste.
    By using the pressure cooker I could reduce the cooking time a lot.
    The taste is very nice. Thank you for the recipe!

  32. violet says

    I enjoy most of your recipes but l made your bbq baked beans and l only put 1 tbsp of chillie powder and l found it only tasted like chillie baked beans not bbq baked beans it was a disapointment and l tried everything to fix the heat but to no luck. Maybe l am use to Australian BBQ and it is definitely is not chillie hot

  33. Sharon R says

    I made this yesterday – we had company over for a BBQ. Their first words when they arrived: “wow your house smells amazing!” I used canned Pinto beans (3 cans gave me 6 cups) & 1/2 the amount of Tapatio hot sauce (turned out to be the perfect amount for my taste – just a hint of ‘hot’). Made this a few hours ahead of time and left it in my cast iron pot with the lid on, adding a little water when I re-heated to loosen it back up. Everyone loved it & I’d definitely make this again. Thanks for the recipe!!

  34. Annette says

    I made this and loved it! Gave some to my vegan son and my 86-year-old Mother! They both raved about it. It was easy to make; I followed the recipe exactly; beans turned out lovely and soft – a real winner!

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      There may be a little (we didn’t have much). If there’s a lot, we recommend draining most of it. A little leftover is OK and will even help create more a more saucy texture!

      • V says

        I wouldn’t throw out nutritious water. I suggest grinding a bit of rolled oats in a coffee/nut grinder and adding to reach desired consistency. I also use chopped walnuts (not ground) – adds good protein and fats as well as iodine (the only source of iodine if you hate sea food like I do), while at the same time sucking up some water and adding a delicious crunch. I add walnuts to all my stews.

  35. Ann Thrash-Trumbo says

    Very nice! I didn’t have any pintos so I substituted Great Northerns. I cooked the beans, onions & peppers in the Power Cooker for 40 min., then added the other ingredients and cooked another 30 min. I wish I’d cooked the beans a little longer before adding the tomato as they were not as soft as I like them, but over all I liked the taste very much.

  36. Steve says

    Looking forward to making this along with vegan briskett and baked potato (for wester movie night.)

    The instructions say 3 cups dried pinto beans but the asterisk we’re led to says “*1 pound dried beans typically equals 2 cups dried or 4-5 cups cooked.” Thus wouldn’t 3 cups dried “typically” translate into 6-7.5 cups cooked?
    The recipe states: “Just use about 5 cups well-drained beans (measured after draining) in place of the dry beans.”

    What causes the discrepancy?

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Steve – good question! We mostly shared how much the beans weigh in pounds because that’s how recipes typically display them, and how store tend to sell them. That note has been amended for clarity! We suggest using 3 cups dried beans, as the recipe suggests.

  37. natalie says

    Currently making this as I type…but unfortunately the beans have been simmering for 1 hour 15 minutes and still not soft! :( I have increased the heat, and I soaked them for 8 hours. Any ideas?

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      It’s just the taste. If you ever taste it on its own, it’s pretty unsavory. I love and recommend Imagine brand, or making your own!

  38. Lori Brenig says

    I love baked beans with BBQ veggie burgers in the summer, and could never understand why all the recipes ask you to turn the oven on at high heat for hours! This is genius for the hot weather! Thank you, I will definitely be trying the recipe.

  39. Jed Sponaugle says

    Any suggestions on eliminating sodium from this recipe? I have to follow an extremely low sodium diet due to health issues and try to eliminate sodium as much as I can. Couldn’t you experiment with other types of beans to see what you like the best?

  40. Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite says

    I love baked beans…but now how much sugar is in most recipe!!! Seriously cannot wait to try…and to be honest, I love how you included a version for canned beans too :)

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t used one and can’t recommend any methods, but yes I’m sure it would work! Let us know if you give it a try.

      • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi, Michaela! We don’t own an instant pot but if you give this a try let us know how it goes!

    • Brian Watson says

      Yes, I’ve actually made something very similar to this in an instant pot. Just set it to Bean/Chili and let it release for 20-30 minutes. Also remember to still soak the beans for 8 hours (overnight).

      Dana, the instant pot is amazing as I’m sure many people have told you. I adapt a lot of your recipes for it. Your Mexican style pinto beans is something I make once a week in fact!

    • Suzanne says

      The instant pot would be easily adapted here, though the beans will likely be a little bit mushier:
      – Do step 1: soak overnight (optional though recommended for easy digestion),
      – Do step 2: using the Instant Pot saute function.
      – Instead of 3, put the beans in the instant pot on high pressure and reduce the added water to just cover the beans and cook for the time indicated for pinto beans (6-9 minutes, from soaked or 25-30 mins, from dry).
      – Continue on with steps 4-6: on the Saute function.
      Alternatively, you could, at step 3 put all the ingredients in the pot after sauteing the onions and not bother with the last saute function.
      Good luck.

    • Aimee says

      I did make it in an instant pot today – came out delicious! after sautéing the onions and peppers (in the instant pot) I added the rest of the ingredients (including the soaked beans), closed the lid and cooked on the “beans” setting for 20 minutes

    • Andrea says

      I’m making these tonight.. I cooked my beans in a pot of water to get them soft. Should I still add the broth, etc?