Did you know that baked beans have been around since the early 1800s? This means that people have been trying to figure out what to serve with baked beans for nearly 200 years!
Yes, this dish called baked beans has been partnered with numerous mains for a very long time.
This savory and sweet dish, which is often made with either haricot or white navy beans, can be traced back to a similar recipe in an American cookbook published in 1832.
It should be noted that, once upon a time, these beans weren’t baked and they only got this name when they were canned.
During the canning process, blanched white beans are added to the can along with the sauce, after which the can is sealed.
It’s only when the beans and sauce are in the sealed can does the baking process begin.
Also worth noting is that the old recipe took its cue from Boston Baked Beans which used to have pork in them.
The change in the recipe happened because of the pork shortage in the 1940s due to the Second World War.
Manufacturers saw fit to omit pork from the recipe then and it has remained as such ever since.
When it comes to pairing, baked beans are regularly served with toast in the UK, Ireland, and Scotland.
In the US, it’s often served as a side dish for a variety of main dishes.
Oftentimes, these main dishes are meat based, like Baked Ham, Roasted Chicken, and Oven-Roasted Porkchops.
You will also find that this side dish can be paired with breads like Cheddar & Broccoli Cornbread or even Buttermilk Biscuits.
They can also be partnered with sandwiches, pies, and salads.
Quite a lot, right?
This list of what to serve with baked beans that I’ve come up with will show you what some of these perfect partners are.
So, are you ready to get into it?
This dish calls for pork baby back ribs, but you can opt for beef, if that’s what you want.
You get salty, tangy, and sweet, fall-off-the-bone ribs with this recipe.
These ribs can be baked or grilled.
Allow at least 2 to 3 hours cooking time to get the best results.
Here’s an American favorite with a tropical twist!
Adding pineapple to the dish while it’s cooking gives it a tang and a fruity sweetness.
Jalapeno and chili powder give it a kick, but if you want to keep it mild, you can skip these.
Anything barbecue is good with baked beans, and this Chicken Barbecue dish is no exception.
To get the right flavors into the chicken pieces, at least 6 hours of marination is needed here.
Cooking, however, is pretty quick, with a total of 6 minutes for each slice.
Try our Mild Blackened Chicken in the air fryer!
Another grilled favorite that you can enjoy with this side dish is the hamburger.
This particular recipe is so versatile, you can cook it on the stovetop and on the grill.
Add whatever toppings you want – cheese, bacon, tomatoes, pickles, lettuce – the list goes on and on!
Want to keep your burger patties moist?
Add some breadcrumbs to the beef mix!
6. Beef Brisket
Beef brisket is spectacular when smoked, but what do you do when you don’t have a smoker?
This oven baked Beef Brisket has the smokiness you expect with the help of hickory liquid smoke.
Cooked low and slow, this beef dish cooks in your oven for approximately 6 hours after marinating overnight in your fridge.
It’s no secret that baked beans are great for breakfast.
And what better way to complete your first meal of the day than with a plate of scrambled eggs with sausage to go with it?
This recipe takes your regular scrambled eggs and elevates it to casserole status with some sharp cheddar and cubed toast slices.
Mix, bake, and enjoy!
Here’s another recipe that gets an upgrade!
Yes, this Grilled Cheese Sandwich is not your typical, everyday two slices of bread and ordinary cheese in between.
This comes with a Greek flair, with the addition of feta cheese and tomatoes in crusty bread giving you a more sophisticated plate
Savory, cheesy, and starchy, this dish is a great complement to the sweetness your saucy beans!
While this recipe is pretty simple, you can tweak it to suit your taste.
Want some additional sour notes?
Add some sour cream to it.
Want it to be more garlicky?
Chopped garlic, roasted garlic, or even garlic powder can be added to the taters!
10. Shepherd’s Pie
Another casserole type dish that you can try to make is this one!
What can be better than mashed potatoes on top of savory ground beef and lamb with vegetables?
If you don’t like how lamb tastes, you can substitute this with ground pork or chicken instead.
11. Chicken Pot Pie
Since we’re talking about pie, here’s one with a flaky crust and meaty filling that is also a good main dish to have with baked beans.
You can make this recipe with leftover shredded chicken, if you have any.
One thing to remember is to make sure that your filling isn’t runny or else your pot pie will come out soggy.
12. Fried Chicken
One of the biggest challenges to cooking fried chicken is in making the outside super crispy.
How do you do this?
Here’s the trick – add a bit of cornstarch to your flour mixture and make sure to cook it at the right temperature.
13. Roasted Chicken
Here’s another chicken dish that you can make when you’re thinking of what to serve with baked beans.
To keep the bird moist and to get a crispy exterior, herb butter is rubbed all over it.
Rubbing this same butter under the skin will help reduce chances of your chicken drying out.
It also adds lots of flavor to the meat.
What do you get when you pair an American dinner staple like meatloaf with this smoky American side dish of baked beans?
You get a comforting and homey American dinner!
This is a match made in dinner heaven, if you ask me.
This is a dish that’s uncomplicated yet super tasty and goes well with baked beans.
If you’re not into the sour and herby taste of Ranch, you can always go with other mixes, such as Cajun, Italian, or even Taco.
The simplest mix you can use for your oven-roasted chops is garlic herb, which you can make with chopped garlic, butter, and some chopped parsley.
If you’re afraid to make your own biscuits, this recipe will show you it’s nothing to fear.
Six ingredients, some elbow grease, and half an hour of your time will give you fresh, flaky, buttery biscuits!
This recipe makes 8 biscuits, but you can double it if you need to make more.
Dense and cheesy, this is another bread-like dish that you should try.
There’s a reason why cornbread is often served alongside baked beans when you feast on barbecue – they complement each other well!
And eating both of these without any meat to go with it can also be just as satisfying!
If you want your cornbread to be chunkier, chopped ham, bacon bits, and even sausage can be mixed in before baking.
18. Lamb Chops
Lemony and garlicky, this recipe for lamb chops is a great choice for family dinner.
Choose chops that are the right thickness, about an inch or more, so you get the perfect pink center.
Pepper flakes are sprinkled on each piece before searing, but you can exclude this for a milder version of this dish.
Yes, Mexican food also goes well with sweet and smoky baked beans.
If you want, you can even add a spoonful or two to each taco.
This will give you an added sweetness to your spicy, salty, and smoky taco filling.
If you’re planning on having an all-veggie dinner, you should make this!
The addition of cumin to these roasted vegetables gives the dish added warmth and earthiness.
You can add more veggies to this recipe, if you like, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini, all of which roast well.
22. Broiled Lobster
As humble as this side dish is, it’s weirdly great with lobster!
The robust flavor of these saucy beans offers a flavorful divergence to the mildness of this crustacean.
Give this duo a try and see for yourself!
Some people may argue that mac and cheese is a side dish, but with the right additions, it can be so much more!
Yes, you can turn macaroni and cheese into a main dish with the addition of ground beef, a variety of vegetables, and select spices.
This recipe shows you exactly what I mean!
24. Pot Roast
Time to break out the crockpot for this recipe!
This slow cooker Pot Roast is a good choice for when you want a juicy, meaty, and flavorful dish that you don’t have to fiddle with constantly.
Sear, plop into your slow cooker, set your timer, and in 8 hours, dinner is served!
25. Duck Confit
Let’s finish off this list with a recipe that requires only 3 ingredients to make!
To confit meat is to cook it slowly in its own fat.
The duck legs in this dish are cooked in duck fat (or any other fat if duck fat isn’t available) for two hours in the oven.
Crisp up the skin before serving by broiling the legs or pan frying it skin-side down.
The bottom line
Now, you can see that this centuries-old accompaniment can be served with more than just toast!
This list shows just how universal this side dish can be.
Roasted, grilled, barbecued, fried, smoked, and baked, whichever way you cook your main dish, know that this side is a suitable complement for it.
So, next time, when you’re mulling over what to serve with baked beans, look no further than this list to find exactly what you need.
- Baby Back Ribs
- Pineapple Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- Barbecue Chicken
- Honey Baked Ham
- Beef Brisket
- Sausage & Scrambled Eggs Casserole
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Twice Baked Potatoes
- Shepherd's Pie
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Fried Chicken
- Roasted Chicken
- Oven-Roasted Pork Chops
- Buttermilk Biscuits
- Cheddar & Broccoli Cornbread
- Lamb Chops
- Beef Birria Tacos
- Baked Cod
- Cumin Roasted Vegetable Salad
- Broiled Lobster
- Skillet Cheesy Beef & Macaroni
- Pot Roast
- Duck Confit
- Pair one of these recipes with your baked beans.
- Gather your ingredients.
- Tie on an apron and get cookin’.
- Then get chewin’ and share with your favorite people!