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There’s one thing at a summer cookout that your guests will miss if it’s absent, even if it’s not always the star of the show: baked beans. Some people like them served hot, and others prefer them at room temperature. However you take your beans, we’re here to help you jazz them up.
I like my baked beans to have a spicy kick, with a little bit of brown sugar to balance them out. However, when you’re hosting guests, be mindful of those who shy away from spicy foods — it’s probably a good idea to keep the heat at a friendly level.
I’ve gathered a few baked beans recipes that your guests will enjoy — including kid-friendly recipes such as the Hamburger Baked Bean Casserole, in case your guests bring their children. It’s best to make these beans ahead, in order to save time to cook some delicious mac and cheese and grill those burgers to perfection.
Baked Beans in Bacon Cups
For parties, we fry the bacon cups one at a time so they get perfectly crisp and irresistible; for a less time-consuming preparation at home, I suggest baking them. Save the leftover habanero honey to add a sweet kick to barbecue sauce or to glaze grilled or roasted pineapple as a sweet side to grilled fish or chicken. — Peter Callahan
Baked Beans with Mustard and Bacon
Shutterstock / James Smart Photography