Mesquite Barbecue Beans

It may be September, but barbecue season isn’t over yet! While the weather’s still warm, and friends are still throwing meat and vegetables on the grill, it’s time to give this hearty, crowd-pleasing side dish a try. You’d never think that beans could be a showstopper of a dish, but these have the perfect balance of sweet and tangy, smoky and spicy. Vanns Mesquite Barbecue Rub adds a little twist of wood-fired flavor to the dish. The final product may look like more beans than a crowd could ever hope to eat, but I’m willing to bet that they’ll all be gone by the end of the day.

Mesquite Barbecue Beans

A note: if you'd like to make these beans for some vegetarian friends, omit the bacon and use 2 Tbs. vegetable oil to brown the onions and other aromatics. Adding a teaspoon of Vanns Smoked Spanish Paprika in Step 4 will add back some of that smokiness that you lose with the bacon!

Spices used in this recipe

Mesquite Barbecue Rub
Paprika, Smoked Spanish
Salt, Kosher
Mesquite Barbecue Rub


  • Water
  • 2 Tbs. Vanns Kosher Salt
  • 1 lb. dried pinto or navy beans
  • 8 oz. sliced bacon cut into ½-inch strips
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium jalapeño, stem and seeds removed, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 ½ cups ketchup
  • ⅔ cup dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 Tbs. yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. Vanns Mesquite Barbecue Rub
  • 1 Tbs. hot sauce, such as Sriracha


  1. Add 8 cups of water and 2 Tbs. Vanns Kosher Salt to a large bowl or other large container and stir until salt is dissolved. Add beans, cover the container, and let soak overnight at room temperature. When you’re ready to make the beans the next day, drain and rinse.
  2. Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stove. When hot, add sliced bacon and cook until its fat has fully rendered and the bacon is a crisp, deep golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, move the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving as much bacon fat in the pan as you can.
  3. Keeping the dutch oven over medium high heat, add the diced onions to the pot. Cook until the onions are softened and browned around the edges, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Lower heat if necessary. Stir in the minced jalapeño and garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the cooked bacon back in, and stir in the chicken stock, 3 cups of water, and the drained and rinsed beans. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 1 hour, and preheat the oven to 300°F while the beans simmer.
  4. When the hour is over, add the ketchup, brown sugar, honey, molasses, mustard, vinegar, Vanns Mesquite Barbecue Rub, and hot sauce, and stir to combine thoroughly. Cover the dutch oven tightly and transfer the pot to the oven. Cook in the oven for 4 hours, stirring every hour or so, until the beans are creamy and tender. The best way to test them is to taste them!
  5. Remove the pot from the oven, uncover, and allow to cook for 15 minutes. Season with kosher salt to taste and serve immediately. You can also store these beans in a container in the fridge for up to 1 week -- the flavors will intensify as time goes on, so making them ahead is a great idea! Reheat over a gently flame before serving.

Serves 8 - 10 as a side dish. Adapted from Serious Eats.

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