mom's baked bean casserole in a baking dish

Ladies and gents, I present to you the Thanksgiving side dish of. your. DREAMZ.

I feel quite blasphemous suggesting that you break with your traditions and add this casserole to your Thanksgiving menu when my family, in fact, has been serving the exact same foods (including this casserole) for years upon years upon years. We never stray, ever, right down to the cranberry sauce in the shape of a can. We are a stubborn holiday dinner folk.

But if ever there was a time to shake things up, or if you’re just getting your own Thanksgiving traditions started, I implore you to give this five-ingredient casserole a try. It’s amazing — to the point where I literally don’t even remember a holiday when my mom hasn’t made at least a double batch of it and it’s gone before the weekend. That’s 27 years of baked bean casserole eating/loving, you guys. I rest my case.

Of course, I know what you might be thinking: MEAT. So much meat. And that’s the reason I hesitated a hot second to post this recipe — because you know by now that the hubs and I are kinda picky when it comes to eating meat and such. But here’s what I discovered when I made it for the first time on my own: It’s just as delicious with grass-fed ground beef and humanely raised bacon. So there’s a little nugget o’ information for ya. Now we can all rest easy, go forth and eat all the casserole.

mom's baked bean casserole in dish

But before I let you go, let’s talk about what’s going on here: A super-easy, super-simple, super-yummy-in-my-tummy Thanksgiving side dish, that’s what. You mix cooked ground beef, crumbled crispy bacon, Northern beans, brown sugar and barbecue sauce. You put it in a casserole dish. You bake it. You eat it. You eat the leftovers cold with crackers the next day. The end.

You’re going to love the heartiness of it. You’re going to love the crispy, salty bacon paired with the sweetness of the brown sugar and barbecue sauce that caramelize in the oven. You’re going to love mixing it with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce in one bite because that’s how we do. And by “we” I mean I. But you should, too.

mom's baked bean casserole in a baking dish

And because my 27 years of experience eating this dish — as well as the other dishes we so fiercely stand by for our Thanksgivings — obviously proves their deliciousness, I’m going to share another one of our favorite recipes later this week. So get excited! This is just the start of all the yummy yum Turkey Day yums.

Oh, P.S. This + those pumpkin brioche rolls from last week = best ever Thanksgiving leftover sloppy joe. You best believe that’s happening.

mom's baked bean casserole in a dish

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baked bean casserole

Mom’s Baked Bean Casserole

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  • Author: Girl Versus Dough
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


  • 2 lbs ground beef, crumbled, cooked and drained
  • 1 lb bacon, cooked until crisp, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 (15 oz) cans Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 (18 oz) container barbecue sauce (like Sweet Baby Ray’s — the tangier, the better)


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, stir together cooked ground beef and chopped bacon to combine.
  2. Add beans, brown sugar and barbecue sauce. Stir until just combined.
  3. Pour mixture into a casserole dish. Cover and bake 45 minutes until bubbly and warmed through. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.