Killer Baked Beans – A Labor Day Party Pleaser

We like to share recipes from the Soup Kitchen of Muncie so you get a taste of what we can do and you have some recipe inspiration for your next event. Today’s recipe has a festive BBQ theme that’ll be perfect for your end-of-summer Labor Day cook out.

Stressed about what to make for the Labor Day picnic? Killer Baked Beans* will solve all of your concerns about picnic food. We’ve tested the recipe at numerous church picnics with plenty of picky eaters. The conclusion? EVERYONE loves them. They are a picnic-pleaser even for those guests who say they don’t like beans.  Just try this recipe: it’s so easy and so good.

If you think there is nothing new under the sun about beans, think again. This simple recipe for Killer Baked Beans has an ingredient that will raise your beans to a new height in the picnic food category and make you cook like a pro. People will be cleaning their plates and begging for your recipe – so make sure you make enough! We made eight BIG pans at the Soup Kitchen of Muncie recently for 280 guests at Summerfest. All gone!

One caveat: make this in advance. Allow the beans to stand in the oven at least two hours after baking. Better yet, make them the day before, cool, and then gently warm to serve. Guests like them hot or at room temperature.


An 8 X 8 inch baking dish which will serve 6 – 8 persons. Double the recipe if in doubt about how fast these beans will go.  No need to ever run out of Killer Baked Beans.

  • 32 ounces of canned pork and beans or vegetarian beans
  • 1/2 cup of spicy BBQ sauce.  (Baby Ray’s is great.)
  • 1/4 cup of black strap molasses or brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup catsup
  • 1 tablespoon of hot sauce (Add more if you dare!)
  • 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke (MUST use!)  This is the surprise ingredient.
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard (optional)
  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Bake uncovered in a 300 degree oven for 60 minutes.
  3. Turn oven off and allow beans to rest in the oven for two hours. They will become thick and yummy

* My BSU students named them “Killer Baked Beans” because they thought the beans were so sweet and so HOT they would kill.  Silly!

– Lois Altman