This article was created in partnership with as part of Cooking for Healthyish People: Beans 101.
No barbecue or tailgate is complete without a hearty pot of baked beans. Since someone will inevitably bring the classic rendition to your next potluck, why not show off your inner Top Chef? We've teamed up with to bring you these simple but totally awesome upgrades.
If you love Southern cooking, look no further than this recipe. These beans get a fruity, caramel-y flavor from fresh peaches and a dose of bourbon. Pour yourself a sweet tea and enjoy picnic style, because why not?
Is it a salsa? Is it baked beans? Surprise—it's both! Grilled corn and green pepper add a smokey-sweet flavor while a can each of and transforms this party snack into a meal-worthy dip. Get some sturdy tortilla chips, because this salsa is no joke.
Give baked beans a spicy kick with some sliced (seed-in, for the brave) jalapeño. And while bacon might seem like the star ingredient in this recipe (which, hey, we're not saying it isn't), a heaping drizzle of molasses balances the heat and smokiness with a rich, sweet flavor. Count us in for seconds.
Whether or not you're team pineapple-on-pizza, this tropical upgrade is the dish your cookout has been missing. Using fruit as a natural sweetener gives these beans a refreshing flavor that's perfect for a warm summer day.
It's hard to go wrong when cooking with Dr. Pepper (or Mr. Pibb, we don't judge). Though, really, you can do it up with just about any of your favorite sodas as a creative alternative to brown sugar.
If you love bacon in your baked beans, then you'll be over the moon for this recipe. Beans and roughly chopped burnt ends simmer in a pot of barbecue sauce, tomatoes, and spices for about two hours. The result is melt-in-your-mouth heaven, served best with a side of cornbread.
Those Brits were definitely onto something when they invented beans on toast. This version, with its gooey poached egg in the middle, makes a good, hearty brunch.
We'd have never thought to combine Indian flavors with an American barbecue staple, but somehow, it works. Curry powder, red pepper flakes, and cumin pack heat and flavor, while coconut milk creates a creamy texture. The best part? Your slow cooker does all the work.