Recipes/ Side Dishes

Mom’s Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Beans

Last night, I had a conversation with my mother on the phone. It went as follows.

“Why didn’t you answer when I called you a minute ago? What are you doing over there?” Mom asked.

“I was eating my beans.” I said as I scraped my plate clean.

“You couldn’t answer the phone because you were eating your beans? Are you by yourself?” Mom questioned.

“Yes.” I said. “I’m just over here eating my beans!”


“…Jennifer? I think it’s time for you to come home.”

I know sometime over the past three years, I must have blogged about my mom’s sweet and spicy barbecue beans recipe.

I’ve eaten in probably forty times since I’ve known all of you and have been known to sit at home by myself and eat plate after plate.

They’re just that good.

Quite simply, they’re the meal I reach for after particularly delicious weekends involving a plethora of wine, beef chili, garlic fries and pizza.

I like to think that eating kale counteracts all previous (not so healthy) food decisions.

These beans are also full of onion, garlic and hot sauce. I mean, really…what more do you need? Besides a pack of mints, that is.

I like to serve them as a meal by themselves or alongside pulled chicken or roast pork.

The saucy secret?

Yeah, baby.

Mom’s Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Beans

serves 4-6

2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

8 cups chopped kale (I don’t measure–I just chop a huge bunch!)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 yellow onion, minced

1/2 cup barbecue sauce (Stubbs is recommended)

2 tsp hot sauce

1/2 cup warm water

2 T cider vinegar

2 T dijon mustard

1/4 tsp salt

1 T olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for about six minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and saute for another two minutes.

Add the chopped kale and cook for a few minutes, tossing frequently. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Bake beans, covered, in a nine inch glass pan (or casserole dish) for forty five minutes.

**these beans freeze extremely well!

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  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    December 14, 2010 at 7:37 am

    We love Stubbs! This may actually get me to eat kale in a form other than chips.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    December 14, 2010 at 7:40 am

    of course they’re good if they have stubb’s bbq sauce in them πŸ™‚ i can’t wait to make them, and i love that they have kale in there too!

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Graduate
    December 14, 2010 at 7:42 am

    I will definitely be trying out this recipe. πŸ™‚ Looks delish!

  • Andrea @
    December 14, 2010 at 7:49 am

    I’m in love with baked beans. I just ate a big bowl of them yesterday for lunch- slow cooked with molasses, brown sugar, and pork!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  • Moni'sMeals
    December 14, 2010 at 7:51 am

    great~ I have all the ingredients and I agree, Stubbs rocks. πŸ™‚

    Thanks Jenna’s Mom!

  • emily
    December 14, 2010 at 7:52 am

    On my to-make list, whoop!

  • Carrie S.
    December 14, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Oh yes, you have blogged about them in the past. I’ve made them. They’re delicious πŸ™‚ Looks like now I’ll have to make them again!

  • Alina @ Duty Free Foodie
    December 14, 2010 at 7:54 am

    I am with you about kale! I also think of spinach smoothies as undoing, say, cake. It feels that way, anyway.

  • Amalia
    December 14, 2010 at 7:56 am

    So making these tonight! Instead of having to buy a bottle of cider vinegar though, could I use a white wine vinegar? Thanks!

  • Stephanie @ Living and Loving
    December 14, 2010 at 7:58 am

    I love Stubbs!!! I’ve had some kitchen failures the past few days, so i’m looking for a mess free meal and it looks like this is it! Thank you πŸ™‚ Maybe I can actually gain my confidence back in the kitchen!

  • Natalia - a side of simple
    December 14, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Any recipe that starts out with “Mom’s…” is sure to be a hit. Are you heading home for Christmas? (I hope you are!) I finished finals yesterday and am heading home today. Can’t wait to just talk and talk with my mom in the kitchen. It’s one of my favorite things to do πŸ™‚

  • kate
    December 14, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Ive been dreaming of bbq beans for days now. I swear you read my mind sometimes!

  • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations
    December 14, 2010 at 8:01 am

    I’ve never heard of Stubbs and might need to acquire some soon.

  • megan @ whatmegansmaking
    December 14, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Look delicious! For the barbecue sauce, is it 1/2 a cup? Love those recipes from mom πŸ™‚

    • mom
      December 14, 2010 at 9:12 am

      yes ~ or more if you like

  • Dorry
    December 14, 2010 at 8:03 am

    I feel the same way about kale – it’s a wonderfood!

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga)
    December 14, 2010 at 8:04 am

    I love baked beans but never make them. My hubs thinks he “doesn’t like beans” but little does he know, I add beans to plenty of things that I feed him…haha!

    I need to get on the baked beans bandwagon, clearly. And I love hot sauce so this would be perfect for me! πŸ™‚ Tell your mama great recipe!

  • courtney
    December 14, 2010 at 8:04 am

    YUM. making these asap!

    is that supposed to be 1/2 cups of stubbs?

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat)
    December 14, 2010 at 8:05 am

    I love when your mom calls you Jennifer…errr when you write that she does.

  • Katy @ A Healthy Shot
    December 14, 2010 at 8:05 am

    I’ve never been a big fan of baked beans, but these might change my mind! In fact, I wouldn’t even eat beans until a post you did awhile ago about just eating them with some olive oil and salt or something similar? Now I eat beans all the time πŸ™‚

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    December 14, 2010 at 8:08 am

    I had no idea your name was Jennifer (although I’m not really sure why I’m surprised!) These beans sound amazing. And with kale? Even better!

  • Nora@LiveLifeEatRight
    December 14, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Those look delicious! Love white beans with kale.

    Also…this conversation sounds oddly familiar. haha I get this or…”Your blog has been really good recently…lots of recipes… You need to get out more …come home.”

  • Krystina (Basil & Wine)
    December 14, 2010 at 8:15 am

    This sounds so comforting – love it!

  • Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes
    December 14, 2010 at 8:19 am

    beans are awesome. so is stubbs. And I totally “get” why its not possible to answer the phone, even when your enjoying a meal all by yourself…i sure feel the same!
    cathy b. @ brightbakes

  • Dee
    December 14, 2010 at 8:21 am

    YUM. I just added these to my ever growing recipes I have to try from ELR! πŸ˜‰

  • Balanced Healthy Life
    December 14, 2010 at 8:26 am

    I love that there is kale added in the recipe! Looks great!

  • Balanced Healthy Life
    December 14, 2010 at 8:26 am

    I love that there is kale added in the recipe! Looks great!

  • Brenna [fabuleuxdestin]
    December 14, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Yum! I have to try this!

  • jenna
    December 14, 2010 at 8:29 am

    i’ve made these several times since you first posted them and I love them to pieces! best recipe ever! mmmmmmmmm….

  • Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete
    December 14, 2010 at 8:30 am

    These beans look great. honestly, anything with cannellini beans I will eat.

    I make a beans and chili dish (pinto beans with green chili) that my mom would make for me when I get homesick. Somehow, it just made me feel like I was closer to NM even when I lived in Germany and now Washington. πŸ˜‰

  • Kelly
    December 14, 2010 at 8:36 am

    That sounds fantastic! And everything is better with Stubbs! Everything!

  • Shelly
    December 14, 2010 at 8:48 am

    This is my kind of meal! I love Kale, especially with white beans, and I also love BBQ sauce on greens (I usually go for collard greens topped with BBQ sauce along side BBQ Chicken.) I’m definitely going to give this recipe a try!

  • Erin @ small things
    December 14, 2010 at 8:50 am

    A ‘pack of mints’ is always good advice

  • Lauren at KeepItSweet
    December 14, 2010 at 8:54 am

    i absolutely love homemade baked beans, this version looks great

  • Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble
    December 14, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Yum! Seems like a rational reason not to answer the phone to me. I’ll call you back after my beans! πŸ™‚

  • britt
    December 14, 2010 at 9:09 am

    these look so good! i was just trying to think of something to make for dinner tonight! these will definitely work.

  • Mabelle @ Dance, Love, Dine
    December 14, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Sounds hearty, healthy and delicious. Thanks for the recipe. They look good (ive also been trying to find a way to involve Kale in my meals–this helps hehe).

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    December 14, 2010 at 9:27 am

    My French Aunt Simmie would say ‘BaaaZizz & full of beans’. Have no idea what it means. But often the tinkle of daiquiris being mixed & Yves Montand records playing in the background would accompany her saying it. So BaaZizz Jenn-i-fer your beans sound delish. πŸ˜‰

  • jen
    December 14, 2010 at 9:35 am

    jenna! 2 questions:

    1) do you think halving this recipe would work ok?

    2) do you think the taste would be better enough to make it worth using dry beans instead of canned?


    • jenna
      December 14, 2010 at 9:37 am

      1. Yes
      2. Yes and yes!

  • Amber K
    December 14, 2010 at 9:40 am

    I can’t stand barbecue sauce. I always hate it when my husband eats it because it makes the WHOLE house smell like it. Ok, off to make this for my husband!!

  • Amalfi Girl (EatRunHaveFun.blogspot)
    December 14, 2010 at 10:01 am

    I don’t see how I can NOT make these ASAP. πŸ™‚

  • gina (fitnessista)
    December 14, 2010 at 10:09 am

    you crack me up.
    my mom called once and i was sitting on the floor eating refried beans. she said she was worried about me, haha πŸ™‚
    hope you’re having a good day <3

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing
    December 14, 2010 at 10:11 am

    I’ve been looking for more things to throw kale into and this fits the bill! It’s the perfect side dish to meat entrees. Love it and saving it!

  • Gabriela @ Fro-Yo Lover
    December 14, 2010 at 10:18 am

    LOVED this recipe πŸ™‚

  • Errign
    December 14, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Officially on the “to make” roster for next week πŸ™‚ Never seen Stubbs around, so will have to substitute!

  • Megan (Braise The Roof)
    December 14, 2010 at 10:51 am

    I haven’t seen Stubb’s either- is it available nationally and I just haven’t noticed it? Are we talking tangier/spicer/sweeter? (You know, just in case I need to substitute πŸ™‚ )

  • Kristen @ That Hoosier Girl
    December 14, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Ah! I feel so alone and in the dark! How have I never heard of Stubb’s? And how can I get my hands on a jar stat?! πŸ™‚

  • The Healthy Apple
    December 14, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Love the kale in this recipe; fabulous Jenna!

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss
    December 14, 2010 at 11:33 am

    That’s a cute conversation with your mom!! Haha thanks for the smile πŸ™‚

  • Andrea
    December 14, 2010 at 11:37 am

    HAHAHAHA that conversation you had with your Mom has me in stitches!!!! Hilarious

  • Dimitri
    December 14, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    wish you were in my class when I was there, you’re hot!

  • Traci(faithfulfoodiefashionista)
    December 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    These look wonderful. They will be eaten by me very soon! I think I could eat barbeque sauce on anything πŸ™‚

  • Trish
    December 14, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Brilliant! I love this. Must make.

  • Jess@atasteofconfidence
    December 14, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    haha definitely worth not answering the phone!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit
    December 14, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Cute story. Yummy beans!

  • Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats
    December 14, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    omg that convo between your Mom and you seriously cracked me up. I don’t even know you, but I can just picture it! πŸ˜‰ Beans look awesome!

  • Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats
    December 14, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    omg that convo between your Mom and you seriously cracked me up. I don’t even know you, but I can just picture it! πŸ˜‰ Beans look awesome!

  • Julie
    December 16, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Made this last night! It was delicious! I’m not a spicy -food person like you, Jenna so I used mild Stubbs and half the hot sauce. Perfection πŸ™‚

  • Lacey @ Lake Life
    December 17, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Lol! Mom’s are the best πŸ™‚

  • Jess
    January 5, 2011 at 5:56 am

    I made these last night for the first time and the beans were DELICIOUS!! Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe! Can’t wait to eat some leftovers for lunch!

  • Erica
    January 5, 2011 at 6:13 am

    I made these last night and they are FABULOUS! Thank you for the recipe πŸ™‚

  • Meg
    January 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I just finished making these, and after a wise decision to use sesame oil instead of olive oil but follow the rest precisely (cept’ I like my Bone Suckin’ sauce), I must give props to your mom. This was NOMgasmic. Love your blog, keep on cooking!

  • Tara
    January 12, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    aaaaaahhhh I can not stop eating these beans they are SOFA. KING. DELICIOUS. I think this is going to go in the REPERTOIRE! Love-love-loving your blog!

  • Rachel
    February 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I made these last night and they were absolutely amazing. Do you think they would work in a slow cooker overnight?

  • sarah
    February 20, 2011 at 9:02 am

    mmm thank you for this recipe! i made them for the first time last month, and always keep a batch on hand now! GREAT as a salad topper, and taste even better the next day!

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  • Susie
    May 6, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Could this be made with different beans? In an old post, it looked like your beans were darker colored. Thanks! I can’t wait to try making it

  • Rachael
    May 8, 2011 at 5:02 am

    This recipe is delicious! I had it the other day over a baked sweet potato with chopped up broccoli, and then yesterday between two slices of wheat toast! Bean sandwiches rock. Then I had the last bit with sauteed zucchini. SOOOOO GOOOOD! I can’t wait to make it again!

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  • D. Michelle
    July 9, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Love Love Love these! I tried making them previously with frozen kale…fail! But I made them last night with fresh Kale and used a mix of kidney and cannelli beans—Delicous! Thanks for Sharing your mom’s secrets with us!

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  • Emily
    September 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I’ve made these several times now and love them! So tasty and a great way to sneak in kale. My husband devours them. Thank you Jenna’s mom!

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    September 29, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I just made these too. So delicious, we had them in curry wraps with some roast chicken leftovers – oh my, so good.

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    February 5, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I made the beans today for dinner. AWESOME! I made them with spinach because in my country (honduras) you cant find kale.

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    January 11, 2013 at 2:05 am

    I made these last night and they were very much enjoyed and appreciated! Thank you πŸ™‚

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    Made these today with a strange substitution – no kale so I used brussels sprouts. Amazing.

  • Shelley
    August 31, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I LOVE this recipe, have been making it once a week for the last little while, bringing leftovers (which I usually hate) for lunch. Mmmm. Today I subbed Red Swiss Chard. Was okay, but not nearly as good as kale. May try brussel sprouts in the future.

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    Don’t have white beans…could i used kidney, black beans or chickpeas?

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      I’d use kidney beans if you can’t find white!

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