The Ingredient Swap That Will Majorly Upgrade Your Canned Baked Beans

Baked beans are an essential BBQ side. While regional styles abound, the dish has become synonymous with eating ribs and other smoked meats.

The recipe for baked beans was first cultivated by Native Americans, who paired beans with maple syrup and different types of meat (via the University of Maine). These indigenous peoples of the Americas were also responsible for introducing barbecue to colonists, who mimicked their cooking techniques. It wasn't long before baked beans became a staple in U.S. kitchens. 

The classic dish is popular enough that a wide variety of canned baked beans can be found on grocery store shelves throughout America. The main distinction between canned and dried beans is that you have less control over the flavor profile and balance of ingredients in your recipe when starting with pre-cooked beans (via kitchn).

While you can't alter what's already in your canned baked beans, you can add to them to make a dish that's your own. And one ingredient with a bit of spice is a good place to start.

Stir Sriracha sauce into your canned baked beans

Sriracha, the chili-based hot sauce that found its way onto U.S. dinner tables from Thailand, can be used to bring piquant flavor to meats, soups, eggs, and just about anything else that needs a zippy boost of peppery heat — including baked beans. West Via Midwest recommends adding the flavorful condiment to your canned beans to give them a fiery upgrade.

All you need to do is stir in some Sriracha sauce as you heat your baked beans to enhance their taste. Cheap Recipe Blog notes that the amount you add will depend on your own preference, and advises that you put Sriracha sauce into your baked beans little by little. It's wise to taste each time you add in another helping of Sriracha sauce. You don't want to end up with beans that are too hot for you and your guests to handle.

To make a serving of Trader Joe's Smoky Sriracha Baked Beans, the grocery store chain combines canned baked beans with bacon, onions, and TJ's Organic Sriracha & Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce. After heating the canned bean mixture for 40 to 50 minutes, let your spicy legumes cool down a bit so you can top them "with cilantro, chives, or parsley," before serving to your barbecue or cookout guests. Baked beans: They're so hot right now.