The Dolly Parton-Approved Trick for Making the Best Sweet & Smoky Baked Beans

A pot of baked beans rounds out any summer barbecue or potluck. Soft and tender beans draped in a sweet and smoky syrupy sauce is a quintessential summer side. The one issue? Most baked beans take hours in the oven to cook and on sweltering summer days, that's less than ideal.

Low and slow is one of the fundamentals of Southern cooking but if your cookout needs to happen soon, there's a way to make great-tasting classic baked beans without heating up the kitchen—and it comes straight from Dolly Parton and her cooking and country music-loving team at the Dollywood amusement park. The Dolly Parton-approved way to make quick baked beans is to cook them in the microwave. 

Related: Dolly Parton’s Secret Ingredient for the Fluffiest Scrambled Eggs

Why You Should Make Baked Beans in the Microwave

Making baked beans in the microwave may not be super traditional but it is easy and insanely fast. How fast? We're talking 10 minutes! In Dolly Parton's recipe for microwave-baked beans featured in her 1989 cookbook, Dollywood Presents Tennessee Mountain Home Cooking, she calls for canned beans, which add to the convenience.

Related: The One Pantry Staple Dolly Parton Can't Live Without

How to Make Baked Beans in the Microwave

Here's how to make basically instant baked beans exactly like the Smoky Mountain Songbird. Simply put diced onions and cut-up pieces of bacon in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on medium for 2 minutes on medium power. Add a can of pork and beans, 3/4 of a small bottle of ketchup, one teaspoon of dry mustard, and a quarter cup of brown sugar. Microwave for 4 minutes on high. Stir the mixture and microwave again for 4 minutes on high.

Related: Dolly Parton Shared the Official Recipe for Dollywood's Famous Cinnamon Bread, and It's Totally Worth the Hype

Best Dolly Parton Recipes for Grilling Season

Serve your Dolly-ed up baked beans with a few more diamond-grade recipes from the Iron Butterfly, like her coleslawcornbread or biscuits.

Up next: Patti LaBelle’s Secrets for Making the Best-Ever Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich