Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

BBQ on the Side When it comes to BBQ, chefs are upping their sides game, leaning into the plant-based phenomenon and offering their guests big flavor with modern takes of traditional sides like barbecue beans

This Moonshine-Laced Baked Beans with Sweet Potatoes stand out with a signature, boozy profile (see recipe below)
PHOTO CREDIT: Bush's Best

Isn’t it always barbecue season? It’s certainly a fan favorite, and this time of year cries out for a taste of barbecue. Although center of the plate gets a lot of attention, sides are just as important.

Today, chefs are upping their sides game, leaning into the plant-based phenomenon and offering their guests big flavor with modern takes of traditional sides like barbecue beans. Here are few of our favorite sightings on menus today.

  • q Brisket Meatballs: Panko, Parmesan cheese, corn grits
    q, Chicago
  • Cornbread Madeleines, baked fresh to order and served with syrup
    Blue Smoke, New York
  • BBQ Beans with shredded pork
    Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, based in Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Burnt End Baked Beans
    Fette Sau, New York

Recipe: Moonshine-Laced Baked Beans with Sweet Potatoes

See recipe

  • 1 #10 can of Bush’s Best® Bean Pot Vegetarian Baked Beans
  • ½ cup Molasses
  • ¾ cup Moonshine
  • 1 Onion, medium, white, half-moon sliced, then caramelized
  • 4 Sweet Potatoes, medium, boiled then smashed

Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot, heat to 165 degrees F, serve hot.

Yields 32 ½-cup servings.

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About The Author

Jillian Werb

Digital Editor for Flavor & the Menu magazine. Based in Portland, Maine, and surrounded by good food.