If You Only Buy One Thing at Costco This Month, Let It Be This Canned Staple

updated Jun 28, 2022
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Credit: Heather McClees

As Kitchn’s resident Costco expert, I share my pick for the best bulk buy every month. Most of my picks from summers past are still shoppable — like lemons, strip steak, and big bags of whole bean coffee — and this season, I’m adding another forever-contender to the list. Funnily enough, I almost overlooked this summer staple because it’s one I keep stocked in my pantry no matter the season: Bush’s Baked Beans! Yes, the canned staple is the must-have item of the season.

Here’s why, if you buy just one item in bulk this month, it should be Bush’s Baked Beans.

Credit: Patty Catalano

Bush’s Baked Beans, $9.99 for 8 (16.5 ounce) cans

Bush’s baked beans are perfectly cooked white beans in a sticky-sweet and savory sauce. Most nights I take it easy, going the heat-and-eat route: Stovetop baked beans are simple to make, and the slow cooker and Instant Pot versions require even less hands-on help. The ease of opening a can — especially when the beans inside taste as good as these — make these a weeknight winner and consistent party attendee.

Of course, there are ways to dress up this supermarket shortcut to make the side dish your own. You can, for example, enhance the savory side by stirring in strips of crispy cooked bacon. (I often reheat leftover strips from weekend breakfasts or cook a rasher or two in the microwave.) Another way to liven things up? Maple syrup and molasses are key sweeteners in baked beans, and nobody will be mad at an extra drizzle of the sweet stuff.

Once you’ve stocked up on baked beans, you’ll want to round out the cookout menu, too. Slow-cook a Boston butt for pulled pork sandwiches, and serve the beans on the side or spoon them over the top for a side dish plus sauce in one. Fire up the grill for BBQ baby back ribs and make sure there’s a side of cool and creamy coleslaw on the side. British baked beans aren’t quite the same as the American style, but in the privacy of my own home I’ve been known to add a spoonful of Bush’s to the plate alongside eggs and toast

What is your favorite way to eat baked beans? Tell us in the comments below.