Baked beans have long been associated with inexpensive cooking. Boston Baked Beans, in fact, became a standard dish in the early days of this country because dried beans were inexpensive and easy to store and prepare. Native Americans most likely invented the dish; European settlers added molasses and pork. The type of bean usually used in baked beans is the navy bean, a small white bean that has a mild flavor. The product may be called "pork and beans" in your area. You can find it in vegetarian form, and made with pork in the traditional fashion.
I always have a couple of cans of baked beans in my pantry. They're delicious as a side dish, or combined with any type of meat to produce a hearty main dish.
Baked Beans with Meatballs
This extremely simple recipe cooks in your crockpot and provides an excellent and hearty meal at the end of a long day. You can make this spicy if you'd like by adding some chopped jalapenos, hot sauce, or cayenne pepper. And you can make it with chunks of uncooked chicken thighs. Cook until the chicken registers 165 degrees F on a meat thermometer. It should take 6-7 hours on low.
Crockpot Pork and Beans
My mother used to make a variation of this recipe decades ago. She baked it in the oven; I've translated it to the crockpot.
Savory Hot Baked Bean Dip
This fabulous appetizer recipe will be a real hit with the guys. Make it for Super Bowl Sunday and don't forget lots of sturdy chips and crackers!
Hungry Boy Casserole
If you have some hungry boys in your house, this is the casserole for you! It stretches a pound of ground beef to serve eight people. And it's luscious and fun to make.
Sweet and Spicy Beans with Dumplings
Rich cornmeal dumplings top a veggie filled bean mixture and simmers to perfection in less than 15 minutes. You could add some cooked ground beef, meatballs, or pork sausage to this casserole if you'd like.
Crockpot Chili Dogs
Chili dogs can be made with baked beans! The recipe will be milder than if you'd used chili, but you can add chili powder, cayenne pepper, or other hot ingredients to increase the heat level.
Baked Bean Sloppy Joes
Baked beans are the perfect ingredient to add to Sloppy Joe Sandwiches. I always toast the sandwich buns when I make this recipe because the crunch is a nice contrast to the rich and creamy sandwich filling.
Baked Beans with Sausage
Any fully cooked sausage (or sausage you've cooked yourself) can be used in this excellent skillet recipe. I myself prefer Polish sausage because I love the flavor and spices.
Baked Beans Quesadillas
A can of baked beans, some cheese, and corn tortillas make a fabulous quick snack that's easy enough for kids to make themselves.
Baked Beans on Toast
And finally, this classic English recipe has been popular for years for good reason. It's delicious, inexpensive, and fast to make. If you use vegetarian beans and whole wheat toast, you've got a complete protein.