Alternative Uses for Canned Baked Beans

Baked beans take up to eight hours to bake, so the beans can absorb the pork fat, molasses and onions. Canned baked beans take no more than eight minutes to open and heat, less if you use a microwave oven. The beans are an expected side dish at summer barbecues along with coleslaw, corn on the cob and potato salad. Find alternative uses for canned baked beans as an entree, side dish or casserole.

  1. Chili

    • Chili often includes beans. If you've run out of canned pinto, kidney or whatever kind of bean you're using, substitute in a can of baked beans. The liquid, or sauce, of the baked beans is on the sweet side but one can won't alter the taste of the chili. Rinse off the beans if you don't want to include the liquid.

    Sausage and Meat

    • Combine the baked beans with sausage for a quick supper. Contrast the sweetness of the beans with the spiciness of Andouille sausage. Serve a sweeter apple chicken sausage with the beans and tart coleslaw. Sliced hot dogs in baked beans is a classic dish. Create a fast barbecue sandwich by adding 2 tbsp. ketchup and 1 tbsp. mustard to the baked beans to make it saucier. Cover a hamburger bun with 1/4 cup doctored beans. Add a few slices of roast beef, ham or pork and another tbsp. of the beans.

    Casserole

    • Use canned baked beans in any recipe that calls for cooked dried beans and that has some sugar as an ingredient. Eliminate the sugar since the sauce of the beans is sweet. Bake chicken thighs with quartered apples in baked beans. Brown ground beef, or a mixture of beef and pork. Add to the baked beans. Serve with white rice. Create your own version of three bean salad as a hot dish. Combine canned baked beans with canned string beans, pinto, kidney or great northern white beans. Do not drain the baked beans but do drain the other beans. Add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Cover with bacon strips and bake until the bean trio is hot and the bacon crisp.

    Amp Up the Flavor

    • Fry two slices of bacon. Add a chopped onion and saute until it's soft. Add 1 tbsp. of brown sugar and 2 tbsp. ketchup. Remove the bacon and crumble. Add one 15 oz. can of baked beans to the pan -- do not drain the bacon grease. Stir in the crumbled bacon. Heat until bubbly.

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