This easy, family-friendly recipe for Pork and Beans, also know as Franks & Beans, is made in a crockpot or on the stove top for an easy classic American meal! Perfect for 4th of July and Summer barbecues!
Super Easy Pork and Beans In A Slow Cooker
Whether you’re hosting a backyard cookout, epic barbecue, or relaxing on an easy family afternoon, pork and beans is a classic! Using a handful of simple and budget-friendly ingredients, you’ll want to make it again and again. Set it and forget it in your crockpot or whip up a batch in no time in your Instant Pot! You can also keep it on the stove top and leave it to simmer away. This recipe is very forgiving and easy to make your own!
There’s a variety of different flavors in this meal that all strike a tasty balance. Salty, smoky, and sweet, it’s a dish that will satisfy any taste or preference. We like to add hot dogs and good thick bacon, but you can also add a small pork shoulder roast.
Have I mentioned how low maintenance this recipe is? All we need to do it fry up some bacon and mix it together in a slow cooker with beans, onions, and hot dogs to create a hearty side dish or main. It can be prepared in the morning (or even the day before!), left to cook all day in the crockpot, and then you can dig in that evening!
What are Pork and Beans?
I’m sure you’ve seen canned pork and beans at the grocery store before. Each recipe in the canned version varies, but they all contain a mix of beans, tomato sauce, and pork. It’s a classic American recipe that has never strayed far from its simple roots.
The canned version can easily be elevated with a few extra ingredients, just like in this recipe! I’ve added bacon, onions, chili beans, and some sweetness for a spin on the classic.
I’ve made this recipe as easy and budget-friendly as possible. With the welcome addition of canned ingredients, it won’t take you any time to prepare!
This is all you need to make my Crockpot Pork and Beans:
- Canned Pork And Beans (I like to use Van Camp’s Pork & Beans.)
- Red Kidney Beans
- Chili Beans
- Hot Dogs
- Yellow Mustard
- Brown Sugar
Canned Beans vs. Dried Beans
We’re trying to achieve the easiest possible recipe, which is why this recipe calls for canned kidney beans, chili beans, and pork and beans. This low maintenance option cuts out time and effort!
If you would prefer to use dried kidney or navy beans, make sure to simmer them on the stovetop until just tender. Drain the beans, then add to the crockpot.
How to Make Pork and Beans
This recipe is perfect to start in the morning and enjoy in the evening! Pack it up for potlucks, barbeques, or 4th of July parties.
Here’s how to make pork and beans in a slow cooker:
1. Fry The Bacon: Over medium-high heat, in a large frying pan, cook the bacon and onions until bacon is crispy and onion is translucent. Drain the fat or save it in a jar for other recipes.
2. Drain The Beans: Drain the canned kidney beans and rinse them underwater. Add the kidney beans, canned pork and beans, and chili beans to the crockpot.
3. Add The Rest: Next, stir in the sliced hot dogs (if using) into the bean mixture, then add the ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, honey, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
4.Cook In The Crockpot: Transfer the bacon and onion mixture into the slow cooker and give it one last stir. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve while hot.
How to make in an Instant Pot:
Set the Instant Pot to Saute mode. Add the bacon and onion with some oil and saute until crispy. Drain the grease. Add the kidney beans, canned pork and beans, chili beans, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, honey, and salt and pepper to the Instant Pot, then stir to combine.
Secure the lid, close the steam valve, and cook on Manual/High Pressure for 15 minutes. When done, natural release the pressure, carefully open the lid, then stir the mixture.
How to make on the stove top:
Use a large heavy bottomed pan, follow all steps until it comes time to add everything to crockpot. Instead, add all ingredients as directed to the stovetop pan.
Cover with lid and simmer on low, for 2 hours, stirring often. Ensure your heat is on low so your Pork and Beans do not burn!
Optional Oven Method: You can also start them on the stove top and move them to the oven to bake on low, 275° for a couple of hours. This will save you space on the stove and make it where you don’t have to worry as much about them burning!
More Tips for tasty Pork and Beans
- Elevate pork and beans by using boneless pork shoulder roast or salt pork instead of hot dogs and bacon. It’s delicious and easy to do as well! This recipe is classic and can be made fancier or kept very easy and simple with hot dogs and bacon.
- Add some heat! Throw in 1 or 2 sliced jalapeños to give your frank and beans some spice! You can also use serve them with diced (fresh or pickled) jalapeños on the side for those who like to add the heat.
- Easily make this recipe vegetarian-friendly by swapping out the bacon, canned pork and beans, and hot dogs for veggie dogs and canned pinto or navy beans.
- Serve the pork and beans hot and fresh out of the crockpot as a side dish with broccoli salad and sweet potato fries or as a main dish! The options are endless!
Making Pork and Beans Ahead of Time
You can make pork and beans up to 1 day ahead of time. You can cook them fully and reheat the mixture in a crockpot on LOW, or on the stovetop. OR you can prep them up until the time where you cook them and instead cover and refrigerate the bean mixture. Cook the following day according to recipe directions.
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. You can also freeze pork and beans by letting it come down to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months, let it thaw in the fridge overnight, and reheat on the stove or microwave.
How to serve:
This is an excellent recipe for a summer barbecue, potluck or party. The Pork and Beans stay hot in the crockpot with no extra work from you. I like to serve this recipe with other great party favorites: Greek Pasta Salad, Easy Broccoli Salad, Homemade Mac and Cheese and quick Refrigerator Pickles. For dessert, I have to recommend my favorite Banana Pudding or if it’s the right time of year, this fun patriotic 4th of July cake!
- 1 cup (8 slices) cooked bacon, crumbled
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 2 cans (11 oz) pork and beans
- 1 can (16 oz) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15.5 oz) spicy or mild chili beans
- 4 hot dogs, sliced, optional
- 1⁄2 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup honey
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large sized skillet, over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and onion together until bacon is crispy and the onion is translucent. Drain the extra fat.
- Add the kidney beans, canned pork and beans, and chili beans to the crockpot. Stir in the sliced hot dogs (if using) into the bean mixture, then add the ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, honey, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Transfer the bacon and onion mixture into the slow cooker and give it one last stir. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve while hot.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 362Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 784mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 5gSugar: 50gProtein: 10g
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