Quick & Creative Uses for Baked Beans

April 17, 2015 Quick & Easy

How many times have you served canned baked beans as a side at a picnic? They're a natural pairing for burgers, hot dogs, fried chicken and other picnic foods. Baked beans aren't just for summertime parties, though! You can use them to make quick and easy meals all year long.

*Tip: The baked bean isn't the only versatile legume out there. Black beans and pinto beans work well in countless recipes.

Baked beans aren't just for summertime parties. You can use them to make quick and easy meals all year long.

Add them to tacos. Want to add some flavor and fiber to standard tacos or stretch that pound of ground beef? These tacos, which combine beef and canned baked beans, are a great way to do it. The prep is super easy, and everyone at the table can customize his own tacos. Using the beef-and-bean mix as a base, and either hard or soft shells, your family can choose from a variety of provided toppings to make their unique creations.

Enjoy them for breakfast. Baked beans for breakfast? Yep, you can do that. Keeping with the south-of-the-border theme, these burritos fit a lot of protein and flavor into one easy-to-eat package. This recipe captures all your favorite breakfast flavors: sweet, maple-flavored baked beans, savory eggs and bacon, and zesty peppers. Best of all, it takes only about ten minutes to make — perfect for a busy morning.

Give them an exotic twist. Chinese five-spice powder (a blend of star anise, cloves, ginger, Sichuan pepper and fennel) gives the beans in this dish a unique, sweet-and-spicy flavor. If you prefer dark meat, use chicken thighs instead of breasts. (That's what I do!)

Make it all in one pot. Really strapped for time? Combine rice, beans, rotisserie chicken, corn and black beans with a can of baked beans, and you'll have a delicious, filling dish with only one pot to clean and just a few minutes of work. Vegetarian? Omit the chicken.

Baked beans don't have to get second billing in your meal. With these recipes, they're a simple, delicious main attraction.

MeetJulie Niesen

View all articles by this author