Cheating pork and beans is a crowd pleaser

This dish is called cheating pork and beans because it isn’t made from scratch.  |  Joan Airey photo

Whether prepared with pineapple, in bundles or as a cold salad, there are lots of delicious ways to serve this staple food

I recently helped feed a crowd of people and had requests for the recipes we used for the pork and beans we served.

Joyce Stewart shared this recipe with me years ago when she first own Harbourlights B & B in Vernon, B.C.

Since then she has retired and has helped me put together three cookbooks to publish. We call them cheating pork and beans because we don’t make them from scratch.

Cheating Pork and Beans

  • 2 28 oz cansHeinz deep brown pork and beans 828 mL
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion 120 mL
  • 10 slices bacon,cooked and chopped
  • 1 c. ketchup 250 mL
  • 1/2 c. molasses 120 mL
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar 120 mL
  • 1, 2, 3, or 4 glugs of dark rum

Mix all ingredients, place in casserole and bake, uncovered at 350 F (177 C) for one and half hours.

Recipe can be doubled and it freezes well. The rum is optional.

When I make this for a large crowd, I double the beans, use a pound of bacon and cook them in a slow cooker for four hours.

Hawaiian pineapple baked beans

The following recipe was shared by Jocelyn Beever at our town’s 100th anniversary several years ago. It’s my favourite recipe for pork and beans.

  • 1 lb. bacon, fried and cut up .45 kg
  • 4 15 oz. cans beans 443 mL cans
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 green pepper
  • 6 tsp. Worcestershiresauce 30 mL
  • 2 c. ketchup 500 mL
  • 1 c. brown sugar 250 mL
  • 1 can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • mushrooms, if desired

Mix everything together in large casserole.

Bake at 250 F (120 C) for three hours. Jocelyn and I cook them in our slow cookers on high for the same amount of time.

The recipe feeds 20 people.

We also use ham instead of bacon.

Also when I’m feeding a crowd and using a slow cooker, I double the cans of beans but not the rest of the ingredients.

Green beans bundles

If you want to serve a tasty green bean dish, this one is delicious.

  • 1 pound of fresh green beans, trimmed .45 kg
  • 8 bacon slices,partially cooked
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped onion 15 mL
  • 3 tbsp. butter 45 mL
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar 15 mL
  • 1 tbsp. sugar 15 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 1.5 mL

Cook the green beans until crisp-tender. Wrap about 15 beans in each bacon strip; secure with a toothpick. Place on a foil-covered baking sheet. Bake at 400 F (205 C) for 10 to 15 minutes or until bacon is done.

In skillet, sauté onion in butter until tender. Add vinegar, sugar and salt; heat through.

Remove bundles to serving bowl or platter. Pour sauce over and serve immediately.

Serves eight.

Crazy quilt bean salad

In season, you can use yellow and green beans from the garden cooked till tender in place of canned beans in this salad.

  • 1 14 oz. can green beans 414 mL
  • 1 14 oz. can yellow beans 414 mL
  • 1 14 oz. can kidney beans 414 mL
  • 1 14 oz. can lima beans 414 mL
  • 1 c. chopped celery (optional) 250 mL
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion 125 mL
  • 1/4 c. green pepper chopped (optional)

Drain the lima, yellow, and green beans. Drain and rinse the kidney beans well. Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl.


  • 1/4 c. vinegar 60 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 1.25 mL
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard 1.25 mL
  • 1 tsp. thyme 5 mL
  • 1/2 c. canola oil 120 mL
  • garlic salt to taste
  • 3/4 c. sugar 177 mL

Mix all ingredients together and pour over salad. Refrigerate until ready to use. This salad keeps well and tastes better made ahead of time.

Apple cider vinegar can be substituted for regular vinegar. It doesn’t hurt the flavour to cut the sugar back to a half cup.

About the author


Stories from our other publications