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Baked Beans and Meatballs

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2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (16 ounce) package frozen meatballs
1 (16 ounce) can baked beans, undrained
1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup water

Baked Beans and Meatballs

  • Medium

About This Recipe

Winter is coming early to the upper Midwest. We are supposed to get accumulating snow tomorrow and later this week; this is very unusual for mid-October!

So of course I am thinking of the most comforting and warming foods.

One of the easiest and most comforting dish in my repertoire is Baked Beans and Meatballs. It sounds absolutely unchic, and it is, but so what? Eat what you like, not what pundits tell you you should like or eat. Sometimes, even the hippest person needs to sit down to an uncomplicated meal that is easy to make.

My mother used to make things with baked beans because we liked them, because they were inexpensive, and because they are nutritious, to a point. She would combine them with pork chops; that’s a meal I make to this day. Beans provide lots of fiber and are a good source of phytochemicals that may help prevent the risk of cancer. They are also a good source of folate, magnesium, and zinc. And they taste great and are inexpensive. What’s not to like?

But on a cold fall night, with rain snicking against the window, you aren’t thinking about folate or phytochemicals; you want comfort and flavor and you want it in a hurry. That’s where this recipe comes in.

If you still feel you have to include something trendy, here’s a tip. I recently found a fabulous Heinz ketchup that has caramelized onions and bacon in it. Use that in this recipe!

Enjoy every bite.

Tips for the best recipe:

  • Because this recipe is so simple and uses prepared ingredients, there aren’t a lot of ways it can go wrong.
  • But there is one risk: burning. Baked beans are high in sugar, and sugar can burn when heated. It’s important to stir this mixture often. Scrape the bottom and sides of the pan with the spoon as you stir so nothing sticks and burns.

Why this recipe works:

  • The sweetness of the beans complements the savory flavor of the meatballs.
  • As the frozen meatballs thaw and cook, they add flavor to the dish.
  • The simplicity of this dish is its charm. Kids will love it; you can leave out the mustard if you’d like for a more mild flavor.



In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.


Add the meatballs; cook and stir for a minute or two.


Add the baked beans, kidney beans, ketchup, mustard, and water and stir.


Cover and simmer for 15 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently, until the meatballs are heated through and the mixture has thickened slightly. Serve.



Linda is a home economist who has authored 48 books (47 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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