This recipe is perfect for those last-minute cookout invitations.
It’s fast – for when you don’t have time to cook, or don’t have time for your trademark bean salad/potato salad/pasta salad to chill.
It’s easy, if you don’t feel like cooking.
And it’s inexpensive – less than a tub of hummus and a bag of pita chips. Yet it yields so much more food!
Plus, it’s nostalgic. Who didn’t grow up eating “Beanie Weenies” and enjoying a pot of franks & beans around a campfire? Classic Summer and Autumn cookout food!
The ratio I use is roughly three veggie hotdogs per can of baked beans, plus seasonings. Count on two main dish size servings per can if you’re eating at home; or three side servings per can at a picnic or potluck.
I prefer my franks and beans spicy and smoky; if you like yours sweeter, you may want to add a teaspoon or so of brown sugar or other sweetener per can of beans.
Ingredients for Fast & Frugal Franks and Beans:
For One Can Of Beans (2 Main Servings or 3 Side Servings)
1 15-oz Can Vegetarian Baked Beans, preferably organic
3 Links Vegan Hotdogs
1 1/2 Teaspoons Spicy Brown Mustard (or use plain Yellow Mustard for a milder flavor)
1 1/2 Teaspoons Ketchup
1/4 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke, preferably Hickory Flavor
1 Teaspoon Brown Sugar, Maple Syrup, Agave Nectar, or other sweetener (optional)
1/4 Cup Sweet Onion, chopped – plus more as garnish
For Two Cans of Beans (4 Main Servings or 6 Side Servings)
2 15-oz Can Vegetarian Baked Beans, preferably organic
6 Links Vegan Hotdogs
1 Tablespoon Spicy Brown Mustard (or use plain Yellow Mustard for a milder flavor)
1 Tablespoon Ketchup
1/2 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke, preferably Hickory Flavor
2 Teaspoons Brown Sugar, Maple Syrup, Agave Nectar, or other sweetener (optional)
1/2 Cup Sweet Onion, chopped – plus more as garnish
For Three Cans of Beans (6 Main Servings or 9 Side Servings)
3 15-oz Cans Vegetarian Baked Beans, preferably organic
1 Package Vegan Hotdogs (all 8 links)
1 Tablespoon plus 1 1/2 Teaspoons Spicy Brown Mustard (use plain Yellow Mustard for a milder flavor)
1 Tablespoon plus 1 1/2 Teaspoons Ketchup
3/4 – 1 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke, preferably Hickory Flavor
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar, Maple Syrup, Agave Nectar, or other sweetener (optional)
3/4 Cup Sweet Onion, chopped – plus more as garnish
Directions for Fast and Frugal Franks & Beans:
Cook the vegan frankfurters according to package directions. Let cool, then slice into coins.
Warm the beans in a large pot over low heat. Add the mustard, ketchup, and liquid smoke. Stir to mix. Add the onion and the hot dog slices. Hold off for the moment on adding any sweetener, as both the ketchup and the onions will add some sweetness. Stir again.
After about five minutes, taste the beans. Do you need to adjust the seasonings? You probably won’t need any salt, but sometimes a little more mustard and liquid smoke can work wonders. If you’re using sweetener, add it now.
Continuing cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10-5 minutes – until the beans are warmed through and the hot dog slices have had a chance to absorb flavor from the beans. Add a little water if the beans start to look dry.
Stir in extra onion immediately before serving to add a little crunchy texture.
Usually I swear by cooking my own beans. However, quick and easy are the keywords here, so I’m fine with using canned beans – especially when today there are so many varieties of vegan and even organic baked beans! A can of organic baked beans will run about $1.50 full price, $1.00 on sale. Non-organic beans cost even less. I always stock up on canned beans when they’re on sale, and I recommend you do, too. With canned beans in your pantry, you will never fear going hungry through the dreaded Charlotte blizzards.
My hot dog of choice is Lightlife Smart Dogs, which retail around $3.50 for a package of eight. I like them, my omnivore friends like them, and my dog, Scruffy, likes them. (He doesn’t like them as much as Cookout hot dogs, but he does like them.) Tofurky also makes vegan hot dogs but Scruffy will not eat them. Field Roast is said to make an absolutely delightful vegan hot dog, but I have yet had the pleasure of trying them. Morningstar Farms hot dogs are not vegan (contain milk and eggs).
3 cans of beans for $1 + 1 package of Smart Dogs for $3.50 = approximately $6.50 for nine side servings (assuming you already have condiments and onions).
One “side serving” of Fast & Frugal Beanie Weenies has approximately 14g protein and 17% RDV of iron (if using Harris Teeter Organic Maple Baked Beans and Lightlife Smart Dogs).