For years, my mother made this savory-sweet bean dish. I was always thrilled when it was on the menu, and now I serve it often to my own family. You can vary the types of beans used, if you wish.
Since there's food galore during the holidays themselves, I like giving this zippy mix as an after-Christmas present instead. I just slip the containers of seasoning, beans and rice into a decorative paper bag. A recipe card completes the package.
I discovered this recipe several years ago at a church function. The combination of flavors is tantalizing-this dish is a real crowd-pleaser! The kidney beans, chili beans and corn chips all represent the cooking of the West/Southwest region. This dish is great for your family, or for family gatherings.
I've made these zesty beans many times for picnics and potlucks—they're hearty and zippy with chili pepper and the extra flavor of lentils in the ban mix. The recipe can be made ahead and heated before serving.
—Arthur Morris, Washington, Pennsylvania
"I modified this recipe to suit my family's taste," notes Marge Glassic from Easton, Pennsylvania. "It's a great side dish for a backyard barbecue with hamburgers and hot dogs. It can be made in advance and kept warm in a slow cooked for hours without losing any flavor."
Janet Doherty’s sweet Sidesaddle Pork ‘n’ Beans makes a hearty, lickety-split side dish and brings real barbecue flavor to the table any time of year. “My family loves this recipe and always requests it for special get-togethers or holidays,” adds the Belpre, Ohio cook.
The flavors in this stew work so well together that you'll never miss the meat. Cilantro, honey and garlic are an ideal matche for the black beans and fresh vegetables. —Marilyn Waters of Outing, Minnesota
Since my husband raises hogs and my parents produce maple syrup, this recipe's a natural for me! I usually prepare Maple Baked Beans just for us during the winter. In summer, I'll often make it for family picnics and get-togethers.
Whipped up by our Test Kitchen, this colorful combination of beans, summer squash, tomatoes and spinach makes a bright addition to any meal. Topped with roasted almonds and served warm, this tasty side dish is sure to be requested often!
This recipe is popular on both sides of the border. It came from a friend in Alaska, then traveled with me to old Mexico, where I lived for 5 years, and is now a potluck favorite in my Arkansas community. It's easy to keep the beans warm and serve from a slow cooker.
-Barbara Short, Mena, Arkansas
"This recipe came from a family reunion of mostly Mennonites. It is over 30 years old," Jane Bone shares from Cape Coral, Florida. "You can choose different beans, according to your family's tastes, but keep the pork and beans as a base. I often take a big pot of these to large gatherings or pitch-in-suppers, and everyone enjoys them."
"You can substitute a variety of beans—such as soybeans, pinto or navy beans—in this versatile dish," suggests Elizabeth Bowen of Harbor Beach, Michigan. "It's a healthy and tasty alternative to sweet-and-sour pork or chicken," she adds. "I like to serve it over brown rice."