Connie Staal doesn't have to ring the dinner bell twice when these Western-style beans are on the menu. Using lean ground beef makes the entree lighter on calories, but not on taste. "Since I began fixing lighter meals for my husband, I've learned lots of tricks to lower the fat in foods," she writes from Greenbrier, Arkansas.
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VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 8 cups hot water (150° to 160°)
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) pork and beans
- 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed tomato soup, undiluted
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- In a nonstick skillet, cook the beef, celery, green pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Using a slotted spoon, place beef mixture on several sheets of white paper towels; drain. Let stand for 1 minute. Blot top of beef mixture with additional white paper towels. Transfer half of beef mixture to a fine mesh strainer over a 1-1/2-qt. bowl. Pour half of hot water over beef. Drain for 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining beef mixture and hot water.
- In a bowl, combine the pork and beans, tomato soup, water, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard and beef mixture. Transfer to a shallow 2-1/2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 40-50 minutes or until heated through and mixture reaches desired thickness. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Chuck Wagon Beans in Light & Tasty June/July 2004, p19