Nana’s Baked Bean Casserole (cleaned-up version)
By Donna&Danielle on November 15, 2015
I grew up with my mother making this baked bean casserole for parties and social gatherings. It was often requested and the recipe was always sought after. It is sweet and savory. Sausage and cheese paired with the beans and sauce make these baked beans unique. This dish can be baked in an oven but the oven was often occupied with other dishes so mom would cook it in a crock-pot (the crock-pot is my choice too). This also made it easier to keep warm on a buffet line and to easier to transfer to where ever the party might be. I have made this dish many times and folks continue to ask for it. However, it doesn’t quite fit into our clean eating lifestyle as it is filled with processed foods (yummy but not good for you). Therefore I decided to clean it up but keep the changes a secret to see if anyone noticed. Surprisingly, no one did. Everyone still raves about it! It is so good that it is easy to eat too much, so remember that even though it is cleaned-up it still has calories!
The major changes that I made included nixing the can of baked beans (replaced it with a can of organic northern beans), replacing all beans with organic beans; using a nitrate free minimally processed breakfast sausage and replacing processed American cheese with an organic Monterey Jack cheese. I also replaced the brown sugar with organic pure maple syrup which further cleaned up this dish without affecting the taste it was known for. I used organic ingredients if they were available. It is easy and quick to put together. Below is our cleaned up version of Nana’s Baked Bean Casserole. I hope you, your family and friends enjoy it as much as we do.
Nana's Baked Bean Casserole (cleaned-up)
A healthier baked bean casserole for the crock-pot
- ½ large onion, chopped
- 1 pound nitrate free breakfast sausage (bulk)
- 1 15 ounce can of organic great northern beans
- 1 15 ounce can of organic pinto beans
- 1 15 ounce can of organic navy or black beans
- 2/3 cup organic ketchup
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 -3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1 pound nitrate free, minimally processed breakfast sausage (bulk)
- ¼ pound cubed organic Monterey Jack cheese
- Spray a large frying pan with non-stick spray.
- Heat pan and add chopped onions. Cook stirring frequently until the onion is translucent.
- Add the sausage and cook until it is cooked through and crumbled. Drain fat from the pan.
- Transfer the meat and onions to the crock-pot.
- Add all three cans of drained beans to the crock-pot.
- Stir in the ketchup, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard. Mix well.
- Cook on low for 6 hours.
- About 10 minutes before serving, stir in cubes of Monterey Jack cheese
- Serves: 6-8
- If baking in the oven transfer ingredients to a casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Add the cheese cubes and bake for 15 more minutes.
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