Every time I make a dish like this two things happen. First, I wonder why on earth I do not make sweet savory beans more often. I just LOVE Cowboy Beans and Party Beans and they ALWAYS go over so well with the fam and guests.
Then second, I think about the beans my family used to make every fall that everyone just loved and it takes me back to the year I was old enough to go on the annual marathon Christmas shopping trip with my mom, grandma, aunt and cousin. The beans spent the day cRockin’ while we were shopping and the men were out hunting. Then we would all come back together at the end of the day to a yummy pot of beans.
Crock Pot 3 Bean Casserole Crunch
Now, these beans have a yummy twist. They have the same yummy goodness we all know and love on the bottom, but before serving, they are topped with shredded cheese and crushed up Chili Cheese Fritos for the CRUNCH part of this recipe.
The idea for this recipe came from my recent “falling back in love” with my favorite casserole cookbook from Gooseberry Patch– Best-Ever Casseroles. I have long listed this cookbook as one of my all time favorites, but since starting Recipes That Crock I haven’t cooked from it in a while. Then my girlfriend Liz told me I should totally be converting those recipes to crock pot recipes if I loved them so much… and I had an aha moment and here we are ;).
3 Bean Casserole Crunch
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 6 Slices Bacon Diced
- 1 Onion Chopped
- 1 Green or Red Bell Pepper Chopped
- 1 Tbsp White Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Mustard
- 1/2 Cup Ketchup
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar Packed
- 15 oz Can of Kidney Beans Drained and Rinsed
- 16 oz Can of Chili Beans
- 15 oz Can of Pork and Beans
- 1 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar
- 1 Cup Crushed Chili Cheese Fritos
- Brown ground beef with bacon, onion and peppers.
- Drain and mix with remaining ingredients except cheese and chips.
- Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
- Before serving top with cheese and chips
A couple of notes:
- We just tossed the cheese and chips on at the end and it melted just fine before it was time to eat. If you want your cheese super-duper melty before serving, just put it on the beans in the crock 10-15 minutes before serving and it should melt up. But hold off on your Fritos until serving time.
- If you want to make these in the oven instead, after your browning step, mix all ingredients in a bowl except for the cheese and chips and pour into 3 quart casserole. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes then top with cheese and chips and bake until bubbly.
- Feel free to substitute ingredients based on taste and diet, however, I do not know how the dish will turn out or taste other than as described in this post.
Slow Cooker Recommendation
This dish would crock up beautifully in a casserole crock if you have one. You could even finish it off in the oven if you wanted to using that model. However, since there is a browning step we love to use one of our stove top slow cooker models – keeping it a true, one-pot dish. Then there is the ultimate in browning slow cookers, a model that allows you to do the browning step IN the unit itself. Of course, any 5-6qt slow cooker would work just fine as well.
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