When I was growing up, Beanee Weenees were a novelty item…Mama bought them sometimes, but not a lot. And I know why now. Have you SEEN how much those little boogers cost? It’s outrageous. I mean, it’s BEANS AND WEENIES IN A CAN! It’s not exactly caviar. You can’t blame that on inflation because IT’S BEANS AND WEENIES IN A CAN…which are still cheap foods even 30 years later. I have renamed this recipe to Beenie Weenies – so you won’t confuse the two. 😉 Plus, it’s how I like to spell it. The two EEs are just weirdo.
Mostly my mom would just make her own Beanee Weenees (see, it’s weird) and she still does that for us sometimes. She would cut up hotdogs and mix them with cans of Pork ‘n Beans. To this day, I still love them. My Grandmaw would always keep cans of them for the kids – and my Papaw…but sometimes you just get things at grandma’s house that you don’t get anywhere else. It’s like Vegas.
Now I’m making my own BEENIE WEENIES (see, much better). I don’t really rely much on canned beans since I cook mine from the dry state in the crock pot. This recipe is super easy, super delicious, and pretty cheap – and kid happy. Even Andy approves, minus the hot dogs because his Mama is a freak show about giving hot dogs and choking. Amen.
After I soak my beans overnight, I drain, add new water, and boil for about 1 ½ hours until they are almost completely tender. Cooking them in advance before popping them in the crock lets you know that you won’t have hard beans for dinner…because sometimes they take a looooong time in the crock. And sometimes they don’t. They’re ornery, those dried beans.
Could you just cook this on the stovetop? Well sure. But I like cooking mine long and slow in the crock – it gives them a different flavor because they’re marinating in that lovely juice all day long…and making me hungry. Cooking in the crock means I snack a lot. Maybe I should put it out on the carport.
After the beans are done, you’re just going to slap all this in a crock and let it cook for about 8 hours. I love cooking the weenies in with the beans – it really lets all the flavors mingle – and who doesn’t want mingling beans and weenies?
This recipe is easily customizable – you can make them hot by adding cayenne or hot sauce. You can add any seasonings you like. I leave mine pretty mild for the kiddos – but Barry and I never hurt to lick our bowls clean. I like salsa in mine – I also like them plain. Nutritional yeast is pretty tasty on top – or sugar-free barbecue sauce would also be quite tasty…but I’m stuck on the salsa.
Now, let’s talk hot dogs for a minute. Our family likes these from Oscar Mayer. They’re a bit better than some of the cheap-o hot dogs. They’re nitrate free. Yes, they are still mass produced hot dogs from a large company. But hey, we like hot dogs and so we eat them occasionally…I’m not worried about death by Oscar Mayer. We also LOVE LOVE LOVE the chicken hot dogs from Trader Joe’s. Fab-u-lous!
So, let’s not have any nasty comments about my choice of weenies, okay? 😉 Pick whichever weenies your family likes. Moving on!
If you like your mixture thick, you might need to add some cornstarch or arrowroot to thicken. I added just the TEENIEST amount of gluccomannan (a thickener made from konjac root) to thicken…but depending on your crock, you might not need it. Some let moisture out and it will thicken itself – mine does not.
You’ll get about 7 cups total for this batch. I say that’s 5 servings because we eat about 1 ½ cups each…except the kids – they don’t. Pansies.
Crock Pot Beenie Weenies
- 2 cups Great Northern beans, soaked overnight
- 4-5 hot dogs, sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 – 1 ½ cups water (I swish mine around in the tomato sauce can to get all the stuff out)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup, sucanat, or ¼ teaspoon stevia extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- Additional seasonings or toppings as desired
- Drain soaked beans.
- Bring to a boil in a medium sized saucepan (NOT IN YOUR CROCK ON THE STOVE).
- Cook 1 ½ – 2 hours or until just barely tender. Drain.
- Combine beans and remaining ingredients (minus toppings) in 4-5 quart crock.
- Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours.
- Thicken if desired.
Yield: 5 servings