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Weight Watchers’ Recipes: baked beans with frankfurters

American comfort food

One of my favorite meals when I was growing up on the farm consisted of hamburger, mashed potatoes and pork and beans (even though I slipped the pork to our dog). My mom always selected the Campbell’s brand, so I did, too, while it was still available.

While the time and place of the invention. of pork and beans is unclear, it was well established in the American diet by the mid-19th century. The 1832 cookbook The American Frugal Housewife lists only three ingredients for this dish: a quart of beans, a pound of salt pork and pepper.

Commercially canned pork and beans were introduced in the United States during the 1880s. The dish is "an American canned classic, and is recognized by American consumers generally as an article of commerce that contains very little pork.

According to the 1975 Better Homes and Garden Heritage Cookbook, canned pork and beans was the first convenience food. Try this recipe for a homemade version of baked beans with frankfurters, another version of pork and beans.


  • 12 ounces cooked dried white beans
  • 1 medium apple or small pear, cored, pared and diced
  • 1 medium green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 ounce finely diced onion or scallion
  • 2 tablespoons catsup
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • Few drops hot sauce
  • 5 canned medium tomatoes, crushed
  • 6 ounces frankfurters, sliced


  1. In a shallow 2-quart casserole, combine first 7 ingredients.
  2. Top with tomatoes and frankfurters.
  3. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
  4. Divide evenly.
  5. Makes 4 midday meal servings.

Each serving is equivalent to: 3 ounces Legumes; ¼ serving Fruit; ¾ cup Vegetables; ¼ ounce Limited Vegetable; ¾ serving Something Extra (1 ½ teaspoons catsup); 1 ½ ounces Frankfurters.*

Variation: Substitute 6 ounces sliced Canadian bacon for Frankfurters. Substitute 1 ½ ounces “Beef” Group (cured) for Frankfurters in equivalent listing.

*Based on Weight Watcher rules in 1978 when the Weight Watchers’ New Program Cookbook by Jean Nidetch was published.

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