One Pot Bean Dinner

One Pot Bean Dinner

This one pot bean dinner is like chili without the chili, meat and beans are the main ingredients with a few other things added for a rich smoky flavor. Maybe you could call it BBQ beans, but it’s not so dark and vinegary, it’s smoky and sweet, with only a touch of vinegar and three types of beans.

For the general public I call this dish one pot bean dinner, among old boat friends it’s vinegar bean stew but at home it’s known as Oma bean dinner because the recipe originates from my Oma. I don’t know where she got the recipe, but it has the feel of something you’d find on the back of the box. When I was first cooking on boats I made a lot of things from my childhood even if I didn’t have the recipes, when I made this I winged it and it ended up a bit sharper than I intended and a bit BBQy so it was dubbed vinegar bean stew. So even though this is a family recipe and I love the way it is written I’ve tweaked it to more of my style but still holding to the real feel of the original. This recipe doubles really easily and makes for great leftovers, so make a big batch of this and dive into your pantry staples.


One Pot Bean Dinner


  • 1/4 lb bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb ground turkey or beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 28 oz pork and beans with juices
  • 15 oz can kidney beans, drained
  • 15 oz can white beans, drained
  • ¾ c ketchup
  • 6 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 c water
  • 1 ½ tsp. liquid smoke
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt


  1. In a large pot add the chopped bacon and cook until crispy, remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
  2. Remove most of the bacon grease and save for later, if you are using ground turkey leave a a few extra tablespoons. Brown the ground meat and remove from the pot.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of bacon grease back to the pot and caramelize the onions.
  4. When the onions are cooked to your satisfaction add the cooked ground meat and bacon back to the pot along with the remaining ingredients.
  5. Simmer the pot of beans for 1 hours stirring occasionally to prevent the beans from sticking to the bottom.
  6. Serve while hot with steamed brown bread.

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