Slice of Life, Memorial Day

May 24, 2011
Please note: fresh fruit and vegetables need to be inspected for insect infestation. Please consult our guide

Please note: Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. The Orthodox Union makes no endorsements or representations regarding kashrut certification of various products/vendors referred to in her articles, blog, or web site.

When you’re planning for a Memorial Day barbecue or picnic it’s usually all about who’s bringing the paper plates, what kind of veggies to toss in the salad and is 3 pans of brownies enough to make it through the weekend. What you never plan for is rain.

Yes rain. The buzz kill of all things picnic and barbecue. Rain ranks right up there with discovering poison ivy in your “ all natural” flower arrangement, a red fruit punch dropped on your white carpeting by the neighbor kid you didn’t invite but showed up anyway and my personal favorite and one I can actually lay claim to, accidentally locking yourself out of the house 20 minutes before everyone shows up.

If you have the weather channel you’ll probably have enough time to reconfigure a day that’s supposed to be filled with gardening, opening the pool and firing up the grill. Instead you’ll end up feeding/entertaining people who were supposed to be outside watching the kids’ cannon ball into the pool and not watching all 500 laps of the Indy 500 in your 9 foot by 9 foot family room.

Never fear that a day will be ruined because of a little precipitation, if there is good food to be had, it will be a good day. Fabulous Memorial Day food can always be cooked inside on a grill pan or under the broiler. They are of course, made perfect when they are accompanied by baked beans.

The following recipes for baked beans are all delicious and perfect for a lazy day inside or out. They run the gamut from super easy to OMG there are too many ingredients but OMG this is delicious. Happy Summer!

Doctored Baked Beans (pareve)

Serves 4 to 8 depending on how many cans of beans you use

This recipe is loosey goosey with the amounts. Tweak it to your heart’s content.


  • 1 to 2 (28 oz.) cans baked beans
  • 1 to 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoon oil
  • ½ to 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • ½ to 1 cup hickory smoked and brown sugar barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mustard (optional)

Instructions – Oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In an oven-proof pan saute onion in the oil and when it’s soft add the mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce and brown sugar.
  3. Mix to combine and then stir in the beans. Mix to combine.
  4. Cover the pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Instructions – In the Microwave:

  1. If you’re a microwave kind of person just dump everything in a large microwavable bowl
  2. Mix to combine
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for about 15 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling and hot throughout.

Easy Onion and Beef Baked Beans (meat)

6 to 8 servings


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 2 (16 oz.) cans baked beans
  • 1 (16 oz.) can kidney beans, drained
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 cup catsup
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoon mustard


  1. In a large pot brown the meat.
  2. Drain the excess fat and add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
  3. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can also preheat an oven to 375 and bake the beans in a covered container for 30 to 40 minutes.

Submitted by George Manfrid Indianapolis IN, Modified from

Paula Deen’s Southern Baked Beans (meat)

6 to 8 servings

If it’s a Paula Deen recipe you can expect luscious and delicious and lots of calories.


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cans baked beans
  • 3 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ lb. kosher breakfast beef strips, cut into ½-inch pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a Dutch oven, combine onion, baked beans, mustard, maple syrup, light brown sugar, ketchup and lemon juice; mix well.
  3. Top with the kosher breakfast beef pieces.
  4. Bake, covered, 45 to 60 minutes.

Modified from a Paula Dean recipe

Hot Dog and Baked Bean Casserole (Meat)

6 servings


  • 1 green bell pepper cut in ½-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 can (about 16 oz.) baked beans
  • 1 (12 to 15 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 lb. hot dogs cut in ½-inch pieces


  1. Preheat oven 350°F
  2. In a skillet, sauté onion and green pepper in vegetable oil for about 5 minutes, or until onion is tender
  3. Stir in beans, corn, tomato sauce, chili powder, and mustard
  4. Add sliced hot dogs and stir to blend ingredients
  5. Pour hot dog and beans mixture into a lightly greased 2-quart casserole.
  6. Bake, uncovered for 25 minutes.

Modified from

Tomato and Hamburger Baked Beans (Meat)

8 to 10 servings


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 (28 oz.) cans of baked beans
  • 1 (15 oz.) can of diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 4 to 6 slices of kosher breakfast beef


  1. In a skillet brown the hamburger and then drain the excess fat.
  2. In A 5-qt. casserole dish mix 1 can of the baked beans, diced tomatoes and brown sugar.
  3. Add the cooked ground beef but don’t mix it in.
  4. Layer the onions on top of the meat and then layer the kosher breakfast beef on top of the onion.
  5. Spoon the remaining can of baked beans over the top of the kosher breakfast beef and cook, uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes.

Root Beer Baked Beans (Meat)

6 servings

This recipe was sent to me by a reader who swears they are the best she’s ever eaten


  • 3 kosher breakfast beef slices, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 (16-oz.) cans baked beans
  • ½ cup root beer (not diet)
  • ¼ cup hickory-smoked barbecue sauce
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. In a skillet cook the kosher breakfast beef until its crisp and then remove it and crumble it
  3. Drain all but about 2 tablespoons of grease from the pan
  4. Saute the diced onion the kosher breakfast beef grease until they are tender, about 5 minutes
  5. In a large baking dish combine the cooked onion, crumbled kosher breakfast beef, beans, root beer, barbecue sauce mustard and hot sauce
  6. Bake, uncovered, 55 minutes or until sauce is thickened

Modified from Southern Living OCTOBER 2004

Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer who was born and raised in the Chicago area. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes weekly columns for the Chicago Jewish News, and the OU Shabbat Shalom Website. She is the author of the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim) and is a contributing writer for the Chicken Soup for the Soul Book Group, Chicago Sun Times, Detroit Free Press and Woman’s World Magazine. You can visit Eileen’s blog by clicking: Cuisine by Eileen

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.