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Beans ‘N’ Franks

Can I be frank? July is also National Hot Dog Month, so it just made sense to make July 13th National Beans ‘n’ Franks Day in the U.S.! Also known as “beanie weenies” both dishes are similar to pork ‘n’ beans, but substitute frankfurters or hot dogs for the pork in the baked bean dish that Americans of all ages enjoy!


While the origins of this special day are unknown, it is the perfect excuse to whip up a Beanie Weenie dish for dinner or lunch.

Dating back to the Civil War, baked beans emerged as one of the very first canned convenience foods. It is unknown who originally added franks to beans. Van Camp’s owns the Beanie Weenies name. Other brands are sold under alternative names such as Franks & Beans.


There are many recipe variations for Beans ‘n’ Franks; however, the traditional recipe consists of baked beans, hot dogs, brown sugar, onion, mustard, BBQ sauce, and spices. You can make them yourself or buy canned baked beans to bring to picnics or to serve at lunch or dinner at home.

Navy Bean

The navy bean got its current popular name because it was a staple food of the United States Navy in the early 20th century. The navy bean is a type of kidney bean also known as the Boston bean or Yankee bean. These small white beans are perfect for making baked beans. Navy beans are small, pea-sized beans that are creamy white in color. They are mild-flavored beans that are dense and smooth.

The navy bean is considered both a vegetable and a protein food, making it a healthy addition to your diet. Each cup of cooked beans contains 15 grams of protein per cup. One cup of cooked navy beans contains 19 grams of fiber, meeting 76 percent of your daily value for fiber. Not only are navy beans a good source of protein and fiber, but they can also help you meet your magnesium and folate needs. The navy beans also contain 1 mg of manganese or 48 percent of the daily-recommended intake. Some of the health benefits of manganese include a benefit to healthy bone structure, bone metabolism, and helping to create essential enzymes for building bones. It also acts as a co-enzyme to assist metabolic activity in the human body. Navy beans also offer a generous amount of the B-vitamin folate, at 255 micrograms or 64 percent of the recommended daily intake per serving. Folate helps you make red blood cells and plays an essential role in cell growth.

Watch Out for Sodium

Consuming a diet high in sodium is linked to the development of hypertension and increased risk for heart disease. Canned vegetables, including canned beans, contain higher amounts of sodium than their fresh or less-processed counterparts. However, these beans still contain all of the valuable nutrients as their dry counterparts and can be part of a healthy diet. To reduce the sodium content in canned beans, simply drain and rinse them before consuming or adding to recipes.

If you don’t like hot dogs, make the dish with ham, spicy sausage, or turkey ham. Alternatively, use chicken or turkey hot dogs. If you want to avoid the preservatives in many brands of hot dogs, choose uncured hot dogs.



Beans n’ Franks

Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Servings: 4 servings


  • 2 slices bacon chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 medium sweet onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound smoked sausage or premium hot dogs sliced
  • 3 16 ounce cans pork and beans
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp hot sauce


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a Dutch oven, cook bacon until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Add onion to bacon drippings and cook until soft. Drain remaining fat.
  • Add garlic and smoked sausage or hot dogs and cook until browned.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Place Dutch oven, uncovered, in oven and cook for 45 to 55 minutes, until thick.
Beans and Franks

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Extension Educator:
Vicki Hayman – (307) 746-3531

University of Wyoming Extension

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Extension Educator:
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Issued in furtherance of extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kelly Crane, Director, University of Wyoming Extension, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Wyoming Extension, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071.

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