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Partytime Beans

A friend brought this colorful bean dish to my house for a church circle potluck dinner. As soon as I tasted the slightly sweet slow-cooked beans, I had to have the recipe. I've served the beans and shared the recipe many times since. —Jean Cantner, Boston, Virginia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 10 min. Cook: 5 hours
  • Makes
    16 servings (1/2 cup each)


  • 1-1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15-1/2 ounces) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15-1/4 ounces) lima beans
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15-1/2 ounces) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained


  • In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 10 ingredients. Stir in the beans and peas. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours or until onion and peppers are tender. Discard bay leaves.

Partytime Beans Tips

What meat goes with beans?

This vegetarian bean recipe also tastes great made with meat. Add crumbled cooked bacon or turkey bacon, crumbled cooked ground beef or Italian sausage, or sliced smoked sausage or hot dogs to the beans.

What goes with beans for dinner?

One dish I love to eat with baked beans is Slow Cooked BBQ Pork Ribs. Another good option is Barbecued Chicken, or sometimes Crispy Fried Chicken. Just add corn on the cob, coleslaw or other easy picnic side dishes and you have a feast!

What other variations of this bean recipe can I try?

Some of our readers prefer this bean recipe with half the amount of brown sugar. Another reader doubles the beans but not any of the other ingredients, which also results in a dish that's less sweet. Add the ingredients you love, whether it’s caramelized pearl onions, chopped cooked ham or diced jalapenos. Note the changes you enjoy or that you want to try next time you make the dish, and soon you’ll be creating your own recipe like a pro!

Research contributed by Christine Rukavena, Taste of Home Book Editor
Nutrition Facts
1/2 cup: 166 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 528mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (15g sugars, 7g fiber), 6g protein.

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