The End of No Buy January: Brown Bean Casserole


So it is the end of No Buy January. My freezer, pantry and refrigerator are ready to be cleaned. There are a few stray items left and now it is time to decide what to throw away or move to the front and use. This last day was particularly tough for me.

I had a turkey that I planned on roasting on Sunday and using for the last three days of the month. Notice it says “planned.” When we went to dress the turkey it was still frozen solid! After two and a half days in the refrigerator it had barely thawed at all. Ugh. We thought about doing the cool bath method of defrosting but it was still too frozen for even that.

We punted and found pork chops and a package of ground beef. Monday we had the Korean pork chops and then there was the ground beef left. For 2 days we tried to cook this turkey but it was frozen solid. I guess a 20 lb. turkey can take more than 3 days to unthaw.

I sent my son down to the pantry to dig up what he could. He found a can of Bush’s Homestyle beans, a can of tomatoes, some barbecue sauce and green beans. Even he came upstairs saying there is not much left down there.

So, a brown bean casserole it is.


My family thought it was fun. It is your typical Cowboy Casserole made with a can of beans and barbecue sauce to make it easier. I think it is because I rarely serve tater tots anymore my family devoured this. I had a bag of crowns in the freezer (thankfully) as we are out of rice, potatoes and pasta. I had my son make this. We talked through what we could mix together to make a good casserole and he did it all.

We served this with a side of green beans.


Brown Bean Casserole

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 (28 oz) can Bush’s Baked Homestyle Beans
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 2/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 (2 lb.) bag frozen Tater Tot Crowns
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. Preheat oven to temperature on bag of frozen tots. Spread tots on a rimmed baking sheet and begin cooking them. You want them to begin to brown and become slightly crispy about 10-12 minutes.
  2. Prepare a 13 x 9 casserole dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Start to brown ground beef in a large skillet. Break the ground beef into tiny pieces as it cooks. Drain any fat from the pan.
  4. Add beans and barbecue sauce to ground beef and stir well. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
  5. Place bean mixture in bottom of casserole dish spreading to cover bottom of pan.
  6. Place partially cooked tater tots on top of the bean mix (spreading to cover the top of the dish).
  7. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until fully heated through and cheese on top is becoming lightly brown.
  8. Allow casserole to rest for 3-5 minutes before serving. Serve with extra barbecue sauce for topping if desired.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Pat Grattan says:

    You are too clever for words! And this sounds pretty decadent in a good way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      πŸ™‚ Thank you! Hope you are healing well!


  2. elliebleu says:

    Yum. You just inspired me to clean out my refrigerator. We might have a “chopped” night and see what casserole we can come up with. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      πŸ™‚ I have to do freezer and pantry twice a year to avoid those mystery meat packages and unlabeled cans from appearing. Have fun!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. elliebleu says:

        Lol. Yeah it will be interesting what I find. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent save Kat! And yes, I give my 20-pound turkeys at least 5 days minimum to thaw in the fridge, 6 is even safer.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. caglechick87 says:

    Wow this looks super yummy as well as frugal. I will be making this for my family soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you. Yes, trying to clean out my pantry and freezer twice a year makes me get creative (and I love frugal!).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. caglechick87 says:

        Awesome it seems like I am always on a pantry challenge right now. We are trying to pay off our house and money is tight.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. koolaidmoms says:

          So, understand that!


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