Nothing will take you back to childhood faster than whipping up a batch of Easy Skillet Beanie Weenies; it’s like tasting memories.
Ahh Beanie Weenies are one of those foods straight out of childhood.
Plus they’re as easy to make as pouring a bowl of cereal or a making PB&J.
What are Beanie Weenies?
Well, the name is pretty easy to deduce, beans and weenies, aka hot dogs, aka frankfurters.
They were originally known as beans n’ franks but someone, somewhere along the way, got cutesy with the name and beanie weenies was coined.
What type of beans are used in frank and beans?
There are as many version of this dish as there are ways to make mac n cheese. Classical speaking, beanie weenies are made with baked beans.
However, a simple can of pork n’ beans will work too.
You can use homemade baked beans like my skillet baked beans or a canned/pre-made baked beans.
I found myself with a lot of extra baked beans after a canceled gathering (damn you Covid-19.) And as much as I love them, man cannot live by beans alone.
Add some hot dogs and game on.
Making beanie weenies
Grab a package of your favorite hot dogs and slice them like coins.
Toss them in a hot skillet and let them get a nice sear. They can render some serious fat, so drain that off.
As I mentioned, I used my leftover baked beans which are cooked with strips of bacon atop. I chopped up the bacon and mixed it right in to this dish, but it’s not required.
Simply warm it through and serve. To make us feel a bit fancier, I garnished with some fresh parsley, but again, totally not required.
Tips and adaptations for making skillet beanie weenies.
As I mentioned, there’s literally countless ways for making what’s probably the easiest recipe that really shouldn’t be a recipe, recipe.
Here’s a few tips, tricks, and adaptations for making this retro comfort food.
- Homemade baked beans may be a bit drier than you like, especially once reheating. To thin, add some ketchup, tomato sauce, tomato juice, tomato water, chicken broth, or plan ole water.
- Canned pork n’ beans like VanCamps can be used without doctoring. Just as tasty, and is probably closer to the childhood taste.
- Canned baked beans are generally thinner than homemade, so draining some of the liquid may be necessary, but that depends on your personal taste preferences.
Tossing a few other ingredients is pretty common. But tossing in too many things makes it a completely different recipe.
For example, adding in a little diced onion is still beanie weenies. But swapping out the hot dogs for ground beef, adding onion and bell pepper, well that becomes cowboy beans.
Here’s a couple of examples of cowboy beans from my amiga The Complete Savorist: a really retro-style stove top version with canned pork n’ beans and ground beef and a much fancier slow cooker (and Dutch oven) version using steak and a 15-bean mix.
Here’s a few common mix-ins:
- Brown sugar
- Barbecue Sauce
- Ketchup and/or yellow mustard
- Onion and/or garlic
- Salt and/or pepper
That’s really it. Beanie Weenies really is a humble and simple recipe.
Easy Skillet Beanie Weenies
- 10-inch cast iron skillet
- 8 hot dogs sliced (see notes)
- 6 cups baked beans (~48 oz of canned beans)
- Heat the skillet over medium high heat.
- Slice the hot dogs.
- Sear the hot dogs in the hot skillet for just a minute or two.
- Add the baked beans, stir well.
- Heat through, about 2 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy.