Three bean hotdish recipe, a classic potluck recipe fancied up a bit. From Cheap Recipe Blog

I’m on track to post one hotdish recipe a year. So far, this is what I have:

This year? A classic three bean hotdish fancied up just a bit.

About The Recipe: Three Bean Potluck Hotdish

This was a popular dish in my family growing up, and variations of this Midwestern comfort food always show up en masse at church potluck dinners.

I hope I don’t offend anyone when I say that the classic three bean hotdish is a little boring.

The other week, I decided to make my own version that’s a little bit spicier and more flavorful than the traditional baked bean + hamburger variety. I added chopped jalapeño peppers, sriracha sauce, bacon, and some other good stuff.

A Minnesota/South Dakota church potluck dinner

The thing about a hotdish like this is that it’s super adaptable. Once you’re done mixing all the ingredients together, feel free to add more spices and sauces to make it your own.

Serve with cornbread and honey-butter to make this meal extra special.

Three bean potluck hotdish, from Cheap Recipe Blog

Money-Saving Tips

If you have a well-stocked pantry, you probably have all the ingredients on hand for this hotdish. Here are some ideas for making this hearty dish more affordable:

  • Purchase the bacon from the grocery store salad bar (I paid just 17 cents for 1/2 cup!)
  • I paid 69 cents for one red pepper at Trader Joe’s. When you find them on sale, purchase several, chop them up, and freeze for future use.
  • Double this recipe, and place any extra into individual-sized containers for lunches throughout the week (or freeze any extra for up to two months).

Want more Minnesota hotdish recipes? Here are 30+ of them – something for everyone!

Three bean hotdish recipe, from Cheap Recipe Blog

Three Bean Hotdish

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. You probably have most of these food items in your fridge or cupboard right now. Also, this dish feeds a small army and is actually quite affordable.


  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped bacon (purchased from the grocery store salad bar)
  • 1 15-ounce can butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small can baked beans (8 or 10 ounce)
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped green onion, for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Place ground beef, onions, red pepper, and jalapeño pepper in a large frying pan. Cook over medium-high heat just until beef is cooked. Place beef mixture in a large mixing bowl. Add bacon and beans. Mix in barbecue sauce, brown sugar, sriracha sauce, red wine vinegar, and garlic powder.
  2. Pour into a casserole dish. Place in preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven, top with cheese, and return to oven for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven. Top with green onions and serve.

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