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3 Days of Meals From One Pot of Beans

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Looking for ways to stretch your grocery budget? Try these ideas for 3 Days of Meals From One Pot of Beans

This post has been updated from it’s original publication.

Who doesn’t love a good one pot meal especially if the leftovers make another meal, right!

Living frugally often is a result of living through hard times and doing what we have to do. What we learn from that is better ways to stretch our grocery budget. It’s just nice that there is less work involved most of the time.

More One Pot Meal Ideas To Try

One pot meals, as we call them can be also made in pan or the oven and are also called One dish dinners. See these recipes:

Broccoli & Sausage Macaroni Casserole is made in the Crockpot. It’s almost like everyone’s favorite Mac-n-cheese with sausage and broccoli. Even the kids love it.

We enjoy this recipe for Homemade Vegetable Soup any time of the year. It’s hearty and can be made on the stove top or in the Crockpot.

Foil pack dinners are a delicious way to make a one pot meal and you get to throw away the ‘pot’ when it’s done. Try our Campfire Chicken & Veggies or our  Zucchini, Red Potatoes & Drumsticks version. 

This one is quite old school and my Mom served this to us growing up. Great for Saturday’s. Crockpot Maple Beans & Franks recipe. 

This Crockpot Three Cheese Stuffed Manicotti is worth every second of the extra effort involved to make this yummy Italian meal. 

I’m seeing a pattern of making a meal in the Crockpot so let’s continue with this Corned Beef & Cabbage Recipe. We tend to enjoy this meal in the Fall.

Don’t forget to make those Chicken & Dumplings folks. They are rib sticking delicious in the winter. My Mom taught me a little cheat with the dumplings. 

Pinto Bean Chili recipe at Intelligent Domestications

Dried Beans

Cooking from scratch using dried peas and beans is just one way to stretch your grocery budget. It doesn’t have to be boring food that no one looks forward to though.  

Begin with One Pot of Beans

To achieve these 3 Days of Meals from One Pot of Beans, you will need to cook a big stock pot full of pinto beans on day one. I used 2 lbs. of Pinto beans.

Day 1

Pinto Beans & Cracklin Cornbread

We will cook 2 lbs of pinto beans.

It is necessary to sort through dried peas and beans to remove bad ones and believe it or not an occasional rock might show up. After sorting, rinse well.

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Cooking The Beans

Add washed beans to a large stock pot or Dutch oven like this one and cover completely with water. Season to taste. I always use ham pieces to season dried peas and beans. I save pieces of ham in the freezer for the couple times a year we bake a ham. You can also buy ham pieces in the meat department.

Bring to a boil, stir well and turn down to a lower heat to simmer. It will take several hours for the beans to be tender.

Pot Liquor

Beans soak up a good bit of water while cooking. Also, you want to create pot liquor which is the delicious liquid the water becomes in the cooking process so be sure to keep the beans covered with water during the cooking process.

Once the beans are done, dip out about half and divide between two food storage containers. Let cool and refrigerate. These are for our Days 2 and 3.

Make Cracklin Cornbread or Plain Cornbread 

We are preparing an old southern favorite for our first day which is simply Pinto Beans & Cracklin Cornbread. 

Serve your pinto beans in bowls with Cracklin Cornbread and you will enjoy an old southern budget stretching meal.

See our Cracklin Cornbread recipe below.

Day 2

Pinto Bean Chili at Intelligent Domestications


On Day 2 we are having a family favorite, Chili. It’s even better made with home cooked dried Pinto Beans. 

Download, Print or View our Pinto Bean Chili recipe here.

Day 3

Beef & Bean Burritos

Beef & Bean Burritos for Day three of our 3 Days of Meals from One Pot of Beans. Intelligent Domestications

  • Remaining beans from refrigerator cooked on day one.
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 1 can diced tomatoes & green chilies such as Rotel
  • 1 lb. ground beef browned and drained.
  • 1 pkg. Flour tortillas 

Add first four ingredients to a large skillet, bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Turn down to low and simmer about 20 minutes.

Stuff your tortillas and roll.They are ready to eat but they are just a little bit better with our next step which is optional.


Place rolled tortillas seam down into an oven safe dish. Top with shredded cheese and pop into 350º oven just until cheese melts. We don’t care for the hot sauce so we top ours with pico de gallo which comes from the produce section of the grocery store.

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3 Days of Meals from One Pot of Beans

Day One: Pinto Beans & Cracklin Cornbread

Day Two: Pinto Bean Chili

Day Three: Beef & Bean Burritos

Dried peas and beans are great for stretching the grocery budget.

Be sure to consider the large variety of dried peas and beans available at your grocery store. They are great for saving on the budget and very versatile for the menu. Check out our Hopping John recipe. It’s not just for New Years!

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Cracklin Corn Bread Recipe

Southern Cornbread Recipe. Sweet Southern Cornbread easy recipe. How to make delicious Iron Skillet Cornbread. #cornbread #easyrecipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 Cups Self Rising Corn Meal
  • 3 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk
  • 1 Egg Beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar optional
  • 1 Cup Cracklins, Soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained


  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Put oil in bottom of iron skillet, tilt the skillet around to cover the bottom well. Place the skillet in the oven just for a couple of minutes to preheat before adding the cornbread mix.
  3. Combine dry ingredients and mix well
  4. Add buttermilk and egg to the dry ingredients and stir until well blended.
  5. Stir in the cracklins.
  6. Pour mixture into preheated skillet. Bake about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

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    1. Thank you Kristen. It’s been years since I cooked dried beans. These meals were all quick, easy and good. I don’t know why I waited so long. We are going to make some Hoppin’ John soon!

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