Protein and Pick a Bean

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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2 pounds protein of your choice, such as pork chops, chicken, pork tenderloin, beef, lamb or tofu

Salt and pepper 

5 tablespoons oil or other fat 

4 strips bacon, diced 

1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1 small) 

2 cloves garlic, minced 

3 teaspoons spices, such as a blend of chili powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, paprika, chipotle and cayenne (based on what you have) 

Two 15-ounce cans beans of your choice, rinsed  

1 cup tomato product of your choice, such as sauce, crushed, diced, etc. 

1 cup liquid of your choice, such as beer, wine, water or stock 

1/4 cup mustard  

1/4 cup maple syrup or brown sugar, optional  


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Season the protein with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the oil or fat. When hot, add the protein to the skillet and cook until brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.  
  3. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until cooked through, 150 degrees F for pork, 165 degrees F for chicken, 145 degrees F for medium beef, 145 degrees F for medium lamb and the tofu is warmed through. 
  4. Meanwhile, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until almost crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, garlic and spices and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the beans, tomato, liquid, mustard and maple syrup or brown sugar, if using, and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the mixture begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. 
  5. Serve the protein with the pick a bean mixture. 

Cook’s Note

For more ingredient substitution ideas, see the article below.