Kielbasa and jazzed-up beans make up the base of this casserole and it’s all topped off with delicious and cheddary cornmeal biscuits.
I always tell everyone that one of the best things to have on hand in your fridge or freezer is kielbasa because you can do so much with it.
There’s another benefit to it to–it’s great for days you’re not really into cooking and want a fast meal. And that meal can be anything from simply heating the sausage up and having a side to making quick skillet meals like this tasty Smoked Sausage with Cheesy Rice.
Lately, I’ve been craving kielbasa served the simple way–with baked beans. However, I wanted to get a bit more adventurous with the beans. Sure, they sell them in a whole variety of flavors, but I wanted to create my own.
An old friend who was a short-order cook once told me that the secret to her BBQ beef strips was nothing more than the addition of pancake syrup. Hard to believe, but it’s true. When she put it on the menu, it was standing room only at the diner. I wondered whether this would work for the beans as well (with the addition of other ingredients). It did.
I got the idea for the biscuits from an old–and I mean OLD–recipe from a Pillsbury Bake-Off from the 1950s. The casserole in question was topped with a cornbread-like biscuit. That recipe was much like a batter where the topping was something like a pancake. I wanted biscuits and I wanted cheese in them.
Since I don’t fuss with biscuits from scratch and I hate to roll them out even more, I used baking mix and did drop biscuits.
The result was a simple-to-make casserole that was delicious and done in 30 minutes. This one is a real family pleaser and totally kid-friendly–even the grown-up kids!
- 1 pkg(14-16 oz) kielbasa or smoked sausage, cut in ¼-inch pieces
- 1 can (28 oz) baked beans (see NOTES)
- ¼ cup BBQ sauce (see NOTES)
- 2 tbs pancake syrup -OR- maple syrup
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbs water
- ¾ cup baking mix (i.e. Jiffy or Bisquick)
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- ⅔ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tbs oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a 11 x 7-inch baking pan
- Mix the beans, BBQ sauce, pancake syrup, mustard and water in a large bowl. Add the kielbasa and stir until combine.
- Place bean mixture in prepared pan.
- In another bowl, mix the baking mix, cornmeal, cheese and sugar. Stir in the oil and milk--DO NOT OVERMIX.
- Drop biscuit mixture by heaping tablespoon-full on top of bean mixture.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the beans are heated through and the tops of the biscuits are browned.
I always use Sweet Baby Ray's Original (or the store equivalent) BBQ sauce