smoky chuckwagon beans & potatoes {slow cooker meal}

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Simply Potatoes for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

This time of year, things speed up a bit. With kids back in school (homework and field trips), fall holiday preparations (decorating, scheduling, Pinterest benders) and the regular working parent daily duties… we could all use a big, deep breath and a couple of shortcuts. I’m feeling the time pinch so my slow cooker is my best friend. I have been putting my slow cooker on super-duty and today I’m sharing an absolute staple recipe in my home this fall – slow cooker Smoky Chuckwagon Beans & Potatoes.

smoky chuckwago beans cowboy beans and potatoes #SimplyPotatoes

Currently, the whole family is sick. ugh. There is such a real progression over time when it comes to getting sick, right? When I was a little kid, being sick wasn’t so bad; it meant I got to stay home and watch Price Is Right and soap operas with my mom. As an older kid and young adult, being sick meant missing out on things, which was not so great. Once kids come into the picture, being sick means EVERYONE in your family is about to also become sick, which is monumentally awful. Keeping everyone fed during the busy fall season, especially when you’re all sick, can be a struggle, but this is why we have a slow cooker to set and forget.

I make chuckwagon beans (also called cowboy beans) on average every 2 weeks. They are hearty, smoky and absolutely perfect for your easy fall menu. As the weather cools, this recipe will only become more relevant and more beloved.

smoky chuckwagon beans and potatoes slow cooker #simplypotatoes

I’ve been adjusting this recipe over time and just recently started adding potatoes and the carb addition is a good one. This week, I used potatoes two ways: in the slow cooker and also crisped up as a topping. To keep this meal easy as possible, I used Simply Potatoes, refrigerated, prepared potatoes proudly made by the Crystal Farms Company. These shredded hash browns are perfect to keep in the fridge for breakfast, but they work for all kinds of other meals like those you make in the slow cooker – no scrubbing, no peeling and no shredding!

chuckwagon beans #simplypotatoes

Just look at how crispy these can potatoes get!

slow cooker cowboy beans #simplypotatoes

Chuckwagon beans are all about infusing flavors, which is why they are so perfect for slow and low cooking in the slow cooker. I use a trio of meats (ham shank, bacon and pork chorizo) and some powerful flavor infusers: bay leaves and a jalapeno. Leave the jalapeno whole and when it comes time for dinner, everyone will be fighting over it!

slow cooker chuckwagon beans and potatoes #simplypotatoes

You can find Simply Potatoes in the refrigerated dairy section, usually near the eggs. For more ideas, check out Simply Potatoes on Pinterest and these Simply Potatoes Recipes!


Simply Potatoes is generously offering one lucky ITKM reader a CrockPot for making this and other slow cooker meals this fall!

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Smoky Chuckwagon Beans & Potatoes

  • 29 oz canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 4 oz pork chorizo, casing removed
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/2 ham shank
  • 1 bag Simply Potatoes
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke < — secret weapon!
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cilantro for garnish
  1. In a slow cooker, combine onion, beans, garlic, jalapeno, ham shank, 1/2 bag Simply Potatoes, water. Cook on low for 5 hours or high for 2 1/2 hours (an additional hour will be needed as well).
  2. Cook the bacon in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until almost crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Wipe down the pan andcook chorizo over medium heat until crisp, about 1 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chorizo and drain on paper towels.
  3. Add bacon and chorizo to the beans and cook for an additional hour on low.
  4. When the beans are about done, pan fry the other half of the Simply Potatoes in a cast iron skillet as directed on packaging. Serve on top of beans with chopped cilantro.

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  1. Donna L
    September 24, 2015 at 4:36 am — Reply

    I would make beef stew.

  2. Sheila K.
    September 24, 2015 at 5:02 am — Reply

    I’ll make a pot roast!

  3. Lee McKeon
    September 26, 2015 at 7:54 pm — Reply

    I would make vegetarian bean chili!

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