My Secret Family Recipe: Minnillo Beans

It’s football season and that means get togethers at our house. I love cooking and entertaining for Nick and his friends! They eat EVERYTHING and never complain, haha! The best crowd! One dish I stumbled upon that they seem to love and request each week is a baked bean recipe. My stepmom made a version of this growing up, and I added a few tweaks with ground turkey and turkey bacon. Nick and I prefer the taste of turkey, and without even realizing it, I made the recipe healthier. Win, win!

Minnillo Beans is an easy side dish that you can toss into a slow cooker, go about the rest of your diner preparations, and have a delicious finished product without any real brainpower. I always appreciate recipes that can be made in a Crockpot because they allow me more time to hang out with my babies and catch the football game! So if you’re looking for the perfect Sunday night football dish, look no further. Let’s get cooking!

Minnillo Beans


  • 28oz can baked beans
  • 16oz can kidney beans
  • 16oz can lima beans
  • 1-2 pounds ground turkey
  • 8-10 slices turkey bacon
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard


1.I start with the beans! Drain the kidney and lima beans of their juices, but keep the baked bean juices to add a little extra flavor to the recipe.

2. In the meantime, cook the bacon and brown the ground turkey. I pat the bacon dry of any grease before I chop it up into pieces. Also, make sure you drain the ground turkey when its cooked. This makes it a little healthier! (I’ve also seen a recipe where you can use real bacon and use the bacon grease to brown the onions. Yum! Might have to try that sometime!)

3. Chop the onion and add it into a slow cooker with all the other food ingredients.

4. Once all of your food ingredients are combined in a slow cooker or dish, add the ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar and dry mustard. This makes your BBQ sauce. Give it a good stir to blend all the ingredients and flavors! * One of my favorite parts about this recipe is that I substitute store bought BBQ sauce and essentially make my own. I feel like it’s the “it” factor that sets this recipe apart and it’s so easy!

5. I like to use the low setting on my slow cooker for 4-6 hours – it’s so yummy and low maintenance! All you have to do is stir every now and then. If you prefer to use the oven, you can use a 9×13 dish, cover it in foil, and pop it into a 350 preheated oven for 2 hours. This recipe is simple to make ahead of time and refrigerate until putting it into the oven too!

6. Voila! Homemade Minnillo Beans!

Since I was inspired by my stepmom, Donna Minnillo, I kept the name for the recipe! I made this before I was a Lachey. Now I need to create a Lachey bean recipe. Hmmm… Any ideas?


Photos: Stephanie Todaro for
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