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Great Depression Casserole

Great Depression Casserole

During the Great Depression, bologna became a staple in the diets of many who couldn't afford other types of meat. This Great Depression Casserole is a budget-friendly recipe that still tastes great today! With bacon, pork and beans, bologna, Cheddar cheese and more, this deliciously-easy casserole is full of savory and delicious flavors the whole family will love. Just because it doesn't cost a lot to make, doesn't make this casserole any less tasty! This is definitely an old-fashioned recipe that should stick around for a while.

Serves: 12

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pork and beans (undrained)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chili with beans
  • 1 1/2 pound bologna, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Cheap eats can be some of the quickest and tastiest meals around! See what other deliciously-inexpensive meals you can make tonight with our full collection of budget-friendly recipes.


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 3-quart deep baking dish.
  2. In a large deep skillet over medium high heat, cook bacon until it is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, onion and garlic and continue to cook and stir another 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to turn translucent. Add the bologna and cook for 5 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Stir in pork and beans and chili.
  3. Pour mixture into the baking dish, top with the cheese and bake for 20 minutes until it is bubbly and the cheese is melted.

If you need more budget recipes to get you through those weeks you need to save your pennies, try these 21 Classic Great Depression Era Recipes


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I just love cheap and simple recipes like this. I know that some might turn up their noses, but recipes like this sure can stretch a budget! My family has made something along these lines for years. If you don't have balogna, chopped up hotdogs work as well. It's also good without the cheese (I like a little ketchup on mine.) Is it healthy? No. Does it feed a hungry belly when money is tight? Definitely.

This recipe looks very easy. Great for me as Im very busy with my work. My eldest son (hes 13 y.o.) started to cook easy meals for our dinner. He cooks some easy recipes successfully. Pasta, potatoes, or eggs. Ill teach him to bake this casserole. From the comment I read, this casserole is yummy! )

We had no bologna so used chorizo in its place and we also had no pork & beans so used just a can of beans. I like that it was so simple to put together and make because we were busy with other things. It tasted really good and we were very happy with the meal.

I will have to make this recipe with some alteration of course. Hubby and I don' eat can meat so instead I will use ground turkey and canned beans. I am always trying to reduce my grocery bill and this recipe will help.

WILL CERTAINLY GIVE THIS ONE A TRY! HAVE ONE OF MY OWN, AS GOOD, WITH BOLOGNA FOR PORK CHOPS, FROM EARLY 1960S, WAS A TREAT. THO MY DAD WAS DISAPPOINTED IN THE SUBSTITUTION OF BOLOGNA GAVE ME MONEY TO BUY THE REAL PORK CHOP FOR IT! WAS THE OLD FAVORITE OF Rice, Soup or substitute, tomato, meat, I changes over the years, in many ways, as so versatile! The bologna is fun on occasion, reminding me of my dad and his help in lean years! he was born in 1898!!! And lived to age 74...the best cook of all, as his brothers and siser were taught by their German-French mom, my grannie! The pork chop version is our oldest son's favorite for birthdays, now 53, as all our kids call mom still for recipes of their childhood they think so great to pass along to their own families today. Ah the Great Depression be cherished! From Germany, France, Louisiana and Mississippi, Georgia to Florida and in between! Family Recipes rule!!!

From the picture and description, does the one and a half pound bologna mean a hunk of bologna and not the sliced kind. Like the sausage rings like kielbasa? I have never seen it. I haven't had bologna in a long time. From some of the comments, this dish sounds like it is worth a try. It's got cheese so that is a great start in my book.

Hi Ruthep! You are correct about the bologna. It would be in a round sausage hunk, much like kielbasa -- not the sliced deli bologna you might be more familiar with. Hope you enjoy this dish if you try it!

When I was a child and money was tight, we ate bologna every which way. Fried, with mashed potatoes,, with eggs, with beans, in melts with cheese, and i loved it. Some folks have to adjust and deal to eat. By the way, spam is an Hawaiian staple, it's delicious.

Nasty, I wouldn't feed my dog bologna! Might as well be eating spam.

What is wrong with bologna and spam??? Just because you don't like it doesn't mean others don't. And I'd bet your dog would love either of them.

This is an excellent recipe and reminds me of what my dad went through in the depression.

This is lasagna with jambon ,for another similar recipe.

When I watched the baking above,I want you to put lasagna vegan for comparison in daily review.

What a hearty, filling meal! Never would have thought to combine these flavors together!

I was pleasantly surprised by this dish. It tasted a lot like gumbo. I would make this again for dinner.


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