Cowboy Beans are a hearty side dish made with ground beef, bacon, onion, peppers, brown sugar, baked beans, and barbecue sauce. Try my Simple Country Baked Beans for another sweet and savory baked beans side dish.

Cowboy Beans Recipe in Pot

Cowboy Beans

What are cowboy beans? The name most likely came from the days when pioneers traveled along the trails and needed quick, easy, and filling foods. Beans last for a long time, and they can be made with just some water, so they were the perfect staple for extended journeys. By adding the ground beef to this recipe, it makes the dish even more filling!

Raw Ingredients for Cowboy Beans Recipe

Cowboy Beans Ingredients

Ground Beef: I prefer ground beef in this recipe; but, you could definitely try ground turkey as a substitute.

Bacon: Cook and crumble the bacon before adding it to the pot. To make this easy (with little clean-up), bake the bacon ahead of time on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet for 18-20 minutes at 415°F.

Seasonings: I added a little bit of garlic salt and onion powder to the mix.

Baked Beans: Choose two 28-ounce cans of your favorite brands of baked beans. We used Bush’s Original Baked Beans.

Barbecue Sauce: As with the baked beans, choose your favorite kind of barbecue sauce. Or, use this homemade BBQ sauce

How to Cook Cowboy Beans Recipe

How to Make Cowboy Beans

This side dish, or what could even be a lighter meal, is a heartier dish than just a bowl of baked beans. Plus, it has both a sweet and savory flavor. Make sure you have a heavy bottom, oven-safe pot, like a Dutch oven, that has a lid. We used a 4-quart size. The pot will go from the stovetop to the oven.

First, add the ground beef, onion, bell pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder to the pot over medium heat. Cook until the beef is no longer pink. Next, drain the excess liquid.

Then, add the cooked bacon crumbles, brown sugar, baked beans, barbecue sauce, and dijon mustard. Stir to mix all the ingredients together. Finally, cover the pot and transfer it to the oven to bake for about an hour. When the cowboy beans are done, the beans will be hot, bubbly, and thickened. Serve warm.

Spoonful of Hot Cowboy Beans

Can I Freeze Baked Beans?

Yes! This recipe does make quite a bit, so you can easily freeze the leftovers. Be sure to let the side dish cool completely before putting it into a freezer-safe container. Label and date the container; they will last up to 6 months.

More Side Dishes

5 from 12 votes

Cowboy Beans

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cowboy Beans are a hearty side dish made with ground beef, bacon, onion, peppers, brown sugar, baked beans, and barbecue sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced (approximately 1 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (this is optional – you could omit)
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) baked beans, we used Bush's Original Baked Beans
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a 4 quart, heavy bottom, oven-safe pot (like a Dutch oven) over medium heat, add ground beef, onion, bell pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder. Cook until the hamburger is no longer pink. Drain the excess liquid.
  • Add cooked bacon crumbles, brown sugar, baked beans, barbecue sauce, and dijon mustard. Stir to incorporate all ingredients.
  • Cover and bake for 1 hour. (When done, the beans should be hot and bubbly and thickened.) Serve warm.

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You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.

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Reader Comments

  1. I make mine similar to these I use dry pinto beans and make them into baked beans and black beans also.. use some roast as the meet from leftovers or cut up sausage can be added… with all the peppers and sweet peppers and some red pepper flakes and a jalapeño best EVER

  2. Just made this! Absolutely amazing! Although instead of baking i transferred added it all into my crockpot for a few hours on low!! So good!

  3. We have made this for years but put it in a baking dish and covered it with canned biscuits. Place in the oven and bake until biscuits are just about done. Cover biscuits with cheese and return to the oven until the cheese is completely melted

  4. 5 stars
    Had my 1st taste of these beans at my friend’s house and was hooked immediately.
    So happy to finally have the recipe !!

    1. 5 stars
      Amanda, these are the best Cowboy beans I have ever tasted 😋!!!!!!!! My family devoured every last bite. Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe 😊😋

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