When the cowpokes are hungry, these vittles will keep your posse coming back for more. (*read it again, but in Sam Elliott's voice) Try Cowboy Baked Beans with Ground Beef tonight!
When you want that slow-cooked flavor, this recipe will hit the spot. Once it’s simmering, you can relax until it’s time to ring the dinner bell.
It’s potluck season, and you don’t know what to take. Cowboy Baked Beans with Ground Beef is the perfect solution for feeding a hungry crowd. And though it's simple to make, the flavors are incredible, so watch out for the stampede!
This hearty meal is easily cooked on the stove top, but also makes a great Slow Cooker recipe when you don’t feel like sweating over a pot or heating up the house.
I start making this early and use the crock pot, so that I will have plenty of time to make other dishes or set up for a gathering. And while this is a great meal for a party, I can guarantee you’ll want it for a family meal too, because it’s so easy, and, like with a good Chili recipe, it puts everything you need into one bowl.
Why You Are Going To Love It!
- This meal only takes 15 minutes of prep time so it is a cinch to make.
- You can use your crock pot for that slow-cooked flavor without tending a kettle all day.
- The flavors melt together, and the red pepper flakes give it a kick like a mule!
- It’s perfect with so many other dishes, thought it stands out. No fading into the background of other potluck dishes for THESE beans.
- Besides maybe Chopped Steaks and Gravy, there's about no more comforting hearty meal than a hot bowl of these beefy barbecue beans. Heck, you can almost close your eyes and imagine eating these after making camp out on the trail.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
- Bacon - Nothing replaces the flavor of bacon. Know that. Substitute turkey bacon or sausage only if bandits pilfered your bacon stash.
- Vegetables - Sweet onions and green peppers are the keys to this meal, but you can add in Anaheim peppers or even something with more heat if you like it hot.
- Ground beef - An 80-90% lean meat is perfect, but you can also use ground turkey or chicken if you must.
- Beans - We’ve got a combo of three beans for you, including baked, black, and kidney, but you can also add in pinto or your favorite. White beans work great with turkey.
- Sauce and spices - If you don’t want it as sweet, substitute ketchup for the barbecue sauce. Another twist on adding brown sugar is to add honey or maple syrup (the good stuff, not imitation). These spices enhance the entire dish of cowboy baked beans.
How To Make Cowboy Baked Beans with Ground Beef
- Sear meat - First, you need to cook the bacon in a skillet until it’s crisp, but keep the grease. After you finish the vegetables, you’ll brown your ground beef.
- Cook the vegetables - Back on the ranch, the cook always used the leftover bacon grease, and now, you are too. This adds another layer of smoky flavor to the final dish. It only takes about 5 minutes for the onions to become translucent.
- Stir in remaining ingredients - Once you finish with the meat and vegetables, you’ll add in the beans, sauce, and spices.
- Simmer until cooked - Turn down the heat and kick up your heels. (Unless you’re ready to make the side dish.) You’ve got 30 minutes before the posse gets these Cowboy Baked Beans.
- Serve - Can you believe it when I tell you this meal feeds up to 12 people? That’s quite a crowd who won’t go away hungry tonight.
Tips & FAQs for Making Cowboy Baked Beans with Ground Beef
If you’re using a Crock pot slower cooker, plan on letting this dish simmer for 4 hours, giving you even more time to get ready for your hoedown.
Cowboy Beans with Hamburger is great served as a main dish with a Garden Salad or some Amish White Bread. It also perfectly compliments Hamburgers, grilled chicken, or ribs, so keep this recipe in mind as a killer cookout side.
Got leftovers? Baked beans with hamburger can get stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. It’s easy to reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stove top. You can add these to some Nachos, or roll them up into a Burrito. Try adding a fried egg on top and these Cowboy Baked Beans to put some giddy-up in your breakfast.
Cowboy Baked Beans with Ground Beef
- ½ pound bacon (cut into ½” wide strips)
- ½ cup sweet onion (diced)
- ½ cup green pepper (diced)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 28 oz can baked beans
- 1 15 oz can black beans (drained)
- 1 15 oz can kidney beans (drained)
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon mustard powder
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Cook the bacon strips in a large non-stick skillet over medium low heat until crispy. Remove the bacon to a plate, leaving the bacon grease behind.
- Add the onions and green peppers to the bacon grease. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Remove the onions and peppers, combine them with the bacon. Pour off any excess bacon grease.
- Add ground beef to the skillet and brown over medium heat. Once the ground beef is browned, pour off excess fat.
- Add the garlic to the beef and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the bacon, onions and green peppers, baked beans and sauce to the pan with the ground beef. Then add the drained black beans and kidney beans.
- Then add in the remaining ingredients: barbecue sauce, brown sugar, mustard powder, vinegar, salt, red pepper and black pepper. Stir everything together.
- Cover and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.