Last Updated March 2nd, 2020 at 10:03 pm by Lisa
Cowboy baked beans have crispy applewood smoked bacon and browned hamburger cooked in a slow cooker or in the oven. An awesome party food recipe to make ahead for a large hungry crowd!
Ingredients for Cowboy Baked Beans:
How To Make Cowboy Baked Beans:
- Decide if you are going to make your beans in a slow cooker or bake in the oven (use a large dish or cast iron dutch oven).
What are Cowboy Beans?
A popular dish in the western United States Cowboy Beans are made with ground beef and a variety of beans in a slightly sweet and tangy sauce. Other types of meat can be used like bacon! They are like baked beans but not as sweet, and are a meal in themselves. They are made and served from slow cookers or crock-pots, or baked in the oven, depending on the recipe.
Although cowboy appears in the name, the use of canned beans, ketchup, and mustard, means the dish is unlike anything ranch hands would have eaten in the 19th century. Out on the trail, the chuckwagon cook soaked beans in a pot during all day and perhaps combined the beans with small bits of leftover meat, and maybe that is how Cowboy beans got their name? We will never know, but these are amazing!!! And the first time I tried them I couldn’t stop eating them…
What Kinds of Beans Can I Use?
Many recipes call for lima beans, and those work very well. Here are some different beans that your family will might like:
- butter beans (lima beans)
- pork and beans
- navy beans
- kidney beans
- black beans
- white beans (cannellini)
What To Serve With Cowboy Baked Beans?
Serve them hot in small paper cups with spoons alongside pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, or potato salad at your next party!
I first tasted these Cowboy beans at a 60th birthday party for close family friends and created this recipe for Cowboy beans, and they were an instant hit…Enjoy.
All The Best Dishes,
Cowboy Baked Beans
- 1 lb bacon applewood smoked
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 3 cans baked beans (don't drain)
- 2 cans kidney beans (drain)
- 1 can cannellini beans (drain)
- 2 cans black beans (drain)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- Decide if you are going to make your Cowboy Beans in a slow cooker or bake in the oven in a large dish or cast iron dutch oven.
- Chop the sliced uncooked bacon into small pieces, over medium heat, brown the bacon in a heavy cast iron skillet or a large cast iron dutch oven.
- Remove the crispy cooked bacon to a small bowl. Next add the chopped onion and brown for 5-6 minutes until translucent, add the minced garlic, stir for one minute. Remove the onion and garlic in a small bowl with the crispy cooked bacon.
- Next, brown the ground beef, cook for 6-8 minutes. Next, add the bacon, onions, and garlic back with the ground beef. Place into the slow cooker (or large dutch oven or large dish if baking in oven).
- Next, add the beans; 3 cans baked beans (don't drain), 2 cans kidney beans (drain), 1 can cannellini beans (drain), and 2 cans black beans (drain).
- Add brown sugar, cider vinegar, ketchup, and yellow mustard, stir well to combine.
- Cook in slow/cooker crockpot on low for 2 hours or bake 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours in a large dish. Serve hot.