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Scooping out a gorgeous scoop on cooked Cowboy Baked Beans from a casseroled dish.
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4.45 from 45 votes

Cowboy Baked Beans

Cowboy beans (aka hamburger-bacon baked beans) are made in a slow cooker or oven baked. The best party food recipe to make ahead for a large hungry crowd!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked beans, baked beans recipe, cowboy baked beans
Servings: 18
Calories: 396kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb bacon applewood smoked
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 48 ounces baked beans (don't drain)
  • 32 ounces kidney beans (drain)
  • 16 ounces cannellini beans (drain)
  • 32 ounces black beans (drain)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard

Instructions

  • 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, don't use the bacon grease in this recipe. 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 ½ hours in a large covered dish. Serve hot.

Notes

apple cider vinegar

Is in the recipe to help balance the sweetness of the brown sugar, ketchup, and sugar in the canned baked beans. If you want to dial back the sweetness in your baked beans, you can reduce the brown sugar.

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)

Nutrition

Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 925mg | Potassium: 688mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 3.9mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 4.1mg