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Cowboy Baked Beans Recipe

Making this Cowboy Baked Beans recipe in the slow cooker is a great side dish you’ll make all year round. Ground beef and a variety of beans simmer in a rich and tangy sauce.

cowboy baked beans

It’s a hearty side dish perfect for serving at a potluck or summer cookout, or can be served as a main dish.

Cowboy Baked Beans Recipe

The original recipe for cowboy beans comes from my mom’s handwritten recipe card. In fact, it’s hanging in our kitchen so I guess you can say this crockpot dish holds a special place in my heart.

Back in the day, when she was on the Chisholm Trail, I can almost see Mom raking hot coals over an open fire, getting this hearty recipe ready for the cowboys after a long day on the trail.

She probably pulled out her best cast iron skillet from the wagon and her favorite long handled wooden spoon to stir the simmering barbecue sauce…

Okay, well, maybe in another life she did that.

But we live in Illinois and she makes this for our whole family, not cowboys. And if you’ve met my mom, you probably know she was probably sitting in the front seat, telling the cowboys how to get to their next destination.

Every time I make this easy recipe, I think of her!

cowboy baked beans recipe

What are cowboy beans?

Cowboy beans are a variety of baked beans, with an addition of ground beef.

The whole bunch of beans is simmered in a homemade bbq sauce. And let me tell you, it tastes delightful! You may have also heard of this dish as calico beans.

Ingredients in the best cowboy beans

  • ground beef
  • onion
  • Beans – there are a few type of beans in this recipe. Butter beans, lima beans, kidney beans and good old pork and beans.
  • brown sugar
  • white vinegar
  • molasses
  • yellow mustard
  • ketchup
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • liquid smoke – if you’d like a smoky flavor (optional). A little goes a long way with this! I recommend you avoid measuring this ingredient over your crock pot in case you over pour. Ask me how I know!!
cowboy baked beans

What to serve with cowboy baked beans

Cowboy beans by themselves make a great side dish.

Farm friends, this is a great recipe to serve alongside pull apart sliders as a field meal!

Or, serve the beans over Instant Pot baked potatoes for a filling main dish.

How to store leftovers

Store leftovers, refrigerated, in an airtight container. This is one of those recipes where leftovers taste even better the next day, so enjoy!

Other Slow Cooker Recipes

When you make this cowboy baked beans recipe, leave a recipe review or comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

made with love, Deanne
Yield: 12 Servings

Cowboy Baked Beans Recipe

cowboy baked beans

Ground beef and a variety of beans simmer in a rich and tangy sauce. It's a hearty side dish perfect for serving at a potluck or summer cookout, or can be served as a main dish.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 15 ounces canned butter beans, drained
  • 15 ounces canned lima beans, drained
  • 15 ounces canned kidney beans, drained
  • 15 ounces pork & beans
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)

Instructions

To make in the slow cooker:

  1. In a skillet, brown the ground beef and onion over medium heat until the beef is no longer pink. Drain the grease and transfer the mixture to the slow cooker.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

To make this cowboy bean recipe on the stovetop:

  1. In a Dutch oven or other large pot, brown the ground beef and onion over medium heat until the beef is no longer pink. Drain the grease and transfer the mixture to the slow cooker. 
  2. Add all remaining ingredients to the Dutch oven. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove lid and cook for another 25 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minute to ensure nothing on the bottom of the pot burns.

Notes

If one of these types of beans is not to your family's liking, you can substitute black beans , pinto beans or even garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 301mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 9gSugar: 17gProtein: 21g

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