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The Best Cowboy Baked Beans with Ground Beef and Bacon

Cowboy Baked Beans with Ground Beef and Bacon is a hearty baked bean that is welcome at any cookout. Cowboy Beans pair perfectly with grilled meat on a summer night.

barbecue baked beans

Cowboy Baked Beans with Ground Beef and Bacon

Also referred to as Barbecue Baked Beans 

The one side at a family potluck dinner that will make it onto my plate is baked beans.  There is just nothing like getting together for a big family potluck or holiday dinner and slopping a pile of baked beans next to the already huge pile of food.

I had my family over for my mom’s 70th birthday celebration, and this was on the menu. Everyone went back for seconds and asked for the recipe.

It’s so easy to make, too. This will definitely be one that makes several appearances at the family gatherings

What I love about this Cowboy Baked Beans Recipe:

  • It’s a recipe that was passed down to me – tried and true
  • very little prep time
  • a great side dish to any summer cookouts
  • filling and healthy
  • always a big hit

bbq baked beans


What are Cowboy Baked Beans?

Cowboy Baked Beans are a filling side dish that is made from ground beef, bacon, onion, brown sugar, bbq sauce, and sometimes peppers

Did Cowboys eat Baked Beans? How did Cowboy Beans get its name?

Cowboys in the 19th century would have most likely eaten dried fruit, dried meat, biscuits, and beans. It is unclear how cowboy beans received the name

Make-Ahead and Storage:

How long will Homemade Baked Beans last in the fridge?

Homemade Baked beans with hamburger and bacon can last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days

How do I Store Leftover Baked Beans?

Store beans covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator

Can you make these Cowboy Baked Beans ahead of time?

Yes. Although, they are best when served right after you’ve made them and kept warm You can make these a day in advance

Reheating: To reheat these barbecue baked beans, place foil over the baking dish and heat in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until warmed through

Can you Freeze Homemade Baked Beans?

Yes. Let the baked beans cool completely and transfer to a container for freezing. Place them in the freezer and freeze for up to 6 months

Defrosting Frozen Baked Beans: Defrost baked beans by thawing them at room temperature or overnight in the fridge. You can also heat them in a covered saucepan over low heat on the stovetop

What goes with Cowboy Baked Beans?

cowboy baked beans

Tips and Tricks:

  • keep these beans warm in a slow cooker or crock pot or a covered dish with a warming pad
  • you’ll need a large serving spoon to serve up these delicious beans
  • when reheating use aluminum foil to cover your baking dish to hold all of that moisture in while baking

What will I need to make this Baked Bean Recipe?


  • ground beef – I like to use sirloin ground beef because it has less fat and therefore probably won’t need draining
  • sweet onion – A white Vidalia onion would be my choice
  • sugar – granulated sugar
  • packed brown sugar – you can use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar. The color is the only thing that will be impacted
  • ketchup
  • barbecue sauce – use a mild or original flavor bbq sauce
  • yellow mustard
  • chili powder
  • pinto beans – you can substitute kidney beans if needed
  • bacon

How do you make Cowboy Baked Beans?


  1. Cook the bacon
  2. Cook the beef and onion together in a skillet
  3. In a casserole dish, mix the bacon, beef, onions, sugar, brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, chili powder, and beans
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes

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Here’s the Baked Beans recipe for you…


Barbecue Cowboy Baked Beans

Delicious bbq baked beans – a filling side dish

  • Author: Melissa
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 45
  • Yield: 10-12 servings 1x


  • 1/2 lb. of sirloin ground beef
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of ketchup
  • 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. of yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. of chili powder
  • 153 oz. can of pinto beans
  • 1/2 lb. of bacon, cooked and crumbled


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Using a skillet over med/high heat cook the onion and beef together for about 5 minutes, or until beef is cooked through and onion is tender
  3. Drain the beef
  4. In a medium casserole dish, add the beef and onion mixture
  5. Add all other ingredients and mix well
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes





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