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Cowboy Baked Beans with Ground Beef and Bacon

This recipe for baked beans with ground beef and bacon is chock-full of hearty meats, beans, and a sweet sauce. It’s incredibly delicious and can be customized based on your favorite beans or what you have on hand.

Cowboy baked beans in dutch oven with wooden spoon and striped towel nearby.

I’m a little particular when it comes to baked beans.

We come to love what we grow up eating, right? So of course my favorite baked bean recipe is my mom’s.

So I was a little hesitant when my husband volunteered to make these baked beans with ground beef for my 29th birthday.

However, they were a crowd favorite! My kids gobbled them right up; even my baby!

This recipe works because it’s:

  • Full of flavor. The brown sugar, ketchup, and hint of flavor from the liquid smoke makes these beans extra delicious.
  • Hearty and filling. Two types of meats and three types of beans makes this side dish more like a main dish!
  • Simple to prep. I love making baked beans because the prep work is pretty minimal (you’re opening cans and dumping them into a bowl), Just make sure you plan enough time for them to bake in the oven.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Bowls of ingredients for cowboy baked beans including kidney beans, pork and beans, and bacon.

Cook ½ lb bacon until crispy and once it’s cooled, break it into small pieces.

While the bacon is cooking, brown 1 pound ground beef with 1 cup chopped onion.

Cooked ground beef and onion in black frying pan on white table.

Drain beef and pour into a large mixing bowl. Crumble bacon into small pieces and add to bowl.

Ground beef and crumbled bacon in metal mixing bowl.

Add 30 ounces of pork & beans, 30 ounces of kidney beans, 15 ounces of either garbanzo, lima, or black beans, 1 cup ketchup, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon liquid smoke to the bowl and mix well. 

Pork and beans, ketchup, and brown sugar in metal bowl.

Pour the beans into a 9 x 13 pan or medium dutch oven and bake at 325 degrees for 90 minutes.

Uncooked baked beans in dutch oven sitting on white table.

Recipe Tips and Substitutions

Hamburger baked beans in dutch oven with gold forks, wood spoon, and striped towel nearby.

Make sure the bacon is crispy when you take it off the heat. If it’s not cooked through it will be very chewy in the beans.

You can use ground turkey in the recipe instead of ground beef to save some fat and calories.

If you’re not a big fan of onions, so you can opt to use onion powder. You could also use minced onion.

This recipe calls for several different beans, but you can use your favorites. We used black beans this time, but my husband said he likes it best with garbanzo.

The top of the beans may become a bit hard while cooking, so give this dish a good stir before serving to break everything up.

Try these substitutes if you’re out of the ingredient:

More Like This

Wood spoon holding baked beans with ground beef and bacon.

Looking for more summer side dishes? You’ll love these!

FAQ’s

Dutch oven full of baked beans with ground beef on table.
What meat goes with baked beans?

These baked beans with ground beef and bacon will go great with any meat like:

Grilled Chicken
Steak
Hamburgers
Hotdogs
Pulled Pork
Brisket

Basically, any meat or food you’d plan to serve at a BBQ or picnic!

What do you eat with baked beans?

Here are some of my favorite foods to serve with baked beans:

BLT salad with avocado
Tri color pasta salad
Potato salad

Corn on the cob
Zucchini and yellow squash casserole
Grilled balsamic bruschetta chicken
Grilled sausage kabobs
Cheesy drop biscuits

Fruit and veggies with dip

The sky is the limit!

Baked beans are the perfect dish for summer cookouts and beyond!

What is baked bean sauce made of?

That depends on the recipe.

I like to use a BBQ sauce base which can come from a bottle or homemade like this recipe. British style baked beans traditionally have a thin tomato sauce as the base.

Most, American-style baked beans will have a sauce with ingredients like brown sugar, molasses, ketchup, oil, vinegar, honey, liquid smoke, and other similar components.

Are baked beans healthy?

Baked beans can have lots of individually healthy ingredients with great nutritional value, but the dish isn’t considered light or especially good for you.

Like everything, enjoy this dish in moderation and you’ll be just fine!

I hope your family loves these baked beans with ground beef and bacon! If you make it, be sure to take a picture and tag me on Instagram with @ashcroftfamilytable and use the hashtag #ashcroftfamilytable.

 

And if you’d like to get a 4-week meal plan featuring my recipes, just enter your email in the form above and you’ll get it straight to your inbox!

Wood spoon holding baked beans with ground beef and bacon.

Cowboy Baked Beans with Ground Beef and Bacon

The Ashcroft Family Table
These delicious Cowboy Baked Beans with ground beef and bacon are so easy to prepare and make the perfect side dish for BBQ. A real meat lover's treat!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 463 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ pound bacon, 6 slices
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 30 ounces canned pork & beans
  • 30 ounces canned kidney beans, drained
  • 15 ounces canned garbanzo beans, drained, can substitute lima or black beans
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Cook bacon until crispy. Drain and set aside to cool.
  • While bacon is cooking, brown ground beef with chopped onion.
  • Drain beef and pour into a large mixing bowl.
  • Crumble bacon into small pieces and add to bowl.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Pour into a 9×13 baking dish or dutch oven.
  • Bake covered at 325 degrees for 1½ hours. Remove the lid for the last 15 minutes of cooking time.

Notes

Beans may need to stirred after baking to re-distribute sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 463kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 20gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 1009mgPotassium: 753mgFiber: 11gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 119IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 105mgIron: 4mg
Keyword baked beans, baked beans with ground beef and bacon, calico baked beans
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Pinterest graphic with text, a spoonful of calico baked beans, and a dish of baked beans with ground beef.
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