Cowboy Baked Beans

May 23, 2024

These Cowboy Baked Beans are one of the best side dishes out there! They are the perfect side dish recipe for upcoming Memorial Day get-togethers!  This easy baked beans recipe proves that good food doesn’t have to be hard to make! Gather the simple ingredients listed below and check out the recipe card to get started.

cowboy baked beans

It should come as no surprise that this is a super popular dish. No matter the occasion, when I make this baked beans recipe it’s always the star of the show. You can pair this recipe with potato salad and any meat off the grill and you’ll have some fine eating!

Why you’ll love this recipe

This easy recipe is so versatile in all the ways it can be enjoyed. It can be a main dish, side dish, or even a hearty dip. Just pair it with some tortilla chips, and dig in! Every bite is loaded with great flavor – and after the first time you make it, you’ll be hooked.

Ingredients to make the Best Ever Cowboy Baked Beans

  • Original style baked beans – I don’t get different flavored beans because I like the way the original style of beans compliments the rest of the ingredients.

  • Bell pepper – You can use green or red bell peppers.

  • Yellow onion – I also think that a purple sweet onion would be delicious.

  • Mustard

  • BBQ sauce – Choose your favorite brand.

  • Bacon – Thick cut bacon gives a great texture.

  • Brown sugar

  • Ground beef

How to make Cowboy Baked Beans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the ground beef over medium-high heat until no pink is visible within the meat, and season it per your liking (I usually use onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper). Drain off any excess grease.

cowboy baked bean ingredients

Pour the baked beans into a 7×13 casserole dish and add the bell pepper, onions, mustard, BBQ sauce, bacon, ground beef, and brown sugar. Stir until well combined.

pre cooked cowboy baked beans

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Serve and enjoy!


  • Use a variety of beans – I’m a big fan of baked beans for this particular dish, but you can switch things up and add pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, butter beans, white beans, or any other types of beans that you want.
  • Add other seasonings – You can make this as tasty as you want with adding your own spices. Try adding chili powder, garlic powder, or anything else that you want to create a perfect side dish recipe.
  • Use lean meat – Ground beef recipes are great, but you can swap out the beef for lean ground beef, ground turkey, or even ground chicken.
  • Add spice – Some people like spicy dishes while others don’t. If you want to kick up the heat to this beans recipe, you can add cayenne pepper or chili powder to the base. Just be careful about this, as it really adds heat! A better option to do this would be to let each person add their own individual heat to their own bowls, so that way they can make it as spicy as they want, or not.

Make it a Meal

Use this family favorite as a comfort food recipe for the whole family to enjoy! Pair it with hamburgers, hot dogs, or anything else you can throw on the grill and you are sure to have a crowd pleaser!


  • Leftover cowboy beans are delicious the next day! Be sure to let the bean mixture cool to room temperature, before storing in an airtight container.
  • Keep the dish in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in a microwave-safe dish before eating.

How do I thin out the texture of these baked beans? 

  • Some people like their beans thicker in texture, while others prefer them to be thinned out. This is totally up to your personal preference.
  • If the cooked baked beans are too thick for your liking, you can add a bit of tomato sauce to thin out the texture. Just be careful because you don’t need a ton. If you add too much, you’ll have a soupy mess!

What can I use instead of bacon? 

  • Not a bacon fan? No worries! You can leave out the bacon completely or swap it out for another option.
  • You can add a bit more ground beef to the mixture, and even add some spicy sausage.
  • If your a big fan of spicy, then try adding some diced jalapenos instead of meat to add extra flavor and a little heat!

Can I make these beans ahead of time? 

  • You can, although I don’t recommend making them too far ahead of time. Prepping and then serving the next day is probably the furthest that I would do it. You also have to make sure that you reheat it fully before serving.
  • I do think that for the best flavor and taste, making and serving it fresh is best.

Why are they called cowboy baked beans?

  • The name originated from the cowboys who made this recipe over the open fire. Tossing some beans, and meat into a dutch oven or cast iron skillet and cooking it over the campfire is the perfect recipe for those who are traveling outside.
  • Even though it’s entirely possible to recreate the dish in the same way, I much prefer the convenience of making it in the comfort of my own oven. However, if you like the smokey flavor that you would get by cooking these beans over a fire, add a few drops of liquid smoke to the dish! It will provide you with the same taste experience as smoking them outside but without all the extra hassle.


Have more questions? Drop a comment below!


If you enjoyed this recipe check out a few more of my summertime favorites:

Southern Style Green Beans

Banana Pudding Pie

Lemon Pepper Chicken Skewers



cowboy baked beans

Cowboy Baked Beans

These Cowboy Baked Beans are so flavorful and the perfect side dish for upcoming summer grilling!
Adjust Servings8
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American


  • 2 28- ounce can of original style baked beans
  • ¼ cup bell pepper diced
  • ¼ cup yellow onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • ¼ cup BBQ sauce
  • ½ cup bacon cooked and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 pound ground beef


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the ground beef until no pink is visible within the meat and season it per your liking (I usually use onion powder, garlic powder, salt and black pepper). Drain off any excess grease.
  • Pour the baked beans into a 7x13 casserole dish and add the bell pepper, onions, mustard, BBQ sauce, bacon, ground beef and brown sugar. Stir until well combined.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. Robert D Shinazy

    5 stars
    This looks delicious can’t wait to try it cooked over an open fire

    • Katie Cross

      That’s going to taste awesome!


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