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Ultimate BBQ Cowboy Beans

Ultimate BBQ Cowboy Beans

A delicious bean recipe made with ground beef, bacon, just the right amount of sweetness and a surprising smokey flavor. This BBQ Cowboy Beans recipe is the perfect side dish for tailgating and backyard barbecues.

A delicious bean recipe made with ground beef, bacon, a sweet tangy sauce, and a surprising smoky flavor. This BBQ Cowboy Beans recipe is the perfect side dish for tailgating and backyard barbecues. It’s extra delicious and easy to make.

A delicious bean recipe made with ground beef, bacon, a sweet tangy sauce, and a surprising smokey flavor. This BBQ Cowboy Beans recipe is the perfect side dish for tailgating and backyard barbecues.

My family and I love grilling out. As we live in Florida, we have the luxury of being able to do it year round. I’m always trying new BBQ side dishes to pair with what’s cooking on the grill and this BBQ Cowboy Beans recipe is a keeper, for sure. Make this the next time you have friends over for game day. It is sure to be a huge hit!

Baked beans is one of my favorite BBQ sides. I sometimes refer to this dish as baked beans, but that isn’t quite accurate. These beans are cooked on the stovetop in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven.

A delicious bean recipe made with ground beef, bacon, a sweet tangy sauce, and a surprising smokey flavor. This BBQ Cowboy Beans recipe is the perfect side dish for tailgating and backyard barbecues.

How to Make Cowboy Beans

The total prep and cook time for this recipe is about 4 hours. Start it in the morning and it will be ready for lunchtime.

I must admit that I also love any dish that has a combination of beef and bacon. This recipe starts out with ground beef, bacon and onion in a heavy-lidded pot or Dutch oven. Drain off excess fat.

Then add the beans, broth, water and all of the other ingredients. Bring it to a boil, put a lid on it, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer until the beans are tender and the sauce thick.

This dish stands on its own. You could totally serve it as a standalone entree.

You know, I just LOVE that this is a one-pot meal!

What’s the difference between cowboy beans and chili?

Cowboy beans are exactly that: beans. Most people use it as a side dish or a topping for grilled meats and not as a meal unto itself. (That said, salad is supposed to be a side dish and yet people eat that as a main.) Along with a variety of beans, it usually contains ground beef, bacon, a combination of spices, including chili powder, and various vegetables (e.g., diced onions and bell peppers). Chili, on the other hand, can be considered more of a spicy stew. It contains ground meat (though not usually bacon) and a variety of vegetables like onions and peppers. As well, because it is considered a main dish, chili can be topped with cheese and sour cream, and served with crusty bread and crackers. They both use chili powder as a spice but still maintain their own flavor profiles.

What should I serve with cowboy beans?

You have so many options here. I cook cowboy beans intent on them being a main course along with cornbread or biscuits, but you can also serve it as a side dish or as a topping. With that in mind, you can serve it with grilled meats, such as steak, pork chops, and burgers; roasted or grilled chicken; or sausages or hot dogs. You can put the beans on the side or, in the case of the burgers and hot dogs, as a topping. It also makes a welcome guest to any barbecue or pot luck.

A delicious bean recipe made with ground beef, bacon, a sweet tangy sauce, and a surprising smokey flavor. This BBQ Cowboy Beans recipe is the perfect side dish for tailgating and backyard barbecues.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3.5 hours

Serves: 12

See Also
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup featured image above

Ingredients

  • 1 15.5-oz package Hurst’s BBQ Style Cowboy Beans
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2-lb thick-cut bacon cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Instructions

  • Rinse and sort through beans, removing any unwanted debris.
  • In a large pot or Dutch oven with heavy-lidded pot, cook beef, bacon and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; add garlic and cook for an additional minute; drain.
  • Add beans, seasoning packet and remaining ingredients to pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer on low for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until beans are soft and sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally. Keep warm until ready to serve.
A delicious bean recipe made with ground beef, bacon, a sweet tangy sauce, and a surprising smokey flavor. This BBQ Cowboy Beans recipe is the perfect side dish for tailgating and backyard barbecues.

FAQ

How do I make this a more authentic style of cowboy beans?

If you want to go all out and make authentic cowboy style beans, cook this in a pot on the grill or better yet over an open flame. If you prefer the stovetop version like I do — just add a few drops of liquid smoke for that campfire flavor.

Can I cook this using a slow cooker?

Yes, you certainly can. Just cook your meat and bacon in a skillet first on medium heat. Drain off the excess fat then add it to the slow cooker. Then cook your vegetables on the skillet until softened. Add them to the slow cooker, along with the rest of the ingredients. Either cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

How To Store Cowboy Beans

Cowboy beans will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To freeze cowboy beans, let it cool to room temperature than put it in a resealable bag or an airtight container. Try to get out as much air out of the bag as possible. The beans can be kept frozen for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to resume eating, either let the beans thaw in the fridge, or gently warm it up via the microwave or stovetop. You might find the beans a little dry after thawing so feel free to add a bit of water or broth.

A delicious bean recipe made with ground beef, bacon, a sweet tangy sauce, and a surprising smokey flavor. This BBQ Cowboy Beans recipe is the perfect side dish for tailgating and backyard barbecues.

Check out some of my other favorite BBQ side dishes:

Couscous salad
Bacon Ranch Layered Salad
Zucchini Rice Casserole

A delicious bean recipe made with ground beef, bacon, a sweet tangy sauce, and a surprising smokey flavor. This BBQ Cowboy Beans recipe is the perfect side dish for tailgating and backyard barbecues.

Ultimate BBQ Cowboy Beans

About a Mom
A delicious bean recipe made with ground beef, bacon, a sweet tangy sauce, and a surprising smokey flavor. This BBQ Cowboy Beans recipe is the perfect side dish for tailgating and backyard barbecues.
4.34 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 15.5 oz package Hurst’s BBQ Style Cowboy Beans
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb thick cut bacon cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs Dijon mustard

Instructions
 

  • Rinse and sort through beans, removing any unwanted debris.
  • In a large pot or dutch oven with heavy-lidded pot, cook beef, bacon and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; add garlic and cook for an additional minute; drain.
  • Add beans, seasoning packet and remaining ingredients to pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer on low for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until beans are soft and sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally. Keep warm until ready to serve.
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