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Cowboy Beans (Easy Crockpot Recipe)

Have you ever wondered what the Wild West tasted like? It’s time you tried cowboy beans! This easy Crockpot recipe will quickly become a new go-to.

Think of it as a rodeo of flavors in a bowl. I’m talking beans, beef, bacon, and a tangy sauce that’ll make you want to tip your hat. 

Home Cooked Cowboy Beans
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Whether you’re gearing up for a big BBQ or just craving some hearty comfort food, these beans are the real deal. 

Stick around, partner. It’s time to dive deep into the delicious world of cowboy beans.

Cowboy Beans

Cowboy beans are a hearty, meaty, and downright delicious concoction. The dish is a blend of beans, usually pinto, with good ol’ meat, spices, and some sweet elements. 

Some folks even dub them “Western beans.” The key is the mix of sweet and savory flavors.

They’re a complete meal in one pot! And let’s not forget the smoky undertones. (Just a hint of the campfire, if you will.)

Cowboy beans are pretty similar to chili. Both are hearty, and both have beans, but cowboy beans are a bit sweeter. They’re not spicy, but they sure are flavorful.

Perfect for gatherings, picnics, or a comforting solo dinner, cowboy beans are the ultimate treat. And leftovers taste even better. The flavors meld and create magic.

New Cooked Cowboy Beans in a Pot

Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you need to make cowboy beans: 

  • Ground beef – The heart of your cowboy dish. They’re rich, meaty, and oh-so-tender.
  • Bacon – These crispy delights add that smoky charm. Everything’s better with bacon!
  • Pork baked beans – They’re a taste of tradition, bringing sweet and savory notes to your pot.
  • Kidney beans – Deep red beauties are packed with protein and cowboy grit.
  • Lima beans – They have a buttery texture that melds the mix.
  • Onions – For a punch of zest and flavor.
  • Ketchup – It adds a tangy twist, binding your ingredients with its rich, tomato embrace.
  • Brown sugar – It adds sweetness, warmth, and depth.
  • Mustard – It offers a zesty zing, waking up those tastebuds and roping them in!

How to Make Cowboy Beans

Ready to get cooking? Follow these steps to make cowboy beans: 

  1. Gather your ingredients. 
  2. Brown the ground beef and bacon. Toss the ground beef and diced bacon into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook them until the beef turns golden (about 7 to 10 minutes).
  3. Add everything to the slow cooker. Transfer the beef and bacon to your trusty slow cooker. Stir in the baked beans, kidney beans, lima beans, onions, ketchup, sugar, and mustard. 
  4. Let it cook. Seal your slow cooker tightly. Turn that dial to “Low.” Let the magic happen! In about 3 hours, when it’s bubbling and thick, the dish will be ready to serve!
Homecooked Cowboy Beans Served with Bread

Tips for the Best Cowboy Beans

Want to make the best cowboy beans in the world? Follow these tips: 

  • No grease, please! After cooking, drain the beef and bacon of their oil. You want flavor, not a slip ‘n slide!
  • Clean your beans. Those canned beans? Give them a good rinse and drain. 
  • On the hunt for pork and beans? Head straight to your store’s canned goods aisle! That’s where the beloved pork and beans hide.
  • Don’t fret over the ounces. Beans come in all sizes! If they’re not exactly 15 ounces, don’t sweat it. 
  • Party or family dinner? This recipe’s big enough for a hoedown. For a quiet night in, half it or freeze some for later.
  • Keep an eye on the clock. There’s no need to overdo it. Check at 3 hours. You want them just right, not mushy.
  • Quality counts. Invest in nitrate-free smoked bacon, lean beef, and sweet smoked ham. It really makes a difference! 
  • Crispy delights. For that perfect crunch, get that bacon crispy. Turn up the heat if needed.
  • Spice it up. Fancy a kick? Add crushed red pepper, a touch of sriracha, or a sprinkle of cayenne. Start small, taste, and adjust!

Variations

Do you want to switch things up? Try out some of these variations: 

  • Add liquid smoke. To achieve a smoky flavor, introduce a teaspoon of liquid smoke.
  • Change the beans. Experiment with different beans such as black, pinto, or cannellini. Remember to drain them.
  • Alternate proteins. Try substituting ground beef and bacon with ham, chorizo, smoked sausage, ground turkey, or chicken.
  • Incorporate corn. Adding corn can introduce sweetness and a varied texture.
  • Substitute with BBQ sauce. For a different flavor profile, replace ketchup with BBQ sauce. Adjust the brown sugar accordingly.
  • Use the oven instead. For oven cooking, combine ingredients in a casserole and bake at 350 Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes.
  • Add maple syrup. For an alternative sweetener, use maple syrup.
Saucy Cowboy Beans in Bowl

Serving Suggestions

Are you whipping up some cowboy beans? Awesome choice! Pair them with these classics:

Coca Cola Pulled Pork
Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

Air Fryer Ribs

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They’re dynamite with burgers and hot dogs too. Got a BBQ or picnic? Toss them in a salad to mix things up.

Feeling like you want beans for dinner? Go for it! Grab some cornbread to scoop up that tasty sauce.

How to Store

Have some leftover cowboy beans? No problem! Here’s how to keep them fresh.

To Store: Cool them down, pop them in an air-tight container, and stash them in the fridge. They’ll be okay for up to 4 days.

To Freeze: Want to save some for later? Cool the beans, then slide them into a freezer-friendly bag or box. They’ll hang tight for 3 months. When you’re ready, let them thaw in the fridge.

To Reheat: Microwave or stovetop? Either works! If you go the stove route, add a splash of water. That keeps things smooth and tasty.

Cowboy Beans (Easy Crockpot Recipe)

Servings

8

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

3

hours 

10

minutes
Calories

471

kcal

Spice things up with these Crockpot cowboy beans! This hearty dish is packed with ground beef, bacon, and more beans than you can count!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1/2 pounds bacon, diced

  • 1 can (28 ounces) pork baked beans

  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 can (15 ounces) lima beans, drained and rinsed

  • 2 onions, finely chopped

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon mustard

Instructions

  • Assemble all your ingredients.
  • Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and diced bacon. Cook, stirring frequently, until the beef is browned, approximately 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Move the cooked beef and bacon mixture to a slow cooker. Mix in the pork baked beans, kidney beans, lima beans, chopped onions, ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard.
  • Seal the slow cooker with its lid. Set the cooker to the “Low” setting. Allow it to simmer until the mixture becomes thick and bubbles up, which should take at least 3 hours. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Black beans bring a rich color, while pinto beans offer a creamy texture. Cannellini beans? They add an Italian flair. Mix and match to find your favorite combo!
  • No slow cooker? No worries! Combine all ingredients in a casserole dish, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until bubbly and heated through.
  • If you fancy a sweeter touch, add a tad more brown sugar or a splash of maple syrup. Craving heat? Toss in some red chili flakes or a dash of hot sauce. Always taste as you go – and make it just right for you.
Cowboy Beans

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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