5/10/13

Cowboy Beans

A hearty recipe made with pork n' beans, ground beef, sausage, brown sugar and a simple sauce that's perfect for cookouts, barbeques and covered-dish affairs (finish in crock pot or on the stove).

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This is my go-to recipe for cookouts – whether we’re hosting or going to someone else’s house – you can guarantee I’ll be making Cowboy Beans.

I cook everything on the stove then transfer it into a crock pot to keep warm. Sometimes I brown the meat the night before then just stir it all together in the crock pot the next day.

I also like to make these when we’re having burgers, hotdogs, or barbeque chicken. My family can’t eat a whole batch of this at one sitting so I freeze the leftovers to bring out the next time (it freezes beautifully!).

Cowboy Beans! A hearty recipe made with pork n' beans, ground beef, sausage, brown sugar and a simple sauce that's perfect for cookouts, barbeques and covered-dish affairs (finish in crock pot or on the stove).

My youngest daughter starting cooking this herself at the ripe ol’ age of eight. So, if she could make this when she was that young, anyone can make this recipe!

The secret is starting with what I call Plain Jane beans. Look for Van Camp’s, Showboat or Libby’s “pork & beans,” not “baked beans” or anything with a special sauce (mesquite, maple, honey barbeque, etc.). 

We’re going to jazz them up with our own simple sauce that works perfectly with the simple tomato sauce they’re canned in. 

Cowboy Beans! A hearty recipe made with pork n' beans, ground beef, sausage, brown sugar and a simple sauce that's perfect for cookouts, barbeques and covered-dish affairs (finish in crock pot or on the stove).

The beans are savory and a little sweet. You can hit them with some heat if you like by adding cayenne pepper or a chopped jalapeƱo pepper with the onion. 

I like to use half ground beef and half bulk sausage (usually Jimmy Dean or Swaggerty's) but you can use all hamburger (or sausage) if you’d like. I’ve sauteed kielbasa and added to these as well (one pound instead of the bulk sausage).

Cowboy Beans! A hearty recipe made with pork n' beans, ground beef, sausage, brown sugar and a simple sauce that's perfect for cookouts, barbeques and covered-dish affairs (finish in crock pot or on the stove).

We eat this as a side dish but plenty folks have told me they eat it like chili and love it. It’s a little too sweet for me to eat by the bowl but you do you, boo!

I think the sweetness is what makes it such a great accompaniment to rich, juicy burgers and salty hotdogs and brats. 

Cowboy Beans! A hearty recipe made with pork n' beans, ground beef, sausage, brown sugar and a simple sauce that's perfect for cookouts, barbeques and covered-dish affairs (finish in crock pot or on the stove).

A FEW NOTES ABOUT COOKING COWBOY BEANS

  • Look for plain “pork & beans”, (Van Camp’s, Showboat, Libby’s, etc.) not the fancier varieties of baked beans that are already sauced/flavored. 
  • I use Jimmy Dean or Swaggerty's sausage (regular or hot). 
  • For a kick, seed and dice a fresh jalepeno pepper then add with the onions. 
  • Use any traditional tomato-based barbeque sauce. Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ or Aldi’s Kansas City are my favorites. 

Cowboy Beans! A hearty recipe made with pork n' beans, ground beef, sausage, brown sugar and a simple sauce that's perfect for cookouts, barbeques and covered-dish affairs (finish in crock pot or on the stove).

Recipe for Cowboy Beans

cowboy beans, pork and beans, pork n beans, hamburger, ground beef, sausage, jimmy dean, brown sugar, barbeque sauce, bbq, side dish, crock pot, slow cooker, cookout, covered dish, best, how to, easy, original
Side Dishes
American
Yield: 14-16 Servings
Author: Mandy Rivers | South Your Mouth
Cowboy Beans

Cowboy Beans

A hearty recipe made with pork n' beans, ground beef, sausage, brown sugar and a simple sauce that's perfect for cookouts (finish in crock pot or on stovetop).
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 30 Min

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb bulk sausage
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 28-oz. cans plain pork n’ beans
  • 3/4 cup barbeque sauce
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Season ground beef with salt and pepper to taste then cook/crumble over high heat in a large skillet with sausage and onions. Drain fat.
  2. Combine barbeque sauce, ketchup, brown sugar and remaining spices then mix well. Pour sauce over meat then stir well. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Open cans of beans then pour off any liquid that’s settled at the top (there’s typically quite a bit). Add beans to meat mixture then gently stir to incorporate.
  4. For Stovetop: Cook, uncovered, over low heat for 20 minutes or until simmering.
  5. For Crock Pot: Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours (or until simmering) then switch to “keep warm” setting.

Notes

  • Look for plain “pork & beans” (Van Camp’s, Showboat, Libby’s, etc.), not the fancier varieties of baked beans that are already sauced/flavored. 
  • I use Jimmy Dean or Swaggerty's sausage (regular or hot). 
  • For a kick, seed and dice a fresh jalepeno pepper then add with the onions. 
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31 comments:

  1. I have been making something very close to this for years! I only use the BBQ sauce - no ketchup or brown sugar, and add chopped bell pepper also. Everyone always loves them and they are very filling. It's so nice to be able to just carry them somewhere in the crockpot and plug them in.

    Love your recipes! :)

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    1. Next time you make them substitute one pound of sausage for the beef....layer the top wth pre-cooked bacon and HOLD ON!

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  2. Looking forward to trying this recipe on the crew tonight. With our busy days, Cowboy Beans sounds like something we will add to the rotation. Thanks again Mandy, we love your recipes at our house.

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  3. I have been making a recipe very close to this for as long as I can remember~ My mom used to make it also! We called it Bean Hash:) Thanks for sharing this classic~ Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

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  4. I love recipes like that, too! I've made similar ones with vegetarian ingredients and they are always a big hit!

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  5. What an awesome recipe. I serve beans to over 200 folks on the street for a local Bean Days festival. This is the kind of dish folks gobble up (or down?=) Thanks so much for sharing at Weekend Potluck.

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  6. My mom made a casserole like this when I was growing up and I loved it. I made these for supper tonight along with cheesy biscuits and french fries. It was like going back in time :) Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Implant from NY 2 Texas7/17/13, 1:26 AM

    Thank you for this recipe...I have been looking for this recipe in print for a long time...

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  8. do you take the liquid from what's in crock pot or the cans of beans... I may try this :)

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    1. You mean when I pour it off? From the cans :)

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  9. I do a version of Cowboy Beans that calls for Red Kidney Beans, Butter Beans & Northern White Beans. Also add in some cooked bacon pieces.
    It is delicious!

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  10. Leah Annette9/6/13, 7:40 PM

    Awesome recipe! Cooking it right now and it tasted/smells/looks so good. Added some bacon as well because you can't go wrong with bacon. :)

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  11. Followed word for word and served over rice, mmmmMMM !my dadsaid it is in his top 5.

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  12. My family makes this all the time. It was something hubby and I grew up on and we love making it for our daughter, who also loves it. We follow the recipe step by step and it turns out great every time!

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  13. I have what may be a stupid question. . Do you brown the hamburger first?

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  14. Can you freeze this? I'm gonna make this soon. Thanks for the recipe!

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  15. You could serve these beans over a buttered baked sweet potato for a "Hot Mess" like I do. I have saved so many of your recipes that I finally decided to sign up for your emails. I found you through "The Slow Cooker Chronicle". I have been doctoring pork n' beans for years and make a similar recipe to this called "Calico Beans." They are made like another commenter above mentioned. Keep the delish and easy recipes coming!

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  16. I usually add green & red pepper,onion,brown sugar,dark mustard,ketchup , soak hot dogs in bourbon over night,an beans!!!! Drunken Beans

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  17. About how many will this serve?

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  18. My son calls these "Woody" beans ( toy story) and eats it in bulk served over rice . Awesome.

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  19. I love these and have been making them for decades. It wasn’t until 2005 when we moved to SC that I heard them referred to as “Cowboy Beans.” Every time I hear “Cowboy Beans,” I can’t help but think of the scene in Blazing Saddles with all the cowboys sitting around the campfire. :-D
    God bless.

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  20. I'm going to made this as written and add 1 lb Little Smokies to the pot.

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  21. What kind of bbq sauce do you use

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  22. Any sort of ketchup based sauce... I am a fan of Kansas City BBQ sauces. I don't have a favorite brand.

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  23. A few years ago I was looking for hamb and beans and found Cowboy beans, my neighbor requested it for her 3rd kids graduation this year. It's my go to take food. Everyone loves it. I make 4 batches at a time, take it to funerals, quilting at church in the winter.Now I have to try the other beans ones. Thank you for all your great recipes. When people ask for southyourmouth.com they don't believe me at first.

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  24. I just had it requested after taking to a get together at the bar

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Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy