November 16, 2017

Three Meat Crock Pot Cowboy Beans

This slow Cooker BBQ bean recipe with smoked sausage, bacon and ground beef is the perfect side dish for feeding a crowd!


The development of this recipe was sponsored by Hurst's Beans. As always, all opinions are my own.

I make all sorts of baked beans. I make my regular Cowboy Beans when we’re having a cookout and I want something with a little extra pizazz.

I make my Boston Baked Beans when it’s cold and I have time to love on those suckers (it’s a process, lemme tell ya, but they’re worth it).

I make my Southern Style Baked Beans when I want that ‘wow factor’ from all the bacon on top!

And I make my Borracho Beans when we're having Mexican dishes like carnitas!

Three Meat Crock Pot Cowboy Beans | BBQ beans with smoked sausage, bacon and ground beef!

But sometimes you got to pull out the big guns. Sometimes you want to make something that’s going to make a scene! One of those dishes that, when someone walks by at a pig pickin’, they stop in their tracks and cause a pileup in the buffet line.

That’s what this recipe is. It’s a triple-threat with ground beef AND bacon AND smoked sausage. If you’re looking to make a super hearty, scratch-made barbeque bean recipe, this is the recipe for you!

As I usually do, I started with Hurst’s beans because I sincerely LOVE the 15 Bean blend but also because I knew the ham flavored seasoning packet would ratchet up the meaty flavor factor even more.

Three Meat Crock Pot Cowboy Beans | BBQ beans with smoked sausage, bacon and ground beef!

If you can’t find the 15-bean soup mix in your local grocery store, ask for it! My grocery store now carries all sorts of products they didn’t have before simply because I asked for them.

Just ask the cashier who to talk to to request a product and s/he will point you in the right direction.

My store has a list at the Customer Service desk where they notate products their customers' request.

Three Meat Crock Pot Cowboy Beans | BBQ beans with smoked sausage, bacon and ground beef!

SPECIAL NOTE: I listed this in the recipe below but wanted to pop this note up here as well. This recipe is intended as a side dish. It was created to taste a lot like Southern-style baked beans. I read a comment where someone said this was too rich to be an entrée so it occurred to me I might better point out that I created this dish to be both rich and slightly sweet as it is not a main dish, but a side.

Just like Boston Baked beans are cooked in molasses and southern-style baked beans are usually made with brown sugar, this recipe also has it's own unique sweetness.

This is a dish I serve at cookouts and barbeques that is amazing served alongside hearty meats (particularly smoked or grilled). This isn’t something I’d sit down to eat with a spoon like chili or stew 😉


Try these Three Meat Crock Pot Cowboy Beans with one of these awesome main dishes:

  • Crock Pot Pulled Pork –  Perfectly seasoned, tender, juicy pulled pork cooked low and slow in a slow cooker. 
  • Sticky Chicken – Marinated slow-roasted chicken pieces braised in a slightly sweet, tangy sauce.
  • Fall-Off-The-Bone Baby Back Ribs – Easy, oven-baked ribs cooked low and slow on a bed of onions. 
  • Perfect Pork Tenderloin – A no-fail recipe for perfectly cooked marinated pork tenderloin with a simple glaze. 
  • Barbequed Steaks – Thinly sliced grilled steaks marinated then basted in a homemade barbeque sauce. 

baked beans, crock pot, slow cooker, 15 bean, hursts, bbq, barbeque, barbecue, three meat, 3 meat, cowboy, beans, smoked sausage, bacon, ground beef humburger
Side Dish, Vegetable
Yield: 18-20 Servings

Three Meat Crock Pot Cowboy Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 20-oz. bag Hurst’s 15 Bean Soup dried bean mix 
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 2 pounds smoked sausage
  • 1 1/2 cups barbeque sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions:

Add beans (with seasoning packet) and water to a large crock pot then cook for 4-6 hours on high or until beans are tender.


Meanwhile, cook onions with ground beef until beef is cooked through, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cut bacon into small strips then cook until crispy and browned. Remove bacon from pan drippings. Cut smoked sausage into bite-sized pieces. Set aside ground beef, bacon and smoked sausage to add to the beans later. This can all be done the night before!


Once beans are tender, ladle out any excess liquid; set aside to use later if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste, barbeque sauce and remaining ingredients, including the ground beef, bacon and smoked sausage. Gently stir to combine.


Add reserved liquid from cooking the beans, 1/2 cup at a time, if needed to ensure the contents of the crock pot have a nice, thick sauce. You don’t want things to be runny but you do want to make sure there’s enough sauce to coat everything nicely (such as with baked beans).


Continue cooking 1-2 hours on high or until sausage is heated through and everything is hot and bubbly.


UPDATE:
This recipe is intended as a side dish. It was created to taste a lot like Southern-style baked beans. I read a comment where someone said this was too rich to be an entrée so it occurred to me I might better point out that I created this dish to be both rich and slightly sweet as it is not a main dish, but a side.

This is a dish I serve at cookouts and barbeques that is amazing served alongside hearty meats (particularly smoked or grilled). This isn’t something I’d sit down to eat with a spoon like chili or stew 😉

Using less than the four pounds of meat OR using canned (sauced) beans could result in the dish tasting too sweet. Reduce the amount of BBQ sauce, ketchup, brown sugar and/or molasses if you don't use the ingredients as written.

Notes:
  • If you can’t find Hurst’s 15 Bean Soup in your market, please ask your grocer for them. Until then, you can order them online!
  • Crumbled sausage would be amazing in this too!
  • Diced green peppers and/or jalapenos would also be great additions!
  • I drain my bacon (because bacon grease is LIFE and I save every drop) but I don't drain the ground beef. For a recipe this size, there really isn't a lot of fat here so I like the extra flavor and richness from the beefy pan drippings.
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Check out my other favorite BEAN recipes listed left to right in image below.

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Three Meat Crock Pot Cowboy Beans | BBQ beans with smoked sausage, bacon and ground beef!


59 comments:

  1. I have only worked with dry beans once before and it was a disaster! I want to make this for our Thanksgiving camping trip, do I need to soak the beans prior to putting in crock pot? Or just rinse and toss in crock pot?

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    1. Just toss them in! You CAN soak them overnight to cut down on the cooking time a little if you prefer (won't take as long to get them tender in the first step).

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  2. COULD I JUST USE KIDNEY BEANS INSTEAD OF ASSORTED BEANS ? I'M A VERY PICKY EATER & NOT A FAN OF ASSORTED BEANS. THANKYOU.

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    1. I make something similar but I substitute the dry beans with pork and beans, ranch style beans, and kidney beans, ground beef for ground deer meat. +everything you add. Oven for 1 hr at 350. Yummy.

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  3. How many cans of each do you use

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  4. What's the seasoning packet consist of its not clear.

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    1. The ingredients are listed on the package but I think it's mostly salt and smokey flavoring.

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  5. Even though you said it's meant to be a side dish, if I'm going to spend the money to put 4 lbs. of meat in there - it better be a main dish meal lol! What do you think about serving it over rice as a main dish? Maybe cut out the brown sugar?

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    1. This is what I make when I want something special, when I'm feeding a crowd or when I'm taking something to a gathering. I'm literally making this right now to take to a pig pickin' we're going to tomorrow. I figure if my buds can spring for a whole hog then stay up all night long cooking it, I can spend 20 bucks to make a giant pot of beans worthy of the occasion ;) As far as making this a main dish with no sweetness, you'd have to totally reconstruct the recipe because the ingredients that make the sauce are all sweet (molasses, ketchup, BBQ sauce & brown sugar). You've given me an idea for a new recipe concept though! You're not the only one who has inquired about this so maybe I'll try to concoct a similar recipe that's not a "baked beans" type recipe, but one that's purely a savory, main dish.

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  6. Wish me luck .. Making them today for a Christmas party.

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  7. Can I just cut the entire recipe in half? I'm just making it for me and my husband and it kinda sounds like it'll be too much for us to ever finish

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    1. Sure! Or you can do like I do and freeze it ;)

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  8. That answers my question of does it freeze well.......and I'm thinking cut out the black strap and add a little more heat. Eager to test. From new Mexico.

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  9. This looks YUMMY!! I love 15 Bean soup made the original way but this is taking it up a notch. I will cut it in half as it is just the hubs and I. I will also leave out the molasses and brown sugar because we don't like sweets in our food and my BBQ sauce of choice is Rudy's BBQ sauce from Rudy's BBQ here in Austin, TX. Not sweet but has a little kick to it. Jalapeno's are in order too. Can't wait t omake it.

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  10. Southeast Missouri here. I'm trying this today. With no molasses. I will let you know how we like it. First time. I'm making this for a main dish. Just my wife and I..

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  11. I have been making my version of cowboy beans for 25 years. It is one of my grown son's favorite meals. Of course it is so good with cornbread.

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  12. Made this today. Very good. Although I did omit the brown sugar, molasses and ketchup. Just used a bbq sauce that contained molasses, and added a green pepper. Will make again

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  13. N.C. snow coming, so just put the beans in the crockpot. Not sure if being snowed in with guys and beans is a good idea. But excited for a good hot meal!

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    1. LOL it'll keep you warm though :)

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    2. I'm from Canada and found the 15 bean package but there is mo seasoning package inside it's a different company. Any suggestions what to add.

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    3. Hi Wanda, I'd add 1 tsp salt then 1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. The biggest thing would be to add several drops of Liquid Smoke if you can find it!

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  14. This recipe looks fabulous!!! Thank you so much for submitting it! Anytime I get to use these beautiful legumes, I’m in !! I know you said “side vs main”, I think I’ll serve it with a veggie salad and perhaps a fruit jello salad and this in a smaller bowl then the salad.. hence making it a side. I have a feeling it’s going to be a huge hit!!! I’ll let ya know ♥️

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  15. Best, best, best beans EVER! I grew up on my mothers baked beans and they were good but nothing even close to this recipe. I made a batch of cornbread and spooned your beans over the top. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

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    1. LOL thank you!! I'm glad you enjoyed them!

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  16. I used to make this quite a bit when my kids were growing up. We all loved it. My recipe included sliced apples, which made it so good. I've missed it so I think I'll have to start making it again. Yum!

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  17. Just saw this recipe and plan to try it for my superbowl menu. Can't wait!!

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    1. I making it for Superbowl today too. First time. Hope it's a hit. ��

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  18. Looks Sooo yummmmy

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  19. RE:NOTE -;
    Honey, I would totally sit down with a spoon and bowl full of this!

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  20. Boil beans for a few minutes, drain, add water & boil again, drain and proceed with recipe. These two extra steps will illuminate 90% of normal gas associated with this type beans!!

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  21. Is it all possible to cut this recipe in half? I don't have a very big family. Besides I would eat this as a meal.

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    1. That would be hard to do with the beans. It freezes beautifully, though! I'd make the whole recipe then just freeze the leftovers.

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  22. Are Hurst beans available in Canada?

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    1. I know you can order on Amazon (and I think Wal-Mart) but let me check with my contact at Hursts and get back to you!

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  23. Side dish? Nah. If it's got enough meat in it,(which this does) it's a main dish casserole for me!

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    1. I concur wholeheartedly! One of my favorite meals as a kid was simple Beans & Wieners with a side of either potato salad or cole slaw!! This would be a great grown-up version.

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  24. This recipe is perfect! I love it. The name certainly fits, like a fancy baked bean recipe is what it taste like. And I’ve never been a huge fan of baked beans. My husband and I love spicy so the recipe as is was fabulous. Pairs beautifully with the sweetness of the bbq sauce & ketchup. Would be the perfect compliment to any potluck or food gathering. Protein packed heaven. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Debra! I want to kiss you on the mouth!! YES! Everything you said!! YES!! Every time someone says they're going to serve this as a main dish (despite my notes and comments) I cringe a little because I'm scared they won't be happy. In the same way I wouldn't be happy if someone gave me a bowl of Boston Baked Beans for supper. Like you said, this is a "fancy baked bean" recipe. It is meant to be served with meat and savory dishes.

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    2. I love beans and I would enjoy this as a main dish with a side (potato salad, green salad, cole slaw)! One of my favorite meals as a kid (and well into my 20's) was Beans & Wieners so this would be a great upscale version for me.

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  25. What is the best bar b que sauce for this reciepe?

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    1. I've used Sweet Baby Rays and the Kansas City style sauce they sell at Aldi and love them both in this!

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  26. Has anyone attempted to can these? I'm really trying to build a stockpile, and my husband loves these.

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    1. I would like to do this as well. Hope someone out there has tried it.

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  27. Where's the RECIPE for Cajun Ham & Beans???? All I got was a photo. Want to MAKE it.

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    1. Errrrmmm.... well, that recipe isn't posted here but I checked the link where it is posted and the recipe is listed like it should be... http://www.southyourmouth.com/2016/12/cajun-ham-beans.html

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  28. I'm adding 1/2 cup of Jack or Jim to help cut the sweetness.

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  29. It says 20 servings. What size is 1 serving considered to be? 1/2 cup?

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    1. There are approximately 20 1-cup servings in this recipe.

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  30. Can you cool the beans one day and then put it all together the following day?

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  31. Soaked the beans overnight, drained and added 6C water to beans in crockpot. Cooked on medium for 5-6 hours and found them to be inconsistent in texture and quite dry. Threw them out and went with canned.

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    1. Hmmmm. I am seriously scratching my head on this... I never soak mine overnight and even without that extra step, mine are always perfectly tender. I've heard salt makes them tough so you're never supposed to season them while soaking. Could that have been the case?? I really don't know why this would have happened.

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  32. Do you soak the Beans the night before????

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  33. I'm very interested in making this but I want to know what the cook time would be in an InstaPot?

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  34. Everybody knows real cowboys eat Pinto Beans!!! LOL!!!!

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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. 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