|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 18g||24%|
|Saturated Fat 6g||32%|
|Total Carbohydrate 69g||25%|
|Dietary Fiber 13g||46%|
|Total Sugars 30g|
|Vitamin C 2mg||8%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Cowboy beans is a hearty Southwestern dish consisting of beans and ground beef in a sweet and tangy sauce. This recipe is made with four different kinds of beans, along with bacon, ground beef, bottled barbecue sauce, and plenty of flavoring, making the dish even more complex and filling. Cowboy beans are perfect alongside barbecue at a cookout, when tailgating, or as the main dish for an everyday family meal.
You can cook these cowboy beans in the oven or the slow cooker. Finish them off with some shredded cheddar cheese, if you like, and serve with cornbread or crusty rolls and a green salad or roasted Brussels sprouts.
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1/2 pound bacon, diced
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons mustard
1 (16-ounce) can baked beans
1 (16-ounce) can butter beans, drained
1 (16-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1 (16-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, optional
Gather the ingredients.
Heat oven to 350 F. Put the diced bacon in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat.
Cook, stirring, until the bacon is crisp, for several minutes.
Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and reserve.
Pour off the bacon drippings.
In the same pan or pot over medium heat, cook the ground beef until it is browned, breaking it up and stirring as it cooks. Add the chopped onion and cook until tender. Drain off any excess fat.
Add the ketchup, barbecue sauce, granulated and brown sugars, molasses, chili powder, salt, pepper, and mustard. Add all of the beans and stir to combine the ingredients.
If the Dutch oven isn't ovenproof, transfer the bean mixture to a casserole or baking dish. Sprinkle the bacon over the top of the bean and beef mixture. Bake for 1 hour.
If desired, top the beans with about 1 cup of shredded cheese. Continue baking in the oven until cheese has melted, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Replace the ground beef with sliced smoked sausage or hot dogs.
- Sauté about 1/2 cup of chopped green or multicolored bell peppers along with the ground beef and onions.
- Feel free to vary the beans in this dish. Black beans could replace the butter beans or kidney beans, or use Great Northern beans or navy beans.
Slow Cooker Method
This recipe can also be made in a slow cooker.
- Simply transfer the bean mixture to the crock pot insert of a slow cooker.
- Sprinkle over the cooked bacon.
- Cover and cook on high for 1 hour, reduce heat to low, and then cook for 2 to 4 hours longer.
- Remove the lid just long enough to top with cheese, if desired. Return the lid and continue to cook on low until cheese has melted.
How to Store and Freeze Cowboy Beans
Cowboy beans, like most chili dishes, taste better the longer they sit. They'll be good for up to three to four days in the fridge. If you'd like to freeze them, you can. It's often a good idea to freeze chili in containers that are sized appropriately for your crew, so you don't have to guess when you're defrosting.
Cowboy beans can be defrosted in the microwave and reheated that way, or on the stovetop over medium-low heat until heated through.