Texas Cowboy Beans

Cowboy Beans

Bob Ingelhart / Getty Images

Prep: 14 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 14 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
382 Calories
7g Fat
63g Carbs
18g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 382
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 838mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 63g 23%
Dietary Fiber 11g 40%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 18mg 91%
Calcium 125mg 10%
Iron 5mg 25%
Potassium 1147mg 24%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In Texas, beans mean pinto beans—the Lone Star state grows a lot of them, after all. These beans are more than just beans, though. They are a perfect one-pot meal that cooks slowly over the course of several hours, resulting in a pot of Texas cowboy pinto beans that you will love to savor.

The beans are cooked up with barbecue sauce and brisket burnt ends, which are the trimmings from brisket and often considered a delicacy. These Texas cowboy beans would be hearty on their own or can be served alongside coleslaw and mac and cheese as a perfect side dish for barbecue brisket. If you don't have burnt ends or don't have access to a barbecue joint that sells them, try a grilled steak, and don't be afraid to char the edges a bit. The beans take on a smoky, meaty flavor from being cooked with the burnt ends.


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans

  • 2 quarts water

  • 1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes

  • 2 cups chopped cooked brisket, preferably burnt ends

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1 cup barbecue sauce

  • 3 medium jalapeño peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Wash beans and pour into a large saucepan or Dutch oven.

  3. Add all other ingredients, except the salt.

  4. Bring to a boil while stirring.

  5. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 2 hours, covered.

  6. Stir occasionally, bringing up the beans from the bottom to prevent burning and so they will cook evenly.

  7. Add the salt after 1 hour.

  8. The beans are done when they're soft but still hold their shape.

  9. Serve and enjoy.


  • You can skip the hot peppers if you don't like them and substitute for bell peppers instead, although the dish really tastes better with a bit of heat.
  • If you don't have dried beans or you'd prefer a faster cooking meal, you can use canned beans. The dish will cook in much less time. Make sure you add a cup of water for simmering along with the barbecue sauce and tomato sauce. The beans should be ready in about a half an hour—although longer cooking over low heat will simply intensify the flavor. Just take care to not let the beans break down.

How to Store and Freeze Texas Cowboy Beans

These beans will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. This dish will freeze well in an airtight container or zip-close freezer bag for up to six months. You can cook it from frozen right in a saucepan over medium heat, or defrost in the refrigerator first before reheating until it's completely hot.