Trailblazing Flavor: Homestyle Cowboy Beans

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Embark on a culinary journey with Cowboy Beans, a robust side dish brimming with flavors of ground beef, bacon, onions, peppers, brown sugar, baked beans, and barbecue sauce. These beans, with roots in pioneer history, provide a hearty and fulfilling addition to your meal, perfect for those seeking nourishing and savory delights. Let’s dive into the world of Cowboy Beans and discover the essence of this time-honored dish.

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Trailblazing Flavor: Homestyle Cowboy Beans

What Are Cowboy Beans?

The name “cowboy beans” traces its origins to the days of pioneers traversing trails, seeking quick, easy, and sustaining sustenance. Beans, with their extended shelf life and the ability to be prepared with minimal resources, emerged as the perfect staple for these journeys. The addition of ground beef enhances the dish’s filling nature, creating a satisfying meal reminiscent of historical trailblazing.

Trailblazing Flavor: Homestyle Cowboy Beans

Ingredients for Cowboy Beans

  1. Ground Beef: While ground beef is the preferred choice, feel free to explore ground turkey as a suitable substitute.
  2. Bacon: Cook and crumble the bacon separately before incorporating it into the pot. For a convenient and mess-free approach, pre-bake the bacon on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet for 18-20 minutes at 415°F (210°C).
  3. Seasonings: Elevate the flavor profile with a touch of garlic salt and onion powder.
  4. Baked Beans: Opt for two 28-ounce cans of your favorite baked beans. Bush’s Original Baked Beans are a great choice.
  5. Barbecue Sauce: Choose your preferred barbecue sauce or experiment with a homemade BBQ sauce for a personalized touch.

Trailblazing Flavor: Homestyle Cowboy Beans

How to Store Cowboy Beans

To store Cowboy Beans, allow them to cool to room temperature and then transfer them to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days to maintain freshness.

Can I Freeze Cowboy Beans?

Certainly! Given that this recipe yields a substantial amount, freezing leftovers is a practical option. Ensure the dish cools completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. Label and date the container, and the beans will remain freezer-fresh for up to 6 months.

Trailblazing Flavor: Homestyle Cowboy Beans


  • 1 pound (450 g) ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced (approximately 1 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • ¼ cup (50 g) brown sugar (optional)
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) baked beans (e.g., Bush’s Original Baked Beans)
  • ½ cup (120 ml) barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a 4-quart, heavy-bottom, oven-safe pot (such as a Dutch oven) over medium heat, combine ground beef, diced onion, diced bell pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder. Cook until the ground beef is no longer pink, draining any excess liquid.
  3. Add the cooked bacon crumbles, brown sugar (optional), baked beans, barbecue sauce, and dijon mustard. Stir thoroughly to incorporate all ingredients.
  4. Cover the pot and bake for 1 hour. Once done, the beans should be hot, bubbly, and thickened. Serve warm and savor the rich flavors of Cowboy Beans.

Trailblazing Flavor: Homestyle Cowboy Beans

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