These slow cooker Baked Beans with ground beef and bacon, aka cowboy baked beans is a flavorful recipe you need in your collection! Everyone will want you to put a nice big scoop of these baked beans on their plate at the next family party.
This easy hamburger and bacon baked bean recipe is perfect for busy families, especially during the summer months. It makes a perfect side dish to bring to church potlucks, family functions or a summer cookout. The best baked beans to team with potato & pasta salad, as well as coleslaw. Starting with canned baked beans makes this recipe a breeze!
Since the beef and bacon baked beans are prepared in a slow cooker, you won't heat the house up. You family still gets a budget friendly hearty meal though.
To make preparation quick and easy I start with canned baked beans. The addition of ground beef and seasonings make the basic beans into a hearty dinner.
How to Make Slow Cooker Baked Beans and Ground Beef (aka Cowboy Beans)
Here is a simple visual guide to preparing the slow cooked ground beef bacon baked beans with pictures. Print card for the easy recipe below.
Ingredients you will need for the Crockpot Beans:
- 1 pound of ground beef (lean)
- chopped onions (I prefer sweet onions, but yellow onion is fine)
- green Pepper chopped
- 4 cans Pork and Beans (approximately 60 ounces total) pinto beans are great, but some prefer kidney beans
- Brown Sugar (light brown sugar is shown, but dark brown sugar is even better)
- Minced Garlic or garlic powder
- yellow Mustard (swap spicy brown mustard if you prefer)
- Worcestershire Sauce
- apple cider vinegar
- Barbecue Sauce
- Bacon (I prefer to lightly cook bacon first and use it along with bacon drippings.)
Want to spice your beans up further, toss in a tablespoon of homemade Cajun seasoning into the pot!
Preparing Slow Cooked Beef and Beans
Place a large skillet over medium heat. (cast iron skillet is ideal, but if your slow cooker has a saute function that is good too)
Then add the hamburger meat once it is hot. Stir regularly with a wooden spoon along with the green pepper and onions. Cook ground beef until lightly browned.
Place in a crock pot, Dutch oven or large saucepan. Add Worcestershire, vinegar, mustard, BBQ sauce, garlic, and ketchup to the cooked ground beef and mix in.
Cut the bacon into small pieces and place on top of the beans. Cook on low in slow cooker or the covered pot for 3 to 4 hours.
After a few hours in the slow cooker, the beef and beans looks like this and is ready to serve.
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Serving the Cowboy Style Slow Cooked Baked Beans
The easy slow cooker baked beans are a great recipe to make as an easy side dish to serve with BBQ dinners or pulled pork sandwiches. It will quickly become a favorite at family gatherings.
You can serve it as a main dish for your family too. Toss some cut up hot dogs in if you have them. Kids love the addition and it is a fantastic budget stretcher. You can also team it with a couple of your favorite side dish recipes such as Dill Pickle Pasta salad, pan-fried sweet potatoes, breadsticks, slow cooker mashed potatoes, crock pot corn casserole or a sweet pea salad. For dessert, something easy like my Peach Dump Cake recipe, Kool Aid pie or some Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies would be great choices.
Make sure to put out a bottle of hot sauce when serving, for those who like it spicy!
Cowboy Baked Beans in the Oven
If you are already baking or just prefer to make your beef and bacon baked beans in the oven rather than the slow cooker, no problem. Here are the simple changes to make to the baked beans recipe.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Instead of a slow cooker, the beans will go in a baking dish or Dutch oven. Bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until bubbling but not dried out.
This slow cooked baked beans with simple bbq sauce and beef is one of my favorite easy side dishes to bring to the cookout and makes a great meal too. If you like this hearty simple comfort food, try my Slow Cooker Meatloaf Recipe and Crock Pot Chicken Thighs recipe too. I hope you enjoy!
Baked Beans with Ground Beef Recipe
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 medium Onion chopped
- 1 green Bell Pepper chopped
- 4 cans Pork and Beans approx 60 oz total
- ¾ cup Brown Sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 2 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup Ketchup
- 1 cup Barbecue Sauce
- 12 slices Bacon , chopped
- Brown ground beef with onion and pepper.
- Drain ground beef mixture and add to crock pot.
- Add remaining ingredients except bacon and stir to mix well.
- Cut bacon strips into quarters and fry until fat is rendered out and bacon is slightly browned.
- Add bacon pieces to top of crock pot.
- Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
vanessa: thequeenofswag says
This looks super easy to make and delicious. I'll have to make this soon for dinner.
I love beef and beans, they're so good! My recipe is very similar (just a few variations), but I definitely want to give your recipe a try. I've never added bacon time mine, but it looks like a tasty addition.
Oh yum I've always been a fan of beans love the added bacon.
I love this recipe, it looks amazing! I miss my crockpot so much now that I am on the road, I am used to using it every night.
I've never made beans from scratch before. How sad is that?! This looks easy enough that I could give it a try though.
Robin Gagnon says
These are more in the "semi-homemade" category. I'm adding more contributor recipes like this, since realistically not all moms have the time for fully scratch cooking.
Ok, I was sold when you said bacon! I'm going to make it with kidney beans!
Even the bacon cooks perfectly while in the slow cooker. Works for me!
Liz Mays says
Such a great summer dinner option. I made it as a main course with crusty bread on the side. The only change I made was swapping 2 of the cans of beans for black beans. It is what I had.
Chris Bayrd says
This recipe looks great, can't wait to make a whole sh*t ton of this stuff!!!
In my region a little more heat is typical. These are great, but even better with a generous tsp of chipotle chili powder, six-chili powder, or a diced fresh jalapeño.. add a little more brown sugar, by taste, to offset the heat.
Rob Dupin says
I made this yesterday and it is as good as it sounds like it should be. Prep time of 8 minutes is a bit off though. Chop an onion, chop a pepper, brown a pound of meat and fry up 12 slices of bacon in 8 minutes? I'd like to see the human that can do that. I think it took me 45 minutes, but was still worth the effort.
Robin Gagnon says
Hi Rob, thanks for the input. The cooking of the meat was included in the cooking time rather than in prep. It was estimated at 30 mins and added to average time of 3 1/2 hours in the crock pot.
I just upped the prep time a bit since I agree that can be confusing. Thank you.
Elaine Weber says
This is a great Super Bowl dish to serve. Men love it!