Don't forget to check out the Tips & FAQ section in the post!
Discover southern comfort food in this easy baked beans with ground beef recipe and enjoy the light BBQ flair with a touch of bacon, all classic flavors made simple.
I’ve really been in the mood for baked beans lately, but I wanted something that could be not just a side dish, but an entire main course. I needed something with meat in it…more like a casserole. This BBQ beans recipe was the perfect solution.
This baked beans casserole (some people call it cowboy beans) will be a staple at barbecues, potlucks, and family gatherings. It’s super versatile and it’s very easy to make.
Table of Contents:
Baked beans is typically a sweet and savory dish, with a combination of brown sugar, ketchup or tomato sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, which adds depth of flavor. You can also add your own twist to the recipe by incorporating your favorite spices or vegetables.
|Feel free to use ground turkey in place of ground beef. You could also use less brown sugar and no sugar added BBQ sauce.|
Now let’s talk about just some of the ingredients in this baked beans with hamburger and bacon dish. (The printable list of all ingredients are in the recipe card below.)
Beans: The type of beans used in baked beans can vary, but for ease and quickness, we’re using canned pork and beans for this recipe. I promise, you won’t even know you used a can.
Ground Beef: Ground beef is a key ingredient in this recipe. It adds a savory flavor and texture to the dish. Lean ground beef is a healthier option, but use whatever type you prefer.
Bacon: Bacon is used in this recipe to add smoky flavor to the baked beans. You can use pre-cooked bacon, or cook your own.
Onion and Pepper: Onion and bell pepper will add a sweet and savory flavor to the dish.
Tomato Sauce: Instead of adding ketchup, you’ll be adding in tomato suace for this recipe. It gives it a more tomato-y flavor.
BBQ Sauce: Barbecue sauce is a tangy and sweet addition to this recipe. You can use whatever brand you like.
Brown Sugar: Brown sugar is used to add sweetness to the dish, balancing out the tanginess of the barbecue sauce.
|Where to Serve This|
|This casserole is the perfect addition to a backyard barbecue, a game day, a picnic, or a cozy winter gathering.|
How to make this casserole:
(Let’s talk about how to make bbq baked beans with ground beef and bacon. (The printable instructions are in the recipe card below.)
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 13×9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Cook the bacon, then chop it or crumble it and set it to the side.
Clean the skillet, add the ground beef and cook it until about halfway done.
Once it’s about halfway done, add the chopped onion and pepper and finish cooking until completely cooked through. Drain the fat.
Add the cooked beef and the rest of the ingredients (except for the bacon pieces) to a large mixing bowl or in the large skillet and mix well. Make sure to add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the mixture into the prepared 13×9 inch baking dish, sprinkle the bacon pieces over everything.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for about 40-45 minutes. It will be hot throughout and bubbly.
|These baked beans go great with cornbread, coleslaw, corn on the cob, potato salad, mac-n-cheese, fresh fruit salad, fried chicken, yeast rolls and/or salad.|
Easy Baked Beans with Ground Beef
- 5 large slices bacon (if the bacon is thin or small slices, you may use more)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 yellow onion, chopped (can use half if desired)
- 1 green pepper, chopped (can use half if desired)
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce (use the small 8 ounch can, not the large can)
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (whichever type you like)
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 (16 ounce) cans pork and beans, drained a bit, but not rinsed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 13×9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cook the bacon in a skillet until fully cooked and crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and cut the strips into small pieces or crumble it up. Set aside. (Feel free to use pre-cooked bacon or cook the bacon how you usually cook it. It doesn't have to be cooked on the stove.)
- Clean the skillet, add the ground beef and start cooking until about halfway finished.
- Once it's about halfway done, add the chopped onion and pepper and finish cooking until completely cooked through. Drain the fat.
- Add the cooked beef and the rest of the ingredients (except for the bacon pieces) to a large mixing bowl and mix well. (If your skillet is large enough, you can just mix everything well in the skillet.)
- Add the salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared 13×9 inch baking dish, sprinkle the bacon pieces over everything.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for about 40-45 minutes. It will be hot throughout and bubbly.
- See the notes section for best ways to store, serve and for more questions.
It can also be added to freezer bags or small air-tight containers and frozen. How to serve: Serve this dish warm. If leftovers are cold, add some to a plate or bowl and microwave. For other questions: Make sure to check out the TIPS & FAQs for this recipe in the blog post, which should answer other questions you may have about ingredients, substitutions and more. Nutritional values are an estimate. *This recipe card may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
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Tips & FAQs:
I would classify this recipe somewhere in the middle. It’s savory and smoky with a bit of bbq sweetness to it.
No. You can omit the bacon if you do not eat it. The dish will not have that smoky flavor though if you leave it out.
Yes, although the dish may not have as much of a classic smokey flavor though.
No, you can omit the beef or use a different meat if you prefer.
Use the type you like best. I personally like to use the no sugar added BBQ sauce.
Yes, however, it will change the taste a bit.
Certainly! I recommend classic pork and beans but feel free to experiment with different bean varieties for your personal preference.
Certainly! This can be prepared in advance and reheated for a convenient and delicious meal. Make sure to store leftovers, covered and in the fridge.
This casserole should be stored, covered well, in the refrigerator and can last up to 5 days.
It can also be added to freezer bags or small air-tight containers and frozen.
Serve this dish warm. If leftovers are cold, add some to a plate or bowl and microwave. This dish can be served as either a main dish or a side dish.
Feel free to adjust seasoning levels, change the vegetables, omit the vegetables, add more bacon, omit the bacon, use different types of beans, use a different type of meat, or omit the meat completely.
Absolutely! Its hearty nature, robust flavors, and ease of preparation make it an excellent choice for feeding a crowd.
This casserole can be the main dish or the side dish. Feel free to serve it with pulled pork sandwiches, biscuits, cole slaw, baked or fried chicken, chicken sandwiches and anything else you can think of.
Supplies used for this recipe:
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.