Best Baked Beans with Sausage and Ground Beef

Sneak Preview: Well-seasoned Baked Beans with Sausage and Ground Beef (AKA Cowboy Baked Beans), as well as the usual bacon, will take your next cookout to a new level.

baked beans with sausage and hamburger in a black skillet with a wooden spoonPin

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My friend Larry called these hearty baked beans “the best-baked beans I ever had.” I don’t know if he was extra hungry. Maybe he was appreciating food he didn’t have to make himself. Nevertheless, he’s a wonderful cook, so I’m believing it. Here is the recipe, as promised.

Since these baked beans contain sausage, ground beef, and bacon, they are a meal in their own right. They’re also a tasty side for steaks, pork chops, burgers, etc. Take them to a potluck. Or fix them for a sick neighbor or friend.

Happy Cooks Speak Up

Made this tonight for church pot luck tomorrow. Not sure it will make it to the pot luck! The family has already eaten a fair share of it. YUMMY! Thanks for sharing.”CHERIE

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • BACON: Thin-sliced, thick-sliced, peppered bacon, or even turkey bacon. I can’t think of any bacon that wouldn’t be good in this recipe except for the fake bacon bits that come in a jar. No, thank you.
  • GROUND BEEF: I like the 88/12 ground beef at Costco. But really, even the cheapest ground beef is OK if you drain off the excess grease
  • SAUSAGE: We are talking about breakfast sausage, not Italian sausage. Hot or regular-spiced is good.
  • ONIONS: Use fresh yellow or white onions. Frozen onions are convenient. Dried onions would be my last choice, although they wouldn’t be bad as they have plenty of time to hydrate in the beans.
  • BELL PEPPERS: We prefer red, yellow, or orange peppers because of their mild and sweet flavor. The green ones are cheaper if you enjoy the bitter flavor.
  • PORK and BEANS: I buy the cheapest beans because they have more “bean juice.” Suit yourself.
  • BARBECUE SAUCE: Our favorite brand is “Head Country Original.” Any brand of traditional barbecue sauce should work.
  • BROWN MUSTARD: Substitute prepared mustard if that’s what you have.
  • BROWN SUGAR: I use light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar is good, too. If you use granulated white sugar, add a couple of teaspoons of molasses. If you don’t like your beans to be very sweet, reduce the brown sugar by half or more.

What Should I Serve with Baked Beans?

Our favorite way to eat them is with potato chips, using the beans as a dip. If this practice is not socially acceptable, please don’t tell me and ruin the fun.

They are also good picnic food alongside potato salad and sandwiches.

How To Make Baked Beans with Sausage and Ground Beef

cooking the bacon in a large skilletPin
Fry bacon in a large skillet. Remove the bacon to cool. Empty the bacon grease.
browning ground beef and sausage in a skillet.Pin
Brown ground beef and sausage. Remove excess grease.
Onions and red peppers added.Pin
Add chopped onions and bell peppers. Cook until softened.
Adding drained pork n beans or baked beans.Pin
Add undrained pork’n’beans (aka baked beans) to the skillet.
After adding ketchup and barbecue sauce.Pin
Add barbecue sauce and ketchup.
Stirring in the remaining ingredients.Pin
Add the remaining seasonings and brown sugar. Stir to combine.
Bacon sprinkled over the top, then into the oven.Pin
Sprinkle reserved bacon over the top.

If your skillet is oven-proof and has a lid, you can put it into the oven to bake. Otherwise, transfer the beans to an oven-safe casserole dish. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes at 350˚F. Remove the cover and bake for 10 minutes longer. Allow the beans to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Baked beans with sausage and ground beef in a serving dish after bakingPin

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these in a slow cooker?

After assembling the recipe, cook on LOW for 3-4 hours.

Can I make these beans ahead of time?

Yes. The flavors of the beans seem to marry and get better after spending time in the fridge. However, you may need to add water when reheating them, as the beans will absorb moisture.

Do I need to rinse or drain the beans?

Although many recipes recommend rinsing beans, I don’t do it in this recipe. The bean juices keep the beans moist. All the seasonings will completely mask the original flavor of the juices.

Can I reduce the sugar?

Yes. After you stir all the ingredients together, give yourself a small taste. If your beans, barbecue sauce, or ketchup are already sweet enough on their own, you may not need to add the full 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Suit yourself.

My beans seem a little dry after baking. What did I do wrong?

There are several reasons this can happen. If you use expensive pork and beans, they tend to have less liquid. That’s why I use cheap ones.

Another reason could be your oven. If the temperature runs a little high, you may need to turn your oven down to compensate.

If the container in which you baked the beans is not very thick, you can easily overbake them or even burn them.
No matter why they are dry, add some hot water and stir until they are the consistency you prefer.

Parting thoughts: I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my friend Larry! Ground Beef and Bacon lovers will also like these recipes for Ground Beef Goulash or this Easy Ground Beef and Bacon One Dish Supper.

Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

baked beans with hamburger in a black skillet with wooden spoonPin
Yield: 10 servings

Baked Beans with Sausage and Ground Beef Recipe

Well-seasoned baked beans are taken to a new level with the addition of ground beef, hot sausage, and bacon.

Rate this recipe

(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 10 votes


Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 5-6 slices (110 g) bacon
  • ½ pound (226 g) ground beef
  • ½ pound (226 g) sausage I like the HOT variety
  • ½ cup (80 g) onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup (74 g) bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 16-ounce (908 g) cans pork and beans
  • ½ cup (143 g) barbecue sauce
  • ½ cup (120 g) ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons (50 g) brown sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F (170˚C). Fry 5-6 slices (110 g) bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Remove from pan and discard grease.
  • In the same skillet, brown 1/2 pound (226 g) ground beef and 1/2 pound (226 g) sausage, then drain off the excess grease. Add 1/2 cup (80 g) onion, finely chopped and 1/2 cup (74 g) bell pepper, finely chopped. Cook until vegetables soften. Add 2 16-ounce (908 g) cans pork and beans, 1/2 cup (143 g) barbecue sauce, 1/2 cup (120 g) ketchup, 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 4 tablespoons (50 g) brown sugar to the meat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer beans to a greased 2-quart dish. Crumble bacon over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes. Allow the beans to stand an additional 10 minutes before serving.


  • Cheap pork and beans work best as they tend to contain more liquid making the beans “juicier” after baking.
  • Baking time will vary according to the depth of the baking dish you choose. Flatter dishes require less time. Beans will thicken some after removing from the oven.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 587mg | Potassium: 258mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 349IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I liked it. This will be my go to for a dish to pass. I like spicy. So I used Hot sausage.
    Also I preferred the Bush’s BBQ Beans.

    1. I like your version. I must give it a try. Thanks for taking the time to write and share.

  2. 5 stars
    Wow! Love these. I didn’t follow your recipe exactly, was I assumed 1 lb of beef and sausage each, so had to double things. Used 2 different BBQ sauces, ran out of the one I chose initially. Didn’t have the hot sausage, nor the spicy brown mustard. Subbed sweet Italian, and whole seed mustard, plus some ground to the mix. Added some good sauce a friend made too, that helped bring a little heat. Will need to use more. I really like how this is a great base recipe, there are a lot of things I want to try with it. Add some Hatch chillies, maybe smoke it instead of baking too. The possibilities are endless.

    1. Hi Greg! So glad to hear this. I latched on to your last idea–smoking instead of baking. YES! I’m betting that would be fabulous.

  3. Vickie Lemonds says:

    In Texas, we call these “Cowboy Beans”. Since moving to NC, we’ve introduced these beans to many friends. They are especially good with bread machine sourdough bread, smeared with butter on a crisp fall night.

    1. Hi Vickie,

      Do you toast that sourdough bread? Sounds delicious to me.

  4. 5 stars
    I used turkey sausage, good bacon, and shredded chicken because it was what I had. Delicious!

  5. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for church pot luck tomorrow. Not sure it will make it to the pot luck! The family has already eaten a fair share of it. YUMMY! Thanks for sharing.

    1. You’re welcome Cheri. Good choice for a potluck.

  6. Steak Enthusiast says:

    Wow! This recipe is so amazing (and so are your photos) that I had to share it with my blog readers, too! I know they will love it as much as I do. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. I just made the beans and while putting them together, I discovered I was out of Brown Sugar. Too tired to go to the store, I used Maple Syrup and they are still better than mine and a lot easier. I normally start with dried beans, but why bother?

    1. Larry, I’ve tried starting with dried beans several times too. But they are never quite as good. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. You said it right, “Why bother?”

  8. Recipe looks great and very similar to one that I make with turkey products rather than beef. I use ground turkey, turkey bacon, baked beans as well as kidney and butter beans. May not sound as good but the other items make the dish very good- or at least we think so!!

  9. This pictures is making me hungry. Adding bacon is a great idea!

  10. your favorite grandson would LOVE these!

  11. I haven’t had baked beans in….. [that long]. Wow, what a great way to spice up some regular cans of beans. I especially love the hot sausage and the bacon. I bet it’s even good cold – as a dip! Love the action shot!

  12. Jeannette says:

    this looks fantastic!! reminds me of chili! I’d scoop it with fritos scoops!! yum-o!

  13. TheKitchenWitch says:

    My daddy would love these beans! I’m definitely making them the next time my folks are up for lunch!

  14. this sounds interesting! looks really yummy!

    Have a nice day!

  15. Jane @ Sweet Basil Kitchen says:

    Whenever there is a family picnic, I am appointed to bring the beans. I will try this recipe, I am sure they will all love it! Nice photos!