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Best Baked Beans with Ground Beef and Sausage

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

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 just 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 ground beef, sausage, 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.

Baked Beans with ground beef and sausage in a skillet--ready to eat.

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 the red, yellow, or orange peppers because of their mild and slightly sweet flavor. The green ones are cheaper, though, 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 every day 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.
Best Baked beans in individual casseroles

What should I serve with these 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 a good picnic food alongside potato salad and sandwiches.

How to make Baked Beans with Sausage and Ground Beef:

cooking the bacon in a large skillet
Fry bacon in a large skillet. Remove the bacon to cool. Empty the bacon grease.
Browning the ground beef and sausage.
Brown ground beef and sausage. Remove excess grease.
Onions and red peppers added.
Add chopped onions and bell peppers. Cook until softened.
Adding drained pork n beans or baked beans.
Add undrained pork’n’beans (aka baked beans) to the skillet.
After adding ketchup and barbecue sauce.
Add barbecue sauce and ketchup.
Stirring in the remaining ingredients.
Add the remaining seasonings and brown sugar. Stir to combine.
Adding the bacon on top
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 10 minutes longer. Allow the beans to rest about 10 minutes before serving.
Baked beans with sausage and ground beef in a serving dish after baking

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 some 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 in them. That’s why I use the 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 you baked the beans in is not very thick, you can easily overbake the beans or even burn them.
No matter why they are dry, just add some hot water and stir until they are the consistency you prefer.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my friend, Larry!



Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, you can help others and me by leaving a 5-star 🤩 rating in the comment section below. No comment is required.

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: Paula at saladinajar.com.

Hope to see you again soon!
Paula


HEARTY BAKED BEANS

Baked Beans with Ground Beef and Sausage Recipe

Well-seasoned baked beans are taken to a new level with the addition of ground beef, hot sausage, and bacon.
Paula Rhodes
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Beef
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 5-6 slices bacon
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • ½ pound sausage - I like the HOT variety
  • ½ cup onion - finely-chopped
  • ½ cup bell pepper - cored, seeded, and finely chopped (I like the red ones best)
  • 2 16-ounce cans pork and beans
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Fry bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Remove from pan and discard grease.
  • In the same skillet, brown ground meat, then drain off the excess grease. Add onions and bell peppers. Cook until vegetables soften. Add pork and beans, barbecue sauce, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and 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.

Video

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 199kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 8gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 587mgPotassium: 258mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 349IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 25mgIron: 1mg
Keyword bacon, Baked Beans, barbecue sauce, cookout, Fathers Day, ground beef
Cuisine American
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recipe Rating




Greg

Friday 7th of January 2022

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.

Paula

Friday 7th of January 2022

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.

Vickie Lemonds

Sunday 22nd of August 2021

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.

Paula

Sunday 22nd of August 2021

Hi Vickie,

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

Sharon C

Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

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

Cheri

Friday 11th of January 2019

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.

Cheri

Saturday 6th of October 2012

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.

Paula

Sunday 7th of October 2012

You're welcome Cheri. Good choice for a potluck.