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.
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.
Frequently asked questions:
After assembling the recipe, cook on LOW for 3-4 hours.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my friend, Larry!
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Hope to see you again soon!
p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: Paula at saladinajar.com.