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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

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.

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

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 inside the recipe below. No comments are required.

Hope to see you again soon!
Paula

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

Yield: 10 servings

Baked Beans with Ground Beef and Sausage Recipe

HEARTY BAKED BEANS

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

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Fry bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Remove from pan and discard grease.
  2. 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.
  3. Transfer beans to 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 to stand an additional 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

*Cheap pork and beans work best as they tend to contain more liquid making the beans "juicier" after baked.

*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 oven.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 329Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 1108mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 6gSugar: 13gProtein: 18g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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.

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.

Diana

Thursday 11th of November 2010

Hi Paula, this is Diana from TasteSpotting!

These beans sound amazing! The perfect thing to warm up with on a cool fall day. :) Have you thought about submitting the recipe for the $1000 grand prize in TasteSpotting's Johnsonville Sausage recipe contest? You can find out more details here - http://www.tastespotting.com/features/sausagespotting-win-1500-dollars-johnsonville-recipe-contest

Would love to have you participate - cheers!

Steak Enthusiast

Tuesday 3rd of August 2010

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!

Larry

Tuesday 3rd of August 2010

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?

Paula

Tuesday 3rd of August 2010

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?"

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