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Slow Cooker Cowboy Beans (Baked Beans with Ground Beef)

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Serve up meaty delicious cowboy beans with ground beef at your next BBQ. They are a hearty and easy to make side dish that is made right in your slow cooker!

Bowl of cowboy beans with thick and rich baked beans loaded with ground beef and goodies.

Nothing says summer BBQ like some slow cooked southern baked beans. These meaty cowboy beans have a thick sauce that has the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

They feature ground beef and green peppers making them a delicious and hearty side dish. These beans are a perfect side for potlucks, BBQs and carry ins too!

MiMi has been making this easy recipe for years. In fact we have been saying we need to get pictures almost from the beginning of the blog.

slow cooker full of thick bean mixture.

The problem is she usually makes them when we are preparing for a crowd and it’s hard to slow down and take pictures.

So when I was thinking of sides to make for our 4th of July get together, these instantly came to mind. They are quick to throw together, they feed an army and the leftovers freeze well so they win on all fronts.

ground beef and diced green peppers on top of beans in slow cooker.

The original cowboy beans recipe was from South Your Mouth, but MiMi has adjusted it over the years to adapt for our large gatherings and we add black beans and green pepper for color and variety.

bowl of cowboy beans ready to eat.

Cowboy beans are almost hearty enough to be a meal on their own, but we normally serve them with pulled pork or hamburgers and hot dogs.

So take it easy on yourself and make some cowboy beans for your next gathering!

plate with burger, beans and tomato cucumber salad.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you store leftover baked beans?

Allow beans to cool to room temperature, then transfer to a storage container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Can you freeze leftover baked beans?

Yes! I have had great luck freezing these hearty baked beans. Portion them into containers the appropriate size for a meal later and freeze for up to six months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight then microwave or reheat in a saucepan on the stove.

Some More Easy Side Dishes for a Barbecue:

Homemade maple bacon baked beans in the instant pot makes for a great sweet and savory side dish. it starts with maple syrup and dried beans and can still be made in a couple of hours with the help of a pressure cooker.

Crockpot corny macaroni and cheese is made right in the slow cooker, there is no boiling the noodles first. Plus there is some corn mixed in for an all in one perfect side dish!

Frito salad is a fun twist on a taco salad. It is loaded with flavor and is perfect for potlucks, but also makes a fun dinner main dish. The homemade Catalina salad dressing is easy to make and the salad is packed full of goodies.

BBQ ranch pasta salad has it all, fresh herbs, ranch, tomatoes, avocados, corn and more! It’s perfect for picnics, BBQs, potlucks and more!

Did you make this easy side dish recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

Bowl of cowboy beans with thick and rich baked beans loaded with ground beef and goodies.

Baked Beans with Ground Beef

Servings: 36 Servings
Author: Carlee
Nothing says summer bbq like some slow cooked beans. These meaty cowboy beans have a thick sauce that has the perfect balance of sweet and savory. They are a perfect side for potlucks, bbqs and carry ins too!
5 from 5 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef*
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 7 pound can of pork and beans large industrial can
  • 2 15 ounce cans black beans
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons yellow mustard*


  • Dice the onion and pepper into small pieces.
    1 onion, 1 green bell pepper
  • In a large skillet, brown the pound of ground beef, salt and pepper over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper until softened slightly.
    1 pound ground beef*, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Drain any free liquid off the top of the pork and beans and then pour into a 6 quart slow cooker. Drain and rinse the black beans and add to the pot.
    7 pound can of pork and beans, 2 15 ounce cans black beans
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients including the cooked ground beef and veggies.
    ½ teaspoon chili powder, ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ cup barbecue sauce, 1 cup ketchup, ½ cup light brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons yellow mustard*
  • Cook on low for at least 4 hours, but as long as 8.


*This recipe also works great with ground venison in place of the beef.
Feel free to use spicy brown mustard or Dijon mustard in place of the yellow mustard if that is what you have.
I like to have a bottle of hot sauce nearby when I serve these beans in case anyone wants a little more spice.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 160kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 9gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 489mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating

Colleen - Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck

Monday 20th of August 2018

This is like dinner in a bowl...hand me a spoon! Thanks for joining Crockpot Monday today!


Saturday 25th of August 2018

I think so too, I could definitely make a meal of them! Thank you!

Sue Lau

Monday 20th of August 2018

I've been loving cowboy beans since the beginning of time! Glad to see a great slow cooker recipe for them.


Saturday 25th of August 2018

They are so hearty and delicious, aren't they?


Wednesday 25th of July 2018

These beans sound so good Carlee. I love recipes for the slow cooker! Thanks so much for sharing with us at the Whimsical Wednesdays Link Party!


Saturday 25th of August 2018

Me too! Especially for a party, making a side or two ahead in the slow cooker makes it easier to enjoy your guests!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Sunday 22nd of July 2018

I love these kind of bean dishes! I've never tried freezing them though, I might make them more often now knowing that it freezes well!


Saturday 25th of August 2018

You definitely should give that a try! It's a lot to eat at once, but packaging the leftovers in meal sized portions makes it really easy to serve up sides later too!


Wednesday 18th of July 2018

I could definitely make a whole meal just out of these beans!! Yum!


Sunday 22nd of July 2018

I could too! I actually ate a bowlful for lunch the other day too ;-)