Cowboy Baked Beans (Skillet or Slow Cooker)

These Cowboy Baked Beans are an EASY recipe that can be made with hamburger, sausage or venison.

Use the slow cooker or a skillet for a quick and easy meal with only a few basic ingredients.  We have friends that say this is one of the best recipes in their meal rotation!

Warm and delicious baked beans with meat in a small white dish with a spoon.

Our Big Batch of Baked Beans is perfect to make in a roaster for parties and cookouts!

Recipe For Cowboy Baked Beans

Our Cowboy Baked Beans recipe creates a good hearty meal that can double as a side or main dish. There’s a very sweet sauce than compliments the meaty flavor wonderfully.

The sauce blends perfectly with almost any ground meat. We like to use sausage, venison or ground beef as they are the most common meats in our home.

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My mom has the ultimate Meaty Baked Beans Recipe that is always popular as a side dish at parties.  We love this recipe for Cowboy Baked Beans because it’s got great added flavors and is simple to make in 15 minutes.

Baked beans with ground meat venison in a serving spoon being lifted above the skillet.

Baked beans are one of those classic American dishes that we all should have a recipe for.  I remember taking a 4-H project called “All American Foods”.  That was the first time I made baked beans.

In the same 4-H project, I made my first Goulash recipe.  For judging, I took this family Ham Ball Recipe and called the Rootin’ Tootin’ Hamballs and wore a denim dress with western accessories.  My table and place setting had a western style.  While I don’t recall the specific award I won I remember doing well and enjoying the project!

Ingredients Needed

  • One pound ground meat – we like ground beef, sausage or venison.
  • Onion – white onion is most economical, but yellow, sweet or red work fine too.
  • Large can of Bush’s Baked Beans
  • Brown Sugar
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard – We use a basic yellow mustard or a sweet and spicy blend.
Ingredients to make cowboy baked beans are a large can of Bush's best baked beans, hamburger, brown sugar, chopped onion, ketchup and mustard on a brown counter top.

Venison Baked Beans

Deer hunting is big in our area.  Although I don’t come from a family of hunters and have never really gone hunting myself, we know several people that hunt and have freezers full of venison that is the staple of their meals through the year.

Avid hunters are always looking for easy recipes that use ground venison.  Friends that shared this recipe and make it regularly typically use a pound of ground venison.  They use venison because that’s what they have and we use ground beef because that’s what we have.  Sausage would taste great too in this recipe.

Close up dish of flavorful cowboy beans with sausage in a meaty mixture with the skillet in the background.

As farmers, we raise corn and soybeans which deer love to eat.  We prefer the flavors of corn-fed beef, so I imagine some corn-fed venison would taste pretty good in these baked beans too.

Another great recipe with wild game is our Tender Squirrel Stew.

Cowboy Baked Beans in a Skillet

Brown ground beef, venison or sausage in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Drain fat if necessary. We typically use lean meat so there’s not much draining.

Add chopped onion and stir until tender.

Hamburger and onion sautéed in a skillet to make baked beans.

Then add brown sugar, ketchup and mustard.

Adding brown sugar, ketchup and mustard to a skillet of hamburger and onion to make a recipe for cowboy baked beans.

Finally pour in the entire can of baked beans. Stir well.

Can of baked beans poured over browned ground beef, softened onions, ketchup, mustard and brown sugar in a skillet.

Set to medium-high heat, cover and stir occasionally until warmed through which takes about 10 minutes.

Excess liquid will cook off during this time.

Overhead view of skillet with lots of hamburger meat showing in a hearty baked beans mixture on a red and white plaid napkin.

Serve warm and enjoy!

How to Make Cowboy Baked Beans in a Slow Cooker

  1. Brown ground venison, beef or sausage.
  2. Add all ingredients to a lined or greased crockpot and stir well.
  3. Cover and cook on low until warmed through about 3 hours.  Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Slow Cooker with a liner full of cowboy beans with hamburger on a wooden table.

Other All American Recipes:

Printable Cowboy Baked Beans Recipe

Close up white dish of tender bake surrounded by hamburger and a rich, flavorful sauce with a spoon handle on the side.

Cowboy Baked Beans

Servings 6 people
Author: Jennifer
These Cowboy Baked Beans are an EASY recipe that can be made with hamburger, sausage or venison. Use the slow cooker or a skillet for a quick and easy meal with only a few basic ingredients.  We have friends that say this is one of the best recipes in their meal rotation!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground beef venison or sausage
  • 28 ounce can Bush's Original Baked Beans undrained
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard optional

Instructions
 

Cowboy Baked Beans in a Skillet

  • Brown ground beef, venison or sausage in a large skillet and drain fat.
    1 pound ground beef
  • Add chopped onion and stir until tender.
    1 small onion
  • Add remaining ingredients.  Stir well.
    28 ounce can Bush's Original Baked Beans, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon mustard
  • Set to medium-high heat, cover and stir occasionally until warmed through which takes about 15 minutes.

Cowboy Baked Beans in a Slow Cooker

  • Brown ground venison, beef or sausage.
  • Add all ingredients to a lined or greased crockpot and stir well.
  • Cover and cook on low until warmed through about 3 hours.  Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Nutrition

Calories: 396kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 20gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 721mgPotassium: 678mgFiber: 8gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 51IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 97mgIron: 4mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!

Originally shared on November 3, 2019 with pictures updated on January 6, 2024.

collage of crock pot cowboy baked beans with ground beef, sausage or venison

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