This Hearty Baked Beans with Ground Beef recipe is the perfect southern-style baked beans dish that's loaded with hamburger and bacon.
Baked Beans with Ground Beef
These Baked Beans with Ground Beef are baked beans on steroids—rich with bacon and ground beef. Sweet, smokey, saucy and savory all with a variety of beans.
Move over boring baked beans!
You know when you go to family gatherings and taste a perfect dish that’s so good you know you have to have the recipe to add to your rotation? So...you walk around feeling like a stalker, asking... "Who made the ____?"
This is one of those dishes.
Actually, I remember the first time I tried them; a brother-in-law brought them to a family party.
FYI--This recipe has outlasted the marriage. That means something, huh?
Since that time, I’ve taken these beans to countless events and shared the recipe many times. And, I'm glad that brother-in-law and I are no longer in the same family.
That way I always get the glory of bringing this favorite to the party.
And... bring the beans, I do! The kids request them at every party and consider it one of our family's signature dishes.
80/20 ground beef is ideal for Baked Beans with Ground Beef. This ratio number refers to the percentage of fat in the ground meat. The higher the second number the leaner the beef is. Fat contributes good flavor to this recipe.
To create this recipe here's what you will need:
- Lean Ground Beef-I use our farm-raised beef.
- Bacon-Farm-raised for us, but any thick-cut bacon works.
- Yellow Onion-I used yellow, but white would be just fine.
- Dark Brown Sugar-Light or dark
- Sugar-adds sweetness
- Ketchup-contributes to the sweet, tangy sauce
- BBQ Sauce-Use KC Masterpiece or something similar
- Yellow mustard-plain old hot dog mustard brings a good tangy balance to the sweet
- Black Pepper & Salt
- Chili Powder
- Canned Beans-pork & beans, black beans, great northern beans
First, cook diced bacon in a large skillet until lightly browned and lightly crispy. I love using my iron skillet for cooking meats. This gets the deep color and flavor I'm always looking after.
Caring for cast iron can be intimidating for some, but don't let it scare you. Easy clean-up is reason enough to use it!
Remove bacon and drain fat from skillet. I like to save dishes so, I put the bacon directly into the 2 ½-quart baking dish I'll be baking in.
Next, add the ground beef and onion to skillet. I suggest you avoid stirring the ground beef until it turns slightly crispy and brown.
I find most people are addicted to stirring. Don't be that kind of cook. Let the meat crisp up a little before disturbing it.
Cook until ground beef is no longer pink and it is starting to crisp up just a little bit.
Avoid stirring the bacon and ground beef once you have them settled in your skillet. If you leave them alone they actually brown and crisp a little. This gives the beans a deep flavor and better texture.
Add ground beef/onion mixture to 2 ½ -quart casserole dish with the bacon.
Add all other ingredients and stir well.
Then, cover and bake in your oven at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until bubbly.
Cooking the bacon separately from the ground beef gives each meat a chance to achieve its individual textures.
I like to leave my ground beef a little chunky in this recipe. I suggest you don’t smash it up when cooking it. Allow it to clump together in nickel to quarter sized pieces.
And don't stir it too much! See... this is my skillet with ground beef that I'm NOT stirring, yet.
Black beans and great northern beans are DRAINED and RINSED in this recipe. I find it easiest to pour the canned beans in a strainer or colander then run water over them in the sink until the water runs clear. If you don’t rinse the beans your Baked Beans with Ground Beef will be murky looking.
The can of pork and beans are NOT drained in this recipe. The tomato base adds to the sauce.
Draining and rinsing the beans--I know I thought draining and rinsing canned beans was weird and not necessary the first time. Trust me. It's necessary.
The original recipe calls for canned butter beans, but I can’t find them in stores here now. Kidney beans also work in this recipe. You would need to drain and rinse both of these types of beans as well.
Can I make Baked Beans with Ground Beef in the Crock Pot?
Making these in the slow cooker is one of my favorite ways. Cook the bacon, ground beef and onions in a skillet first. Then put it all in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours. They will be ready when you return home.
What do I Serve Alongside Baked Beans with Ground Beef?
Baked Beans with Ground Beef are great for BBQs, picnics, holiday gatherings, and any weeknight meal. I like them with any grilled meat or sandwich.
How Do I Store Baked Beans with Ground Beef?
If there are any leftovers... Cover the Baked Beans with Ground Beef and store in the fridge for 3-5 days.
How Do I Dice an Onion?
Cooking can be so much fun, but sometimes it's the little things that give us trouble. Like cutting up food - seriously, it can be a real pain! Take this recipe, for example, it's calling for diced onions! Can't we just fast forward to the delicious part?
Did You Try this Recipe?
Lastly, if you made Baked Beans with Ground Beef following this recipe, please let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and/or giving a rating!
I love hearing from you! I'll do my best to respond to each comment.
And of course, if you do make this recipe, tag me on Instagram! Seeing your photos is my favorite thing!
Baked Beans With Ground Beef
- ½ pound bacon diced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium onion chopped
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup barbecue sauce
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 can 16 ounces pork and beans undrained
- 1 can 16 ounces black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 can 16 ounces great northern beans rinsed and drained
- Cook diced bacon in skillet until lightly browned and lightly crispy.
- Remove bacon and drain fat from skillet. Set bacon aside in 2 ½-quart casserole dish.
- Add ground beef and onion to skillet. Avoid stirring the ground beef until it turns slightly crispy and brown. Cook until no ground beef is no longer pink.
- Add ground beef/onion mixture to 2 ½ -quartcasserole dish with the bacon.
- Add all other ingredients and stir well.
- Cover and bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until bubbly.
- Wash hands before cooking
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended