| | | | | | |

Best Ever Cowboy Baked Beans

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure policy.

Best Ever Cowboy Baked Beans are a delicious, hearty side dish with a western twist. Cowboy Baked Beans are a bit of spice, bit of sweet and a whole LOT of delicious…and BACON! The perfect side dish recipe for your next summer BBQ, picnic, Father’s Day, potluck or game day; you’ll be the talk of the party. 

Everyone says theirs is the “best” and probably even the BEST EVER; I have come to learn that the best ever depends on our personal tastes. So for our family, these are truly, the Best Ever Cowboy Baked Beans.

Cowboy baked beans in glass dish with crispy bacon.

I enjoy giving precise details in my recipe posts to lead my readers through any questions. If you’re just here for the printable recipe, feel free to click “Jump to Recipe” right under the title of this post, and you’ll head straight there!

Why You Will Love this Recipe

  • Savory fusion: Cowboy baked beans with bacon combine smoky bacon and hearty beans for a rich and delicious flavor experience.
  • Ultimate comfort: This dish provides the warm and satisfying comfort of classic comfort food.
  • Versatile: Enjoy it as a side or main course; these beans with bacon are versatile and always satisfying.

I’ve had an ancient recipe for baked beans floating around my kitchen for decades, but when my friend at Julia’s Simply Southern featured her Southern Style Baked Beans a few weeks back and I knew I had to dust off my recipe and introduce it to her recipe. Southern girl meet, Western girl!

Simple Ingredients

Ingredients, directions and nutritional information in the printable recipe card at the end of the post.

  • Canned Pork & Beans | I chose B&M baked beans, because they are gluten-free and do not have high fructose corn syrup. But you choose whichever brand you love!
  • Onion | gives it a lovely sweet bite!
  • Bell Peppers | Use any color you like, I used yellow because it’s what I had, use green, red or orange too!
  • Bacon | Would it be a Cowboy dish if it didn’t have crisp bacon on the top! Mmmmm!
  • Tomato Sauce & Ketchup | These add depth, richness and definitely that rich tomato-y sauce flavor!
  • Molasses | Again adds to the richness of the dish with a touch of sweet, helps balance out the acidity in the tomatoes.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar | Gives it the perfect tang! You can certainly replace with another vinegar!
  • Mustard | We used spicy brown AND yellow mustard!
  • Worcestershire Sauce | I could seriously slather this on everything, well almost!
  • Spices | Garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper! All-the-FLAVOR!

If you are looking some fabulous potluck or barbecue side dishes, try these fan faves: Corn Casserole (without Jiffy), keep the bacon going with this creamy Bacon Balsamic Macaroni Salad or my personal favorite; Asian Ramen Salad – this one’s all natural!

How to Make Cowboy Baked Beans

Step 1

In a large mixing bowl, I probably should have used larger than a 2 qt mixing bowl, but I managed somehow!

Showing the premixed beans with onions and peppers on top along with bacon and empty cans in background.

So combine all sauce ingredients in the larger mixing bowl and whisk well. Remember if making gluten-free make sure ketchup, vinegar, mustard, molasses and Worcestershire sauce are all gluten-free. 

Open can(s) of beans (I still occasionally use an electric can opener) and pour beans over sauce, no draining, you want all those delectable juices. 

Hand holding large can of B & M baked Beans.

Step 2

Toss in diced onion and bell pepper. I added about a half of a 15 oz can of tomato sauce. Stir to combine. Freeze the other half of the tomato sauce and use in Spanish Rice (or Mexican Rice), sometime when you are not making baked beans. 

Pin with Pyrex dish filled to the brim with saucy baked beans with crispy bacon on top.

Step 3

Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour baked beans into a casserole dish, I used my trusty Pyrex casserole dish because it fits into my trusty Pyrex carrier and I was taking these beans to a BBQ at a friends house.

But roughly any 9 x 13 casserole dish would work just fine, if you have a 12″ or larger cast iron skillet try that or go one better and try a nice hefty cast iron dutch oven! I bet you could even cook these over a campfire!!

Step 4

Here is where it gets fun or good or AMAZING! Dice a 1/2 lb of bacon into small (bite-ish sized) pieces and toss onto the top of the beans.

No need to make it pretty, but spread it out so that bacon gets crispy…cause I don’t like limp bacon!

Raw pieces of bacon set on top of baked beans before baking!

That’s it, bake (uncovered) for 1 1/2 – 2 hours — until the beans are a bubblin‘ and the bacon is crispy.

Step 5

At the end of the baking process, placed mine under the broiler, on the middle rack, for about 3 minutes to really crisp the bacon!

Stir it all together or leave that showy, crisp bacon on top! Now get out there, and make up these amazing beans for Father’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th or any BBQ, potluck, picnic or game day that calls for crazy good, Best Ever Cowboy Baked Beans.

Close up of baked dish of baked beans with crispy bacon on top.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make baked beans ahead of time?

f you need to prep your beans the night before or morning of your event, simply prep your beans as directly, only hold off on putting the bacon on until just prior to baking. When ready to bake, remove from fridge and let sit on counter for 1 hour, add your diced bacon while preheating your oven and bake as directed.

Can I freeze cowboy baked beans?

Do not freeze unbaked beans, changes the texture and taste, but if you must freeze them; bake them first, cool them and then freeze them.

Allow them to cool completely, place them in a BPA Free freezer container. Careful to leave about 1/2 – 3/4 inch of room at the top for expansion when frozen. Baked Beans are good up to 6 months frozen. Thaw overnight in fridge, transfer to oven safe baking dish and reheat in 250-300°F oven until bubbly (about 30-45 minutes) or toss in crockpot on low until warmed. 

Favorite Bean Recipes

I reheated these in this cast iron oval baking dish the next day for dinner. They were just.as.good!

This Cowboy Baked Beans recipe keep well as leftovers (if you have any), but unless you plan on eating them within a few days it’s best to freeze them in dinner sized portions!

What to Serve with Cowboy Baked Beans

These baked beans would be so great with these Smashburgers with grilled onions, and a side salad, like this Wedge Salad and finish with these Crumbl Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Great Barbecue and Potluck Dishes:

Cowboy baked beans in pan with spoon.

And for potluck or barbecue desserts…

Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating and comment below the recipe!

Cowboy baked beans in pan with spoon.

Best Ever Cowboy Baked Beans

Author: Kathleen Pope
4.89 from 27 votes
BEST EVER Cowboy Baked Beans are the perfect hearty side dish for your summer BBQ, Father’s Day, Picnic or July 4th celebration!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Side Dishes and Condiments
Cuisine American
Servings 16 -20 servings
Calories 120 kcal


For the Beans

  • 2 28 oz cans baked beans, I used B&M original baked beans
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced (Vidalia or other sweet onion is fine)
  • 1 large bell pepper, finely diced (I used yellow, use whatever color you like)
  • 1/2 lb bacon, uncooked chopped into pieces (I prefer uncured, nitrate, nitrite free)
  • 8 oz tomato sauce , 1 cup or 1/2 -15 oz can. I used organic
  • 1 cup Ketchup, I used organic
  • 1/2 cup molasses, unsulphured
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, or replace with white vinegar
  • 1/8 cup spicy brown mustard, heaping
  • 1/8 cup yellow mustard, heaping (making with only yellow mustard increase to rounded 1/3 cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Dash Cayenne Pepper, more if you like heat
  • Pinch Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper, a couple of grinds of fresh pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl, add all of the sauce ingredients and stir to combine, whisking if needed.
  • Add pork and beans (undrained), tomato sauce, and diced onion and bell pepper. Using a large spoon or spatula stir to combine beans with sauce.
  • Pour into casserole baking dish or cast iron skillet or dutch oven. Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 – 2 hours until bubbly and bacon is crispy. If crisper bacon is desired, with beans on middle rack, broil for 2-3 minutes until desired crispness is reached. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and serve warm.
  • Baked beans can be made ahead of time, refrigerate. Remove from fridge for 1 hour prior to baking, bake as directed.
  • Baked beans may be frozen, but only after they’ve been baked. Cool completely and transfer to freezer storage container. Beans are good up 7 days refrigerated; 6 months frozen.

✱ Kathleen’s Tips

Be sure your beans (B&M are GF), Ketchup and all condiments are gluten free)


Serving: 1 serving Calories: 120 kcal Carbohydrates: 15 g Protein: 3 g Fat: 6 g Saturated Fat: 2 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g Trans Fat: 0.02 g Cholesterol: 9 mg Sodium: 374 mg Potassium: 329 mg Fiber: 1 g Sugar: 13 g Vitamin A: 469 IU Vitamin C: 16 mg Calcium: 35 mg Iron: 1 mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

The Fresh Cooky is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Kathleen Pope, The Fresh Cooky.

About Kathleen Pope

Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer

Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Oh I love beans and this looks like such a great recipe! I think the addition of pepper would be perfect here for us since we love it a little spicy in our home!

  2. 5 stars
    The most flavorful, delicious baked beans EVER. My family and I love the molasses-based sauce and all of that tasty bacon! Another brilliant recipe from The Fresh Cooky!

  3. 5 stars
    Looooove this recipe! The bigger chunks of bacon make all the difference. They don’t seem like an afterthought, they are there to be TASTED. Excellent dish.

  4. 5 stars
    We loved this recipe! Very tasty. I had hoped to have some leftover to pop in the freezer for a quick side later one, but nope! I’ll make these again, thanks!

  5. I have made a variation of this recipe for eons…well since I was young. 🙂 One suggestion for those of us getting up there in years. Dice the bacon and cook some of the fat out before you put it on top of the beans. It keeps the beans from swimming in fat and tastes just as good. It also means I can put the Tums away. Otherwise a great recipe

  6. This is a delicious recipe and worth trying! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday,447 this week. Hope you have a great Labor Day Weekend and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen