Baked Beans with Ground Beef are a deliciously saucy barbecue side or hearty dinner main. This easy baked beans recipe features canned beans and ground beef baked together in an enticing barbecue sauce.
Let’s face it, we all crave comfort food. Classic recipes like carb-rich Rice Pudding and cheese topped Homemade French Onion Soup have withstood the test of time as ultimate comfort foods. They take time to prepare but the effort is always worth it. However, not all comfort food recipes require as much effort.
Baked Beans with Ground Beef
This baked beans recipe is one of those easy comfort dish recipes that tastes like someone spent hours over a hot stove. Since the beans are from a can and not from scratch, these Baked Beans with Ground Beef are almost effortless.
These aren’t your momma’s baked beans. They are sweet, savory and pack a little bit of Southern attitude. How much attitude they pack is up to you. Keep them mild mannered with a little bit of mustard and pepper or go all out with a can of green chilies or chopped jalapeño.
These beans are the perfect side dish for family weekend barbecues or make a cozy weeknight dinner once all the after school activities are done for the night. You can start dinner before school pick up and come home to a warm, inviting dinner. Pro tip: Serve it on toast for an amped up version of beans on toast.
Ingredients for Baked Beans with Ground Beef
It’s not rocket science. In fact two of the ingredients for this dish are in the title. Baked beans from a can and Ground Beef. They form the basis of the whole dish.
- Canned Beans
- Ground Beef
- Green Bell Pepper
- Brown Sugar
- Yellow Mustard
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Salt and Pepper
While the recipe suggests cans of pork and beans, feel free to use your favourite style of canned beans (in tomato sauce, kidney beans with chilies, etc.) or a combination of bean varieties, if you prefer.
The second protein in this recipe is lean ground beef. You can use medium ground beef, ground chuck, or extra lean beef, if you prefer. If there is a lot of extra fat once it is cooked, drain it off before you add the beef to the beans. Replace the ground beef with ground pork, chicken, or turkey.
Bacon is the third protein in this recipe. It is not necessary because it’s more of a topper. However, let’s be honest: bacon is bacon. Once you make this dish with the bacon on top, it will be difficult to skip it the next time!
Believe it or not there are vegetables in this dish! Onion, garlic, and green bell pepper provide a little aromatic flavour enhancement. Feel free to replace the green bell pepper with red bell pepper, tomatoes, chopped fresh jalapeños, chipotles, or even a can of diced chilies. You could also add diced carrots or celery to this dish.
Finally, the ingredients for the BBQ sauce are pretty straight forward and can be found in almost every family fridge and pantry. Ketchup, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar. Of course, you can use your favourite barbecue sauce in place of the ketchup, if you prefer.
This recipe may not win a James Beard award but your kids are guaranteed to request it over and over again. In fact, I highly recommend throwing some chopped hot dogs into the beans if your kids like them.
How to Make Baked Beans with Ground Beef
Enough chit chat, let’s make dinner! Cook the half pound of ground beef until it turns brown and no pink remains. Use a colander of fine mesh strainer to remove any oil. Discard the oil and place the cooked beef in a large bowl.
Next, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange the bacon slices on top of the foil. Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar with 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl. Scatter the mixture over the bacon and bake it at 350 F for ten minutes, or until it just starts to turn crispy.
While the bacon is cooking, add the beans, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, diced onions, minced garlic, and diced green bell pepper to the bowl of cooked ground beef. Carefully season with salt and pepper as the mixture may already be well seasoned from the canned beans, bacon, etc.
Stir the mixture well and transfer it to a 8 x 8 (or 9 x 9) casserole dish or oven proof skillet.
Arrange the bacon strips (or cut them into smaller squares) over top of the beefy bean mixture and bake the bean casserole in the preheated oven (350 F) for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. For saucy baked beans with ground beef bake for the minimum time and for thicker beefy beans leave them in for the full two hours.
Let the beans rest 30 minutes before serving. During this time they will thicken up so don’t worry if they seem a bit too runny right out of the oven.
Slow Cooker Directions
Great news! This easy baked beans recipe is also perfect for the slow cooker. Mix up the beans and beef as directed, then place in a slow cooker. Cook them on the lowest setting for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.
Make Ahead and Storage Directions
Baked beans freeze well and this recipe is no exception. In fact, I highly recommend doubling the recipe and freezing half to serve for dinner on another busy day. This ready to eat option solves the dreaded five o’clock ‘What’s for Dinner’ dilemma and saves you from relying on take-out.
Baked beans with ground beef will keep in the fridge for up to four days and get tastier with age. Cool the leftovers to room temperature, spoon them into a resealable food container and refrigerate. Freeze beans for 2-3 months.
If you make this Baked Beans with Ground Beef recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
- 2 (28 oz.) cans pork and beans
- 1/2 lb. lean ground beef; cooked and drained
- 1/2 medium onion; diced
- 2 cloves garlic; minced
- 1/2 green bell pepper; diced
- 3/4 cup brown sugar; divided
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/2 Tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 6-8 slices bacon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley or green onion for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup brown sugar with 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
- Lay the sliced bacon on the foil lined baking sheet and sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the bacon.
- Bake at 350 F until the bacon just starts to get crispy. About ten minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the beans, cooked ground beef, onions, garlic, green bell pepper, 1/2 cup brown sugar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce together. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour bean mixture into 8 x 8 (or 9 x 9) baking dish or oven proof skillet and place the bacon slices over the beans.
- Bake beans at 350 F for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on how thick you like the sauce.
Slow Cooker Instructions - Place bean and beef mixture in the slow cooker and bake on low for 4-5 hours or on high setting for 2-3 hours.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 313Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 670mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 3gSugar: 26gProtein: 19g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.