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Baked Beans with Ground Beef

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a skillet of Baked Beans with Ground Beef garnished with green onions
Baked Beans with Ground Beef is a hearty dish that's easy to make. With ground beef, bacon, baked beans, and a savory mix of barbecue sauce and spices, this side dish is perfect for family dinners or potlucks.
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Table of Contents
  1. Baked Beans with Ground Beef Ingredients
  2. Ground Beef Baked Beans Substitutions and Additions
  3. How To Make This Baked Beans With Ground Beef Recipe
  4. Troubleshooting
  5. How To Serve Baked Beans with Ground Beef
  6. How To Store Baked Beans with Ground Beef
  7. Why This Recipe For Baked Beans With Ground Beef Is The Best
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. ​More Side Dishes You’ll Love
  10. JUMP TO RECIPE
  11. Even More Recipes You’ll Love

Baked Beans with Ground Beef combines flavorful beef and bacon melded with the sweet and tangy flavors of baked beans. It’s an irresistible option for your next cookout or potluck. 

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With a prep time of just 20 minutes and an hour to come together in the oven, it’s a quick and easy way to bring comfort food to the table.

This fresh take on a Southern baked beans recipe has a rich, smoky taste and perfectly complements classic comfort foods like potato salad, steak, and mac and cheese.

a skillet of Baked Beans with Ground Beef garnished with green onions

Baked Beans with Ground Beef Ingredients

Baked Beans with Ground Beef raw ingredients that are labeled

Baked Beans with Ground Beef is a hearty dish that brings together the savory flavors of beef and the sweetness of baked beans. It’s a comforting recipe made from simple ingredients, perfect for a family dinner or a backyard barbecue.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 pound ground beef (85%-15% blend)
  • ¾ cup diced yellow onion
  • ¾ cup diced green bell pepper
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans of baked beans (We used Bush’s Original brand)
  • ½ cup bottled barbecue sauce (We used Sweet Baby Ray’s Original brand)
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 slices center-cut smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Optional Garnish: ¼ cup chopped green onions

Ground Beef Baked Beans Substitutions and Additions

If you’re looking to customize your Baked Beans with Ground Beef or adapt it based on what you have on hand, here are some helpful substitutions and additions.

Ground Beef: You can substitute ground pork, or ground turkey or chicken for leaner options.

Yellow Onion: Red onion or shallots can be used instead. If you’re out of fresh onions, onion powder works in a pinch (about 1 tablespoon).

Green Bell Pepper: Feel free to use red, yellow, or orange bell peppers for a sweeter taste. You can also add diced jalapeños for a bit of heat.

Canned Baked Beans: If you don’t have Bush’s Original baked beans, different brands will work fine. Customize the flavor by using barbecue-flavored baked beans.

Barbecue Sauce: Any barbecue sauce you love is fine, but we recommend a smoky, rich sauce. If you like it spicier, go for a hot and spicy variety.

Yellow Mustard: Dijon mustard or spicy brown mustard can be used for a more intense flavor. If you prefer a milder taste, honey mustard is a good alternative.

Brown Sugar: White sugar mixed with a little molasses can be used if you’re out of brown sugar.

Molasses: If you don’t have molasses, you can use dark corn syrup or honey. Maple syrup can also be an alternative, though it will give a different flavor.

Worcestershire Sauce: Soy sauce or tamari can be used as a substitute.

Chili Powder: You can replace the chili with a touch of cayenne pepper if you’re out.

Smoked Paprika: Regular paprika can be used if smoked isn’t available, though it will lack the smoky flavor. You can add a few drops of liquid smoke for a similar effect.

Smoked Bacon: We love the smoky flavor smoked bacon adds. You can try maple bacon or just regular bacon if needed.

These substitutions and additions allow you to make this recipe with what you have on hand or tailor it to your dietary needs. Remember, any changes might alter the overall taste and texture, so adjust according to your preference.

How To Make This Baked Beans With Ground Beef Recipe

Baked beans and ground beef are a match made in side dish heaven. Creating this baked beans with hamburger recipe is a straightforward process that results in a delicious and flavorful dish.

Here’s how to make it:

STEP ONE: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place a large oven-safe skillet (12-inch wide by 2-inch deep) on the stovetop and turn to medium-high heat.

STEP TWO: Once the skillet is hot, add 1 pound of ground beef. Cook for until browned and no pink remains, using a wooden spoon to break it until small pieces as it cooks. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked ground beef to a plate and set aside. Drain any excess grease from the skillet and return it to the heat.

PRO TIP: If your ground beef is exceptionally greasy, you can drain it in a colander and rinse it with warm water.

ground beef cooked in a skillet

STEP THREE: Add the diced yellow onion and diced green bell pepper to the hot skillet. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are softened and the onions are slightly translucent. Turn off the heat.

diced yellow onion and diced green bell pepper added to the hot skillet

STEP FOUR: Add the cooked ground beef, 2 cans of baked beans, bottled barbecue sauce, ketchup, yellow mustard, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper to the skillet with the cooked onions and bell peppers, Give the beans a good stir until all the ingredients are evenly combined.

baked beans, bottled barbecue sauce, ketchup, yellow mustard, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper added to the skillet

STEP FIVE: Top the baked bean mixture with 4 slices of center-cut smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces. Make sure the bacon pieces are evenly spread over the surface of the beans without overlapping so they can cook and crisp well in the oven.

baked bean mixture topped with smoked bacon in the skillet

STEP SIX: Place the oven-safe skillet into the preheated oven and bake the baked beans with ground beef until the beans are bubbly and the bacon is crisp.

PRO TIP: Keep an eye on the beans as they cook. You want the beans to be bubbly and the bacon to be crisp. If the bacon isn’t crispy enough after an hour, you can turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes, but watch closely to avoid burning.

Baked Beans with Ground Beef cooked in a skillet

STEP SEVEN: Serve and Garnish

Remove the skillet from the oven and place it on a heat-safe surface. You can garnish the baked beans with chopped green onions before serving for a fresh, vibrant touch.

Troubleshooting

Before you begin making this hearty side dish, read through these troubleshooting tips to avoid any potential issues:

The ground beef remains greasy after cooking.

Drain any excess grease from the skillet before adding the other ingredients. If your ground beef seems exceptionally greasy, we recommend draining the ground beef in a collander and rinsing it in warm water.

The onions and bell peppers are not cooking evenly.

Dice the vegetables uniformly (in evenly sized pieces) and sauté them until they are softened and slightly translucent.

The baked beans turn out too sweet.

Adjust the amount of brown sugar or barbecue sauce to suit your taste preferences. If you’re not a fan of sweet sides, add half the sugar, taste, and add more if needed.

The bacon doesn’t crisp up in the oven.

Spread the bacon pieces evenly and be sure they do not overlap. You can also broil the dish for a few minutes at the end, but watch closely to avoid burning.

The beans are too dry after baking.

Cover the skillet with foil for part of the baking time or add a splash of water or broth to rehydrate the dish.

The beans are not heated through evenly.

Stir the mixture well during baking to help the dish heat evenly.

How To Serve Baked Beans with Ground Beef

Once your Baked Beans with Ground Beef is ready, you finally get to serve them! 

This dish is versatile and can fit into many meal types, making it a great addition to your recipe collection. 

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Traditional Barbecue Plate: Serve the baked beans with grilled meats like ribs, chicken, or burgers. This smoky flavors of this delicious side dish pair perfectly with BBQ favorites.

Easy Family Dinner: For a comforting family dinner, serve the baked beans with ground beef alongside mashed potatoes and green beans

Potluck Favorite: Bring this dish to your next potluck. It’s easy to transport and reheats well. Serve it in a slow cooker to keep it warm throughout the event.

Game Day Snack: Turn the baked beans into a hearty snack for game day by serving them with tortilla chips, over hot dogs or alongside other favorite game day foods like a pulled pork sandwich, brisket tacos, or queso dip.

Breakfast Addition: Incorporate the beans into a breakfast spread by serving them with eggs and toast for a savory and filling meal.

Baked Beans with Ground Beef is a versatile dish that fits many occasions, making it a great addition to your recipe box. Serve for a family dinner night or backyard BBQ, or even take to a picnic at the park. 

This recipe makes plenty of beans and travels well, so it’s ideal for events and potlucks.

How To Store Baked Beans with Ground Beef

Here are some straightforward tips for making these baked beans ahead, storing in the fridge, freezing, and reheating.

MAKE AHEAD: This recipe is perfect for making ahead. For best results, make these beans up until you’re ready to bake them, then transfer to a casserole dish and store them covered in the fridge. 90 minutes before you want to serve them, remove the dish from the fridge and allow them to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake as directed, then serve.

IN THE FRIDGE: Allow your beans to cool completely, then transfer the beans to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to five days. Your leftovers will taste even better than when they were baked fresh!

IN THE FREEZER: Freeze your fully cooled beans in an airtight container for up to two months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

HOW TO REHEAT: Transfer the beans to an oven-safe dish and warm them in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can reheat individual servings in the microwave covered for 1-2 minutes. Stir frequently.

Why This Recipe For Baked Beans With Ground Beef Is The Best

Whether it’s for a casual family dinner or a potluck gathering, this recipe hits all the right notes. 

Here are some reasons why we love this dish.

Hearty and Filling: The addition of hamburger meat takes the classic side dish up a notch. This recipe can even be served as a main course!

Simple to Make: With straightforward ingredients and step-by-step instructions, anyone can make this easy recipe.

Versatile: Take your Baked Beans with Ground Beef to any event, from family holiday dinners to summer cookouts. 

Great for Leftovers: This dish stores well and tastes even better the next day!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best beans for baked beans?

We like Bush’s baked beans, but you can use any flavor or brand of beans you enjoy.

Do these beans taste like pork n beans?

Pork and beans are known for their sweet flavors. These beans have a distinct sweet and smoky flavor, and the addition of ground beef and sauteed vegetables adds a lot of flavor you won’t find in a can of pork n beans.

How to make baked beans with meat?

Making baked beans with meat, such as ground beef and bacon, is not that much more difficult than making regular baked beans without meat. We recommend you precook your ground meat before baking. Otherwise, your beans will have too much moisture and grease in them, and the meat may not cook adequately to be safe for consumption.

Is it necessary to drain the grease from the ground beef?

Yes, draining the excess grease helps prevent the dish from becoming too greasy.

Can I adjust the sweetness of the dish?

Yes, you can reduce the amount of brown sugar or use a less sweet barbecue sauce to adjust the sweetness.

What should I serve alongside Baked Beans with Ground Beef?

This dish pairs well with comfort foods like grilled meats, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and cornbread.

How to cook baked beans in the oven?

We think some of the best baked beans are made in the oven! It’s smart to pre-cook some of the ingredients beforehand, like veggies and meats, then finish by allowing everything to bake together in the oven. Yum!

Can I omit the bacon?

Yes, you can omit the bacon or use a plant-based bacon substitute.

Can I use a different brand of baked beans?

Yes, any brand of baked beans will work. You can also use barbecue-flavored baked beans for a different taste.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the recipe up to the baking step. Store it in the fridge and bake an hour before you want to serve it.

Can I use a different type of meat instead of ground beef?

This recipe is for baked beans with bacon and ground beef, but you can use ground turkey, chicken, pork, or even plant-based ground meat as a substitute.

This easy Baked Beans with Ground Beef recipe is a hearty meal or perfect side dish for family gatherings or summer BBQs. So flavorful, this recipe is a fresh take on the classic side dish, and has a sweet and smoky taste that’s easy to love.

a plate of Baked Beans with Ground Beef garnished with green onions

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a skillet of Baked Beans with Ground Beef garnished with green onions

Baked Beans with Ground Beef

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Baked Beans with Ground Beef is a hearty dish that's easy to make. With ground beef, bacon, baked beans, and a savory mix of barbecue sauce and spices, this side dish is perfect for family dinners or potlucks.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground beef, 85%-15% blend
  • ¾ cup diced yellow onion
  • ¾ cup diced green bell pepper
  • 56 ounces baked beans, two 28-ounce cans (Bush’s Original brand)
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce, Sweet Baby Ray’s Original brand
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 slices center-cut smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

Optional Garnish

  • ¼ cup chopped green onions

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a large oven-safe skillet (12-inch wide by 2-inch deep) onto the stovetop and turn the heat to medium-high.
  • Once the skillet is hot, add the ground beef and cook for 6-8 minutes or until browned and no pink remains. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cooked ground beef to a plate and set aside. Drain any excess grease from the skillet. Return the skillet back to the heat on the stove.
  • Add the diced yellow onion and green bell pepper to the hot skillet. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are softened and the onions are slightly translucent. Turn off the heat to the skillet.
  • To the skillet of cooked onions and bell peppers, add the cooked ground beef, baked beans, barbecue sauce, ketchup, yellow mustard, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. Stir all the ingredients together until evenly combined.
  • Top the baked bean mixture with the 1-inch pieces of smoked bacon. Be sure that you evenly spread the bacon pieces over the entire surface of the baked bean mixture. Be sure not to overlap the pieces of bacon so that they can cook and crisp well in the oven.
  • Place the oven-safe skillet into the preheated oven and cook the baked beans with ground beef for 1 hour or until the beans are bubbly and the bacon pieces are crisp.
  • Remove the skillet from the oven. Place the hot skillet onto a heat-safe surface. You can garnish the baked beans with a sprinkle of chopped green onions before serving.

Notes

  • If your ground beef is exceptionally greasy, you can drain it in a colander and rinse it with warm water.
  • Keep an eye on the beans as they cook. You want the beans to be bubbly and the bacon to be crisp. If the bacon isn’t crispy enough after an hour, you can turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes, but watch closely to avoid burning.

Nutrition

Calories: 503kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1519mg | Potassium: 1040mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 5mg
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This recipe was developed, tested, cooked and photographed by the Spaceships Kitchen. From our dinner table to yours, we hope you think it's out of this world!

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