Homemade Baked Beans With Ground Beef

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
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Perfectly thick, sweet-and-savory Homemade Baked Beans with Ground Beef are the perfect potluck side dish! Everyone will rave over this old-fashioned, family-pleasing favorite.

Why You’ll Love This Southern-Style Baked Beans Recipe

I grew up with baked beans at every barbecue and potluck, and a lot of times, those baked beans included ground beef. I know, I know – it may not be what you’re used to, depending on your part of the country, but trust me! It’s delicious. Ground beef cooks down nicely and becomes really tender and flavorful in the barbecue-y baked bean sauce. (And no one says you can’t still add bacon, right?)

When I make this dish, it always gets a big thumbs up from my family and guests. And it’s so, so easy. I know that making baked beans from scratch is a great tradition, but this recipe is a little easier. With canned beans, all you have to do is “doctor them up” a little bit and add your ground beef, onions, and bell peppers. From there, the oven does all the work!

If you enjoy these Baked Beans with Ground Beef, you will probably also love this recipe for easy Crockpot Pork and Beans!

From top: Brown sugar, mustard, ketchup, red bell pepper, ground beef, white onion, baked beans, molasses, salt, and pepper.

What Ingredients Will I Need?

Fair warning: this list is mouthwatering! Each item is loaded with yumminess. Here’s what you’ll need to make my ultimate baked beans with ground beef:

  • Ground Beef: I like to use lean ground beef, so it doesn’t have to be drained as much (or at all!) after browning.
  • Onion and Bell Pepper: Seed and dice one bell pepper – red or green is fine. Dice up an onion, as well. I use white onion, but any kind will work.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Baked Beans: Your favorite canned baked beans. I think Busch’s original works great.
  • Ketchup and Mustard: Yep, regular old ketchup and yellow mustard add loads of barbecue-y, saucy goodness. If you want to be a little fancy, use whole-grain mustard or even Dijon!
  • Brown Sugar and Molasses: To offset the sourness of the mustard and ketchup, sweet brown sugar and dark, rich molasses are just the thing.
Close-up shot of beans in a skillet.

What Type of Beans Are Baked Beans?

Baked beans are most often made with small white beans, but you can use any beans. This recipe uses regular baked beans from a can, “doctored up” to taste even better.

For a traditional New England-style recipe, go with Navy beans. Cannellini beans also work nicely. My other easy recipe for Baked Beans (without ground beef) uses a combination of canned pork and beans, butter beans, and light red kidney beans for even more texture and variety. 

A pot of baked beans.

How to Make Baked Beans with Ground Beef

Making this dish is as easy as falling off a log (arguably easier, since you don’t have to, you know, fall off a log). Here’s the step-by-step process with photos!

  • Cook the Beef and Veggies. Before you get started, preheat the oven to 350°F. Next, cook the ground beef in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Break up the meat as you go. Once it’s browned, add your onion and bell pepper, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and continue cooking for another 3 – 4 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • Make the Baked Bean Mixture. Get out a medium-sized mixing bowl, and add the baked beans, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and molasses. Stir these all together, and then pour them into the skillet with the ground beef. Stir again.
  • Bake! Slide that skillet into the oven and bake for one hour and thirty minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Once the baked beans are done, take them out and let them sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.

Cooks’ Notes

These are super-saucy and flavorful as-is, but if you want to change things up, go for it! You can use different kinds of beans, doctor up the sauce, or go for one of these easy variations:

  • Kick Up the Heat: Add sriracha for a fun, spicy twist! I usually add 2 tablespoons.
  • Bacon Baked Beans: Want even more meat? Add bacon! You can add chopped bacon to the skillet when you are browning the ground beef, or you can place slices of bacon on top of the baked beans before placing them in the oven.
  • Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker: Want to make these in a crockpot? Instead of adding everything to the oven, add it to a crockpot and cook it over low for 4 hours.
A two-handled skillet of barbecue beans with a spoon.

Tasty Serving Suggestions

You can serve up this filling, savory dish with all of your other potluck and barbecue favorites – or turn it into a warm and comfy weeknight dinner with a few simple sides like some good homemade cornbread. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Dill Pickle Chicken: Brined overnight in dill pickle juice, and then “oven fried” until crispy, this easy Dill Pickle Chicken is a crowd-pleaser! You’ll love how well this zesty chicken goes with classic baked beans.
  • Macaroni and Cheese: Who doesn’t love classic mac and cheese? This creamy, cheesy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese recipe is easy to make, and so indulgent.
  • Broccoli Salad: Crunchy, flavorful Broccoli Salad with Bacon is one of my all-time favorite side dishes. It’s got everything: sweet, salty, tangy, crunchy – basically, it’s the best cold salad recipe ever. 
Spooning beans out of a skillet.

How to Store and Reheat Baked Beans

Leftover baked beans are easy to store (and pro tip: they taste even better the second day). Just cool them down a bit and then place them in the refrigerator, tightly covered. Baked beans keep in the refrigerator for 3 – 5 days.

To reheat, just place the desired amount in an ovenproof dish, and bake them at 350°F until warmed through.

Overhead shot of baked beans in a pot.

Can I Freeze This Dish?

Yes, baked beans freeze well and will keep in the freezer for up to six months. Make sure to cool them down completely, or the beans won’t freeze correctly and you’ll end up with a mushy, strangely-textured dish later on. 

To serve the frozen baked beans, thaw them overnight in your refrigerator first. This will help the baked beans heat up well with a good texture.

A skillet of homemade baked beans topped with chopped green onion.
5 from 3 votes
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Yield: 8 Servings

Homemade Baked Beans with Ground Beef

Perfectly thick, sweet-and-savory Homemade Baked Beans are the perfect potluck side dish! Everyone will rave over for this old-fashioned, family-pleasing favorite.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Additional Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 15 oz cans baked beans (Busch’s original works great)
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 4 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • cup molasses

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Place an oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Cook for 4 minutes.
  • Add onion and bell pepper. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook another 4 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • In a medium bowl, stir to combine the baked beans, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and molasses. Pour mixture into the skillet with the ground beef. Stir again to combine.
  • Place skillet in the oven and bake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until thickened. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Storage: To store, cool the baked beans and then place them in the refrigerator, tightly covered. Baked beans keep in the refrigerator for 3 – 5 days.
  • Kick Up the Heat: Add sriracha for a fun, spicy twist! I usually add 2 tablespoons.
  • Bacon Baked Beans: Want even more meat? Add bacon! You can add chopped bacon to the skillet when you are browning the ground beef, or you can place slices of bacon on top of the baked beans before placing them in the oven.
  • Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker: Want to make these in a crockpot? Instead of adding everything to the oven, add it to a crockpot and cook it over low for 4 hours.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 270kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 410mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 28g

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.