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My MIL’s Cowboy Beans

January 19, 2012

For those of you not use to Southern food, Wikipedia¬† defines cowboy beans as “a bean dish popular in the United States. The dish consists of beans and ground beef in a sweet and tangy sauce. The flavor is similar to baked beans but with a southwestern twist.”¬†Yadda, yadda, yadda.

My mother’s been making cowboy beans since I can remember and I love her recipe but due to my father’s picky-ness, she has to substitute some awesome ingredients for some not very awesome ingredients. For example, my father won’t eat onions. At all. Not even tiny chopped up pieces. So when I had my MIL’s cowboy beans for fourth of July lunch I noticed it had those yummy ingredients that my mother could never add to her’s. What’s funny to me is that, when half of the family said, These are great cowboy beans! my MIL didn’t know what we were talking about. She thought they were just a different form of baked beans. Which I guess is correct, unless you’re not use to cooking Southern food, but she is so I don’t know what’s up.

What I do know is that these beans are good ol southern home cookin’ at its best. PS, you can have cowboy beans as either a side dish OR an entree!



  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small green pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cans pork n beans
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 bottle ketchup


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
  2. On high to medium heat, brown beef and drain.
  3. Chop pepper and onion and add to beef.
  4. Add in pork n beans.
  5. Add beef and bean mixture to a baking dish.
  6. Combine together mustard, brown sugar, and ketchup.
  7. Pour over beef and bean mixture without stirring together.
  8. Bake for 1 hour.
  9. Stir together before serving.