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Best Baked Bean Casserole (Baked Beans with Hamburger)

Baked Bean Casserole (aka Calico Beans or Cowboy Beans) is the crowd-pleasing star of the table at any backyard BBQ, potluck or family gathering. My baked beans with hamburger and bacon recipe is a simple and delicious meal or side dish.

Baked Bean casserole in a white, low side ceramic bowl
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This casserole has lots of different names. You may have heard it called Baked Bean Casserole, Cowboy Beans or even Calico Beans, depending on where you live. It is hands-down the best baked beans with hamburger recipe that I have ever eaten.

You and your family will love the smoky flavor of bacon and barbecue sauce blending beautifully with the tang of stone ground mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Caramelly dark brown sugar adds that undertone of sweetness that rounds everything out to a beautiful blend of scrumptious flavors.

My Baked Bean Casserole (Calico Beans) recipe is so easy to put together. 15 to 20 minutes of your time and then you’ll leave the rest to the oven. I love simple-to-make suppers like this one.

Baked Bean Casserole in a white bowl.

Possible Variations

I love cooking with beans! They’re a versatile, filling and an inexpensive way of getting protein into the diet. They take on flavors so easily and can add texture and color to everything from salads to casseroles and soups. Check out this delish slow cooker bean and bacon soup as another awesome example or my delicious bean salad.

Baked Bean Casserole (Cowboy Beans) is another versatile and hearty option. And the recipe is easily adapted with ingredients you have on hand.

For Baked Bean Casserole I mix and match the beans to whatever is in the pantry at the time. My favorites are black beans, red beans, cannellini, or great northern beans.

I’ve also used garbanzo beans (chickpeas) or pork and beans. Kidney beans, butter beans and even pinto beans would also be good options. Baked Beans with Hamburger are stupendously delicious, no matter which beans you choose.

FAQs

Can I Make Baked Beans with Hamburger Vegan?

You could also make this yummy baked beans casserole without the ground beef or bacon and serve it as a tasty side dish or a vegan main.

To make the Baked Bean Casserole completely vegan, use your favorite vegan ground beef and bacon substitutes or omit the bacon and ground beef altogether.

Also, be sure to sub extra soy sauce (or even a small amount of miso paste) to replace the Worcestershire. Then this Calico Beans (Cowboy Beans) recipe can be a scrumptious vegan main, too.

Whatever creative spin you decide to put on it, my Baked Bean Casserole will become one of your favorite easy-to-make suppers! Enjoy!

Baked Bean Casserole in Blue Ceramic Baking Dish

The Ingredients

  • Ground Beef: I use an 85/15 blend. Lean is good, but you need a little fat for the best flavor.
  • The Aromatics: Begin building layers of savory flavor with standard aromatic vegetables and herbs — onion, bell peppers and garlic.
  • Beans: I have used many varieties successfully in Baked Bean Casserole (Cowboy Beans). I typically mix and match from what’s in my pantry. You can use black beans, red beans, cannellini beans, Great Northern, chickpeas, pinto beans or even pork & beans.
  • Sauces and Flavorings: Ketchup, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, stone ground mustard and soy sauce.
  • Dark Brown Sugar
  • Bacon: The smoky, savory finish to this comfort food supper. I use thick-cut bacon, but your usual brand should work beautifully in baked beans with hamburger.
Baked Bean Casserole in a white bowl.

What to Serve with Baked Beans with Hamburger

How to Make Baked Bean Casserole (Calico Beans)

  1. Cook the bacon.  I bake mine in the oven, but use your preferred method.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F and spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. 
  3. Mince the onions, garlic and bell peppers.
  4. Brown the ground beef, onions, peppers and garlic in a very large pan or a stock pot while the bacon cooks.

Continue cooking until the beef is cooked through (no pink remains).  

Drain the beef mixture and add it back to the pan. 

Add the beans, barbecue sauce, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar to the mixture. Simmer it all together for 5 minutes. Pour it into your prepared casserole dish. 

Sprinkle the cooked and drained bacon pieces over the top of the casserole. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake the Calico Beans for 40–45 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Let dish sit for 10 minutes before serving

The Recipe

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Baked Bean Casserole in a white bowl.

Best Baked Bean Casserole (Baked Beans with Hamburger)


  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Best Baked Bean Casserole (Baked Beans with Hamburger), aka Cowboy Beans or Calico Beans, takes the ultimate baked beans and makes them a full meal by adding ground beef and bacon! Comfort food heaven!  Such an easy and satisfying recipe.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 lbs. ground beef (I use 85/15)
  • 1 lg. red onion, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 (15-oz cans) beans, rinsed and drained (Mix and match what you have. Black beans, red beans, cannellini, Great Northern, chickpeas, or pork & beans all work well.)
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tablespoons stone ground mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked, drained and broken into 1-inch pieces

Instructions

  1. Cook the bacon.  I bake mine in the oven, but use your preferred method.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F and spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Mince the onions, garlic and bell peppers.
  4. Brown the ground beef, onions, peppers and garlic in a very large pan or a stock pot while the bacon cooks.
  5. Continue cooking until the beef is cooked through (no pink remains).  Drain the beef mixture and add it back to the pan.
  6. Add the beans, barbecue sauce, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar to the mixture. Simmer it all together for 5 minutes. Pour the baked beans with hamburger mixture into your prepared casserole dish.
  7. Sprinkle the cooked and drained bacon pieces over the top of the casserole. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 40-45 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Let dish sit for 10 minutes before serving your baked beans with hamburger (Baked Bean Casserole).
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish, Casserole
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American
glenda embree

About Glenda

I believe cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated and that YOU can do it. My simple recipes, tutorials, and cooking tips will help you get weeknight dinners on the table with less stress. Forget takeout or the drive-thru. Let me show you how to make homemade easy. Read more...

29 thoughts on “Best Baked Bean Casserole (Baked Beans with Hamburger)”

    • Martin, that’s fantastic! I love hearing different names for recipes we’re all familiar with. Every area of the world seems to have their own traditions and stories around them.

      Reply
  1. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!

    Reply

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