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Baked Beans with Hamburger

Southern-style baked beans with hamburger aren’t just a tasty side dish for a potluck or BBQ. Combining baked beans with ground beef and crispy bacon transforms the traditional American side dish into a filling and complete meal – all you need is a chunk of buttery cornbread! For more quick dinner ideas, try one of these ground beef recipes!

Baked beans in a serving bowl.

What Can I Add to My Baked Beans?

  • Bacon: Add cooked bacon, chopped ham, or sausages to increase the smokiness of the dish.
  • Vegetables: Saute onions and green bell peppers in bacon grease to enhance their flavor before adding them to the baked beans.
  • Garlic: I suggest using three cloves, but don’t let my recipe tell you how much garlic to use – measure with your heart.
  • Spices: Finish our baked beans with hamburger recipe by seasoning it with smoked paprika, cayenne, and ground cinnamon.
  • Ground Beef: Ground beef adds protein and savoriness to make the beans a complete meal, more like chili.
  • BBQ Sauce: Include BBQ sauce in the beans for added flavor; some recipes use ketchup or tomato sauce instead.
  • Brown Sugar: Balance the savoriness of the beans with brown sugar, maple syrup, or molasses.
  • Mustard: I prefer yellow mustard, but use Dijon if you enjoy a more tangy flavor.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Worcestershire adds depth and umami to the baked beans with ground beef mixture.
  • Bush’s Southern Baked Beans: Start the recipe with Bush’s Baked Beans and doctor them with other tasty ingredients.

Additions and Substitutions

  • Dice jalapeños or serrano chilies instead of green bell pepper for a spicier variation.
  • Replace half or all of the brown sugar with molasses or honey.

How to Make Baked Beans with Hamburger and Bacon

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350℉ (176℃). Cook the bacon according to the package in a Dutch oven or a large cast-iron skillet. Set the bacon aside to drain on a plate with paper towels.

Bacon searing in a skillet.

Step 2: Pour out some of the oil from the bacon and add onion and bell pepper to the pan. Saute over medium heat until the onions become translucent and soften, for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Vegetables searing in leftover bacon grease in the skillet.

Step 3: Stir in the smoked paprika, cayenne, and ground cinnamon.

Vegetables and spices cooking in the skillet.

Step 4: Then, add the ground beef, breaking it up with a meat chopper until finely minced. Cook the beef until brown and heated through for about 10 minutes.

Ground beef cooking with the vegetables.

Step 5: Add in the BBQ sauce, brown sugar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.

Mustard, BBQ sauce, brown sugar added to the skillet with the ground beef and vegetables.

Step 6: Return the bacon to the skillet and stir in the baked beans until everything is combined.

Bacon and beans ground beef mixture.

Step 7: Cover the pan with foil and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

A skillet covered with foil in the oven.

If you enjoy this side dish, try one of these BBQ recipes! 

Baked beans in a serving bowl.

Serving Suggestions

Baked beans with hamburger is a complete meal, but here are some tasty sides and dinner entrees to balance the meal:

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Can I make this recipe in advance? If you need to make the beans ahead of an event or dinner, begin by cooking the bacon, sautéing the vegetables, and browning the ground beef. Then, add the remaining ingredients to a baking dish. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake the beans according to the instructions in the recipe card below.
  • Refrigerate: Store the leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Can you freeze baked beans with hamburger meat? Let the beans cool, and transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag. It will freeze for 2-3 months.
  • Thaw: Defrost the baked beans in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat: Warm the leftovers on the stovetop or microwave, and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What meat goes with baked beans?

• Bacon: Increase the salty, smoky flavor of the beans by including crispy bacon. 

• Pork: Pork and beans, I mean, name a more classic duo; you can add pulled pork, pork ribs, pork chops, and even smoked pork sausages to the baked beans. 

Beef: While not as common as pork, beef options like beef sausages, grilled steak, or even meatloaf can complement the flavors of baked beans. You can also use ground turkey or chicken instead of ground beef. 

• Ham: Like some versions of black-eyed peas, you can include ham hock or sliced ham to increase the bean’s flavor. 

• Sausages: Sliced smoked sausages, chicken sausage, bratwurst, or hot dogs are a tasty addition to beans. 

• Grilled Chicken: Grilled or barbecued chicken provides a lean protein option that pairs nicely with the saucy baked beans.

What kind of beans to use for baked beans?

The most common option for making baked beans is navy beans, also called Boston or pea beans. The small, oval-shaped navy beans have a mild flavor and a creamy texture once they finish cooking – making them perfect for baked bean recipes.

Our recipe calls for Bush’s Baked Beans, also made with navy beans and other ingredients to give the beans their signature flavor.

How do I make baked beans thicker?

To make baked beans thicker, you have a few options. First, simmer the beans uncovered to allow some liquid to evaporate. Or gently mash some beans against the pot’s side to release natural starches.

More Ground Beef Recipes:

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Baked beans in a serving bowl.

Baked Beans with Hamburger

Tressa Jamil
Southern-style baked beans with hamburger aren't just a tasty side; transform the side dish into a complete meal by adding ground beef and bacon.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 168 kcal
Ingredients
  
  • 6 strips bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • cup BBQ Sauce
  • cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cans (15 ounce) Bush's Southern baked beans, drained
Instructions
 
  • Preheat the oven to 350℉ (176℃). Cook the bacon according to the package in a Dutch oven or a large cast-iron skillet. Set the bacon aside to drain on a plate with paper towels.
  • Pour out some of the oil from the bacon and add onion and bell pepper to the pan. Saute over medium heat until the onions become translucent and soften, for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Stir in the smoked paprika, cayenne, and ground cinnamon. Then, add the ground beef, breaking it up with a meat chopper until finely minced. Cook the beef until brown and heated through for about 10 minutes.
  • Add in the BBQ sauce, brown sugar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Return the bacon to the skillet and stir in the baked beans until everything is combined.
  • Cover the pan with foil and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
Notes
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 168 kcal | Carbohydrates: 19 g | Protein: 11 g | Fat: 5 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Cholesterol: 26 mg | Sodium: 293 mg | Potassium: 226 mg | Fiber: 4 g | Sugar: 10 g | Vitamin A: 83 IU | Vitamin C: 36 mg | Calcium: 4 mg | Iron: 12 mg
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