Last summer I had the distinct pleasure of visiting cattle ranches in Kansas. One of (many) highlights of the trip with a spending time with cowboy and Food Network star Kent Rollins and his wife, Shannon making Homemade Baked Beans!
Cowboy Homemade Baked Beans are smoky, spicy and sweet. The perfect side dish recipe for BBQ, potlucks and parties. An easy baked bean recipe with loads of flavor!
This post is sponsored by the Certified Angus Beef® brand in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.
This dynamic duo is well-known in the foodie world for being the only chuck wagon chefs, teaching us all to cook like a cowboy courtesy of Certified Angus Beef® brand. After teaching us how to make the best cast iron biscuits using a sourdough starter, we also watched as Kent prepared an amazing dinner out of the chuck wagon.
All of the food was remarkable, but perhaps the most translatable to home was his homemade baked beans, also known as Spicy Barbecue and Bacon Baked Beans. Kent reminisced about his childhood and beans sometimes serving as the “meat” of their meals.
These baked beans with bacon do not disappoint. Of course, I took the liberty of modifying his original recipe to create my own sweet and spicy masterpiece.
A couple of things to note are that the type of BBQ sauce you choose will carry the flavor through your beans. I highly recommend going with a sweet BBQ sauce for this one. Unless the goal is sweat beads on your nose and forehead, then by all means, go for the spicy!
One question I originally had was “what are ranch style beans?” They are beans simmered with oregano, cumin and chili powder. If you can’t find Ranch style beans, look for chili beans, which will have a similar flavor profile.
On thing that surprised me, but then made a ton of sense was that Kent Rollins even used canned beans! But as he explained life on a chuck wagon, the majority of the day is spent in route and moving.
There isn’t time for soaking beans with fresh water. Water is for drinking and daylight is for moving. There are times they can be on the chuck wagon for weeks, even months, at a time. Canned foods last longer.
Much like many of our favorite camping recipes, they need to be easily prepared with simple, easy to tote ingredients. For Cowboy Homemade Baked Beans as your favorite camping food, dice up the onion and jalapeno before you leave. You can omit or cook the bacon ahead of time if you’d prefer to not travel with raw meat.
While I like to make mine in a cast iron skillet like we did out on the range, you can also make crock pot baked beans by throwing the ingredients in a slow cooker on low for 2 hours. Or follow the same process, but bake them for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
To find even more cowboy worthy recipe from life on a chuck wagon, check out A Taste of Cowboy, one of my favorite go-to cookbooks, especially for summer recipes.
If you need other summer recipes to accompany these fabulous homemade baked beans, check these out tasty recipes!
- 10 slices thick-cut bacon
- 30 ounces Ranch style beans* , rinsed and drained
- 15 ounces black beans , rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 jalapeno , finely minced
- 1 yellow onion , chopped
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- Heat a large skillet or cast iron pan over medium heat. Add bacon strips. Cooke until nearly crispy. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. When cool, cut into 1-inch pieces.
- Drain excess bacon grease from cast iron, carefully wiping out with a paper towel.
- Add Ranch style and black beans, BBQ sauce, jalapeno, yellow onion, brown sugar and yellow mustard. Mix well.
- Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring frequently. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Add bacon back into the mixture, heating for an additional 2-3 minutes to reheat bacon.
- Serve hot!
If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!
Learn more about Certified Angus Beef® brand HERE!