Cowboy Beans
CourseMain course
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateAmerican Southwest
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsBeans (usually pinto, black-eyed), onion powder, ketchup, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, black pepper, milk, flour
Lamb chops with guajillo chili sauce and charro beans. Frijoles charros, or "cowboy beans", is a traditional Mexican dish. The dish is characterized by pinto beans stewed with onion, garlic, and bacon.

Cowboy beans (also known as chuckwagon beans) is a bean dish popular in the southwestern United States. The dish consists of pinto beans[1] and ground beef in a sweet and tangy sauce. Other types of meat can be used.[2] The flavor is similar to baked beans but with a southwestern twist. Although cowboy appears in the name, the use of canned beans, ketchup, and barbecue sauce means the dish is unlike anything ranch hands would have eaten in the 19th century.[3] Cowboy beans are served stewed or baked,[4] depending on the recipe.

It is unclear how cowboy beans got their name or where they originated. They are easy to prepare and variations on the recipe are available on the Internet and in cookbooks and cooking magazines. Cowboy beans use many of the same ingredients as chili con carne with a very different taste.

Cowboy beans is a staple food in Texas.[2]


Cowboy beans (bottom-left) accompanying a steak dinner

A typical recipe might include:

See also


  1. ^ Hosking, R. (2006). Authenticity in the Kitchen: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2005. Proceedings of the Oxford symposium on food and cookery. Prospect books. p. 242. ISBN 978-1-903018-47-7. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Fain, L. (2014). The Homesick Texan's Family Table: Lone Star Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours. Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. p. 203. ISBN 978-1-60774-505-1. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  3. ^ "What did cowboys eat?". Bushcraft Buddy. 2020-04-23. Archived from the original on 2021-12-31. Retrieved 2022-05-17.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ Byrn, A. (2004). The Dinner Doctor. Rodale. p. 542. ISBN 978-1-59486-092-8. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  5. ^ "Old-Time Vittles". Backpacker. September 2000.