Bacon, kielbasa sausage, ground beef, baked beans, potatoes, and corn combine to make the most delicious cowboy stew recipe! This family favorite one-pot recipe is made on the stove top or in the Crockpot with minimal effort.
Cowboy Stew is perfect for those busy weeknights or lazy weekends when you want a hearty, satisfying meal without spending hours in the kitchen. This crowd-pleasing, no-fuss dish is sure to become a staple in your household.
This Cowboy Stew is the perfect comfort food for any occasion. It’s a thick, meaty, and hearty stew that is packed full of flavor and is so delicious! So gather your family and friends, and enjoy a warm bowl of this delicious and easy-to-make dish.
What Is It Made Of?
Cowboy stew is a versatile dish that’s meant to be made with whatever you have on hand. Its rich flavors and hearty ingredients make it an old-fashioned favorite, perfect for feeding a hungry crowd or just your family on a chilly night. The combination of bacon, kielbasa, ground beef, baked beans, canned corn, canned tomatoes, potatoes, onion, garlic, chili powder, and beef broth create a mouthwatering blend of textures and flavors that’ll keep everyone coming back for seconds.
Meat: I use bacon for its smoky, savory taste that adds depth of flavor to the stew. Kielbasa, a smoked sausage, contributes even more smoky flavor. Hamburger meat makes it filling and satisfying.
Vegetables: Corn and potatoes are essential to this recipe, providing texture, flavor, and substance. Russet potatoes are ideal, but Yukon golds can be used as a substitute if needed. You can use frozen mixed vegetables instead of corn, but I prefer the taste of just corn in this stew.
Baked Beans: Baked beans add a touch of sweetness and a campfire-style taste that makes the meal so satisfying.
Flour: Flour is used to thicken the stew.
Garlic and Onion: These aromatic ingredients add depth of flavor and a subtle sweetness.
Spices: Chili powder, ground cumin, dried parsley, fine sea salt, and ground black pepper create a well-rounded seasoning blend that enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.
Tomatoes: Diced tomatoes and RO-TEL (canned tomatoes with green chilies) provide acidity and a touch of heat to the dish, balancing out the rich flavors of the meat and beans.
Beef Broth: Beef broth serves as the base for the stew, infusing it with a savory, meaty flavor that brings all the ingredients together.
How To Make Cowboy Stew
Start by cooking the bacon in a large Dutch oven until crispy, then remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Add the sliced kielbasa and onions to the Dutch oven, and cook until the kielbasa is browned and the onions are translucent. Transfer the kielbasa and onions to the same bowl as the bacon.
Next, cook the ground beef in the Dutch oven, breaking it up into a crumble as it cooks. Once the beef is almost fully cooked, drain any excess grease and return the pot to medium heat. Add the minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Mix and cook until the spices are aromatic. Sprinkle the flour over the seasoned beef and mix thoroughly.
Return the kielbasa and bacon to the pot, along with the diced tomatoes, RO-TEL, pork and beans, potatoes, corn, and beef broth. Stir to combine, then bring the mixture to a boil.
Once it starts to bubble, reduce the heat and cover with a fitted lid. Simmer the stew until the potatoes are tender and the flavors have melded together.
While the stew is simmering, you can prepare any desired accompaniments, such as cornbread, a simple green salad, or a loaf of crusty bread to serve alongside. Once the stew is ready, ladle it into bowls, garnish with fresh parsley or green onions if desired, and serve with your chosen sides. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.
How To Make It In The Crockpot
Yes, cowboy stew can be made in a Crockpot. Follow the same steps for browning the meats and sautéing the onions and garlic before transferring everything to the slow cooker. Add in the remaining ingredients and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6 hours (up to 8 hours).
Store this in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 2-3 days. It gets even better after a day or two when the flavors have a chance to meld. It can be reheated on the stove or in the microwave. If it thickens too much as it sits, you can thin it out with a bit of additional water or broth.
Can You Freeze It?
I wouldn’t recommend freezing this because the texture of the potatoes might end up mushy after it thaws. If you leave the potatoes out it makes a great freezer meal!
What To Serve Cowboy Stew With
This stew is really a meal in itself. I like to serve it with quick bread, like this Jiffy Cornbread with Creamed Corn, this Irish Soda Bread, or this Sweet Potato Cornbread. Adding a dollop of sour cream on top with some fresh green onions really brings it to the next level.
Keep In Touch
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out our entire section of soups! Some reader favorites are:
- Mulligan Beef Stew
- Bisquick Chicken and Dumplings
- Chicken Potato Soup
- Pozole Verde
- Sweet Chili
- Hamburger Potato Soup
- 8 slices bacon (sliced into 1/4” pieces)
- 1 (12 ounce) pack kielbasa sausage (sliced into 1/4” rounds, then cut in half)
- 1 medium yellow onion (diced, about 1 cup)
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 3 medium cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder*
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (undrained)
- 1 (10 ounce) can mild RO-TEL (undrained)
- 1 (16 ounce) can pork and beans (undrained, I used Bush’s Baked Beans)
- 1 (8.75 ounce) can whole kernel corn (drained)
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (peeled and cut into 1/2” cubes, about 3 cups)
- 1 cup beef broth
- Chopped green onions (optional, for garnish)
- To a cold large dutch oven, add in the bacon pieces.** Turn the heat to medium-high and cook the bacon for about 8-10 minutes, or until the bacon becomes crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon from the pot to a medium bowl, leaving the drippings behind. Set the bacon aside.
- Add the sliced kielbasa and onions to the dutch oven and mix it with the drippings. Cook the kielbasa pieces until they have browned on both sides and the onions are translucent (about 7 minutes). Use the slotted spoon to transfer the kielbasa and onions from the pot to the bowl with the bacon. Turn the heat down to medium.
- Add the ground beef to the dutch oven, breaking it up into a small crumble as it cooks. Cook the beef until there is almost no visible pink remaining (about 7 minutes) then drain away any excess grease, leaving the beef in the pot.
- Return the pot back to medium heat. Add in the minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix. Cook until aromatic (about 1 minute), then sprinkle the flour over the seasoned beef and thoroughly mix together.
- Return the kielbasa and bacon back to the pot, along with the diced tomatoes, RO-TEL, pork and beans, potatoes, corn, and beef broth. Stir to combine.
- Turn the heat back up to high and bring to just a boil. Once the bubbling starts, turn the heat down to medium-low and cover with a fitted lid. Simmer the stew for about 50-55 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender, stirring occasionally.
- Serve and top with freshly chopped green onions.
*This is a spice blend sold in the US and Canada that’s much more mild than the pure chili powder sold in the UK or other parts of the world.
**I add the bacon to a cold dutch oven because when the bacon hits the hot pan it sticks to it instantly. When the dutch oven heats up with the bacon, the bacon fat releases as it heats, which prevents it from sticking so easily.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 439Total Fat: 19.3gCarbohydrates: 28.8gFiber: 6.9gSugar: 3.1gProtein: 36.9g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
Cowboy stew is a delicious, hearty, and satisfying one-pot meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights or cozy weekends.