Spicy Cowboy Beans

Wrangle up your family and friends and enjoy some fiery grub. This spicy cowboy bean recipe – featuring a lot of pork – is chock full of flavor. And the heat? There are multiple sources here: fresh jalapeño pepper, cayenne pepper powder, and chili powder all add to the spice. This is one earthy and bold recipe.

spicy cowboy beans

Spicy cowboy beans are delicious as a barbecue side. Hamburgers and hot dogs are both simply better with these beans. But don’t stop there. We love them as part of a fiery breakfast – top the beans with fried eggs (or layer the beans and eggs on toast) and enjoy a delicious spicy twist to your morning. They can also be turned into more of a meal by layering the beans over rice.

See spicy cowboy beans being made:

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spicy cowboy beans

Spicy Cowboy Beans

Earthy and fiery – A perfect BBQ side
3.40 from 5 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Course Side
Servings 16 servings
Calories 358 kcal


  • 1 pound center-cut ham steak cooked and cubed
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 1 pound salt pork
  • 1 jalapeño pepper minced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 green onion for garnish, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a dutch oven or large soup pot, add the beans, then add water until the beans are covered by approximately 3 inches.
  • Bring the water to a boil, then remove the pot from the heat. Cover the pot and let the beans sit for 1 hour.
  • Drain the beans and place them back in the dutch oven or large soup pot. Cover the beans again with water (approximately 2 inches above the beans), then add the ham steak, salt pork, jalapeño pepper, onion, garlic, chili powder, cayenne powder, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaf.
  • Bring the mix to a quick boil, then reduce to medium heat. Continue to simmer the cowboy beans for 2 to 3 hours, until the beans are tender and the sauce has thickened.
  • Remove the bay leaf and salt pork, and add salt and pepper to taste (Careful – the salt pork already adds a salty flavor).
  • Serve with green onion garnish for color.


Calories: 358kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 14gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 1176mgPotassium: 579mgFiber: 6gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 890IUVitamin C: 13.1mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 2.4mg
Keyword Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, Jalapeno Pepper
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on January 7, 2023 to include new content.
3.40 from 5 votes (5 ratings without comment)
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