Spicy Cowboy Beans

Spicy “round the fire” side…

Wrangle up your family and friends and enjoy some fiery grub. This spicy cowboy bean recipe – featuring a whole 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 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.

Looking for more fiery barbecue sides like spicy cowboy beans? You’ve come to the right place. We have many more that complement these beans for one excellent day of eating. For instance, try these jalapeño cornbread muffins, They are perfect for soaking up all the sauce of these beans. Or give this smoky chipotle potato salad a whirl. It’s a delicious pairing, too, matching earthiness with earthiness.

spicy cowboy beans

Spicy Cowboy Beans

Earthy and fiery – A perfect BBQ side
3.25 from 4 votes
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs
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 March 19, 2022 to include new content.
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