Cowboy Skillet Supper

Cowboy Skillet Supper is a quick and easy weeknight dinner. A sweet and smoky combination of beef sausage, onions, and beans cooked together in barbecue sauce and served over rice or noodles. This is one of those weeknight, one-pan pantry meals that uses simple ingredients and is ready in about 15-minutes! We serve this with a warm slice of Southern skillet cornbread and “call it dinner!”



Cowboy Skillet Supper


Why you’ll love this recipe!

The best thing about this recipe (other than the fact that its quick and cheap) is that it’s filling, high in protein and high in fiber. When served over white rice (or brown rice), this skillet supper forms a complete protein.

  • Rice and beans, when consumed together, create a complete protein which provides the full spectrum of amino acids.
  • Nothing gourmet – pantry items you probably already have in your kitchen
  • It’s super easy and quick to make, has really nice flavor and texture, and hushes those growling stomachs!
  • Versatile – make it as mild or spicy as you like. Want spicy? Add in a little cayenne pepper, chili powder or Louisiana hot sauce.

This is one of those easy weeknight dinners, like homemade Sloppy Joe’s – it doesn’t take a lot of prep work, doesn’t break the bank, and is minimal clean-up.

Here’s what you’ll need

I make Cowboy skillet supper in a cast-iron skillet, to get that full “ranch-cooking” effect. You can use any type of skillet you have on hand.

  • Sausage – I use link Smoked sausage, but you can use whatever kind of sausage your family prefers. If you don’t have sausage, you can substitute with lean ground beef or ground turkey.
  • Oil – vegetable oil, canola oil or olive oil; just a little to saute the onions
  • Onion – sweet yellow onion, white onion- either one works
  • Canned beans – I usually use a can of Ranch Style beans, but you can use canned pinto beans or black beans if you like.
  • Smoky paprika – this gives a little heat to the skillet supper; you can omit it if you don’t care for spice
  • Barbecue sauce – sweet, smoky, whatever flavor you have on hand.  I use smoked beef sausage with a sweet barbecue sauce; this combination creates a “sweet and spicy” skillet supper.

Here’s how to make it

In a large skillet, add a smidgen of oil and saute sliced onion until it’s tender. Add sliced sausage, beans and seasonings. Serve over rice or noodles! How easy is that? Cowboy skillet supper is perfect for budget-minded, college students or busy weeknights! 


Cowboy Supper in Bowl.

Type of beans

I’ve tried making this recipe several ways, and I find that a can of Ranch Style Beans tastes best. They’re prepared canned beans that are in a tomato/paprika sauce. If you use these canned beans, no need to rinse them, just pour in the sauce, too! I

f you use canned pinto or black beans, rinse and drain them first to remove any additives or preservatives.

Skillet Supper

This hearty skillet supper comes together in no time and has been many a lifesaver on those busy weeknights. 


Related recipes

Cowboy Supper in Bowl

Cowboy Skillet Supper

Sauteed onions, nestled in a smoky barbecue sauce with sausage and pinto beans. Perfect for a busy school or work week!
5 from 9 votes
Print Text Recipe
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4
Author: Anecia Hero


  • 1 lb all-beef smoked sausage link; sliced
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion sliced
  • 1 can pinto beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons smoky paprika
  • 1 ½ cups sweet or smoky barbecue sauce
  • 2 cups cooked rice or noodles


  • Add oil to cast-iron skillet and bring to medium low heat
    2 tablespoons oil
  • Add onions to hot oil and cook until tender
    ½ medium yellow onion
  • Rinse and drain pinto beans; slice sausage into bite sized pieces
  • Add sliced sausage and beans to onions
    1 lb all-beef smoked sausage, 1 can pinto beans
  • Add barbecue sauce and paprika; combine
    1 ½ cups sweet or smoky barbecue sauce, 2 teaspoons smoky paprika
  • Allow to cook for 20 minutes, or until sausage and beans are heated thoroughly
  • Serve over prepared rice or noodles
    2 cups cooked rice or noodles


Vegetarian Version: use jackfruit instead of meat
Add jackfruit to onions, then add barbecue sauce and let cook for about 10 minutes; then add beans and continue to cook till beans are warm

Nutrition Estimate

Serving: 1cupCalories: 1064kcalCarbohydrates: 140gProtein: 29gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 2353mgPotassium: 1143mgFiber: 9gSugar: 38gVitamin A: 1971IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 154mgIron: 4mg
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