Crockpot Cowboy Casserole | Chelsea's Messy Apron

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Crockpot Cowboy Casserole | Chelsea's Messy Apron - My sister and brother-in-law have been staying with us for about a week now and have been helping me test recipes. This one was the biggest hit so far! While my brother-in-law does have a reputation for being a “bottomless pit” when it comes to food, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dish finished off so fast! This Crockpot Cowboy Casserole was an instant favorite, and my sister and brother-in-law made me promise to make it again before they leave in a few days.

What is a “Cowboy Casserole”?

This wholesome crockpot cowboy casserole includes sausage, potatoes, beans, peppers, and fire roasted corn and tomatoes. One of the secrets to the delicious flavor in this dish is TABASCO Sauce. TABASCO provides the perfect blend of flavorings, adding a spicy, smoky, and sweet flavor that really amps up the flavor. Be sure to also have your TABASCO sauce out on your table for those who want to add a little extra kick to their cowboy casserole

Using a crockpot to make Cowboy Casserole:

Although many Cowboy Casserole recipes include tater-tots, tater-tots will never get that crispy texture we all love when cooked in a crockpot. So, I’ve replaced tater-tots with petite red potatoes to create a healthy and delicious spin on the classic Cowboy Casserole recipe. I recommend using baby red potatoes as they are better than other potato varieties at maintaining their texture in a crockpot without becoming soggy. However, you’ll want to be sure to cut the potatoes thinly so they cook in time! If you do want to try a crockpot cowboy casserole with tater tots, I’d recommend adding the tater tots at the end and broiling/cooking the crockpot insert (as long as it’s oven safe) in the oven
Overhead photo of all of the ingredients in the slow cooker for the crockpot cowboy casserole


How to adapt this crockpot cowboy casserole to your family’s preferences:

  • Less spice – If you like your meals more on the mild side, I would recommend replacing the sausage with regular ground beef. You could also replace the sausage with turkey sausage for a lower calorie alternative!
  • More spice – If you enjoy really full, spicy flavors, you may want to replace the kidney beans in this recipe with a can of chili beans. If you really love things hot, you can also increase the amount of TABASCO sauce that you put into the recipe.
  • Toppings and condiments – Your favorite baked potato toppings are likely to pair great with this simple crockpot cowboy casserole! You can add extra cheese, sour cream, cilantro, or green onions, etc. You might also want to put ketchup (usually a big hit with the kids), BBQ sauce, and TABASCO sauce on your table!

What can you serve alongside this Crockpot Cowboy Casserole?

Close up overhead photo of crockpot cowboy casserole on a plate with lots of cheese
5 from 6 votes
Crockpot Cowboy Casserole
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 15 mins
A lightened-up version of the famous cowboy casserole, made even easier in the slow cooker! This Crockpot Cowboy Casserole is flavorful and packed with good-for-you ingredients.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crockpot cowboy casserole
Servings4 -6 servings
Calories201 kcal
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage (can use ground turkey for a healthier alternative)
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 pound baby/petite red potatoes, thinly sliced (no need to peel)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (15 ounces) fire-roasted corn, drained
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon TABASCO Sauce
  • 1/2 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup low-fat Colby Jack cheese, freshly grated
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • Optional toppings: fresh cilantro, sour cream
  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the sausage and chopped yellow onion. Brown the sausage and drain off any fat. Add to a 6 quart crockpot. Top with the thinly sliced red potatoes.
  2. Add the chopped bell pepper, fire-roasted corn, kidney beans, undrained fire-roasted diced tomatoes, minced garlic, TABASCO sauce, beef broth, and chili powder. Season to taste with salt & pepper; I use 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. You can always add more at the end 🙂 
  3. Stir everything together and cover the crockpot.
  4. Cook on high for 3-5 hours or low for 5-7 hours or until potatoes are tender. Once everything is finished cooking, taste and adjust salt and pepper to preference. 
  5. Add the freshly grated cheese in an even layer over everything and allow to melt. Serve hot with additional TABASCO sauce as desired and fresh cilantro.


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