Calico Beans

Posted on May 11, 2017
One Comment

Calico Beans, a hearty baked bean side dish with three kinds of beans, ground beef and bacon.

Calico Beans, in serving bowl.

It’s getting to be that time of year for graduation parties, family reunions, Memorial Day and 4th of July picnics, just to mention a few occasions where feeding a crowd is in order.  When we lived in Minnesota, my aunt often had her Calico Beans on the table at family gatherings.  A hearty baked bean dish with three kinds of beans, ground beef and bacon ~ it disappeared fast!

Calico Beans, in white serving bowl with spoon.

Twenty years later and I recently pulled out my handwritten recipe from my aunt, on a very small sheet of note paper.  I made a batch the other day, and man, so good ~ just like my Aunt Jean’s.  And Meathead, well, what do you think he thought of Calico Beans?!?!  That’s a no-brainer.

Calico Beans, ingredients photo.

It’s so simple to make on the stovetop, all in one pot.  I suppose you could bake in the oven, like baked beans, but I like my aunt’s way best, on the stovetop.  And, like so many dishes, this tastes even better the next day, making it a perfect dish to make ahead for a crowd.

Calico Beans, close up in serving bowl.

I hope you’re enjoying the warm weather.  If you’re looking for a great side dish for your next big gathering, these Calico Beans are a crowd pleaser.  Everyone loves them and will be asking you for the recipe ~ just like I asked my Aunt Jean, years ago.

Two other crowd pleasing sides you might like are Honey’s Potato Salad and Napa Cabbage Salad.  Enjoy, Kelly

Calico Beans, in white serving bowl.

If you’ve tried these Calico Beans, please rate it below in the comments and let me know how it went ~ I love hearing from you! HUNGRY FOR MORE?  Subscribe to my Newsletter and come hang out with me on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK for all the latest updates.

Calico Beans

A hearty baked bean dish with three kinds of beans, ground beef and bacon ~ a surefire crowd pleaser.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Kelly ~ the hungry bluebird (recipe from my aunt Jean)


  • 1 lb ground beef (any kind will do, I used ground sirloin)
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion (about half a large onion)
  • ½ cup diced bacon (about 3-4 pieces thick-cut bacon)
  • 1 (15½-oz) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (16-oz) can butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (16- to 18-oz) jars or cans of B&M brick oven baked beans
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (can use white vinegar instead)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp dry mustard


  • Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add bacon, onion and ground beef.  Cook and brown, breaking up ground beef with wooden spoon, until beef is cooked and onion is soft and translucent, about 10 - 12 minutes.  Drain grease.
  • Add the beans, brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, salt and mustard; stir to combine and bring to a simmer.  Turn heat down, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring often.  Serve and enjoy!


My Aunt used a specific brand of baked beans and I follow her advice. If desired, substitute with a plain version of canned pork and beans.
Keyword: calico beans recipe, stove top calico beans, calico baked beans, bacon, ground beef
Did you make this recipe? Rate it below and share on Instagram so I can see!Mention @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird !

One thought

  1. Avatar

    5 stars
    Crowd pleaser!