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Calico Beans

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

This easy meal has always been a staple recipe in our house. My kids used to joke that if they smelled it cooking, they knew we were having people over for dinner. It really is a great meal to serve with dinner guests because everyone loves it! It cooks in a slow cooker for just an afternoon. I usually put it together at lunchtime, then when dinner rolls around you just prepare the toppings and serve! It's another recipe that first came to mind when my kids were diagnosed with celiac disease since it is a naturally gluten free dinner and a kid favorite that they will request time and again. I'm excited to share this with you!


Calico Beans

Serves 8-10

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 cans pork and beans

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard

3 tablespoons white vinegar

1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled

salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, brown ground beef with onion until no longer pink and onion is translucent; drain. To a slow cooker, add the ground beef and beans and stir to combine. In a mixing bowl, whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, yellow mustard, and vinegar. Pour over the beef and beans and carefully stir to cover. Stir in the bacon and salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours. Serve over corn chips and top with lettuce, cheese, salsa, olives, sour cream, and avocados.


Step-by-step tutorial:

Gather your ingredients. You need a pound of ground beef, half an onion, 1/2 lb. cooked bacon (you can cook it for this recipe, or be lazy like me and use the precooked Costco bacon), 2 cans red kidney beans, 2 cans pork and beans, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and vinegar.

Chop the onion. In a saucepan, brown the ground beef with the chopped onion until....... longer pink and onions are translucent. Drain.

Drain and rinse the red kidney beans. To a slow cooker, add the red kidney beans, pork and beans, and ground beef.

Whisk together the sauce ingredients: 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard, and 3 tablespoons vinegar. Pour the sauce over the beef/bean mixture and gently stir.

Stir in the bacon and season with salt and pepper.

Cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours. This deliciousness will become a favorite fast! It's so easy to serve... I just do it straight from my slow cooker!

These are the toppings we enjoy (besides piling it on top of corn chips - Fritos are our favorite), but you can do whatever you like!

Any meal that is "build your own bowl" is a favorite of kids and adults alike.

When my kids were young they would put everything in their bowl separated and dip the Fritos in each. Kind of a makeshift nacho thing, no fork needed. Anyway you do it, it's YUMMY!

Recipe Source: Recipe from my friend Donna Gregory. ❤


Did you try this recipe?  I'd love to hear from you!  Please rate and leave a comment!

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