This recipe for Crock-Pot Calico Beans is the perfect side to make for your next BBQ or cookout. The beans are sweet (but not TOO sweet), savory & yum! Ground beef, bacon, a variety of beans are simmered away for hours in this sweet and savory recipe!
Crock-Pot Calico Beans
Last weekend was my second oldest daughter’s 17th birthday and for her birthday she wanted to have a cook-out at the park with friends and family. She was adamant that she wanted her dad’s famous BBQ ribs. As far as sides she wanted pasta salad, chips and dip and something else…but she wasn’t sure what that something else should be.
So I suggested that she let me make some calico beans.
“What are calico beans?” she asked
And I told her that they are sort of like BBQ beans or baked beans but not quite as sweet and more savory. But still…delicious.
And they were. Seriously they were a huge hit and I think I may have eaten 3 or 4 bowls of them myself.
There is a tad bit of prep work involved in that you will need to cook up some bacon and brown up some hamburger. Oh and chop an onion.
And then you just open up some cans, measure out some ketchup, brown sugar and seasonings and let it cook…low and slow all day.
The prep work isn’t too bad and the results are totally worth it.
These beans are sweet.
But not TOO sweet.
They are savory too and there is a hint of smokiness from the bacon. They are the perfect side dish for any summer cookout.
Calico beans go well with hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, chicken, steak and just about anything you can toss on the grill.
Where Does The Name Calico Beans Come From?
The name calico beans comes from the different colors of beans in the dish. I used some pork and beans (just your plain pork and beans and those are usually cooked from navy beans. Then we toss in some butter beans (which are dried lima beans, cooked…I detest lima beans but cooked butter beans are different, they have a nice texture) and then some red kidney beans. You can substitute other beans like pinto beans if you want.
Is This A Good Dish To Bring To A Potluck?
Absolutely! I make these beans and take them to all sorts of get togethers…summer BBQ’s (think 4th of July or Memorial Day) and potlucks are a given. But they are also great for birthday parties, baby showers, and office parties too! Any occasion where you are asked to bring a dish!
Try These Slow Cooker Side Dishes Too!
- Crock-Pot Green Beans + Video
- Slow Cooker Beanie Weenies
- Crock-Pot Funeral Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Roasted Garlic
- Crock-Pot Vegetable Medley
Crock-Pot Calico Beans Recipe
- In a large skillet cook the bacon until crisp.
- Set the cooked bacon aside on paper towels to cool.
- Once cooked crumble the bacon and add to the bottom of a 6 quart or larger slow cooker.
- Drain off bacon grease from skillet (save it if you like to save your bacon grease!) and add the ground beef to the same skillet and brown and crumble hamburger meat.
- Drain excess fat from meat and add to the crock-pot.
- Dump the rest of the ingredients (beans, onion, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and pepper) into the slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or on HIGH 4 hours (see note below)
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