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!
Slow Cooker Calico Beans
Last weekend was my oldest son’s 17th birthday and for his birthday he wanted to have a cook-out at the park with friends and family. He 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 he wasn’t sure what that something else should be.
So I suggested that she let me make some calico beans.
“What are calico beans?” he asked.
And I told him 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
The name calico beans comes from the different colors of beans in the dish. The word “calico” is a type of fabric that is usually pretty colorful with prints of small flowers.
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.
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!
- 10 Ingredients Or Less Crock-Pot Recipes
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- 6.5 Quart Crock-Pot Recipes
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- Crock-Pot Side Dish Recipes
- Ground Beef/Hamburger Crock-Pot Recipes
- Kid Friendly Crock-Pot Recipes
- Pork Crock-Pot Recipes
- Readers’ Favorite Recipes
- Summer Crock-Pot Recipes
Crock-Pot Calico Beans Recipe
- 6 Quart Crock-Pot or larger slow cooker
- 1 Pound Center Cut Bacon
- 1 Pound Extra Lean Ground Beef
- 53 Ounces Canned Pork & Beans
- 32 Ounces Canned Butter Beans (drained)
- 32 Ounces Canned Red Kidney Beans (drained)
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion (peeled and finely diced)
- 1 Cup Ketchup
- ⅓ Cup Brown Sugar (light or dark)
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Mustard
- 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- In a large skillet cook the bacon until crisp.1 Pound Center Cut Bacon
- 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 ground beef.1 Pound Extra Lean Ground Beef
- Drain excess fat from meat and add to the slow cooker.
- Dump the rest of the ingredients (beans, onion, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and pepper) into the slow cooker and stir to combine.53 Ounces Canned Pork & Beans –32 Ounces Canned Butter Beans –32 Ounces Canned Red Kidney Beans –1 Medium Yellow Onion –1 Cup Ketchup –⅓ Cup Brown Sugar –1 Tablespoon Ground Mustard –1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or on HIGH 4 hours (see note below).