Calico Beans From Mom’s Recipe Box

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calico beans
God is spirit, and those who worship him must
worship in spirit and truth.”     John 4:24 ESV

Whenever we are planning a family dinner someone always says “Mom, will you make your beans?”  The mom referred to is my sous-chef dish-washing mom and her beans are the calico beans she has made and perfected through the years.  It is a fairly common recipe but hers tastes different.  Her calico beans have her touch and they always taste better than when I make them!

Last Sunday was a potluck dinner at church.  Chicken was provided by the church staff and so I thought about mom’s beans.  I turned on my computer, click on my blog and searched Calico Beans.

(Did you know there is a little box on the left-hand side of my blog that says SEARCH THIS BLOG?  Makes it easy to find things.)

Whaaaat?  No Calico Bean recipe? I quickly called mom and asked about her recipe.  “How can I not have blogged this recipe?” I asked her.  She knew it was a rhetorical question and simple shrugged. 🙂

We discussed how the recipe can be made with or without hamburger meat.  I told her that I use bacon and hamburger meat.  She said she only uses one meat, bacon or hamburger, but not both.  Hmmm ….. could that be the difference in hers and mine?

I made the beans and put them in the crockpot to cook a couple of hours on high and 2 hours on low.  We served them on the potluck table right out of the crockpot, which was nice because they stayed hot.

They tasted okay, but not as good as mom’s.  I should have asked her to make them.  Here is the recipe, add your own love and they will be fantastic!

Happy Cooking!

Calico Beans From Mom's Recipe Box
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Mom's beans are always requested for family dinners and these are sure to please your family too!
Recipe type: Vegetable, Side Dish
Serves: 8-10 servings
  • 4 ounces bacon, diced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 can (21 ounces) pork and beans
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (16 ounces) butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain. Discard drippings.
  2. In the same skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain. Combine the beef mixture, bacon, beans, brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, mustard and salt. Spoon into a greased 2-qt. baking dish.
  3. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 45-60 minutes or until the beans are as thick as desired. Beans can also be cooked in a Crockpot on low for 4 to 6 hours, covered.
I double the recipe to fill a 4 to 5 quart crockpot, then I cook on high for 1 to 2 hours and on low for 2 to 4 hours, depending on time available.

This recipe is delicious with or without the meat. Can easily be made into a all-vegetarian recipe.


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4 thoughts on “Calico Beans From Mom’s Recipe Box”

  1. This looks like the same recipe that my mom uses. Maybe a family recipe from Grandma Paulsen? I love Calico beans and always add a little extra vinegar. I think the vinegar gives it the little extra pizzaz that people can’t quite put their finger (or tastebuds) on.


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