Mom’s {Famous} Beans ::: Calico Beans



I wish I made these beans for a barbecue at our pool today with friends, music {currently I’d request Jake Owen}, and  homemade mojitos. Instead I am packing for a work trip that I leave on tomorrow. I really shouldn’t complain though because I am heading to Hong Kong and  I  am so freaking excited!

I made my Mom’s famous beans today because I was craving them, so naturally I made enough for an army. Peter says I purposely plan to fatten him up by leaving lots of food when I leave on work trips. ::: Sorry honey ::: Just make 1/2 the recipe below for a more “normal” portion.

I grew up with these beans. My mom made them all the time because they were one of the few things my brother actually liked. {Shh don’t tell him there’s mustard in there} They remind me of my childhood and I will absolutely make them for my own kids one day.

This is the perfect side dish to bring to a party. They are best alongside moist and tangy BBQ chicken and maybe even some grilled corn on the cob. We usually just make them as a meal with lots of leftovers.

Don’t worry much about measuring the ingredients, I just thrown everything in and add things to taste. They are the best the longer the brown sugar gets to melt into the mix.


Calico Beans     serves 8-10 as a side

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 package of bacon
  • 2 large cans (28 oz.) baked beans
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can lima beans, drained
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp vinegar

Brown the ground beef and season with salt and pepper, drain oil. Cook the bacon until it is very crispy and chop. In a large pot mix all 3 types of beans, ground beef, bacon, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and vinegar on medium. Cook on medium high for 5 minutes stirring often. Turn the heat to low and let simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring the bottom once in a while as it tends to stick.

You can also throw them in the oven for 30 minutes instead. The purpose of the cooking time is to melt the brown sugar into everything. Taste them as much as you go, you know, to make sure they are just right.


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keely marie

7 Replies to “Mom’s {Famous} Beans ::: Calico Beans”

  1. My family has been making Calico beans for years. We love them and they are a requested side dish at parties. We like to make them up in a slow cooker. This way we can work on the other foods for the party.

  2. Have fun in Hong Kong & safe travels! Thanks for sharing the recipe, it looks great! We’ve been on a bean kick lately, and I’d love to try this out as something different. My hubby makes the same one since he doesn’t want to divert from the “perfect” recipe…I keep telling him there is more out there!
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