25 Days of Holiday Recipes: Calico Baked Beans

Shopping. Work. Cleaning the house. Going to the church potluck. Everyone needs a go-to recipe that fits into your holiday lifestyle, and Calico Baked Beans is that recipe.

Having absolutely no resemblance to the yucky baked beans people usually bring to events, your crockpot will be filled with a sweet and savory meat and bean melange that is more like stew than like beans. A teaching colleague brought this dish to every school potluck and if I was in the last lunch group, I was lucky to get even a taste of this. People seem to just inhale it.

This recipe is also one that is easily modified depending on what your family likes or what is in the fridge that needs to be used up (Using up stuff in the fridge seems to be a common theme in my recipes). We didn’t have any barbecue sauce in the house so I threw in extra ketchup and some mesquite seasoning. It worked just fine. We also added some aging tomato salsa and seriously considered opening our brand new bottle of peach salsa from Trader Joe’s. That would have been a tasty addition to the mix, but seemed unnecessary. You could also use a Rotel tomato product with chilis if you like your food a little spicier. I also used ground turkey and pancetta rather than the ground beef and bacon — I don’t think anyone would know the difference and Music Man liked it better that way.

Try it for your next caroling party — it will be ready when you get home!

25 Days of Holiday Recipes: Calico Baked Beans

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 8 Servings

Serving Size: 1 cup


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tbs. butter or margarine
  • 1 pound bacon, cooked, drained, in 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tbs. prepared mustard
  • 2 tbs. molasses
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 16 oz. canned kidney beans, drained
  • 16 oz. canned lima beans, drained
  • 28 oz. canned pork and beans


In large skillet, brown beef and onion in butter. Drain well. Place in casserole with bacon.

In medium bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, ketchup, barbecue sauce, mustard, molasses, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add kidney beans, lima beans, and pork and beans to casserole. Pour sugar mixture on top. Blend well.

Cover casserole and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Uncover casserole and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

This casserole can be held, covered, in a low oven for 1 hour. It can also be baked and kept warm in a crockpot.


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3 thoughts on “25 Days of Holiday Recipes: Calico Baked Beans

  1. We had the leftovers of this dish today for lunch. Music Man said again how much he loved it and wants me to make it again. The way to a man’s heart…

  2. Pingback: Calico Baked Beans for Christmas Entertaining - Got My Reservations

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