Calico Baked Beans

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Calico Baked Beans is an easy recipe that receives rave reviews from family and friends! Four types of beans in a savory sauce makes the perfect side dish at barbecues, picnics and family gatherings.

crockpot full of calico baked beans.
Jump To
  • This Calico Baked Beans recipe comes together quickly, and is a cinch to make at the last minute. It includes four different kinds of beans which creates its calico appearance.
  • Enjoy this dish that is tangy, zesty, and sweet. If you prefer spicy baked beans, just add more hot sauce or sriracha to the mix. For a smoky flavor, add a little liquid smoke or chipotles.
  • You’ll love these flavorful beans that make a great side dish for hot dogs, barbecue ribs and pulled pork!
  • Other names for this hearty side dish include cowboy baked beans, baked beans with hamburger, or dutch oven beans. They usually include the addition of bacon, pork sausage, pulled pork, brisket, or lean ground beef.
  • My original recipe is vegetarian which appeals to a wide range of folks at picnics and potlucks dinners.
ingredients needed to make this recipe.

Ingredients

This recipe is a favorite at every holiday gathering and event! See recipe card for quantities.

  • pork and beans – any type will do
  • black beans – adds depth to the recipe
  • white navy beans (or butter beans) – adds contrast
  • dark red kidney beans – for rich color
  • brown sugar – gives the dish its sweetness
  • green onions – provides mild onion flavor
  • sweet red pepper – makes things a little sassy
  • fresh cilantro – kicks things up a notch
  • BBQ sauce – adds a zesty flavor
  • yellow mustard – adds a savory bite
  • stone ground mustard – gives this dish its zing
  • hot sauce – adds a little heat
  • steak seasoning – a great seasoning in this recipe
baked beans being spooned out of a green dish.

How to Make Calico Baked Beans

Mix all ingredients together in a large skillet or the biggest baking dish you can find. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees until a light crust forms on top. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving. It’s so easy!

You can also make slow cooker calico beans or cook them in an instant pot if you’re in a hurry.

Crockpot calico beans are really simple to make! Add everything in a crock pot and cook on medium-low heat for 2 hours.

What Readers Say:

” We love this recipe at our house. It’s easy to make and everyone goes crazy about the flavor.”

Lisa

Variations

Be as creative as you like with this recipe and substitute other items if desired. To make this hearty dish with one type of bean, choose pork and beans as the primary ingredient.

Try these variations to mix things up a little bit

  • crispy bacon
  • ground turkey, beef, hamburger, brisket, or pulled pork
  • garbanzo beans, pinto beans, or lima beans
  • tomato sauce or ketchup instead of barbecue sauce
  • dry mustard instead of yellow mustard
  • jalapeno peppers or chipotles
bbq ribs with potato salad and baked beans on a white plate

What to Serve with Calico Beans

Serve Calico Baked Beans with all types of entrees like pork tenderloin, BBQ ribs and southern fried chicken. They taste great with burgers, meatball sliders and a Bacon Bloody Mary!

This dish also pairs well with potato salad, creamy coleslaw, macaroni salad and corn pudding.

Gather ’round the grill and serve this popular calico baked bean recipe at your next get-together! Or, enjoy it alongside Brown Sugar Spiral Ham at Easter for the perfect holiday meal.

Recipe FAQS

Why are these beans called calico?

Calico is another word for ‘many colors’. That’s exactly what you see when you combine a variety of beans into a large bowl. It’s like a kaleidoscope of yum!

How long can baked beans last in the fridge?

Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave on high for 1 minute, or warm in a 350 degree oven.

Can you freeze baked beans?

Sure! The consistency might be different after they thaw out, but if you thaw them slowly that should help. Store in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.

Are calico beans different than cowboy beans?

The only thing that makes calico beans different than cowboy beans is adding bacon or meat. Calico beans have no meat in them, but you can definitely add it if desired!

Can I make calico beans in a dutch oven?

Absolutely! Dutch oven beans are delicious and taste great in an enameled dutch oven or in a camping oven over an outdoor fire.

Tips and Tricks

  • Bake these beans for only 1 hour in the oven. Any longer and they will dry out.
  • Let dish rest for 15 minutes before serving for best results.
  • Leave out the hot sauce and steak seasoning if you don’t like spicy food.
  • The type of barbecue sauce used makes a difference in taste. If you like bold flavors, be sure to pick a tangy bbq sauce for this recipe.
  • This recipe works with several types of beans or just one type. You can change the flavors to suit your taste.
  • Wrap this dish in towels to keep warm until serving time. If left in the oven, it will dry out.

More Picnic Sides

Calico Baked Beans is a favorite side dish for any occasion. If you love this recipe, try these other sides that go great with beef or poultry.

Recipe Card

crockpot fun of four types of beans and sauce.

Calico Baked Beans

Calico Baked Beans is an easy recipe that receives rave reviews from family and friends! Four types of beans in a savory sauce makes the perfect side dish at barbecues, picnics and family gatherings.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 193kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Ingredients

  • 1 can 15 oz pork and beans, undrained
  • 1 can 15 oz black beans, undrained
  • 1 can 15 oz white navy beans, undrained
  • 1 can 15 oz kidney beans, undrained
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup green onions (chopped)
  • ½ cup sweet red pepper (diced)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 cup zesty BBQ sauce
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. stone ground mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. hot sauce (if you like it spicy)
  • ½ teaspoon steak seasoning

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix all ingredients together in the biggest baking dish or skillet you've got.
  • Bake for 1 hour until a light crust forms on top.
  • Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • This is a vegetarian side dish.
  • To make Cowboy Beans, add 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon or ground beef before baking.
  • Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave on high for 1 minute, or warm in a 350 degree oven.

Nutrition

Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 628mg | Potassium: 494mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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