This Calico Beans recipe packs a punch when it comes to protein. In my household of men, this is much appreciated. Oh, who am I kidding? I may be the only girl in my household, but give me a bowl of beans, beef, and bacon, and I’m a happy camper. I love me a high protein meal! If all the boys in the house enjoy it too, well now, that’s just a huge perk. :)
Add some chopped sweet green peppers, or even a few chunks of spicy peppers to this recipe if your family enjoys a little “kick”.
- 8 ounces turkey bacon, cut into one-inch pieces
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ cup chopped onion (or 4 Tablespoons minced onion)
- 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
- 2 - 15 ounce cans baked beans (I use Eden Organics, full of healthy ingredients)
- 1 - 15 ounce can kidney beans
- ¾ cup ketchup (I recommend homemade ketchup or an organic variety that does not contain high fructose corn syrup)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon vinegar (I use either red wine or balsamic)
- In a skillet, brown bacon, ground beef, and onions together.
- Drain and dump into a crock pot.
- Add remaining ingredients, stirring until mixed.
- Cover and cook on low for six hours or on high for three hours.
- Or, skip the crock pot and bake this in a covered casserole dish at 350° for an hour.
Of course, you’ll save even more money if you soak and cook your own beans. Read more about this process here.
I know everyone is different when it comes to craving meat and high protein meals. Are you like me and feel like you could eat a half a cow sometimes? Or are you content with a small bowl of beans and the occasional peanut?
Interested in more Crock Pot recipes? You’ll find several to look through here!
Yum! That looks amazing! I like beans, the husband not so much. Most of the time I’m fine not eating a lot of meat but everyone in a while I just need a burger!
It looks DE-LISH! Does it taste anything like chili or more like baked beans? I can’t get an idea between the picture and the ingredients:)
It’s more like baked beans with lots o’ meat!
Candice M says
I am like you…I could eat half a cow sometimes. This recipe sounds great. We will have to try it. Thanks!
Definitely a “half a cow” kind of girl! This recipe sounds fantastic, except I’d use my own beans I canned … and probably moose meat. Gotta work with what you have! :)
This recipe has been in my husband’s family for years! I make it for us now. It smells so good cookin’ in the slow cooker. Yum! Definitely a great fall meal.
I hear you about the boys/men and protein! Looks like a keeper of a recipe. :)
Your recipes are sooo wonderful, I appreciate them very much and would love to try this too!
this sounds good i so like cooking with crock pots
What kind of turkey bacon do you get?
I like Applegate when I can get it. :)
got some kidney beans in the crock pot right now to make some chili tomorrow. (using ground turkey) normally we use red meat, but we are trying to eat healthier and swapping out a meal here and there. (just tried eggplant parmesan and we loved it….our entire family. (only 2 girls and 4 boys, guys liked it too. )
This looks delicious! Yummy!
I love my protein! Thanks again for another great recipe.
Cathy B. says
This sounds so good, I’m going to make it for dinner tomorrow or Friday! My family likes protein, too, so this should be a winner.
I can go without meat for a few days, but then I need a meal heavy on meat.
Joanna Sigman says
Bring on the protein!
Jennifer Blaine says
I do a very similar dish we call hamburger beans. I add in a can of rotel and minus the bacon and pork and beans. This is great with some sweet cornbread!
I occasionally crave meat but can do without it for a lot of meals.
Sally McQuaid says
We used to eat a lot of meat. were now trying to be more concious where out meat comes from and how the animals lived.. so its a lot more beans, eggs, etc for protein. Thanks for the great recipe.
My family and I eat a lots of beans and I beat we will like this recipe too!
I am not big on protein but I love salads and veggies and good bread!
Mary N. says
My kind of meal. I’ve never tried the turkey bacon in it. Just the hamburger. Will have to try it. Thanks for the recipe.
What brand of pork and beans do you buy?
I get Eden Organic brand. :)
I’m in the middle of the Insanity workout program right now and need LOTS of protein – so this looks awesome!
If it’s in the form of a hamburger, I could eat half a cow. :D If it’s in casseroles, I prefer the meat to be in a smaller amount, or at least in little bitty crumbles not huge chunks. Like on pizza, little crumbles are good. :D
Raising three boys and a tall handsome husband requires a LOT of protein! I think I’ll try this recipe!
Erin S says
My mouth is watering looking at your picture. I love beans! This is going on my list for next week’s meals. Thank you.
I don’t have a huge preference for meat over beans or vice versa … enjoy them both. Pinto beans w/cornbread and slaw is a regular meal in our house … I love it with green tomato chow chow :)
Darla M says
This sounds delicious! I’m surprised to see you using canned beans, though. Is there a brand of pork n beans that you trust? How about the kidney beans?
I typically soak and cook my own beans…but it’s soccer season, and I’m tired. :) I like Eden Organic beans for quick meals like this. :)
Darla M says
It’s cross country season in our house, so I feel ya! My crockpots have been getting a workout lately! I will look for the Eden brand. Thank you!
This LOOKS DELICIOUS. I was just searching for more crock-pot recipes too. GREAT TIMING!!!
Depending on the day. Some days all I want is a big leafy green salad with some vinegar dressing and lots of veggies. But occassionally I crave some meat.
Love new recipes, thanks :D
Stacy @Stacy Makes Cents says
We LOVE these!!! I make mine in the crock pot…but we refer to them as Cowboy Beans. :-) Sounds really manly that way.
mrs. p says
I make something similar to this but what I make is called cowboy beans. I don’t care for bake beans but love this.
Wow! I am working on my new menu/grocery shopping plan, and this recipe is going on it! It will be great for lunch at church on Sunday. Thanks so much for sharing! And, I do tend to slack off on protein a lot – I’m a fruit and veggie girl, who also struggles with anemia off and on. Maybe I need to eat like this more???
Hmm, yes, I do wonder if you need more meat in your diet. I struggle with anemia for sure when I don’t eat enough!
Love anything spicy and esp beans. Thanks for this recipe; it sounds great!
Karen Dee says
I have loved beans and burger since I was a kid. Am going to try adding the peppers. That sounds good!
I love meat! And especially love protein for breakfast. What about making this with stew meat in the crockpot? Hmmmm. I think I’m going to give it a try!
Perfect timing for this recipe! I have everything to try it out tonight! I like baked beans and I like chili. I also like cow. Never tried to eat a half of one yet… but the thought doesn’t sound too scary. Thanks for all you do, Laura.
I wish I like pork and beans, or kidney beans, not a fan, but that could change.
Ann Marie says
Looks like a wonderful recipe – will definitely add this to my crockpot line up. I alway crave meat/protein and notice my kids seem to have more energy and are more attentive when they’ve had a meal with lean protein.
Seriously delicious looking. I love anything in the crock pot!
Sounds like a great recipe. Can’t wait to try it. :-)
I will put this on the menu plan! Lots of protein is good since I am currently pregnant. :)
We love beans at our house. I’ve got some beans soaking right now for supper tonight. Your recipe sounds pretty good. Will have to try it our some time soon. Thank you for sharing it!
I LOVE Calico Beans. Have not done them in the Crock Pot yet but I love my Crock Pot too so will be doing it soon!
Surprised to see canned beans in this recipe ;)
Me too. :) I typically soak and cook my own beans…but it’s soccer season, and I’m tired. :) I like Eden Organic beans for quick meals like this. :)
Anita Peoples says
This is similar to my recipe which I’m always asked to share. It tastes even better with potato salad. I’m left hanging high if I don’t serve the two together!! ;)
Love these beans! Add a square of cornbread, and I am a happy camper
patricia loser says
this sounds good
I hope this isn’t a repeat question, but I didn’t have time to look through all the comments. I make a dish very similar to this, but I always consider it as a side dish. But you’re right, it is a high protein meal. Do you serve it as a main dish? What do you serve with it? I think I’m going to change it to a main dish and serve it with rolls & fruit to round it out!
I definitely serve this as a main dish, with sliced fresh fruit and maybe biscuits or cornbread on the side. :)
I also have a similar dish. We call it cowboy stew. My son loves it. I am always looking for more bean recipes. I know they are healthy and have lots of protein, but most bean recipes have mexican spices and flavors. My family (husband) does not like it. Thanks for another recipe to try.
I can’t wait to try it.
Sarah Sanders says
I am the only one in my family who likes beans, but I’m going to try this recipe-maybe this will be the magical recipe that converts my husband and boys into bean-likers! ;-)
Suk Yee Ng says
I like chili but never thought of using pork/beans.
This sounds delicious and I think my kids would love it.
We are protein lovers too…we could never be completely vegetarian! And I’ve eaten this dish (very similar anyway) for years. We called it Bean Burger Bake. Yum.
Cheryl R says
Sounds like a yummy fall meal :)
Cassie Musick says
I love beans, but I do not eat beef or bacon. I usually make chili with a variety of beans (no meat) or crumble tofu into the beans. I also add diced jalapeños, onions, garlic, and I top it with cheese.
Lerin Cunningham says
How do you find “good” pork and beans???
I use Eden Organic brand.
Misty M. says
I also would like to know how you would substitute for the pork and beans as we don’t do pork?
I would just use a can of regular beans, plus a little brown sugar for sweetness and a drop or two of liquid smoke to get that smokey flavor of bacon.
I’d just sub red beans. :)
Amber S. says
Sounds great! This is going in my menu plan, thank you! :)
This sounds good except for the pork and beans. I don’t do pork either. My husband has lost 20 lbs. this year by following a low carb diet. I think he will like this recipe. I think high protein meals keep you from getting hungry quickly after a meal. Thanks for sharing.
You can just sub red beans if you prefer.
Katie Long says
This recipe sounds almost exactly like something I threw together out of desperation last week. ;) Delicious!
Katie Long says
This recipe sounds almost exactly like something I threw together out of desperation last week. ;) Delicious!
I love beans in the crock pot. This looks so good :)
My family has a similar recipe and it is very tasty!!!
I’m surprised at the turkey bacon, that stuff is nasty. How about regular bacon or salt pork instead, or just regular beans plus a little molasses and liquid smoke?
I like the Applegate Turkey Bacon I get from Azure Standard.
Too bad fall is at least a month or two away for those of us in Fl. Luckily, I know where to find this recipe when it finally gets here.
This sounds so good! I am like you and definately could eat half a cow sometimes.
Sue D says
This sounds really good. I think my boys would like it. I am not a big meat eater but my boys are.
Great recipe – it will be good for college football gamedays!
I’ll have to figure out how to make this without using canned beans..hmm
I’d just use soaked and cooked red beans instead of both of the canned beans and it would be just as good!
I’m with you – I could eat half a cow…and enjoy every bite! :)
I grew up with a very similar recipe for Calico Beans and just seeing the name of today’s post made me salivate. They were always a favorite and now they are for my husband and boys too. Glad more people get to be informed of such a GREAT dish! I’ve sometimes taken it to pot-lucks after baking it instead of putting it in the crock pot or on the stove as a baked bean-like dish. It’s always a big hit.
Kathleen Davis says
If I start out with beans and meat I won’t add canned pork and beans with extra sugar etc…
You could just add red beans if you prefer. I use Eden Organics Pork and Beans and am very happy with their ingredients.
Wow, this sounds so good!
Wendy Clark says
Oh yum, that sounds so yummy!
I have been adding more beans into our diet. Thanks for sharing
I love calico beans and have made them for years, they are wonderful to cook in the crockpot and take to church functions!
I love calico beans! The best thing is that you can make them ahead and throw them in the crock-pot. Thanks for bringing them to mind…I’ll have to add this to my menu for next month.
With a little planning, i reduce the cost of this meal even more by using dry beans! Oh, and add a 1/4 cup of brown sugar.
This looks good! Can you cut down or even eliminate the meat if need be? At least sometimes? The budget is very tight these days.
Yes, you could definitely just do this with the beans and it’ll still taste great!
Yum! Those look great! I’ll be trying this soon! Bring on the beef for me! I’m like you!
What would you use if you didn’t use the baked beans? Do they give a distinct flavor? Thanks! This looks yummy…and simple!
No problem to leave those out. Or you could just add red beans instead.
I will be making this when the weather gets cooler!
Perfect timing with this recipe! I’m a nursing mama just back to work, which means I’m short on time to cook and needing healthy, protein-packed food for my husband and me. I love me some protein, although that could just be because for the last year I’ve either been pregnant or nursing and craving protein!
These look so good! Can’t wait to try them, Thanx for sharing :)
Julie H says
We love these at our house…we call them Chuckwagon beans or Cowboy beans. They are so good served with some hot cornbread! Can’t wait to pull out my crockpot this fall and make some. Yum!
oh those look so yummy!!i might have to try them for dinner some night. i wonder if the kids would revolt….
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Megan Terpstra says
I got a similar recipe from my grandma, and it’s always a hit when I take it to potlucks.
I’m going to have to try this recipe!
I’m going to try this. It looks so good.
Sounds like a great fall recipe!
It’s still not cool enough here for fall recipes but I’m thinking I could use the crock pot and make this, woo hoo!
I just have to thank you for this recipe. My husband, who dislikes beans, loved this dish. :-)
Made this for supper last night and it was a hit! Only the baked beans in it turned to mush after cooking for a while. Do yours do that after a while too? Either way, this recipe is a keeper. Thanks for sharing!
I did mine in the oven for an hour instead of crock pot and the beans were fine. Maybe less time in the crockpot if the beans got mushy?
Haven’t had since I was a kid. Doubled plus some extra beans to stretch it tonight for us and for a friend whose husband had surgery last week. It tasted great and my kids gobbled it up. Glad I stumbled upon your recipe Laura. Bookmarking this one!
What do you normally serve with this? Do you eat this like a soup as a main dish?
Betty Stewart says
Main dish with cornbread or baked bread. Cole slaw would be good with it too if you want a side.
Tracy Nicks says
This recipe doesn’t taste the same when I use my soaked kidney beans and red beans in place of the canned beans. Any ideas on what I could add or how I should cook my beans to get the same flavor?
I agree – I’ve started using only canned beans and I do like it better!