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Crockpot Calico Beans

From cowboys to kiddos, everyone goes crazy for Slow Cooker Calico Beans. Loaded with beef and bacon, they’re great for cookouts, parties, and easy meals!
Oh, this recipe! Sort of a chili, kind of baked beans, maybe a sloppy Joe, but always completely delicious. It’s just the kind of thing to make when the weather takes a chilly turn and you’re hungry for something that really sticks to the ribs.

Calico Beans can also go by the name Cowboy Beans, probably because this meaty one-pot meal was a campfire favorite under the starry skies for generations. And if you haven’t tried it before, you’re in for quite a treat.

Just like a calico cat with so many colors, “calico” just refers to the hodge-podge of beans used in the recipe: pork and beans, kidney beans, and butter beans. The beans are all cooked with bacon and ground beef in a tangy, sweet sauce.

By the way, you don’t have to use those exact beans, strictly speaking. Some people swear by lima beans, while others simply must have pintos. And black beans are always good too.


1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb bacon
2 cans (15 oz each) pork and beans
2 cans (15 oz each) dark kidney beans, drained
2 cans (15 oz each) butter beans, drained
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar


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In a skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef with chopped onion until beef is fully cooked and onion is tender. Drain excess fat.
Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, fry bacon until crispy. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. Once cooled, crumble or dice the bacon into small pieces.
In a large crockpot, combine the pork and beans, dark kidney beans, and butter beans.
Add the cooked ground beef and onion mixture to the crockpot, stirring to combine with the beans.
Add the crumbled or diced bacon to the crockpot mixture.
In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup and brown sugar until well combined.
Pour the ketchup and brown sugar mixture over the beans in the crockpot, stirring gently to evenly distribute.
Place the lid on the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours, allowing the flavors to meld together and the beans to become tender.
Serve hot alongside cornbread for a comforting and hearty dinner for six.
Enjoy your delicious crockpot Calico Beans with friends and family!

Here are a few tips to enhance your cooking experience:

Seasoning: Consider adding some additional seasonings to enhance the flavor profile. You might want to try a teaspoon of chili powder, garlic powder, or even a dash of Worcestershire sauce for some extra depth.
Vegetables: If you want to add more vegetables to the mix, diced bell peppers or jalapeños can be great choices. They can add some color and a bit of heat to the dish.
Cornbread: Since you mentioned serving cornbread with the Calico Beans, you can make it extra special by adding ingredients like corn kernels, shredded cheese, or chopped jalapeños to the batter.
Garnish: When serving, consider garnishing the dish with fresh chopped parsley or green onions for a burst of freshness and color.
Toppings: Set up a toppings station with options like shredded cheese, sour cream, or sliced green onions. This allows your guests to customize their bowls.
Side Salad: If you want to add a refreshing side, a simple green salad with a light vinaigrette can complement the rich flavors of the beans.
Remember to taste and adjust the seasoning as needed before serving. Enjoy your dinner with family and friends!

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