This is a recipe that comes from my Aunt Kathy. Calico Beans. I made these this afternoon and am having them for dinner. They’re really delicious… rich and lush with a bit of smoke from the bacon.  They’d make an excellent side dish to bring to a summer cookout or heaped in a bowl on their own on a chilly night.

Calico Beans

Recipe: Aunt Kathy's Calico Baked Beans
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: lots
  • ½ lb bacon
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can lima beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1-28 oz can pork and beans with liquid from can
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook the bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels. Drain the bacon grease from pan and wipe with a paper towel to remove any particles.
  3. Brown the ground beef in the pan, breaking it up as it cooks. Add the onions, and continue browning and breaking up the meat. Cut the bacon into small pieces and stir into the meat/onions. Mix and brown all together until any liquid evaporates.
  4. Gently mix meat/onion/bacon mixture with all of the beans, being careful not to mash the beans.
  5. Mix the ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, dry mustard and baking soda in a separate bowl, and add to the beans & meat mixture, stirring lightly.
  6. Place in a sprayed casserole dish and bake for 1½ hours. Cover the casserole for the first hour and remove the cover for the last ½ hour.
Since this may bubble over while baking, you can place a sheet of aluminum foil on the rack below to catch any drips.