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Crock Pot Calico Beans

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Have you ever dived into a bowl of Crock Pot Calico Beans and found yourself in comfort food heaven? Well, that’s exactly what you’re going to eat! 


Main image for Crock Pot Calico Beans


This yummy recipe is a mix of beans simmering together in a tangy and sweet sauce! 

With chunks of ground beef and bacon, it’s a hearty one-pot wonder that’s easy to make!

Set-it-and-forget-it cooking, thanks to the crock pot? Yes please!

The combo of different beans and meats makes it rich and hearty!

You can serve it as either a main dish or a side.

The recipe is perfect for feeding a crowd or family gatherings.

And leftovers taste even better!


All ingredients for calico beans laid out on counter


What Are Calico Beans?

Calico beans are a yummy bean dish! 

They’re known for their variety of beans.

And of course the different colors of beans. That’s important! 

They kinda look like the patchwork of a calico cat. 

Which is how they got their name!

They often include a mix of pork and beans, kidney beans, lima beans, and butter beans.

Though I’ve seen them with black beans, cannellini beans, pinto beans, navy beans, etc.

It’s important just to use different types of beans.

And then they’re mixed with sweet and tangy sauce. 

They can be enjoyed as a main dish or a side, making them a versatile addition to any meal.


bacon fried in skillet


What Ingredients Are in Crock Pot Calico Beans?

A couple of different kinds of beans is a must! Here’s the rest of the ingredients you’ll need too:

  • Ground beef: browned and drained
  • Yellow onion: minced
  • Bacon: cooked until medium crisp and crumbled
  • Ketchup: for the base of the sauce
  • Brown sugar: love that flavor!
  • Mustard: for a tangy kick
  • White vinegar: to balance the sweetness
  • Pork and beans: the classic bean choice!
  • Lima beans: half-drained, keeping some liquid for thickness
  • Dark red kidney beans: rich in color and texture
  • Butter beans: large, buttery beans that have a creamy texture

Pro Tips: 

  • For healthy eating, try using turkey bacon or lean ground beef.
  • I used canned beans. If you use dry beans, don’t forget to prep them!


ground beef and onions cooked in skillet


How to Make Crock Pot Calico Beans

This easy recipe makes the best baked beans!

  1. Cook the bacon and ground beef with onions in a large skillet.
  2. Add all the ingredients to the crock pot.
  3. Cook on low or high heat until the beans are heated through and the sauce is bubbling.

Pro Tips:

  • For the best flavor, let the beans cook on low heat for a longer time.
  • If the sauce is too thick for you, add a little bit of water or more ketchup to thin it out.


Bacon and ground beef added to crock pot


How to Store Calico Beans

Store any leftover calico beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

They’ll keep well and often taste even better the next day!

Make sure to let them come to room temperature before transferring them.


ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, pork and beans, lima beans, kidney beans and butter beans in the crock pot


How Long Do Calico Beans Last?

When stored properly in the refrigerator, this calico bean recipe can last for up to 4 days. 

Make sure to reheat them again before serving! They taste much better warm.

Though if you want, you can totally try them cold too. I won’t judge!


Beans and ketchup all mixed up in crock pot


Can You Make Calico Beans Ahead of Time?

Yes, crockpot calico beans are a great make-ahead dish! 

You can prepare them a day in advance.

Keep them in the refrigerator overnight to be reheated the next day.

Or you can let them cook slowly in the crock pot on the day you plan to serve them. 

Just make them early and then worry about whatever else you’re doing.

They’re perfect for gatherings and events that way.


Cooked beans in crock pot


Can You Freeze Crock Pot Calico Beans?

Yes, this slow cooker calico beans recipe freeze really well! 

First, let the beans cool to room temperature.

Then transfer them to airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. 

They can be frozen for up to 3 months. 

When you’re ready to eat them, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Then you can reheat this great dish on the stove or in the microwave.

Make sure you stir occasionally while reheating! You don’t want them burned!


Top view looking down at calico beans in crock pot


What Do You Serve with Crock Pot Calico Beans?

Crock-pot calico beans pair well with so many different things!

Here are some ideas:


wooden spoon scooping a portion of calico beans out of the crock pot


Are Calico Beans a Meal or a Side Dish?

Calico baked beans are usually served as the perfect side dish. 

Though you could serve them as one of your easy meals too if you want.

They’re a pretty rich and hearty dish. So they’re filling enough to stand as the main course. 

You’d just want to serve them with bread or a side salad. 

And as a side dish they’re perfect for potlucks, BBQs, or family dinners.


side view of a bowl full of calico beans


Are Calico Beans Gluten Free?

Whether this hearty side dish is gluten-free depends on the ingredients used. 

Everything in this recipe is naturally gluten-free. 

But it’s important to check the labels on the beans, ketchup, and mustard. 

Some brands may contain gluten or be processed in facilities with gluten-containing products. 

For a gluten-free version just check to make sure all ingredients are certified gluten-free.


zoomed in image of calico beans in a bowl


Whether you choose to enjoy it as a main dish or a side, crock pot calico beans are sure to be a hit! It’s a simple and nutritious meal for your family dinner, or a hearty side to accompany your BBQ favorites.


Yield: 6 Servings

Crock Pot Calico Beans

zoomed in image of calico beans in a bowl

Crock Pot Calico Beans are easy and comforting! They’re a mix of beans and meat in a tangy sauce all cooked up in your slow cooker!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes


  1. In a skillet cook bacon until medium crisp.  Crumble and add to crock pot.
  2. Drain off bacon fat from the pan.
  3. Cook ground beef and onions. Drain off fat and add to the crock pot.
  4. Add in ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, pork and beans, lima beans, kidney beans, and butter beans with recommended liquid to the crock pot. Mix well.
  5. Cook on low for 2-3 hours or on high for 1-2 hours until heated through and hot.
  6. Serve immediately.


You can also make this in the oven. Bake at 350* for 30-45 minutes.



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Thursday 25th of April 2024

We make a huge pot of this and freeze some for later! Always a great dinner option!


Thursday 25th of April 2024

I tried your Crock Pot Calico Beans recipe for a potluck, and everyone wanted the recipe! The combination of beans, bacon, and tangy sauce was so comforting and flavorful. Plus, making it in the slow cooker was such a breeze.


Thursday 25th of April 2024

Eating this is like getting a big warm hug! It's total comfort food!

Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Thursday 25th of April 2024

This dish made my kitchen smell amazing and got everyone's mouths watering! Will add this to my list of easy and delicious crock pot meals!

Amanda Batcher

Wednesday 24th of April 2024

These were so delicious! Everyone kept raving about them all night!

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