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Calico Bean Casserole

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This calico baked bean casserole is a dish that will make many people happy. It is easy to make and has a lot of flavors. This bean hamburger casserole is mixed with bacon, ground beef, and vegetables if you like. Plus, you can even cook this gluten-free cowboy calico beans recipe in one skillet!

baked calico beans with ham in a casserole

The Best Calico Beans and Hamburger Casserole

Calico bean casseroles are a great meal to have for dinner. Because they are easy to make and they are affordable. You can also make it with your available kitchen staples. They are good for weekday dinners or for when you want a filling meal.

You can make a delicious meal quickly by combining cans of beans in your pantry with any meat you like. But, don’t be fooled by the ease of this hamburger and calico bean casserole recipe.

Because the ingredients for this dish are simple and gluten-free. But when they are all put together, they create a bold taste. So, the calico cowboy beans get a delicious and tangy-sweet kick from the mix of ketchup, mustard, vinegar, and brown sugar.

This bean casserole is great because it is simple to prepare. Because it is easy to replace the beans with the ones you have on hand. The calico bean casserole can also be made in a single pan.

a skillet of calico beans

Also, you can choose to cook the calico bean casserole with ground beef and veggies in an oven-safe skillet pan. Or, you can put them in a baking dish. These calico baked beans will be ready to eat in just 30 minutes.

Are you in a hurry? You can make this Instant Pot Calico Beans recipe instead.

What Are Calico Beans?

What are calico beans? The word calico means a kind of color in this case its beans. Because there is usually a brown, white, and red beans mixture all combined together in one pot.

So we included a traditional mix of beans, kidneys, baked, butter, and garbanzo in this recipe. Because of the different beans, the casserole is colorful and tasty!

Ingredients Needed For this recipe

This simple yet satisfying calico baked bean casserole is made with classic pantry staples and happens to be gluten-free.

  • Bacon
  • Ground beef
  • Onion
  • Ketchup
  • Brown sugar
  • Yellow mustard
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Pork and beans
  • Butter beans (lima beans)
  • Kidney beans
  • Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
ground beef, bacon, pork and beans, garbanzo beans, lima beans, red kidney beans, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and apple cider vinegar ingredients for calico bean casserole recipe

optional Substitutions or additional ingredients

Use a mix of your favorite canned beans! Here are some ideas:

  • You can use any kind of canned beans that you have. You can use cannellini beans, broad beans, soybeans, pinto beans, or other kinds of beans.
  • Add cut fresh or frozen green beans to make calico cowboy beans casserole a complete one-pan meal.
  • Swap pork bacon for turkey bacon. Since turkey bacon has less fat add 1 tbsp of oil to the skillet after the bacon has cooked (if needed).
  • Use ground turkey instead of ground beef.
  • Swap ground beef or turkey with ground sausage.
  • Swap the ketchup with BBQ sauce for even tangier and smokier calico baked beans.
  • Add a tablespoon of molasses for a sweeter flavor and/or a teaspoon of liquid smoke for a more savory taste.

Equipment used for this Recipe

How to make the Best Cowboy Calico Beans

  • In a large skillet, cook the bacon, ground beef, and onions. But I like to use a cast-iron skillet for this dish. Cook until the ground beef is no longer pink and the onion is translucent. After that, drain off any excess fat from the pan.
calico beans in a skillet
  • Then, stir the ketchup, sugar, mustard, and vinegar in a skillet. Then add the drained beans and pork and beans. Stir until they are mixed well together.
a casserole of mixed beans ground beef and bacon
  • Then, add bacon and a drizzle of barbecue sauce for a tangy, crispy topping!
  • Lastly, cover the calico bean casserole dish or skillet and bake for 20-25 minutes. The baked beans will be bubbly when they are done.
a casserole dish of baked calico beans with bacon

You can then garnish the top of the casserole with crispy cooked bacon bits, french onions, green onions, or shredded cheese before serving.

What to serve with Calico Beans?

One of my favorite things to serve with a hamburger and baked bean casserole is cornbread. But if cornbread isn’t your thing, Try our easy 3 ingredient biscuits that are ready in 15 minutes. Or maybe some tender drop biscuits or cheesy Cheddar Bay biscuits.

To add some healthiness to these beans, serve them with a crisp fresh salad with tahini dressing.

If You’re Looking for Other Bean Recipes, Try these

We love cooking beans, and we have a few recipes to share. These bean recipes are sure to please any palate. For a salad lover, this Tuscan Bean Salad is a must-try. If you love spicy foods, this Stovetop Chili con Carne is a perfect choice.

For soup lovers, these Instant Pot Navy Bean Soup and Instant Pot Lima Beans and Ham Soup are perfect for a comfort meal. And for those who like to eat beans as a main dish, these Instant Pot Calico Beans and Slow Cooker Calico Beans are both hearty and filling.

a bowl of calico beans on a wooden board

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use dried beans in this calico baked beans recipe?

Do not use dried beans in this baked beans recipe. They will not soften during baking time. Instead, use my Instant Pot Calico Beans recipe or make the in the crockpot with this slow cooker calico beans recipe.

What can I do to add more sauce to these calico cowboy beans?

You can add an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, or a 16 ounce can of drained diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes.

Hamburger and Calico Beans Casserole Recipe

a casserole dish of calico beans with bacon
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Calico Bean Casserole

These baked calico beans are perfect for a hearty dinner, potluck dish, or a summer barbeque. Canned beans make this hamburger and bean casserole a tangy and delicious but super easy dinner that's ideal any night of the week.
Course Main Course, Lunch, Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword beans, calico beans, calico bean casserole, easy calico beans, beans and beef
Prep Time 10 minutes
20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 363kcal

Equipment

  • 12" skillet (or 3 quart skillet)
  • 3 quart casserole dish (if skillet isn't oven safe)

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon, thickly cut, diced
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (I recommend 85/15 ground hamburger)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup ketchup (see how to substitute with BBQ sauce in notes)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 Tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pork and beans
  • 1 can (15 ounces) butter (lima) beans, drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, drained

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Cook the ground beef, bacon, and onions in a large skillet (I prefer to use cast iron for a one pot recipe), until the ground beef is no longer pink and the onions are translucent. Drain excess fat from the skillet.
  • Stir in the ketchup, sugar, mustard, and vinegar to the skillet. Add the canned beans and combine, stirring until well mixed. If your skillet is oven-safe, skip to step 4. Add calico beans mixture to a 3 quart casserole dish.
  • Cover skillet or casserole dish, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly. Garnish calico beans with crispy bacon bits, french onions, green onions, or shredded cheese before serving.

Notes

Substitute garbanzo, lima (butter), or kidney beans with black beans, pinto, or navy beans.
Substitute ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard with 2 cups of BBQ sauce.
Leftovers will keep well stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 610mg | Potassium: 506mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 216IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg

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