Calico Beans

Calico beans is a recipe from my mother-in-law.  My husband grew up with this and still loves it today.  This is one of those wonderful crockpot meals that you can put on and go on with your day.  You can go split some firewood, clean the house, do some laundry, catch a football game or take a nap.  Whatever you feel like…that nap sounds pretty good to me though.

This is a very simple recipe.  The hardest part is browning the hamburger. Yes, it’s that simple.

Here’s a snapshot of most of the ingredients you’ll need.


First thing, brown the onion and hamburger together, drain off the grease.

Next, combine the brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, vinegar and salt.


Add this mixture to the hamburger and onion.

Put the pork & beans, lima beans and red kidney beans into the crock pot.


I decided to use my dutch oven instead of a crockpot this time.  I just turned it on low and let it simmer.

I also decided to use some hamburger that I browned up back in October during a freezer stock up day.  I added this to the pot along with the sliced up hot sausage links.


The frozen cooked hamburger will thaw out and blend right in with the other ingredients.


It may not look the prettiest, but it sure does smell wonderful and taste even better!  This is comfort food at it’s best.  The hot sausage links give it that little bit of kick that I like and really offsets the sweetness of the brown sugar.  You can most definitely leave them out and just use hot dogs.  Whichever you prefer.

I serve it up in soup mugs along with some crackers.  This dish will warm you right up on that cold winter day and give you that serving of fiber that you need.




1 lb hamburger

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon mustard

1 can pork & beans

1 can lima beans (drained and rinsed)

1 can red beans (drained and rinsed)

1 lb hot dogs or hot sausage links

Add chopped onions to your skillet and cook until tender and translucent.  Add in the hamburger and cook until browned.  Drain grease.  Mix together brown sugar, vinegar, salt, ketchup and mustard.  Stir this mixture in with the hamburger and onions.

Pour the pork and beans, lima beans and red kidney beans to the crockpot.  Add in the hamburger mixture and let this cook on low for 2-3 hours.  Add the cut up hot dogs or sausage links about 30 minutes prior to serving.  If you add them at the beginning, be sure to watch the temp.  The hot dogs can over cook if left on for too long.

Variations:  Use ground turkey instead of hamburger.  Use a mixture of hot dogs and sausage or use just one if them.  Reduce the amount of brown sugar to reduce the sweetness.


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