Slow Cooker Calico Beans

This smokey, sweet, and savory bean dish is always a crowd pleaser, and perfect for a potluck or BBQ. This recipe is a combination of my grandmother-in-law’s recipe, and a family friend of mine from high school. This dish has summer BBQ written all over it, and you won’t go home with leftovers! One bite and it takes me back to grilling out at the lake! You can really use any beans that are your favorite. There is very little prep work; just dump and stir and let the slow cooker do the rest!

Such a great dish to pass at your next gathering!

Slow Cooker Calico Beans

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Author Laura Doerr

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 can baked beans undrained
  • 1 can pork'n beans undrained
  • 1 can navy beans drained
  • 1 can butter beans drained
  • 1/2 large onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mustard-honey, Dijon, or yellow
  • 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • salt and a lot of black pepper
  • sriracha optional

Instructions

  1. Cook and crumble bacon, set aside. Turn slow cooker on to high heat.

  2. Brown the ground beef and chopped onion in skillet until cooked through, drain if needed. While beef is cooking, dump all of the beans into the slow cooker, draining 2 of the 4 cans (see ingredient list notes above).

  3. Add the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker, including the cooked ground beef and bacon. Stir until combined. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and black pepper if desired, as well as Sriracha for a kick.

  4. Cook in a slow cooker on high for about an hour, or until bubbly. Turn down to warm once heated through, and serve. YUM!

Recipe Notes

I use the bean variety that I like, but you can really use any beans. I would suggest always using the pork'n beans and the baked beans; the other two cans can be swapped for any other kind that you like such as kidney or Lima beans.

I also use Truvia brown sugar to save on calories, just watch the conversions if using Truvia. I like A LOT of black pepper, don't skimp on the seasoning! A nice drizzle of sriracha is great too for a little extra kick to cut the sweetness. 

Once heated through, the beans will keep great on warm until they're gone! This can also be baked in the oven for about an hour at 350 degrees.

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