Calico Bean Bake

A great side dish to serve at any party or it’s even great served as a main dish. What exactly is calico bean bake? I’ve mentioned calico bean bake many time here on Turnips 2 Tangerines but what does Calico mean. Calico basically means a mix or combination of several different kinds of beans. In cowboy days they used the word calico to refer to a casserole, which resembled a calico quilt.

calico bean bake

Lima Beans

Lima Bean [LY-muh] This New World bean was named for Lima, Peru where is was found as early as 1500. There are two distinct varieties of lima, the baby lima and the Fordhook, (which are not adult baby limas.) Both are pale green, plump-bodied and have a slight kidney-shaped curve. The Fordhook, is larger, plumper and fuller flavored than the baby lima.

Fresh Lima Beans

Fresh limas are available from June to September. They’re usually sold in their pods, which should be plump, firm and dark green. The pods can be refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to a week. They should be shelled just before using. Frozen lima beans are available year-round and are labeled according to variety, Fordhook or baby lima.

Canned and Dried Lima Beans

Canned and dried limas are usually labeled “jumbo,” “large” or “small.” In the South, dried limas are frequently referred to as butter beans. When mottled with purple they’re called calico or speckled butter beans. A traditional way to serve limas is with corn succotash. They’re also used alone as a side dish, in soups and sometimes in salads. Lima beans contain potassium and iron.

calico bean bake


Calico Bean Bake



  • 1/2 pound
    ground beef
  • 1/2 pound
    ground pork
  • 12 slices
  • 1/2 cup
    diced onion
  • 1/2 cup
    packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 cup
    cherry jalapeno barbecue sauce or barbecue sauce of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon
    dry mustard
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons 16 spice smokey seasoning blend divided or seasoing blend of choice
  • 1 (16 oz) can
    butter beans
  • 1 (28 oz) can
    Bush’s original baked beans
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can
    pinto beans
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can
    great northern beans, drained
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can
    French-style green beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can
    black beans, drained

Cooking Directions

  1. Fry ground beef and pork in a medium skillet, add 2 teaspoons 16 spice smokey seasoning blend. Brown meat until no longer pink inside. Drain off fat and set aside.
  2. Fry bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove bacon from skillet, drain on paper towels and set aside. Drain off fat in skillet, add chopped onion and cook until tender.
  3. To skillet add: brown sugar, ketchup, cherry jalapeno barbecue sauce or sauce of your choice, 1/2 teaspoon 16 spice smokey seasoning blend or blend of your choice and ground mustard. Simmer for 15 minutes. Chop bacon.
  4. In a large oven proof bowl or baking dish, add all drained cans of beans, browned meat and chopped bacon. Stir in ketchup mixture. Mix well. Cover dish with foil.
  5. Bake at 350º for 1 hour. Uncover.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes longer.

*Use your favorite smoked spice seasoning blend.


Recipes On Tap

Hearty Bean BakeAggies Favorite Bean Hash  and Restaurant Style Refried Beans

For this recipe we used Bush’s Beans