Hearty Bean Bake

Hearty Bean Bake is the perfect hearty and delicious baked bean dish to bring to any picnic or potluck dinner. Another name that this rustic casserole/baked bean dish goes by is Calico Bean Bake. A baked bean dish enjoyed by settlers and cowboys on the Great Plains. At that time this rustic casserole was served as the main dish but now it’s served as a side dish at most picnics and potlucks.


hearty bean bake
hearty bean bake

Bean Bakes

The traditional ingredients in bean bakes or bean casseroles are; dried bean or canned bean, bacon, salt pork or ground beef, onions and sometimes chilies. The sauce is a tomato based, sweet sauce made with ketchup, barbecue sauce or even tomato soup and the sweet is usually brown sugar, molasses and sometimes honey. Bean bake recipes vary greatly. There are as many bean bake recipes as there are cooks who make them.

Many Names

As I mentioned, this recipe goes by many different names. Calico Bean Bake, Wild West Beans, Bean Hash and the list goes on and on. Dried beans are rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus and iron. Their high protein content, along with the fact they are easily grown and stored, make them a staple throughout the many parts of the world. This is especially true in places where protein is scarce or expensive.


Hearty Baked Bean Dish

Hearty Baked Bean Dish is the perfect picnic and party dish.
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  • 1 1/2 pounds great northern beans
  • 1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3/4 pound sliced bacon, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke, Colgin Natural Mesquite
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups honey barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup


  • Bean Pot


  • In a dutch oven place beans
  • Cover beans with cold water. Soak beans overnight.
  • In the morning, drain beans, cover beans with fresh cold water, add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to the beans and water. Bring beans just to a boil. Turn heat off, par-boil beans for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Drain beans, reserving liquid. In a large bean pot, layer beans, ground beef, onion and bacon.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, salt, pepper, honey barbecue sauce and ketchup. Pour over beans. Pour bean liquid over contents in bean pot to cover.
  • Cover bean pot with cover or foil. Bake at 325 degrees for 4 to 6 hours or until beans are tender.
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Recipes On Tap

Calico Bean BakeBarbecue Baked Beans  and Best Baked Bean Recipes. To give this Hearty Bean Bake that smoky flavor, we’ve added a drop or two of Colgin Liquid Smoke