Calico Beans

Calico Beans - at

Last weekend, our family headed down to Starbucks to get a drink after a day of yard work. There was a handful of people that come in saying “brrrr”, rubbing their hands together (as if to warm themselves up), and bundled up in jackets, coats, and sweaters.

To many of you, this might sound typical.

But, to me, it’s one of those strange situations that come from living in a warmer climate. Here it is the beginning of November, and to me, it”s far from cold here in Las Vegas. Our daily temperature has still been in the 80’s. Our nighttime temps do usually get down to the 50’s. But, right now, it’s 1 am, 60 degrees, and I am typing this post with my back door open.

It’s not cold. But, I guess, for us warm climate people, it actually is “cold” when we just got done with some summer temperatures as high as 114 degrees F.

But, even though it’s not really cold to me YET, my menu planning has been making a subtle change to cooler weather dishes. I can’t help it — hearing football on the TV, planning for Thanksgiving, and the start of our leaves turning (yes, they are just now starting to change colors), gets me in the mood for dishes that warm me up.

Calico Beans at

With that, I’m happy to share this week’s #SundaySupper which is a theme of Soul Warming Dishes. Each participant was asked to share a recipe that keep us warm….and with at least 50 participants (see all their links at the end of this post), you will surely be set for the upcoming months as they get even colder.

My contribution is Calico Beans —  an easy, one-pot dish that we had for the first time at a church potluck. It’s packed full of meat and beans, with brown sugar giving is a sweetness. Everyone in our house enjoys this dish, including the one member of our family who doesn’t care of chili.

Calico Beans


  • 12-16 ounces bacon
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cans pork and beans (15 oz each)
  • 1 can butter beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz each)
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz each)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup


  1. Cut bacon into pieces. In a large pot, cook bacon over medium-heat heat until fully cooked and crispy. Turn off heat and remove bacon from grease and set aside. Discard bacon grease. In the same pot, cook ground turkey and onion over medium-high heat. Cook until meat is fully cooked and onions are tender. Turn off heat and drain off any remaining fat.
  2. Return cooked bacon pieces to the pot. Heat pot over low-medium. Add remaining ingredients and combine gently. While stirring occasionally, continue heating until the entire mixture is hot.


--Feel free to use ground beef, instead of turkey, if you prefer.

--If you are concerned about sugar content, you may want to start with 1/4 cup of brown sugar and increase up to 1/2 cup, if necessary.

Calico Beans at



  1. says

    LOL! Oh people that live in the desert crack me up. My hubby had a similar situation when we lived in Tucson, we are from Michigan, so we still giggle about what chilly is to people:-) I love love your addition of butter beans in your soup, it looks delicious:-) Hugs, Terra

    • brandie says

      Hi Erin! Thanks for sharing your food memory about Calico Beans! It really is a great one to take to get togethers or potlucks.

  2. says

    This sounds so perfect on a chilly day. For us in Chicago that would when the temps dip into the 40’s. Lol. Isn’t it funny what the perception of cold is to people depending where they live. I remember when I lived in Florida, people would dig their winter coats out of the closet when the tempatures dropped into the 60’s. In Chicago we dig out our shorts and tank tops when the temperatures are in the 60’s. Lovely recipe.
    Sarah recently posted..Spicy Korean Brisket Soup {Yukgaejang} #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • brandie says

      Thank you, Faye! And you could definitely use other meats in this dish. You could just skip the ground turkey and ground beef and just use bacon. Or you could sub those for other ground meats. I bet it would be great with pork or chicken.


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