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


About the Author: brandie (549 Posts)

Brandie Valenzuela is a food blogger and writer at Home Cooking Memories. She lives in Las Vegas, NV where she enjoys cooking, baking, modern-day recipe keeping and making everyday memories with her family. She is known to have an extremely normal obsession with cupcake liners, ribbons and office supplies.


  1. This sounds really good. I’ve been eating more and more beans and finding out just how delicious they really are.

  2. Okay, so not going to lie, I can’t eat beans! it’s a texture thing, but if I did, I’d dive right in! Thanks for joining us this week!

  3. What an interesting way to give tinned pork and beans a makeover. Love it

  4. Your weather sounds perfect! We have been having a few cooler days, but I wish our nights were in the 50′s instead we are still 70′s. Oh well I will enjoy the few cooler days when I get them. Love all of the different beans.

  5. Turkey and butter beans is all I needed to see. I want to make these beans asap.

  6. I love beans and can’t wait to try this recipe… Your photography makes me want to go through the screen and take a bite!

  7. Ahhh Calico beans. I’ve got a calico beans recipe from my Nanny. We make this for every party. Love love love.

  8. I´m not in the habit of eating beans, but it´s such a good, hearty meal, and so easy. Wonderful recipe!

  9. WOW as soon as the picture popped up on your post I hit the pin button. It looks fabulous and sounds wonderful! I can’t wait to give this a try soon!!

  10. My daughter just loves beans and would really enjoy this one with the bacon in it too!! It looks very good!!

  11. Beans are my fav. This is such a great idea. Thanks ton for sharing.

  12. PERFECT for cooler weather. I absolutely love all the different types of beans!

  13. Awesome twist on the usual type of chili. Love this! Going to have to bookmark this for dinner soon.

    And to me, it is cold here in Vegas. I’m a wuss. LOL

  14. Chris Baccus says:

    Yes poor us with our 80 degree November days (I’m in LA suffering too…) This looks like the perfect cure.

  15. Sounds great! I am from MN. I don’t think 60 degrees is cold either. :) I will have to try this out. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Ooh, sounds super yummy! Need to make this!

  17. This looks wonderful! I’m loving the ingredients! This is certainly a soul warming one pot dish filled with protein! Love it!

  18. I’ve never heard of this dish, but you have me craving it. Looks hearty and delicious. Pinned.

  19. Wow, I love beans and this recipe looks like a must try!!!With the addition of bacon and turkey it looks like a satisfying and healthy meal :)

  20. This recipe looks absolutely amazing. I love the colors… my daughter will go crazy over this one.

  21. Oh baby – this sounds good. Really really good. I love the use of ground turkey and hello, there’s bacon up in here! Pair it with some homemade biscuits or hot, crusty bread and I’d be in heaven!

  22. 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

  23. This sounds like an easy, perfect Sunday meal to warm you up :)

  24. This totally takes me back! My Grandma used to make these for every family get together we had!

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

  25. The name of the recipe had me intrigued! Sounds awesomely good and great photos!

  26. What I wouldn’t give for it to be 60 degrees…that’s my favorite. Your bowl of beans looks so perfect, though…and would take the chill out of my bones sitting in this 29 degree morning…. ;)

  27. So funny, I’ve never had calico beans. They look nummy though!

  28. 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.

  29. Oh man, I love this soup! I love the beans and the brown sugar in there. And your photos are delicious!!

  30. Oh wow, what a gorgeous bean dish. I especially like the shaved cheese on top. I can easily make this a vegetarian dish. Thanks for sharing.


  31. Love beans! This looks so good!

  32. This is pretty easy to make recipe and looks delish! I wonder can we use other kind of meat as is difficult for us to get turkey meat over here and I am not a beef person. Thanks for the sharing.

    • 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.

  33. I love finding new bean dish recipes–this sounds delish and super easy too–can’t wait to try it!


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