Diane KarrIt’s hard to believe, but the summer is almost over. Soon, the long hot days will give way to the crispness of autumn. The leaves will begin to change, combines and grain carts will rumble back to life to start another harvest, and my Huskers and Packers will finally be back on the field.

For a number of reasons, fall and football always seem to remind me of family and food. I love this time of year and thought I would share one of my favorite family get together/tailgating recipes.

This recipe for calico beans was passed down from my grandma and has been a longtime favorite of our family. One of my favorite things about this dish is how it goes with just about anything. From family potlucks to holiday meals to tailgates, this dish is a proven hit that people will ask you to bring back again.

I hope you enjoy the recipe, and from my family to yours, have an amazing fall.

Calico Beans


  • 1 large can pork & beans
  • 1 can navy beans
  • 1 can red beans
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1/4 to 1/2 lb bacon, cut up
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 T vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp mustard


  1. Drain beans, saving liquid.
  2. In a skillet, brown bacon, ground beef, and onion.
  3. Combine all 3 cans of beans with browned ingredients and place in 9×13 dish or 3qt casserole dish.
  4. In a separate dish, combine brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, mustard, and salt.
  5. Add sauce to the beef and beans.
  6.  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes.
  7. If needed, add some of the liquid saved from the beans.

Calico Beans


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