This Calico Baked Beans with Bacon and Beef is the perfect side dish at your next BBQ! This is a really easy recipe to make and you can feed a crowd with it. 

These beans are also know as “cowboy beans”. I got this calico beans recipe from my mother in law who is always tasked with making these because they are a family favorite. I made a few changes to it like grilling the burger meat, adding BBQ sauce and smoking the beans.

These beans are the perfect dish to serve with some smoked meat as the main dish. Be sure to give it a try at your family gatherings! 

Ingredients you will need

Meat: Lean ground beef and Bacon 

Canned Beans: Baked beans, Lima beans, Great Northern Beans, Garbanzo Beans

Seasonings: 1/2 cup Brown sugar, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, 1 tbsp yellow mustard, salt and black pepper, diced onion

ingredients for Calico baked beans with bacon and beef

Different types of beans you can use: butter beans, black beans, navy beans, white beans, pinto beans

How to make Calico Baked Beans Recipe with Bacon and Beef

Begin by using 80/20 ground beef and forming up two 1/2 pound patties. Season them up with your favorite burger seasoning then grill them up over direct heat. I grilled them over hot charcoal – this is a great way to give the beef an added level of flavor.

burger being grilled over charcoal

You can also easily cook the burger in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the beef once the internal temperature reaches 165°F then cut it into bite sized pieces. 

Next, fry up the slices of bacon over a medium heat until the bacon is crispy. Remove the crispy bacon from the pan, then place it on a bed of paper towels to absorb any excess fat on the bacon. Chop the bacon into bite size pieces.

bacon being fried in a pan

Drain the excess fat from the pan leaving 1 tbsp of bacon fat. Add the diced onion and fry them for 5 minutes over medium heat until translucent then remove from heat. 

onions being fried in a pan

Combine all of the cooked beef, crispy cooked bacon, cans of beans (with the liquid in the can), cooked onions and the remaining ingredients in a dutch oven and mix thoroughly.

Place the dutch oven uncovered on the smoker at 250F for 45 minutes. Stir the beans every 10-15 minutes to help cook the beans. If you find the beans beginning to dry out, add in some beef broth to thin it out. 

calico baked beans with bacon and beef on the smoker

Once the beans are softened and there is a juice formed, remove the beans from the smoker and serve them up. 

If you are short on time, you can cook these the a day ahead of time and serve them the next day. Store them in an airtight container or ziploc bag then reheat them in a crock pot over medium-low heat. 

Looking for other great side dished? Be sure to check out my Smoked Mac and Cheese and Smoked Street Corn Queso Dip.

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Calico Baked Beans Recipe with Bacon and Beef

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These Calico Beans need to be on your menu at your next BBQ! They are always a huge crowd favorite and they are super easy to make.

  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1218 servings 1x


  • 1 pound of 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 pound of bacon
  • 2 cans of baked beans
  • 1 can of Garbanzo beans
  • 1 can of Great Northern beans
  • 1 can of Lima beans
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  1. Form the burger into patties then season them with a burger rub then grill the burger over direct charcoal.
  2. Fry up the bacon until crispy and cook the onions in the bacon fat until translucent.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients in a dutch oven then mix thoroughly. 
  4. Place the dutch oven on the smoker at 225°F for 45 minutes. Stir every 10-15 minutes
  5. Once beans are softened, serve them up warm.
  • Author: Nick Nesgoda
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes

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