Friday, June 28, 2013

Baked Bean Medley (Calico Baked Beans)

A medley of mixed beans make up this baked bean dish, often referred to as Calico Baked Beans because of the variety.

Baked Bean Medley

I'm pretty sure that The Cajun has had his fill of baked beans, after the Hawaiian Pineapple Baked Beans that I made last month and my classic Southern baked beans I made before that, and now this Baked Bean Medley.

I just really don't really know how to make a small version of baked beans without changing the flavors, so we end up eating them for days! Of course they can also be frozen pretty successfully. Trouble is, both of my freezers are full and every time I work things down a little bit, my favorite sale items like ribs and sausage or whole chickens go on sale again, and I fill it up again. Not complaining.

Anyway, this is a great mixed bean version of baked beans that's been around a long time and is sometimes called calico baked beans because of the varied mixture of beans. There is no set in stone bean to use. Folks use a wide variety of canned baked beans or pork and beans, great northerns, pinto, kidney beans, lima beans or butter beans, all of which are good to use.

While you can use plain ole pork and beans as the starter, I have always started my baked beans with a large can of Bush's, and from there, I just add in a mixture of three other cans. This time I used what I had in the pantry - Bush's Original Baked Beans, Bush's seasoned black beans, Margaret Holmes seasoned pinto beans and Ranch Style brand beans, which is also a type of pinto.

I like to use the Ranch Style brand beans sometimes because, depending on the variety used, it adds a sort of southwestern, Tex-Mex bend, and sets them apart from my usual brown sugar baked beans recipe. There are a number of flavors in the Ranch Style brand available now.

These can be made using only with beans with no meat, although many recipes will also include ground beef to make them into a meatier version. I love using a seasoned breakfast sausage myself, though Italian sausage, removed from the casing will work well too.

Of course, as a Southerner, I just have to include bacon too.

I think you'll enjoy this variation on traditional baked beans. Here's how to make them.

For more of my favorite baked bean recipes, visit my page on Pinterest!

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Recipe: Baked Bean Medley

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 45 min | Yield: About 12 servings


For the Beans:
  • 1 pound roll of breakfast sausage
  • 8 slices of bacon, divided
  • 1 large Vidalia or other sweet or yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1 large (1 pound 12 ounce) can of Bush's Original Baked Beans, undrained
  • 3 (15/16 ounce) cans of varied beans (see suggestions below)
For the Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup of chili sauce or ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of molasses
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke
  • Couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning, or to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brown sausage in a large skillet. Remove and set aside; drain off any excess fat. Cook 3 slices of the bacon until the fat is rendered but bacon is still limp and not crisp. Remove and set aside to drain on a paper towel. Chop remaining bacon and add to skillet; saute until fat is rendered. Add the onion and bell pepper; cook for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add all of the beans and return sausage to skillet.

Combine sauce ingredients and add to the beans, cooking until warmed through. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Transfer to a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish and add the precooked bacon strips to the top. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for about 30 to 45 minutes or just until bubbly and warmed through.

Cook's Notes: May substitute ground beef or a loose raw seasoned sausage (such as Italian) for the breakfast sausage. May substitute pork and beans for the large can of baked beans. May also include a packet of taco seasoning and/or a cup of salsa or a can of mild Rotel diced tomatoes for more kick.

Suggested Canned Beans: Pork and beans, lima beans, light or dark kidney beans, small red beans, baked beans (like Bush's), pinto beans, black beans, butterbeans. Do not drain and rinse sauced beans such as Ranch style, pork and beans, or baked beans, but rinse and drain all others such as lima, kidney, red, pinto and black beans.

Slow Cooker: Prepare as above, except eliminate the bacon garnish. Combine all ingredients in a large crock pot, cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.

Root Beer Baked Beans: Omit the barbecue sauce and reduce chili sauce or ketchup to 1/2 cup, substituting a 12-ounce bottle or canned root beer (Barq's recommended).


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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

Southern Brown Sugar Baked Beans
Hawaiian Pineappple Baked Beans
Spicy Meat Trio Barbecue Baked Beans

Posted by on June 28, 2013
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  1. You have me craving baked beans! (or calico beans, lol)

  2. I am always looking for baked bean recipes to try!

  3. These sound very good Mary as do the Ranch Beans you referenced in the previous post.

  4. Hi Mary, Today I made the "Baked Bean Medley". Wow, these are the best baked beans I've ever tasted! I took them to fellowship dinner tonight and everyone raved. One young man asked me to bring them to the next church potluck we have and said these beans would be what he would fill his plate with! Thank you for another wonderful recipe. I love your blog. I look at many cooking blogs, but when I just can't find the right recipe, I always come back to yours. You never fail me! Take Care! Dorothy

    1. Wow Dorothy, you just made my day!! Thank you so much for taking the time to pop by and share this. I really appreciate that!!

  5. Hi Mary, I made this bean recipe again today for a church small group we have in our home to go along with slow-cooker pulled pork. Everyone loved them, especially our 7-yr old and two 8-yr olds. They even had second helpings! When kids ask for seconds for a side dish, I know I've done good!! Thanks Mary. I can always count on your recipes.

    1. Oh my goodness - that indeed is a good sign! And, you got some good protein and fiber in them too. :) I'm happy to hear the beans were enjoyed - thanks so much Dorothy for coming by to let me know too - that always means a lot!

  6. Looks good but why not real beans? The ones you soak all night, this is cheating I think.

    1. Gracious! Cherie, canned beans ARE "real" beans for heaven's sake. The one and only difference, is that they are already cooked for you. And, frankly, they are quite healthy too. But, listen, if you want to start all of the beans for this dish from dried, cook them all and then use them in the recipe, then by all means go for it!! But, I would appreciate it if you would be respectful of my blog and and my recipes and if you chose to take it a step further and cook all of the beans separately instead of using canned beans,well, that's pretty awesome, BUT, I would ask that you recognize and respect my recipe. I stand by it as it's written - it is delicious!!

  7. Mary I also stand by your recipe as written. I made these last fall for a church potluck up here in the mid wasteland. Adults, children, teens, and grandparents polished them off in no time. I returned to get the recipe for this Easter Sunday. See, I also tried making these with dried beans, they were not good! I cooked them in a crock pot for 8 hours. The texture was tough and the flavor paled in comparison. Does that answer your question Cheri?

    1. Thanks for the support Laura Ann! I don't usually let those kinds of comments get to me, but seems that I was a bit "touchy" that day. :)

  8. I made these beans for Christmas dinner. Absolutely, with no hesitation whatsoever, these were the absolute best baked beans I have ever made, or eaten, in my 56 years. I made these because I lost the recipe of the baked beans I used to make... Now I'm glad I never found it! :) I started looking at some of the other recipes you've got on your site, they look fantastic. I can't wait to start trying more! Your recipes rock!

    1. Oh my goodness! Thank you SO much!! Welcome to the Deep South Dish family & I look forward to getting to know you - Happy New Year!

  9. Goodness - I thought I already sent a comment about these wonderful beans - my very bad!
    Husband has declared these the best beans I've ever made, and I am never ever to lose this recipe - which is saying a lot because he knows I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached!


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