Calico Beans Bake
Calico Beans Bake (Cowboy Beans)| This gluten free and dairy free recipe with hamburger and bacon is the perfect BBQ side dish. Use ground beef, beans, simple spices and healthy coconut sugar. I bake this recipe in the oven, but you can use a crockpot or slow cooker too! You can easily make this simple meal vegetarian by omitting the meat. Bring this summer side dish to your next barbecue (4th of July food & Memorial Day) for a crowd or eat this casserole at home for an easy dinner!
- 6 oz bacon chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 Tbsp yellow mustard
- 15 oz can pinto beans, half drained*(half the liquid in the can is needed in casserole)
- 15 oz canned kidney beans, drained
- 15 oz canned green beans or white navy beans, drained**
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large Dutch oven or skillet on the stovetop, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Leave 1-2 Tbsp bacon renderings (grease/fat) in pan.
Add onion and ground beef to the bacon renderings. Cook on medium heat until meat is browned.
Add the cooked bacon and remaining ingredients to the pan and gently stir until all the ingredients are combined.
Place the Dutch oven with the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the sides are bubbly. If you are not using a stovetop to oven safe pan, pour casserole into a 9×13 glass pan and bake at 30 min or until sides are bubbly.
Serve warm. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
*There is no need to rinse any of the canned beans and if some liquid/water from the cans ends up in the casserole that is fine. The original recipe has more liquid in it, but I prefer it with less like this version. However, if you don’t have some liquid from the beans the casserole will be too dry. So that is why I say, add 1/2 the liquid from the pinto beans and that should be perfect!
**Any kind of beans will work in this dish. I chose pinto, kidney, and green beans, but Lima, navy, or any combination tastes just as great!