Have you ever wondered what would happen if you combined chili and baked beans? Me either. But… the result would be similar to this calico beans recipe!
Mom’s Calico Beans
This calico beans recipe was a household favorite growing up. My aunt Pam got everyone hooked with her recipe, but then after losing the card my mom made a version of her own.
Calico beans get their name from the mixture of colors from using different types of beans. Traditionally made by hydrating dried beans, this calico beans recipe can also be made super quick. My mom started making a stove top version using canned beans. I have turned that into a calico beans recipe using the instant pot.
The instant pot will both saute and slow cook these beans, ready in about 1 hour and tasting like they were slow cooked all day.
Making our Calico Beans Recipe
Instant Pot starts on saute setting, slow cook for 30 minutes, then saute setting again to thicken.
Brown Sugar measurement does not need to be “packed”.
Using canned beans helps cut the cooking AND prep time way down. They do not end up mushy.
You can use dried beans if you wish, simply follow the bag instructions for soaking then increase slow cook time to 2 hrs. Cook until tender.
Do NOT forget the bread, these beans eat like a meal!
Watch this quick video first (the quality isn’t the best, sorry!) but it may help those visual learners.
Next, try our Tuscan Grilled Chicken Pizza
Mom's Calico Beans Recipe
A twist on the traditional calico beans recipe made in the instant pot.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 cup ham chopped
- 1 can pinto beans drained
- 1 can northern beans drained
- 1 can black beans drained
- 1/2 cup brown sugar not packed
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp garlic powder, minced onion, chili powder each
- 1 pinch salt & pepper each
- Olive Oil
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1 tsp water
Set the Instant Pot to saute. Drizzle with olive oil.
Brown ground beef.
Add all remaining ingredients and mix well.
Set instant pot to slow cook for 30 minutes and cover.
After 30 minutes, set instant pot to saute setting. Uncover.
Stir in cornstarch slurry (corn starch and the water).
Let cook until bubbling, stirring often, sauce thickens.
Hold on keep warm until ready serve.
These go GREAT with fresh bread and butter!