Brenda’s Fabulous Calico Beans, made in my Iron Mountain (by Griswold) Chicken Pan!

Brenda’s Fabulous Calico Beans, made in my Iron Mountain (by Griswold) Chicken Pan!

When we were camping a while back, Brenda told me about her easy-peasy recipe for Calico Beans. She was kind enough to send me a snap of her recipe card, and tonight I made them for dinner.

I did not know that I would love a bean main dish, but love it I did! And of course it was so much better because I made it in my much-used Iron Mountain (by Griswold) chicken pan. A true one-pot meal!


(as made by me – Brenda’s original recipe is on the card pic).

Serves 6-8 people.


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 lb. bacon, cut into ~1/2 – 1″ pieces (I used my kitchen shears)
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
  • ~1/4 c. ketchup
  • Generous squirt (~1 t.) of mustard of your choice
  • ~15 oz. can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • ~15 oz. can white beans (I used Bush’s “Southern style white beans”)
  • ~15 oz. can pork n’ beans
  • ~15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed.


  • Preheat cast iron chicken pan or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Crumble in ground beef, add uncooked bacon pieces and chopped onion.
  • Cook the ground beef bacon mixture until beef is browned and onion has softened.
  • Drain the ground beef mixture and return to the pan.
  • Add in the beans, stir together.
  • Add the ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar. Mix well.

  • Cover and simmer for about 1/2 hour, stirring frequently.

Eat and enjoy!

p.s. I posted Brenda’s recipe on a Facebook group to which I belong – Hand Written Recipes – so far 24 people have commented on it (raving about how tasty Calico beans are) and 94 people have shared it. Wow. That’s a popular recipe!


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