how do you thicken calico beans

Get this simple recipe for famous baked beans (thanks, mom!). A medley of tender beans bakes in an easy, made-from-scratch BBQ sauce; best beans ever!

My sweet mom, who would insist until the day she dies that she doesn’t like to cook and yet manages to always be the source of some of the most amazing recipes (stop rolling your eyes, mom), is famous for these beans.

She’s made them for years and if I remember right, she served them at my high school graduation little get together party shindig thingie that surely could not have been over 15 years ago.

Pardon me while I go figure out how that could be the case when I still feel (act?) like I’m 18. That’s not all we had to eat at the big event of course.

I think I also requested BBQ beef sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies. Talk about super refined taste buds. Holy moly.

A medley of tender beans smother themselves in an easy, made-from-scratch BBQ-ish sauce and bake to serious flavor perfection.

The entire dish takes just a few minutes to prep and they can either be baked in the oven or thrown in the slow cooker for a few hours.

The finished, delectable beans aren’t quite as saucy as the traditional, creamy baked beans we all know and love, but they are delicious in their own kind of way.

Don’t even think of them as a classic baked bean dish. They’re calico beans: simple, tasty, flavorful. And I adore them. (PS: they are killer served with these chicken or steak kebabs.)

how do you thicken calico beans

My Mom’s Famous Calico Beans

  • 1 (15-ounce) can red pinto beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white kidney/cannellini beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans
  • 8 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup ketchup (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • cup brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider or red wine vinegar
  • cup water or low-sodium broth
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, optional, helps thicken the sauce a bit
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 3-quart baking dish (see note).
  • Drain and rinse all the beans (go ahead and throw them all together in one colander) and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels, leaving about 1 teaspoon grease in the skillet.
  • Add the onion to the skillet over medium heat and cook until softened, 4-5 minutes. Off the heat, add the beans and bacon.
  • In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine the ketchup, Worcestershire, dry mustard, sugar, salt, vinegar, water (or broth) and cornstarch, if using, and whisk to combine thoroughly. Pour the sauce into the skillet and stir well.
  • Scrape the entire mixture into the prepared baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45-60 minutes. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from my mom’s recipe

Calico Bean Bake


How do I make my beans thicker?

If your beans are still too watery after prolonged cooking and mashing, consider adding a thickener like cornstarch, all-purpose flour, or arrowroot. To do this, first, make a slurry of equal parts thickener and water, then slowly add it to your refried beans. They should thicken considerably.

What to do if baked beans are too runny?

Use starches to thicken beans Simply add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to 1 cup of water or to the liquid from the baked beans (scoop it out into a separate bowl and let it cool first) and mix.

Will baked beans thicken as they cool?

The longer you cook the beans, the thicker they’ll get. Keep in mind that as they cool, they’ll thicken too.

How do you thicken the juice in pinto beans?

How Do You Thicken Pinto Bean Juice. If you want your bean soup to be creamy and thick, then you can use flour, cornstarch, arrowroot or potato starch to thicken.

How long does it take to thicken Calico beans?

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until beef is no longer pink, 5-7 minutes, breaking up beef into crumbles; drain. Stir in remaining ingredients. Transfer to a greased 2-qt. cast-iron pan or baking dish. Bake, uncovered, until the beans are as thick as desired, 45-60 minutes. How can you thicken calico beans?

What is the best substitute of cocoa beans?

A popular substitute for cocoa beans are carob chips, which are less bitter and have a slightly sweet nutty flavor while also being caffeine-free. Carob beans or carob pods can be dried and ground into carob powder, then made into carob chips. Ground coffee beans work well in a pinch for baked items like chocolate cakes and other desserts, and are less expensive than carob. In general, substituting an equal amount of carob powder for cocoa powder is practical. More recently, Brazilian researchers used jackfruit seeds to make flour then they dried and roasted the flour to enhance the flavor and aroma, which is similar to the chocolaty flavor of cocoa beans. If this catches on it could reduce waste from otherwise unused jackfruit seeds and reduce the strain of the cocoa industry.

How do you make Calico beans?

The steps for making calico beans are simple. They are as follows: 1. Preheat. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Cook the meat. Cook the ground bean and bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain. 3. Assemble the “casserole.” After draining the meat, transfer both the beef and bacon to a 4-quart casserole dish.

How to thicken baked beans at home?

Any thickening agent such as cornstarch or flour can be used to thicken a broth. It is best to use something flavorless to ensure that only the texture changes and not the entirety of the dish. You can thicken baked beans at home using a few methods: 1. Adding Cornstarch 2. Use Flour and Butter 3.

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