Recipe: Slow Cooker Baked Beans

There was a time when I thought baked beans only came out of a can. And, since we did away with most pre-made, canned foods back when we started our real food pledge, that means I didn’t have baked beans for a LONG time! As it turns out…I really like and missed baked beans. So needless to say, I am glad to have them back in my life and am also glad to be able to introduce them to my kids (they both gave this recipe two thumbs up – whew!). These beans would be the perfect addition to any summer BBQ, cookout, or picnic, AND they are just as delicious leftover, so if you are entertaining make your day even easier by cooking these a day in advance. We are officially ready for summer – bring it on!

Baked Beans

 

4.5 from 30 reviews
Slow Cooker Baked Beans
Serves: If served along other side dishes this recipe will feed a small crowd.
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups dried navy beans (optional, but recommended: soak beans in water in the fridge for 6 to 8 hours and then drain)
  • 8 oz bacon, cooked and diced (organic and/or local recommended)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 - 15 oz can plain tomato sauce
  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • black or red pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the beans, bacon, bell pepper, and onion in the bottom of a slow cooker. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the tomato sauce, syrup, mustard, vinegar, chili powder, salt and pepper. Pour over top of bean mixture and then add 3½ cups of water. Turn the slow cooker onto high and cook for 10 to 12 hours. Discard onion pieces and serve warm.
Notes
*To make this recipe Vegetarian, omit the bacon.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.

 

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  • Comments

    1. Sharon |

      Can I freeze the cooked baked beans?

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hi Sharon. You can.

    2. Janessa |

      After several failed attempts at these, I finally did some research and found out that adding something acidic (tomato sauce, vinegar) makes the beans take FOREVER to cook. My crockpot would be a blackened mess before the beans were soft. Now I cook the beans, pepper and onion on low for 6-8 hours with just water, then add the other ingredients to simmer for 30 minutes or so.

      • Brooke |

        I too have made this with a failed attempt. Mine were really gross. I don’t know what happened, but no one ate them and I threw the whole pot out. I really wanted it to work, and want to try again but don’t want to have to throw all of this away again! :(

    3. Christine |

      What did I do wrong? I made this recipe overnight and put everything in the crockpot as instructed but woke up to find it burnt to a crisp. There was still 2.5 hours remaining on the timer.

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Oh, sorry that happened. :( Unfortunately, not all crock pots cook at the same temps on high and low. It is likely that yours is particularly hot.

    4. Stacie |

      I used canned beans because I waited to long to start the recipe and they were amazing! I also used green tomato sauce I had from last fall’s garden harvest since we were out. Worked great and were a huge hit! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

      • Linda |

        Great idea! I usually don’t plan that far ahead! Did you drain them before you started?

    5. Nicole |

      We have made these several times and they always come out great. They are delicious and easy to make. We have had zero issues with the beans not cooking. They cook up perfectly and are usually finished cooking before 10 hours. We always use dried navy beans. We always soak them the night before. We have made them for numerous gatherings and they are always a hit. We usually freeze the leftovers for quick weeknight side dishes.

      For the people having issues with the beans not cooking: I am wondering if it might be the type beans you are using? Navy beans are the super small ones, not the larger kidney style beans like cannellini. Also, are you soaking the beans the night before?

    6. Heather Lively |

      Has anyone ever added ground beef or turkey to these? Thinking you’d brown before and then add in?

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hi . Adding meat would work. Do brown it first and add it toward the end of the cooking cycle.

    7. Dixie Torrech |

      This recipe is absolutely delicious and so easy. I leave out the bacon and green pepper and they are still yummy!!

    8. Emily J |

      Can this recipe work if cut in half? How would the cooking time be affected?

    9. Bill |

      This recipe was excellent. I cooked it on high for ten hours and it came out perfectly and tasted better than store-bought beans. Thanks for sharing this! Excellent!

    10. Cindy |

      The baked beans were fantastic! I made them on top of the stove in a heavy pot on low, just under simmer all day .

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