These Slow Cooker Baked Beans are the side dish you’ve been searching for! This baked bean recipe is packed with thick-cut bacon and a variety of beans with a thick and delicious sauce.
Simple Baked Beans In The Slow Cooker
Baked beans are a must-have with many different dishes. One of the most common ways to enjoy this recipe is alongside a cut of meat. This recipe is so delicious and can complement any meal that you make. This is a great recipe to make for a crowd of people at BBQs, Picnics, parties, and more!
Why Should You Make Baked Beans In The Slow Cooker?
Making baked beans in the slow cooker is one of the best ways to make it! Not only is it a simple way to make the recipe, but I think the recipe comes out even thicker and creamier in the slow cooker than on the stovetop. It is also super convenient because all you need to do is add it to the cooker and let it work its magic. This recipe allows your baked beans to cook while you can do other things around the house.
How Are Baked Beans Traditionally Made?
In a traditional recipe, you need to allow the dried beans to soak and set them overnight to become tender before placing them in a large pot and simmering in the sauce. Right after, they will be put in the oven to bake.
Can You Make Slow Cooker Baked Beans On Stove Top?
Yes! You can definitely cook this recipe on the stovetop if you don’t have a slow cooker. Instead, you will add all the ingredients into a large pot and cook on medium-low heat for 1 hour until thick.
Can I Bake Slow Cooker Baked Beans?
Yes! This is another great way to cook baked beans. All you need to do is set the oven to 350 degrees and pour all the ingredients into an oven-safe dish and mix. You will need to allow the beans to cook for 2 hours until it thickens. Make sure to check them an hour or so in and mix. You can add additional liquid if needed.
Why Do They Call Them Boston Baked Beans?
Let’s go back in time and do a little digging! With a quick Wiki search you can find that during the slave trade in the 18th century, Boston became an exporter of Rum. The Rum was then transported to West Africa to buy even more slaves. Rum is basically a distillation of fermented molasses which caused Bostonians to add it to their backed beans. It made the recipe have a sweeter flavor which in the end created the famous Boston Baked Beans.
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Tips & Variations For Baked Beans In The Slow Cooker:
There are a ton of tips and variations that you can do to help make these the best-baked beans you will ever have! Customization is one of my favorite things to do in recipes to make them my own. Here are some great hacks to try out as well as great options for add-ins:
- For an easier clean-up and mess-free slow cooker, try using a liner!
- If you prefer more beans than sauce, feel free to toss in an additional can of beans.
- If you want a sweeter flavor, I have found that dark brown sugar will do wonders as well as light brown sugar or coconut sugar.
- Are you a vegetarian? Well, you can just skip the bacon! Or if you are quite the carnivore, you can add more bacon! You can also try adding a pound of ground beef, sausage, or pork!
- You can switch out the beans you use! You can use navy beans, cannellini beans, white beans, pinto beans, etc. I recommend trying a blend of at least 3-4 beans.
- You can use dried or canned beans for this recipe. Just make sure that if you are using dry beans, you will need to soak them in a large bowl of water with 1 Tbsp of salt overnight. Once they are soft, you will need to rinse them.
- For even more flavor, add 1/2 cup of diced green peppers.
- To make cutting the bacon easier, I just use a pair of kitchen shears!
- Before you plan on making your baked beans, I recommend keeping the cooked bacon stored in the fridge for up to 8 hours.
- Add a bit of spice to this recipe by adding 1/2 tsp of chipotle chili powder or 2 Tbsp of sriracha sauce.
Best Ways To Serve Slow Cooker Baked Beans:
There are a ton of ways to serve this recipe! Here are a few great options that my family loves!
Baked beans on nachos or in quesadillas or burritos! Or just add some melted cheese on top!
Serve alongside chicken, sausage, burgers, pork, or hotdogs.
Eat this with homemade cornbread!
Can I Double Slow Cooker Baked Beans?
Yes! Make as much of this recipe as you need for whatever occasion. You may need a larger slow cooker or even multiple depending on how many baked beans you need!
Why Are My Slow Cooker Baked Beans Hard?
I hate to make you think about school at a time like this, but it all comes down to chemistry really. If the beans you have are filled with a boat load of calcium, it may take them a lot longer to cook and will still be hard. There are things called pectins between cells in the beans and when combined with calcium. It will form a tighter and stronger bond resulting in a very firm bean. Things like ketchup and vinegar can get in the way of the cooking process because they are so acidic. Even sugar which is high in calcium like molasses can make it very hard to cook with.
So, the trick for making sure they don’t stay hard is by soaking them in water prior to cooking. You can find out how to soak the beans above in Tips & Variations.
How To Store Baked Beans In The Slow Cooker & Reheat?
Place any leftovers in an airtight container or Ziploc bags in the fridge. The leftovers can last for up to 4 days. They can also be stored in freezer-safe containers or bags for up to 6 months in the freezer. You will want to make sure that the beans are cooled before placing them in the freezer. To reheat, if, in the freezer, you will need to allow them to thaw out in the fridge before reheating on medium-low heat on the stovetop.
Key Ingredients You’ll Need
Salt & Pepper
Red Kidney Beans
Dark Red Kidney Beans
Great Northern Beans
How To Make Slow Cooker Baked Beans
Step 1. In a large skillet, add the chopped bacon and onion before seasoning with salt and black pepper. Cook on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the bacon is crispy and the onion is soft. Take the skillet away from the heat and remove the excess grease. Set aside.
Step 2. In a 6-quart or larger slow cooker, add the beans, and prepared bacon and onions. Put the tomato paste, Dijon mustard, liquid smoke, maple syrup, and chicken broth on top and mix to combine until fully incorporated. Cover with the lid and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
Step 3. Take off the lid when done and taste it. Season the baked beans with more salt and pepper if needed and serve. Enjoy!
More Delicious Recipes:
- Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Chili
- Healthy Baked Chicken & Rice Casserole
- Instant Pot Thai Chicken Rice Bowl
Slow Cooker Baked Beans
These Slow Cooker Baked Beans are the side dish you've been searching for! This baked bean recipe is packed with thick-cut bacon and a variety of beans with a thick and delicious sauce.
- 16- oz. bacon thick cut, cut into small pieces
- 1 medium sweet onion chopped
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 15.5- oz. can red kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 15.5- oz. can dark red kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 2 15.5- oz. cans great northern beans drained and rinsed
- 2 15- oz. cans black beans drained and rinsed
- 6 oz. tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard sugar-free
- 1/4 tsp liquid smoke gluten-free
- 1 cup real maple syrup
- 2 cup chicken broth preferably organic
Add chopped bacon and onion to a large skillet. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and cook over medium heat until bacon starts to get crispy and the onion is soft, approximately 10-15 minutes.
Remove the skillet from heat and carefully drain excess grease. Set aside.
Add the beans, bacon, and onion to a 6-quart or larger slow cooker crock. Top with the tomato paste, Dijon mustard, liquid smoke, maple syrup, and chicken broth, and stir to combine.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. Remove lid and stir to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired, before serving. Enjoy!