Delicious Slow Cooker Baked Beans are sweet, savory, tangy, and so easy to make! This recipe knocks store bought canned varieties out of the park. Made with beef, bacon, and veggies these baked beans are my spin on the classic side dish I grew up eating. 

The Best Slow Cooker Baked Beans

Growing up, baked beans were a staple at every church potluck, family reunion, or summer cookout. I have fond memories of my grandma’s delicious sweet baked beans as a kid and, more recently, my mother-in-law’s baked beans have become one of my favorites.  

Everyone seems to have their own delicious version of this dish. So, when it came time to put my own spin on things, I decided to combine the two, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results! These beans are sweet, savory, tangy – basically everything you could need in a recipe. 

They work great as a side dish for holidays, game days, potlucks, or simple weeknight dinners. No matter how you serve them, they’re sure to be a hit.  

Ingredients

Navy Beans: we’re using tender navy beans for this recipe. These are the beans traditionally used for baked beans so we’re not making any changes there. They hold their shape while still being tender and perfect for classic baked beans. To keep things easy, we’re using canned beans. Just make sure to rinse and drain them first! 

Ground Beef: I prefer to use 93/7 ground beef, because it is leaner which means you won’t have oily beans. 

Bacon: you’ll need two strips of bacon sliced into lardons which are roughly ¼ inch thick and 1 inch long. 

Veggies: we use yellow onion, bell pepper, and garlic to add a boost of extra flavor to these slow cooker baked beans. 

Barbecue Sauce: any barbecue sauce that you like will work for this recipe! you can go sweet, spicy, or more mesquite. 

Ketchup: feel free to use whatever ketchup you prefer to eat in this recipe such as low-sodium, low sugar, etc.

Molasses and Brown sugar: these are key to creating the sweet flavor you look for in baked beans. 

Apple Cider Vinegar: this adds a subtle tang. 

Yellow Mustard: use this to add savory flavor and balance out some of the sweetness. 

Worcestershire Sauce: this adds a delicious deep flavor to the sauce.

Herbs and Spices: you’ll need a bay leaf, salt, black pepper, and paprika for this recipe. 

Ingredient Swaps

Beans – don’t have navy beans? You can swap them for great northern beans if you’re in a pinch! 

Ground Beef – don’t want to use ground beef? You can swap it for dark meat ground turkey instead. 

Bacon – feel free to leave out the bacon if you prefer

Brown Sugar – if you prefer you can swap the brown sugar for coconut sugar. Just know the beans won’t be as sweet. 

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How to Make Slow Cooker Baked Beans

Step One: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Then, add the bacon lardons, and cook until they’re brown and crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan, and set it aside to drain on paper towels. 

Step Two: Next, remove the grease from the skillet, and add the ground beef. Cook over medium-high until the beef is brown. Once brown, add the diced bell pepper, onion, and minced garlic. Sauté the veggies for two to three minutes or until they begin to soften, and remove the skillet from the heat. 

Step Three: Add the drained and rinsed navy beans, ground beef mixture, and bacon to the slow cooker. 

Step Four: Next, add the barbecue sauce, ketchup, water, molasses, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and paprika. Give the mixture a good stir to combine. 

Step Five: Cover, and cook the beans on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 5 to 6 hours, stirring halfway through.

Serving Suggestions

If you’re looking for a few other side dishes to pair with your baked beans, here are a few of my favorite options:

How to Store and Reheat

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

Freeze cooled slow cooker baked beans for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before warming. 

Reheat in the microwave, on the stovetop over medium heat, or in a slow cooker on the “warm” setting. 

More Delicious Slow Cooker Recipes

I hope you give these Slow Cooker Baked Beans a try! They are so easy to make, sweet, tangy, and delicious! If you do give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews and ratings help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you trust and love.

Print
baked beans in bowl with spoon

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 315oz cans navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 strips thick cut bacon, sliced into lardons
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Method

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the bacon lardons and cook until brown and crisped. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels.
  2. Remove the grease from the skillet and then add the ground beef. Cook the ground beef until brown, over medium high heat. Once brown, add the diced bell pepper, diced onion, and minced garlic. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes and then remove from the heat.
  3. Add the drained and rinsed navy beans, ground beef mixture, and bacon to the slow cooker.
  4. Next add the barbecue sauce, ketchup, water, molasses, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir until well combined.
  5. Cook the beans on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 5-6 hours. Stir the beans halfway through.
  6. Once done cooking, stir and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Keywords:

slow cooker baked beans, baked beans

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Recipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by: Eat Love Eat

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