Slow Cooker Baked Beans

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These are the real deal. And so easy to prepare. What could be better than that?

Similar in taste and texture to our Southern Baked Beans, but done with the convenience of your slow cooker. They can also be made well in advance. All you need to do is reheat and then keep on WARM in your slow cooker! Perfect any time of the year!

A straight-on view of slow cooker baked beans in a small individual white bowl surrounded by slices of cooked sausage and a glass of beer nearby.

How To Make Slow Cooker Baked Beans


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The Ingredients You Will Need

You’ll need just a handful of ingredients to make this classic side. Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand:

White beans – Preferably dried. Navy, Cannellini, or Great Northern are all excellent options. See NOTES on soaking the beans.
Ketchup – Go with a quality brand for the best flavor.
Molasses – Dark is best. Don’t skip this ingredient!
Brown sugar – Dark or light, both work well.
Mustard – We recommend Dijon, but yellow can be substituted, no problem.
Apple cider vinegar – This is a key ingredient, and apple cider is best.
Maple syrup – 100% pure, not pancake syrup.
Seasonings – Salt and pepper.
Bacon – Smoked is best.

EXPERT TIP: Be sure to check the ‘best used by’ date on the beans. Old beans may never fully soften during the cooking process. If you don’t have overnight to soak the beans, then place the beans in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, and then turn off the heat and allow the bests to soak for 1 hour. Rinse and follow the recipe.

A person's two hands holding dried navy beans over a bowl of the beans in water.

Tips for Making Perfect Slow Cooker Baked Beans

Soaking the Beans is Best – Allowing the dried beans to soak overnight ensures they cook evenly and become tender in the slow cooker.

Heat the Sauce in a Skillet – Combining the sauce ingredients in a skillet and then simmering it for a few minutes helps to deepen the flavors. It’s not 100% necessary, but it melds together the sweet and savory flavor components.

Smoked Bacon or Salt Pork Deepens the Flavor – As the pork slow cooks, it infuses a smokey flavor to the beans and sauce that is classic. No need to cook the bacon first. If using a salt pork, be sure to remove it once the beans are ready.

Cook on LOW and then on HIGH – We get the best results when we start the beans low and slow, and then crank the slow cooker to HIGH for the final few hours of cooking. You will probably need to add more stock to achieve the perfect sauce consistency.

An overhead view of a small skillet filled with homemade BBQ sauce with a metal whisk inserted in the middle of it.

How To Serve

This is the quintessential summertime BBQ side dish. We serve it alongside our best-ever pasta salad, best-ever potato salad, and corn on the cob.

But, it’s also amazing to serve during the cooler months, too. We love them alongside baked honey mustard chicken, grilled sausage, or chicken fried steak.

You can transfer the cooked beans to a nice serving dish, or just add a large serving spoon near the slow cooker and let folks serve themselves.

EXPERT TIP: After pouring the sauce over the beans and bacon, give it all a good stir to fully coat the beans. If you have the time, stir the beans every hour or so. The beans can also be cooked on LOW for 7 to 8 hours. Add more stock, as needed.

BBQ sauce being poured from a saucepan into a slow cooker filled with dried navy beans and pieces of cut-up uncooked bacon.

Other Amazing Slow Cooker Recipes to Try

There is just something extra special about preparing the main dish, or even a side dish, in your slow cooker. Here are some of our all-time favorites:

Beef Stew
Classic Brisket
Chopped BBQ Beef Sandwiches
Mississippi Pot Roast
Beef Braciole
Baby Back Ribs
Pulled Pork
Dublin Coddle
Ham and Potatoes Gratin
Provencal Chicken Stew
Coconut Chicken Curry
Chicken Chow Mein
Corn on the Cob
Asparagus Risotto

These are always a huge hit when we serve any of them to family or guests. But, in the meantime, aren’t the beans calling your name?

An overhead view of a large wooden spoon holding a big helping of slow cooker baked beans over the slow cooker pot filled with the same.

If you’re tasked with bringing a side dish to any function, you’ll want to seriously consider these beans.

They are very similar to Boston Baked Beans, and are universally loved.

And because your slow cooker does all the heavy lifting, but is a snap to prepare! And the taste and texture of the beans in the sauce is truly spectacular. Every bite is a taste sensation.

A silver spoon being held up that is holding a helping of slow cooker baked beans over a small bowl containing a full serving of the beans.

Ready to make the best beans this side of, well, Boston? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of them, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

A straight-on view of slow cooker baked beans in a small individual white bowl surrounded by slices of cooked sausage and a glass of beer nearby.

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

These are very similar to Boston Baked Beans and are classic in taste with a mix of little sweetness and smokey savory. We simmer the sauce before adding it to the slow cooker with the beans and bacon, but if you're in a crunch for time, you can just add it all into the pot and cook on low all day.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked beans recipe, slow cooker side dish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Soaking: 8 hours
Total Time: 14 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 358kcal


  • Slow-cooker 3, 4, or 6 quart


  • 1 lb dried white beans Navy, cannelloni, or Great Northern
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup 100% pure
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 8 oz smoked bacon
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup beef stock


  • Place the beans in a large pot and cover with cool water by about 1 inch. Let them soak overnight. See NOTES for a quick soak method. Pick out any floaters the next morning.
    1 lb dried white beans
  • In a medium skillet or saucepan, stir together the ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, maple syrup, and black pepper over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it continue to gently simmer for about 5 minutes.
    1 cup ketchup, ¼ cup molasses, ¼ cup dark brown sugar, ¼ cup Dijon mustard, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup maple syrup, ½ tsp black pepper
  • Drain the beans and place them in your slow cooker with the chopped bacon. Pour the sauce over the beans. Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 3 hours.
    8 oz smoked bacon
  • After 3 hours, stir the beans and stir in 1 tsp salt and half a cup of the beef stock. Turn the setting to HIGH and cook for another 3 hours, or until the beans are tender and the sauce has become thickened. You may need to add the remaining half cup of broth to maintain the correct consistency for the sauce. Taste and add more salt, if desired, usually another ½ to 1 tsp.
    Kosher salt, 1 cup beef stock
  • Serve at once, or turn to the WARM setting until ready to serve.


See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. 
If you don't have time to soak the beans overnight, you can do a quick soak by bringing the beans in a pot of water to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat and let the beans rest in the hot water for 1 hour. Drain and proceed with the recipe.
You can use canned beans in a pinch. Drain and rinse 2 to 3 15 oz. cans of white beans. Cook on LOW for 4 hours or on HIGH for 2 hours. 
Leftovers will keep covered in the fridge for up to 1 week. Reheat with a few splashes of beef stock (or water) on the stove until bubbly and heated through. The beans can be frozen for up to 3 months. 


Calories: 358kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 690mg | Potassium: 1459mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 160IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 189mg | Iron: 7mg
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