Turn to your slow cooker to make these full-flavor, sweet, and saucy Crockpot Baked Beans that couldn’t be easier! When you make baked beans in the crockpot, they’re easy to transport, plus you free up the stovetop and don’t even have to turn on your oven. Serve these easy Slow Cooker Baked Beans with Bacon at your next backyard BBQ and watch the sparks fly. They’re made with just a few simple real-food ingredients and an easy side dish recipe that you’ll make on repeat!
This recipe was originally published June 28, 2016; Updated August 10, 2022.
Can You Make Baked Beans in the Crockpot?
You bet you can! In fact, we think making Crockpot Baked Beans with Bacon is really the BEST way to make this potluck, BBQ, and picnic staple side dish. Make these Slow Cooker Baked Beans with Bacon and savor the delicious smoky, sweet, and sticky flavors that are hard to resist. Way better than anything you’ll ever get from a can, this is one of those baked bean recipes that will have everyone coming back for seconds. It tastes like it has been slow simmering all day, because it has (well, for a portion of the day)! You just don’t have to do any of the work when you set it and forget it in the slow cooker.
Ingredients to Make Crockpot Baked Beans
Start with these pantry staple ingredients, plus a slow cooker, and get these babies cookin’.
- canned beans – start with a base of Great Northern beans or you can use canned navy beans or another type of white beans or kidney beans, if you prefer
- bacon – cooked and chopped bacon adds a wonderful depth of flavor and texture
- onion – use 1/2 of a white or yellow medium onion
- ketchup – look for a ketchup made without added sugar, such as Primal Kitchen; in a pinch, you can replace the 1/2 cup ketchup with the same amount of a low- or no-sugar-added barbecue sauce
- pure maple syrup – use 2 tablespoons, or reduce to 1 tablespoon if your ketchup has added sugar; can sub in 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- molasses – we highly recommend you don’t skip this, as it adds so much richness to the sauce
- yellow mustard – adds a nice acidity and brightness; can sub in Dijon mustard
- apple cider vinegar – or use white wine vinegar
If you’d like, you can customize this Baked Beans recipe by adding some garlic, diced red bell peppers, bay leaves, or even a dash of liquid smoke. Love baked beans with ground beef? Then try our Slow Cooker Cowboy Beans.
How to make Crockpot Baked Beans with Bacon
This recipe for baked beans in the slow cooker couldn’t be easier! Here how to make them:
- Prep the bacon and onion: In a medium or large skillet over medium heat, cook the chopped bacon until almost crips, stirring occasionally, 7-8 minutes. Keep the bacon grease in the skillet. Add the chopped onion to the skillet with the bacon and cook until the onion starts to soften, an additional 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Combine ingredients in crockpot: Place the bacon and onion mixture in the slow cooker. Add the drained beans, ketchup, maple syrup, molasses, mustard, vinegar, and 1 cup water. Stir gently to combine.
- Let it cook: Cover the crockpot, and cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours, stirring a few times during the cooking time.
See the recipe card below for the complete ingredient amounts, instructions, and nutrition analysis.
How Long Do You Cook Beans in the Crockpot?
Since we start with a base of canned and drained Great Northern beans, it doesn’t take an extremely long time for these Crock Pot Baked Beans with Bacon to be done. Some recipes have you start with hard uncooked beans that you need to soak in salt water before adding to the slow cooker. But by using canned beans, you can bypass that step. Cook them on the low heat setting for 4 hours, or on the high heat setting for 2 hours. If you’re taking them to a potluck where you’ll have an electric outlet, you could even add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and plug them in once you get there. If people will be eating a few hours into the event, the timing will be perfect.
A Year-Round Favorite & Worth the (Little Extra) Effort
Baked beans and summer cookouts just go together. Be sure to make room on your picnic table for these always-good Crock Pot Baked Beans. Pair them with watermelon, potato salad, slaw, burgers, brownies, and summer cocktails, and you’ve got it made in the shade.
But these Slow Cooker Baked Beans are a hit at other times of the year, too! In the winter, there’s nothing better than baking a pot of sweet and saucy beans to warm the house. Their smell is intoxicating, thanks to the bacon and maple syrup.
While your crockpot does the majority of the work, there’s a little extra step here that is well worth it. Cooking the bacon and onions before adding them to the slow cooker may seem fussy, but trust us, you get a much better flavor because the onions mellow out when cooked in the reserved bacon fat and you get a thicker sauce. Cooking the bacon first also means you won’t have any pale rubbery blobs of bacon in your beans like you do when you open a can of pork and beans from the store.
If you’re really pressed for time, you can do this step in advance, storing the cooked onions and bacon separately in covered containers in the fridge before adding them to the slow cooker with the beans and sauce ingredients.
Can I double this recipe for Slow Cooker baked beans?
Yes, you sure can! The recipe as written makes 3 1/2 cups of baked beans, which is enough to serve 6 to 7 adults. If you’d like to make more, you can double the recipe. Simply add twice the amount of every written ingredient (6 slices bacon, 1 yellow onion, 4 cans of Great Northern beans, etc.). However, when it comes to adding the water, we recommend that you NOT double the water and still just use 1 cup. Instead, add a little additional water only if needed after the beans have been cooking on low in the slow cooker for 3 hours.
How to Store Leftover Crock Pot Baked Beans
Transfer any leftover baked beans from the slow cooker to a storage container. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, place the beans in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat and add a little water. Stir and cook until heated through, which should only take a few minutes.
Servings: 3 1/2 cups (serves 6-7) 1x
- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup no-sugar-added ketchup
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or 1 tablespoon, if your ketchup has added sugar)
- 2 tablespoons yellow or Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- In a medium to large skillet over medium heat, cook the chopped bacon, stirring occasionally, until almost crisp, about 7-8 minutes. Keep the bacon fat in the skillet. Add the diced onion to the pan with the bacon and cook until the onion starts to soften, an additional 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Transfer the bacon and onion mixture to the slow cooker. Add the drained and rinsed beans, ketchup, maple syrup, mustard, molasses, vinegar, and water; stir gently to combine.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 4 hours or on high heat for 2 hours, stirring a few times during cooking time.
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If doubling this recipe, we recommend that you NOT double the water and still just use 1 cup. Instead, add a little additional water only if needed after the beans have been cooking on low for 3 hours.
- Serving Size: ½ cup
- Calories: 191
- Fat: 3 g
- (Sat Fat: 1 g)
- Sodium: 571 mg
- Carbohydrate: 33 g
- (Fiber: 6 g
- Sugar: 8 g)
- Protein: 10 g
- Cholesterol: 2 mg
© The Real Food Dietitians
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Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter.
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