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Easy Crockpot Baked Beans With Bacon

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This easy Crockpot Baked Beans Recipe is the perfect side for all your summer cookouts.

Saucy tender beans bursting with bits of bacon, these slow cooker baked beans go with everything from burgers and dogs, to grilled or barbecued chicken, roast pork, and more. 

Up close image of a pot of baked beans with a wooden spoon.

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Here in New England, we know baked beans. Beans date back to nearly the 1800s around these parts and have been bringing communities together for “bean suppers” for decades.

That’s why this updated recipe for Crockpot baked beans with bacon (instead of salt pork) deserves a place at the summery community table and on this Maine gal’s blog.

Not only is it the perfect summer recipe, but it’s the perfect method for those hot summer days. They’re easy to make with only a few minutes of prep time (no soaking beans) and have that “all-day baked” flavor without ever turning on your oven. 

The easy recipe is inspired by traditional Boston Baked Beans, but I use bacon instead of salt pork and add a little ketchup to help create the “sauciness” that the classic recipe is known for.

For the perfect summery cookout spread, serve these beans right next to my creamy homemade coleslaw, a traditional potato salad, and some burgers and hot dogs this summer!

Why You’ll Love Crockpot Baked Beans

  • All-day baked flavor without even heating up the oven, or your whole house. 
  • Saves precious oven space at parties and gatherings.
  • Perfect easy summer side dish to bring to any BBQ or potluck. 
  • So much better than the canned stuff from the grocery store.
  • No need to soak beans!

How Long Do Baked Beans Cook In The Slow Cooker?

Times vary depending on the model of slow cooker, but the times below are average cooking times for baked beans.

For High Heat:

3-4 Hours

For Low Heat:

6-8 Hours

Ingredients

This slow cooker baked bean recipe uses simple ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen right now. 

Overhead image of Ingredients for Crockpot Baked Beans

Bacon – Chopped into bite-sized pieces. For a meat-free option, you can omit or use imitation bacon bits or a plant-based bacon alternative. See more options below.

Onion – Diced small. I use a white or yellow onion.

Canned navy beans – Drained and rinsed. 

Molasses– I use “true” or original molasses, not blackstrap.

Brown sugar – I like to use dark brown sugar, but you can use light if that’s all you have.

Ketchup – The ketchup is only for recreating the “sauciness” and texture traditional baked beans have. You can use your favorite BBQ sauce if you prefer.

Garlic Powder

Apple Cider Vinegar

Worcestershire Sauce

Salt and Ground Black Pepper

Hot Water

Crockpot or Slow Cooker – I use a 7-quart Crockpot. Any 6-7 quart slow cooker model will work for this recipe.

Tip: I make this homemade slow cooker baked beans recipe with canned beans.  I’ve tested this recipe several times with different kinds of dried beans and found that canned beans provided the best texture and shortest cook time making for the very best crockpot baked beans.

Step by Step Instructions

Follow these simple, step-by-step instructions for the best baked beans every time!

Step 1

Bacon and onions cooking in a cast iron skillet with a black spatula.

Heat the chopped bacon and diced onion in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook until the bacon has released its fat and the onion has softened, about 5 minutes.

Step 2

Beans, bacon and a black spatula in a white slow cooker.

Add the bacon and onion mixture, beans, molasses, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, powder and vinegar to the crockpot. 

Step 3

Baked bean ingredients added to a white Crockpot. A black spatula stirring the mixture.

Pour 1 1/2 cup of water over the ingredients and stir to combine.

Step 4

Close up of beans in liquid with a wooden spoon.

Cover with the Crockpot lid and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low. Cook until the bacon is darker in color, and the sauce around the beans has thickened and looks syrupy. Add a little bit more hot water if the beans are still too dry.

Hint: Check to see if the beans are done by scooping out a spoonful of beans and sauce onto a cold dish. Let the beans cool and check the consistency. Continue cooking for a thicker sauce or turn the Crockpot off if you’re at your desired consistency.

Step 5

Give the beans a taste and stir in 1 tablespoon of additional Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper if necessary. 

Let the beans cool for 30 minutes to thicken before serving.

Up close image of beans in a pot with a wooden spoon.

Substitutions/Alterations

  • Make this homemade baked beans recipe vegetarian and vegan friendly by omitting the bacon entirely and using a fish-free Worcestershire sauce or liquid aminos. 
  • If you still want that savory flavor or bacon texture, you can use chopped vegan bacon, or imitation bacon bits like Bacos, or add a little smoked paprika, smoked salt, or a dash of liquid smoke.
  • Navy beans are authentic to New England Baked Beans recipes, but if you have none available, you can use pea beans, pinto, or great northern beans. Goya makes “small white beans” and those work too.
  • Apple cider vinegar can be swapped for yellow mustard
  • Ketchup can be swapped for barbecue sauce (For a great combination and depth of flavor, try my blueberry BBQ sauce!)
Beans in a white pot with a wooden spoon on a brown trivet.

Tips & Tricks

  • Add less water at the beginning of cooking and add a little more water later if the beans appear dry. The water doesn’t evaporate in the slow cooker like it would in the oven. So it’s better to add extra liquid if it’s still needed after cooking.
  • The beans will thicken and become “saucier” as they cool.
  • I prefer to use canned beans over dry beans for better texture and quicker cooking.
  • The bacon and onion do not require cooking before adding to the slow cooker, butI find the texture of both is more enjoyable. Feel free to skip this step to save time!

What to Serve with Crockpot Baked Beans

Sure these crockpot baked beans go great with burgers, hot dogs, and brats, but try this easy baked beans recipe with some of these great options as well.

How to Store Leftover Baked Beans

Allow the beans to cool completely at room temperature before wrapping or storing.

Place cooled beans in an airtight container. Leftover baked beans will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator. 

Leftover beans can also be frozen for up to 3 months when stored properly. Place the beans in a freezer safe storage bag. Remove as much air as possible and lay the bag on its side when storing.

Beans in a white pot with a wooden spoon. A towel and toast in the background.

How to Reheat

Reheat beans in a saucepan over low heat or on low in the crockpot until heated through.

You can also reheat these beans in the microwave. Heat in 30-second “blasts” until heated through completely.

More Summer Side Recipes

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If you make this recipe, give it a 5 STAR Rating and Leave a Comment!

Up close image of a pot of baked beans with a wooden spoon.

Easy Crockpot Baked Beans With Bacon

Yield: 7 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes

Delicious and easy Crockpot Baked Beans with Bacon. This is the perfect slow cooker side for your summer cookout! No bean soaking or oven required!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces of chopped bacon
  • 1/2 a large onion (1 cup), diced small
  • 4 cans (15 oz each) of navy beans, drained and rinsed. 
  • ⅓ cup of molasses (not blackstrap)
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup of hot water, plus more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, plus more to taste.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the bacon and onion in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook until the bacon has released its fat and the onion has softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the bacon and onion mixture, beans, molasses, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar to the Crockpot. 
  3. Pour over 1 1/2 cups of water and stir.
  4. Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low. Cook until the bacon is darker in color, and the sauce around the beans has thickened and looks slightly syrupy. Add more hot water if the beans are too dry.
  5. Give the beans a taste and stir in 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper if necessary. 
  6. Let the beans cool for 30 minutes to thicken before serving.

Notes

  • The sauce around the beans will thicken as it cools
  • The beans will start to shrink the longer they're cooked
  • You can check for doneness by scooping spoonfuls of beans onto a chilled plate during the last hour of cooking. Wait for the beans to cool and check the consistency. Cook longer for thicker sauce or add hot water to thin.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 240Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 633mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 9gSugar: 12gProtein: 13g

This is based on 1/2 cup of baked beans.

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