These slow cooker baked beans are cooked to perfection with just the right amount of brown sugar and bacon. Just a wonderful side dish to serve your family, yet perfect for a crowd too.
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This recipe just ticks all the baked beans boxes for our family. The beans are nestled in a slightly sweet and tangy sauce. When my sister feeds a crowd, she always has these slow cooker baked beans on the menu. We all seem to go back for seconds.
However, I need to tell you, she always puts the hamburger in her recipe. I love it as it is a meal in itself. My husband complains about the hamburger. Drives me nuts; however, in his defense, when we are enjoying these beans at her house, there is always a ton of other food and often that includes hamburgers. Therefore, he just wants baked beans without hamburger in it. So, with that said, this recipe can be made with or without the hamburger. The taste will not suffer at all. Both versions are extremely delicious.
Deli Baked Beans
My family loves to get the deli baked beans from our local store. They really are good. It seems all other baked beans are compared to this. Therefore, when the family asks me to make these beans rather than go to the deli and purchase their beans, you know you have a winner.
It is so easy to make those deli baked beans right at home. Your slow cooker makes it even easier. They will think you worked hard at your meal. Only you will know how easy this is, but the rich deep flavors will have people wondering how you made this recipe.
Other Types of Meat Perfect for this Baked Bean Recipe
While I love the taste that bacon adds to this recipe. There are other types of meat that can be used. Here are a few ideas:
Turkey bacon. Dice, fry, and drain before adding ½ pound.
Ham. Dice the ham before adding 1-2 cups.
Ground chicken or turkey. Brown and drain before adding 1 pound.
Ground beef or pork. Brown and drain before adding 1 pound.
Types of Beans for this Recipe
I love butter beans, so that is one of the beans that is used in my recipe. However, there are other beans that can be used. Use the ones you enjoy eating. I also like to use canned beans as they are already softened and cook up quickly.
However, you can certainly used dried beans. Just soak them in water the evening before and add about 1 hour to the cooking time.
Black-Eyed Peas. They are dense with a full earthy flavor. Perfect for hearty recipes and salads.
Butter beans. Yes, butter beans are the same thing as a Lima bean. They are perfect for this recipe. They have a creamy texture and absorb other flavors well.
Great Northern beans. They are white and medium-sized with a mild flavor. Perfect for soups, stews, and bakes beans. They absorb other flavors well.
Kidney Beans. These are a medium-large bean that has a red hue to the skin, which is a bit firm. The white version is called Cannellini; however, there are purple, black, and spotted kidney beans. While this would work well for this recipe, I prefer a softer bean.
Red beans. They are small and oval shaped with a red color to the skin. The flavor is earthy and nutty with a soft texture. Perfect for Creole and Cajun cuisine, as well as, soup, chili and generally the main ingredient to red beans and rice.
Slow Cooker Baked Beans Ingredients
Here are the few ingredients that are paired together to make this delicious recipe.
- Bush’s Baked Beans – I use the homestyle, extra brown sugar, or original variety. All work out well with this recipe.
- Butter Beans – love them and always have some in the pantry for recipes like this. They absorb the sweet and tangy sauce well.
- Great Northern Beans – They hold their shape in this recipe and add their mild flavor is perfect for this recipe.
- Bacon – It is easier to cut the bacon before browning. I often have cooked bacon in the refrigerator. This is quick and easy to cut up and add.
- Brown sugar – There is just something about brown sugar and beans.
- Ketchup – The tomato flavor adds such a fresh taste.
- Molasses – This adds a depth of flavor to the beans.
- Yellow Mustard – Adds a bit of kick to the sweet in this recipe.
- Onion – Just dice and add. No need to pre-cook.
- Cider Vinegar – If you like a bit of tang in your beans, this is where that comes from.
- Beef Bouillon – Just like the molasses, this adds so much depth to the flavor profile.
- Hamburger – (optional) Brown and break up into small pieces. Drain before adding.
Cooking Time for the Beans
The slow cooking blends all the delicious flavors together and thickens the sauce. Cook this recipe on low for 5 hours or high for 3.5 hours. The beans will be extremely hot with a sauce that is starting to thicken nicely.
Oven Baked Beans
Place this recipe in a heavy oven-safe kettle bake covered 3-4 hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you are like my husband, he loves his thick paste-like sauce with his beans. When you store these beans overnight in the refrigerator, they thicken. The flavors seem to blend a bit more too. Just delicious.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container safely up to a week.
Slow Cooker Baked Beans
- 1 Pound Ground Beef Optional (break apart, brown, and drain)
- 1/2 Pound Bacon diced, cooked, and drained
- 1 Large Onion diced
- 48 Ounces Butter Beans 3-16 ounce cans drained
- 47.4 Ounces Great Northern Beans 3-15.8 ounce cans drained
- 28 Ounces Bushes Beans with extra brown sugar
- 1 1/2 Cups Ketchup
- 1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
- 3/4 Cup Molasses
- 3 Tablespoons Yellow Mustard
- 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Beef Bouillon
- Add the onion, butter beans, great northern beans, Bushes beans , ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, and beef bouillon to a slow cooker.
- Add the cooked ground beef (optional) and the cooked bacon.
- Cook on high 3.5 hours or low 5 hours. Stir occasionally. Or this can be baked in a Dutch oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-4 hours.
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