These homemade slow cooker baked beans are exactly what you’re looking for in a simple yet delicious side. Bursting with sweet & savory flavors, they’ll feed a crowd and keep them coming back for seconds. And, thanks to the crock pot, these beans can be made ahead and kept warm, making it the perfect easy recipe for a BBQ, cookout, or potluck side!

Overhead image of a slow cooker with all of the ingredients for baked beans.

5 star review

“Thank you for this recipe! I recently learned that my husband really likes baked beans 🫣; I’m ambivalent, but it always looked like too much work when my mom made them. This recipe was so easy and it satisfied hubby’s craving, even without bacon!”

– Lauren
Overhead image of a white bowl with baked beans and a silver spoon sticking out of it. The bowl is surrounded by empty plates, a kitchen towel, glass cup, a bowl with barbecue sauce, and a bowl with chips.

About this Slow Cooker Baked Beans Recipe

If you’re looking for an easy BBQ side dish, look no further than these crockpot baked beans!

Truly, the slow cooker is my favorite way to prep baked beans from scratch because you don’t have to turn on the oven (and heat up the house in the summer), and they taste just as good as homestyle baked beans.

There are a lot of slow cooker baked bean recipes out there, but I find many of the recipes can be a bit too sweet and lacking depth of flavor.

So, for this simple homemade version, I wanted to create a homestyle slow cooker baked bean recipe that was easy, bursting with flavor, while still leaning on canned beans for connivence.

And, since I’m all about saving time and effort, I use canned beans and then add more savory flavor notes with smokey bacon, simple spices, and a combo of BBQ sauce (I love using my easy BBQ sauce), ketchup, a little brown sugar, and mustard to create a wildly flavorful sauce.

This is the kind of side dish that once you make it, everyone will want the recipe and ask you to bring it to gatherings!

P.S. If you love the ease of making these baked beans, make sure to check out my other easy summer slow cooker recipes like slow cooker bbq chicken and slow cooker bbq chicken thighs!

How to Make Vegetarian Slow Cooker Baked Beans

Yes, there is bacon in this recipe, but you can easily leave it out for an equally delicious baked bean recipe! Simply add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the saute pan when cooking the onions.

Visual Guide: How to Make Slow Cooker Baked Beans

Jump to Recipe Instructions

How to Serve Crock Pot Baked Beans

These slightly sweet and spicy beans are perfect for feeding a crowd or having on hand for easy dinners at home!

The recipe makes 6 small side-dish servings, and can be made in a 3-quart slow cooker. However, if you want to serve more people, double or triple the recipe.

If you double or triple the recipe, make sure to use a 6-quart slow cooker and increase the cooking time by 30-60 minutes.

As a side, serve alongside a delicious main such as slow cooker BBQ chicken, slow cooker flank steak, or tropical pulled chicken along with this easy slaw.

Or up the flavor in my easy BBQ chicken bowls and swap the black beans with these slow cooker baked beans.

Some unexpected ways to use these beans is as a nacho topper along with quick fresh salsa and easy guacamole, or as a burrito filling for a delicious vegetarian dinner.

Close up image of a bowl of baked beans with a silver spoon sticking out of it.

Key Ingredients and Substitutions

Bacon: I prefer thick cut bacon, but any bacon will work. For a vegetarian version, leave out the bacon and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan to saute the onions.

Red onion: Substitute with yellow or white. Or if you don’t like onion, you could leave it out all together.

Fresh garlic: I prefer the flavor of fresh garlic, but ¾ teaspoon garlic powder can be substituted in place of the 3 fresh cloves.

Smoked paprika: I highly recommend the smoked paprika powder because it gives the beans a smokey flavor, but you can use regular paprika powder.

Chipotle chili powder: Regular chili powder can be used instead.

Canned beans: I like the combination of kidney, pinto, and Northern beans, however you can use any combination of beans you have on hand. Black beans and even chickpeas also work.

Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.

Apple cider vinegar: Sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, or white wine vinegar can be used as well.

BBQ sauce: I love using my quick and easy BBQ sauce, but a good-quality store bought BBQ sauce works as well.

Ketchup: Use your favorite ketchup.

Yellow mustard: Dijon mustard also works well in this recipe.

Dark brown sugar: I love the deep flavor dark brown sugar offers, however white sugar, light brown sugar, or coconut sugar also work. Or, you can use 1 tablespoon of molasses instead of the brown sugar. If you want sweeter baked beans, increase the sugar to ¼ or ½ cup.

Storing Tips

These baked beans keep well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container. They also freeze well, stored in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 3 months.

Overhead image of a white bowl with baked beans and a silver spoon sticking out of it. The bowl is surrounded by empty plates, a kitchen towel, a bowl with watermelon, a bowl with barbecue sauce, and a bowl with chips.

This Recipe Is…

Follow my step-by-step video:

Overhead image of a slow cooker with all of the ingredients for baked beans.
5 stars (6 ratings)

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

These homemade slow cooker baked beans are exactly what you're looking for in a simple yet delicious side. Bursting with sweet & savory flavors, they'll feed a crowd and keep them coming back for seconds. And, thanks to the crock pot, these beans can be made ahead and kept wam, making it the perfect easy recipe for a BBQ, cookout, or potluck side!

Ingredients

  • 4 slices (5-oz) thick cut bacon, diced
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ¼  teaspoon chipotle chili powder 
  • 1 can (15-oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15-oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15-oz) Northern or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½  teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Equipment

Instructions 

  • Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the bacon grease (if desired), then add the onion. Cook the onion until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the garlic, paprika, and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 more minute.
  • Carefully add the onion mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the beans, salt, vinegar, BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar, stirring to combine.
  • Cover and cook on high for  3-4 hours, or low for 4-5 hours. Do not uncover during this time. Uncover, stir, and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve warm.

Notes

See blog post for ingredient substitutions, variations, storage, and more.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 (of 6), Calories: 286kcal, Carbohydrates: 57g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 0.4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 0.4mg, Sodium: 540mg, Potassium: 796mg, Fiber: 12g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 460IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 117mg, Iron: 4mg
Nutrition disclaimer
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