This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Click HERE to read my policies.
This Crock Pot Baked Beans Recipe is a fuss free side dish that produces the most tender beans married with bacon and the best sweet and savory sauce. An easy and delicious dish to share at any potluck, party or BBQ bash!
Ever go to a party and wish you could easily make the beans you just inhaled? A little planning ahead and you'll be the star of the next party because this recipe is not hard at all. The slow cooker does all the work for you, and creates beans that taste like they've been babied in the oven for hours.
These beans have become a summer staple, but I will let you in on a little secret... This recipe makes a decent sized batch, so I usually freeze half of it and have beans in the freezer all the time! This way I can have them with any meal at anytime I want.
Plus, pack those leftovers in the kids' school lunches. My kids will devour these cold they are that good!
This post was originally posted on 02/20/2017 and updated on 06/02/2021.
Crock Pot Baked Beans Ingredients
- Dried Navy Beans
- Tomato Sauce
- Pure Maple Syrup
- Dark Brown Sugar
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Chili Powder
- Black Pepper
- Liquid Smoke
- Dried Navy Beans: If you don't want to soak beans, you can use 5-6 cups of canned navy beans that have been drained and rinsed. Reduce the cooking time to 4-6 hours. I prefer the dried navy beans and feel they turn out much more tender and with a better texture.
- Bacon: browned ground beef, turkey or sausage can be substituted as well as diced ham.
- Pure Maple Syrup: It is very important that you use real and pure maple syrup. Do NOT use pancake syrup. If needed, honey or a mild molasses can be substituted.
- Dark Brown Sugar: Light brown sugar can be used. Dark brown sugar has more molasses and gives the beans a richer flavor.
- Liquid Smoke: this is an optional ingredient. If you love foods that are smoked then use it. You can use whichever flavor you like best. We prefer to use hickory most of the time, but applewood and mesquite are good too. If you prefer a non smoky taste, you can leave it out.
How to Make Crock Pot Baked Beans From Scratch
- First things first, soak the dried navy beans in a large bowl of water overnight or for at least 8 hours.
- Then you'll need to cook the bacon. Bake it in the oven or fry it on the stove.
- Next, in a large bowl whisk together: onion, garlic, tomato sauce, maple syrup, dark brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, salt, black pepper and liquid smoke.
- Add the sauce to the crock pot. Then, rinse the beans a few times, drain them and add to the crock pot with the sauce.
- Add the bacon to the sauce and beans, and stir it all together.
- Cook on low for 10-12 hours until the beans are tender and the sauce has thickened to a thick syrup consistency.
Tips for Easy Crock Pot Baked Beans
- Plan ahead. Planning ahead is key because even though this recipe is super simple it does need some time to cook. You can soak the beans overnight or all day and then cook the beans all day or overnight. Either way works great, will just depend on what time you need the beans to be done.
- Bake the bacon. Baking bacon is so much easier and there is less mess. Why stand in front of the stove fussing over bacon when you don't need to. If you've never baked bacon, check out this post on How to Bake Bacon. Line a sheet pan with foil and place bacon strips on pan. Place in a cold oven and then set the temperature to 400°F. Bake for 16-18 minutes until the bacon has become lightly crisp.
- Make it your own. You can make the beans sweeter by adding more maple syrup and brown sugar or more savory and spicy by adding a splash of hot sauce.
- Make it Franks and Beans. Before cooking, slice a package of your favorite hot dogs into coins and add to the sauce and beans.
How to Freeze Crock Pot Baked Beans
This recipe freezes so well. Let the beans cool completely and then add them to a freezer safe air tight container or zip top bag. I like to freeze them in freezer bags and lay them flat to freeze. Takes up less space in my freezer. Don't forget to label and date! To use: thaw the beans in the fridge and then reheat them over low heat on the stove or in the microwave. If you need to keep them warm, add them to the crock pot and set it to the warm setting.
FAQs About Crock Pot Baked Beans
Yes the sauce will thicken as it cooks. If the beans are still too runny when the cook time has ended, remove the lid and let the beans sit for 30 minutes.
To cook dried beans that have been soaked it can take anywhere from 6-12 hours on low to become tender, all depending on the size of the bean.
The beans will stay tender if they are cooked on low and not overcooked.
The beans will cook, but it will take a lot more time to get them fully cooked and tender. Soaking is an easy way to speed up the cooking time for dried beans.
More Potluck Friendly Side Dishes:
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad
- Chicken Tortellini Salad
- Classic Potato Salad
- Summer Fruit Salad
- Creamy Tomato Cucumber Salad
- Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
Crock Pot Baked Beans Recipe
- 1 lb dried navy beans
- ½ pound bacon, cooked and chopped
- ½ onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 28 oz tomato sauce
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
- Place beans in a large bowl, cover with water and soak at least 8 hours (overnight works great).
- To bake the bacon: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place bacon strips on top. Put bacon in a cold oven and turn on to 400°F. Bake for 16-18 minutes until lightly crisp (not too crispy or it will disintegrate into the beans and sauce).
- Whisk together the onion, garlic, tomato sauce, syrup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, salt, pepper, and liquid smoke.
- Pour sauce into the crock pot.
- Drain and rinse the beans, then add to sauce in the crock pot.
- Add the bacon and stir it all together.
- Cook for 10-12 hours or until the beans are tender and the sauce is a thick syrup consistency.