Crockpot Baked Beans with Bacon

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Crockpot Baked Beans With Bacon taste like the smoky side dish from your favorite BBQ restaurant. Perfectly tender beans in a rich molasses and brown sugar sauce, with the slightest kick of spicy heat. This dish is always a hit at potlucks and cookouts – bring the recipe, because everyone will be asking for it!!

titled image for crockpot baked beans

Nothing says summer quite like a cookout! My perfect summer BBQ menu includes burgers and pulled chicken sandwiches, southern potato salad, macaroni salad, and these slow cooker baked beans, of course!

ingredients for crockpot baked beans

Crockpot Baked Beans With Bacon

Have you ever tasted baked beans so smoky and rich that you could eat them alone for a main dish meal?

Well, crockpot baked beans from scratch are those beans of your dreams!

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Dried pinto beans 

Making baked beans from scratch in a slow cooker requires soaking the dried beans overnight first. If you’re in a hurry, you can use canned beans instead. 

For a creamier texture, use navy or cannellini beans. Or, try Great Northern beans for a firmer texture with a hint of nuttiness.

Just be sure to drain and rinse canned beans if you use those instead of dried.

  • Bacon – I recommend using thick cut bacon so you have a good amount of meat in the beans. There’s so much fat in thin cut bacon, it tends to melt away.
  • Onion and garlic – Fresh onion adds extra texture to these slow cooker baked beans with bacon.

    In a pinch, you could substitute both of these ingredients with 1 tablespoon of onion powder and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • Molasses, brown sugar, and ketchup – This trio creates the base for the sweet and savory sauce.
  • Seasonings – Apple cider vinegar adds a hint of tang, while dried chipotle chili pepper creates a lovely heat and spice.

    Don’t forget salt and pepper! Both are essential for any dish.
and ketchup and beans to slow cooker

Recipe Notes for Crock Pot Baked Beans

I find that it’s more convenient to let the beans soak overnight first.

Not only does soaking shorten the cook time, but it also helps remove any sediment that you may have missed when you sorted them.

Plus, it guarantees that your baked beans with bacon turn out perfectly tender, because soaked beans absorb the flavors more easily.

brown sugar and spices added to crockpot baked beans with bacon

Prep Ahead Instructions

Aside from soaking the beans ahead, you can also cook the bacon ahead of time.

I like to bake bacon in the oven because I can cook a larger batch, then use some of it for breakfast the next morning. 

Plus baking it doesn’t leave a greasy mess on my counters or stovetop. It’s okay to store the cooked bacon in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

For party prep, you can make crockpot baked beans with bacon a day or two in advance. Allow them to cool down before transferring them to a container.

You’ll need to store them in the refrigerator, but you can warm them right back up in the slow cooker about an hour or two before guests arrive!

all ingredients for baked beans in the crockpot

Storing and Freezing Instructions

Allow your baked beans with bacon to cool down to room temperature first. Then, transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 5 days.

You can also freeze slow cooker beans for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat on the stovetop until they are warm through. 

Crockpot Baked Beans With Bacon FAQ

How long do you cook beans in the crock pot?

Cook beans with bacon, onion, and seasoning for 10 to 12 hours on High, or until everything is nice and tender.

If you’ll be using dried beans, be sure to let them soak overnight before starting the recipe.

Do beans need to be soaked before slow cooking?

The answer depends on how much time you have.

It’s possible to use them without soaking, but it requires at the minimum, an additional 2-3 hours of slow cooking time.

How do you thicken crockpot baked beans?

After slow cooking for about 10 hours, remove 2 cups of the pintos and mash them with a fork.

Then, stir them back into the slow cooker to help thicken the sauce!

crockpot beans with burger and corn

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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closeup of slow cooker baked beans

Other Crockpot Side Dishes

crockpot baked beans with bacon closeup

Crockpot Baked Beans with Bacon

Donna Elick
Crockpot Baked Beans with Bacon is a slow cooker side with BBQ restaurant flavor. This no-fuss recipe will be the star of your summer meal!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 12 hrs
Total Time 12 hrs 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Method Slow Cooker
Servings 24

Ingredients
 

  • 32 ounce package dried pinto beans
  • 1 pound thick cut bacon, cooked and diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon dried chipotle chili pepper
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Sort through beans and pick out any stones, small and shriveled, excessively dirty (like a black spot covering a whole side of a white bean), or otherwise look old and mishandled beans.
  • Pour beans into a large sieve or colander and rinse well. Pour rinsed beans into 6 quart slow cooker and cover with water by 2 inches. Place cover on and leave slow cooker OFF. Allow beans to soak overnight (about 8-12 hours).
  • Drain the soaked beans and rinse the slow cooker. Place onions, garlic and bacon into the slow cooker. Then add beans back into the slow cooker. Add water, molasses, brown sugar, ketchup, chili pepper, vinegar, and pepper. (Salt will be added at the end).
  • Cook on high for 10-12 hours until beans are tender. Add salt to taste, we use the full 1 tablespoon.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Donna’s Notes

If you want your beans really thick, after about 10 hours remove 2 cups of beans from cooker and smash them. Add them back to the cooker and stir. This step will help the beans thicken.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 188cal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 470mg | Sugar: 13g | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image for crockpot baked beans with bacon

Originally published May 2014, updated and republished August 2022

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16 Comments

  1. WOW! My Mom used to make baked beans from scratch. I never got her recipe, but I've been telling my friends about it for years…….yours isn't exactly like hers, (she used salt pork), but it's close enough for me! Thank you so very much for posting this!

    1. If you cook them on low, it would be about 14 or more hours. I prefer my beans more tender so I found, during recipe testing, 10-12 hours on high was perfect for me. Enjoy and let us know how it goes.

  2. I made this today. I cooked on high for 6 hours, then switched to low the last 4 (only because my beans were tender) I also added 2 diced up smokey sausages in addition to my bacon. Donna love, love, love your recipes!

  3. I always add a bit of mustard to my baked beans. I also like to saute' my onions in the bacon grease to lightly carmelize them before I add them to the beans. My backed brands are always a hit!!!

  4. Can this be canned? I have pressure canner, am looking for good baked or other bean recipes. Thanks

  5. I left my slow cooker back in my country. Now I still don't have one. Can these beans done normally in the stove? Believe then, I will have to cook them for 24 hours? That would be crazy! jajajajaj

    1. Hi Linda,
      Yes you absolutely can freeze them and when you are ready just thaw them in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat on the stovetop until they are warm through.
      TSRI Team Member,
      Holli

  6. 5 stars
    I live in a 55+ development and we share recipes. None of us like long recipes and things that can be replaced by something easier. That being said, how many cans of pinto beans do I use rather than fussing with soaking dried beans? Also, why no molasses?
    Shirley

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