This easy and delicious Crockpot baked beans recipe uses Bush’s canned baked beans and is packed with flavor from bacon, bell pepper, onion, and a touch of sweetness from brown sugar and ketchup. It’s the perfect dish to serve at your next family gathering or barbecue!
Crockpot Baked Beans
I’m so excited to share with you this amazing, easy-to-make, and flavorful recipe for Crockpot Baked Beans. The combination of sweet and savory flavors, plus the addition of bacon, makes this the best slow cooker baked beans recipe you’ll ever try.
It’s perfect for serving alongside grilled chicken, pulled pork, hamburgers, or hot dogs. This recipe makes a big batch, so I love bringing it to BBQs, picnics, and potlucks.
The slow-cooked beans, combined with brown sugar and bacon, create a delicious sweet and savory dish that everyone will love. Creamy, melt-in-your-mouth Bush’s beans, sautéed green pepper and onions, and loads of crispy bacon pieces are all coated in a delicious sweet and tangy homemade sauce. These slow cooker baked beans are so delicious that you won’t be able to resist going back for more!
While you’re here, be sure to check out our super popular baked beans with ground beef recipe!
Bush’s Original Baked Beans: I chose to use Bush’s Original Baked Beans for their rich, classic flavor, but you can use any flavor or brand of baked beans that you like.
Bacon: The addition of bacon adds a smoky, salty, and delicious flavor to the baked beans, making them even tastier.
Yellow Onion: The finely chopped yellow onion adds a subtle sweetness and a bit of texture to the dish.
Green Bell Pepper: Green bell pepper adds a pop of color, as well as a mild, slightly sweet flavor to the baked beans.
Ketchup: Ketchup adds a tangy, sweet, and savory flavor that ties all the other ingredients together.
Brown Sugar: Brown sugar adds a rich, caramel-like sweetness to the baked beans, perfectly balancing the savory flavors. You can use light or dark brown sugar, depending on your preference.
Apple Cider Vinegar: The apple cider vinegar adds a tangy, acidic element to the dish, enhancing the other flavors and balancing the sweetness.
Yellow Mustard: Yellow mustard adds a mild, tangy flavor that complements the other ingredients.
Garlic Powder: Garlic powder adds a subtle, savory depth of flavor to the baked beans.
Ground Black Pepper: A touch of ground black pepper adds a bit of warmth and slight spiciness to the dish.
- For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon and use 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil or butter to sauté the onion and green bell pepper. Use Bush’s Vegetarian Baked Beans instead of the Original.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of liquid smoke or smoked paprika to the ketchup mixture for an extra smoky touch.
- Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the ketchup mixture for a spicy kick.
- You can also try adding molasses or Worcestershire sauce for even more flavor.
How To Make Baked Beans In A Crock Pot
Prepare the bacon: Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crispy. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Crumble the bacon and set aside.
Sauté the vegetables: Remove all but 1 Tablespoon of bacon grease from the skillet and sauté the chopped onion and green bell pepper until softened and slightly caramelized.
Mix the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, garlic powder, and ground black pepper.
Assemble the dish: Pour the Bush’s Original Baked Beans into the Crockpot, then add the sautéed onion, green bell pepper, and ketchup mixture. Stir gently to combine all the ingredients.
Cook the beans: Cover the slow cooker and cook the baked beans on LOW, stirring occasionally. Add the cooked and crumbled bacon during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Adjust consistency: If you prefer a thicker sauce, remove the Crockpot lid and cook on LOW for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until the desired thickness is reached. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, and helpful tips, etc.
- Be sure to stir the baked beans occasionally during cooking to ensure even cooking and prevent the beans from sticking to the Crockpot.
- If you’re short on time, cook the beans on HIGH for 2 hours instead of LOW for 4 hours, but keep a close eye on them to avoid overcooking or drying out.
What Kind Of Beans Are Baked Beans?
Baked beans are traditionally made with navy beans, but you can also use other types of beans such as pinto beans or kidney beans.
What Can I Add To Canned Beans To Make Them Better?
Adding ingredients like bacon, onion, green bell pepper, ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, garlic powder, and ground black pepper can greatly enhance the flavor of canned beans.
What Thickens Baked Beans?
To thicken the sauce of baked beans, simply remove the lid of your Crockpot during the last 30 minutes to 1 hour of cooking. This allows some of the liquid to evaporate, resulting in a thicker, more concentrated sauce. Keep an eye on the beans during this time to ensure they don’t become too thick or dry.
How Do You Keep Slow Cooker Baked Beans Moist?
Stirring the beans occasionally during cooking and keeping an eye on them to prevent overcooking will help keep them moist. If it looks like they’re drying out, add in some boiling water.
Why Do You Put Vinegar In Baked Beans?
Vinegar, specifically apple cider vinegar in this recipe, is added to baked beans to provide a tangy and acidic element. The acidity of the vinegar helps to balance out the sweetness of the brown sugar and ketchup, creating a balanced blend of flavors.
What’s The Difference Between Baked Beans And Boston Baked Beans?
Boston baked beans are typically made with molasses, while this recipe uses brown sugar and ketchup for sweetness. Molasses gives Boston baked beans a darker, richer flavor compared to the lighter, tangier taste of this recipe.
Alternative Cooking Methods
Oven-Baked: If you prefer to make a baked bean casserole in the oven, simply combine all the ingredients in a large baking dish and bake, covered, at 350°F for 1 hour. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached.
Stovetop: Combine all the ingredients in a large pot or Dutch oven, cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour, or until the beans are heated through and the sauce has thickened.
Storing And Reheating Leftovers
Store any leftover baked beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply microwave the beans in a microwave-safe dish or warm them in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally until heated through.
Can You Freeze Pork And Beans?
Yes, you can freeze baked beans in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat as directed above.
Keep In Touch
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
Summer Side Dish Recipes
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our other side dishes. Some reader favorites that are perfect for BBQs, potlucks, and picnics are:
- Baked Beans with Ground Beef
- Jiffy Cornbread with Creamed Corn
- Rotini Pasta Salad
- How to Make Jiffy Cornbread More Moist
- Seasoned Rice
- Velveeta Mac and Cheese
- 2 cans (28 ounces each) Bush's Original Baked Beans
- 1 pound bacon
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet, allow it to cool, and then crumble it into small pieces. Set aside.
- Remove all but 1 Tablespoon of bacon grease from the skillet. Add the chopped onion and green bell pepper to the skillet and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are softened and slightly caramelized, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, garlic powder, and ground black pepper. Stir until well mixed and set aside.
- Open the cans of Bush's Original Baked Beans and pour them into the Crockpot then add sautéed onion, green bell pepper, and the ketchup mixture to the Crockpot. Stir gently to combine all the ingredients.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook the baked beans on LOW for 4 hours, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, remove the lid, add the cooked and crumbled bacon to the slow cooker, and stir to combine.
- After 4 hours, check the consistency of the baked beans. If you prefer a thicker sauce, remove the crockpot lid and cook on LOW for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until the desired thickness is reached. The ones in the photos were cooked with the lid off for 30 minutes, and that’s how I typically cook mine.
Serving and Storage Notes:
Serve the baked beans warm, alongside your favorite barbecue dishes or as a hearty side for dinner. Store any leftover baked beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply microwave the beans in a microwave-safe dish or warm them in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally until heated through.
Ingredient and Method Tips:
- You can use any flavor of Bush's Baked Beans to suit your taste preferences.
- If you prefer a vegetarian version, simply omit the bacon and use 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil or butter to sauté the onion and green bell pepper. You’ll also need to use Bush’s Vegetarian Baked Beans.
- For an extra smoky flavor, consider adding 1/4 teaspoon of liquid smoke or some smoked paprika to the ketchup mixture.
- If you're short on time, you can cook the baked beans on HIGH for 2 hours instead of LOW for 4 hours, but be sure to keep an eye on them to prevent overcooking or drying out.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 458Total Fat: 17.9gCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 6.7gSugar: 25.6gProtein: 25.7g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
I hope you and your family enjoy this delicious and easy Crockpot Baked Beans recipe. It’s perfect for any gathering, big or small, and is sure to become a favorite in your household.