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crock pot baked beans in a white crock

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

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  • Author: Emily Dixon, One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: about 5 cups 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Our family’s FAVORITE baked beans recipe, made easy in the slow cooker! You’ll want to serve this crowd-pleasing side dish at summer cookouts, barbecues, and picnics all summer long. We almost always double it for a big batch to serve a large crowd since everyone wants seconds!


  • 8 oz. bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large onion, grated or diced
  • 1 (14.5oz) can butter beans, drained and rinsed*
  • 1 (14.5oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5oz) can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 2/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar**
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (gluten-free, as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 cup water (or more, to taste)
  • salt, as needed (to taste)


  1. Crisp The Bacon. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy and golden brown. Add the cooked bacon to the crock of your slow cooker and reserve at least 2-3 Tablespoons of the bacon fat in the skillet. (Feel free to keep all the bacon fat for the richest flavor, or you can discard it/reserve the remaining bacon fat for another use.)
  2. Soften The Onion. Add onion to the skillet with the bacon fat and cook over medium heat 4-5 minutes, or until the onion is softening and partly translucent. Stir regularly to scrape up as many browned bits from the pan as you can.
  3. Mix Up The Beans. Add the softened onion & the bacon fat to the slow cooker along with the butter beans, kidney beans, and Great Northern beans. Add brown sugar, ketchup, barbecue sauce, molasses, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper. Pour in the water and stir until the mixture is uniform and well blended. (This helps you avoid scorching.) Cover with slow cooker lid. 
  4. Cook the beans 3-4 hours on HIGH or 7-8 hours on LOW.
  5. Taste & Adjust. Before serving, taste the beans and adjust the seasoning as desired, adding more brown sugar, mustard, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, or salt, as needed.
  6. Serve & Store. Enjoy the beans warm. Chill leftovers and store in the fridge in an airtight container 3-4 days.


  • *Butter beans are large white lima beans. They have a gorgeous neutral flavor and creamy texture that’s lovely, but they’re not always the easiest to find. If your grocery store doesn’t carry them, feel free to swap in more Great Northern beans, navy beans, or cannellini beans (white kidney beans).
  • **Adding a bit of extra acid to a recipe brings out the brightness in the other flavors and keeps them from tasting flat. If your barbecue sauce is pretty vinegary, feel free to leave this out. If your beans taste a little flat at the end, add a little extra!
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American