Beans are a perfect slow cooker meal. These Slow Cooker Baked Beans are Boston style baked beans. Meaning that I used molasses, instead of our Canadian version which uses maple syrup. If you don't have molasses, use maple syrup, but please be sure to use only real maple syrup. Artificially flavoured pancake syrups will not work with this. (Or, to me, in any recipe). These beans will shine with either molasses or maple syrup, but will be slightly different with each.
If you have a ham bone left over from a feast, this is a great way to use it, or you can leave it out for a vegetarian bean dish. If you don't have a ham bone and want the pork, you can use bacon, or ham, finely chopped. But, these beans are just as delicious as a vegetarian meal.
Slow cookers are the best invention ever for people who want to cook from scratch, but don't have time. Coming home from work to a meal already made, and a house that smells like you cooked all day? Yes, please! I like to put the slow cooker to work every chance I can.
These slow cooker baked beans are a perfect meal just by themselves, and, they make a great side dish, too. They are potluck stars and kids love them. I've heard that if you add baking soda to your bean pot, the beans will be less gassy. I can't tell you for sure that it works, but I do it anyway. If you make this, maybe you'll know whether the baking soda trick works. If it doesn't, these beans are worth it.
Beans are a quality source of healthy, animal free protein and we should all pay more attention to them in our diet. I love that these slow cooked beans are an amazing dish to come home to., thanks to the slow cooker. Once you make these simple, delicious baked beans, you'll never eat them from a can again, if you ever did.
This recipe makes a lot of beans, so it's perfect for feeding a crowd, potlucks, or leftovers to reheat for lunches. You can also freeze them. And here's a great resource for bean cooking: How to Cook Beans
How to Make Slow Cooker Baked Beans
- 2 pounds navy beans, rinsed, picked through, and soaked in water in the fridge overnight
- 1 ham bone (optional) with bits of meat still on; even better
- 1 cup fancy molasses
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 3 tsp dry mustard
- 3 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 large onion diced
Put all ingredients into the slow cooker, add enough water just to cover and combine well.
Cook on low for 8 hours.
30 minutes before serving, remove the cover to allow the beans to thicken.
Remove and discard ham bone, if using.
Nutritional info indicated includes using a ham bone.
Soaking the beans simply decreases the cooking time, so if you don't soak yours, increase the cooking time by 1-2 hours.