Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans Recipe

Ever wonder why Boston is often called Beantown and those sweet, tangy beans are called Boston baked beans? It's not all that happy of a story, as it happens. According to Trip Savvy, it all dates back to the days of the slave trade. Sugarcane harvested in the Caribbean was sent in large volume up to Boston where much of it was used to make rum, which was then itself traded to West Africa. A secondary product created from all that sugarcane was molasses, and when used to flavor (and help preserve) beans, a delicious foodstuff was produced.

From a grim time in history, then, comes a foodstuff we know and love today. A meager silver lining, to be sure, but we can still go ahead and enjoy the great taste of Boston baked beans today, a taste all the richer when you create it yourself, slow and steady, using your slow cooker.

Chef, recipe developer, and registered dietician Kristen Carli says: "I love these beans served with baked potatoes. They are also great on the side of burgers, hot dogs, coleslaw, or any typical BBQ food." They will also be a welcome part of an English breakfast served with sausages and sauerkraut or eaten on their own as a protein- and fiber-filled snack.

Gather your ingredients for these slow cooker Boston baked beans

Sure, it's easier to just pop open a can of baked beans and serve those, but it's tastier and more rewarding to make them yourself. Plus, it's pretty easy. Also, the house will smell amazing during the cooking process.

What you'll need for your own batch of slow cooker Boston baked beans is multiple slices of raw bacon, cubed, diced yellow onion, brown sugar, yellow mustard, minced garlic, liquid smoke, molasses (of course), maple syrup (can be omitted, just add more molasses), ketchup, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper, and a pound of dried navy beans.

Prep the bacon, onion, and sauce

Start off by chopping the bacon into smaller bite-sized pieces and dicing the onion down small — no need to mince it, but you want the onion pieces small enough that they'll mix in well with all the other ingredients. Now, in a smaller (four-quart) slow cooker, add the cubed bacon and diced onion and set the temperature to high.

Next, in a small bowl, add the brown sugar, yellow mustard, garlic, liquid smoke, molasses, maple syrup, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine all of these ingredients together well.

Add the beans and sauce and get (slow) cooking

Now it's time to add the dried beans to your slow cooker. Place them right on top of the bacon and onions, and then top everything with the sauce you just stirred up. Next, add six cups of water to the slow cooker, then place the lid on top.

Let your beans and sauce and bacon and all cook on high for six hours, stirring well two or three times during the slow cooking process, but for the most part, leave the slow cooker alone. When the time is up, serve and enjoy your beans.

"These are best stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days," Carli advises, adding: "To reheat the beans, I'd recommend microwaving or heating on the stove top."

The health benefits of navy beans

Also known as haricot beans and sometimes simply called white beans, navy beans are often overlooked as the nutritional powerhouses they are. According to Healthline, a cup of cooked navy beans delivers an impressive 15 grams of protein, a solid 19 grams of fiber, and 64% of your daily dose of folate.

A one-cup serving of navy beans also gets you about a quarter of your daily needed magnesium and iron and about half your needed manganese. These beans may also help with blood sugar and blood pressure regulation as well as helping to increase HDL, also known as healthy cholesterol.

Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans Recipe
5 from 10 ratings
Kristen Carli says: "I love these beans served with baked potatoes. They are also great on the side of burgers, hot dogs, coleslaw, or any typical BBQ food."
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
6
hours
Servings
8
servings
Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans in a bowl
Total time: 6.08 hours
Ingredients
  • 8 slices bacon, cubed
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 6 tablespoons molasses
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound dried navy beans
  • 6 cups water
Directions
  1. In a small 4-quart slow cooker, add cubed bacon and diced onion.
  2. In a small bowl, add brown sugar, yellow mustard, garlic, liquid smoke, molasses, maple syrup, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.
  3. Add dried beans to slow cooker, then top with sauce.
  4. Add 6 cups of water to slow cooker, then place lid on top.
  5. Cook on high for 6 hours.
  6. Serve and enjoy.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 429
Total Fat 12.4 g
Saturated Fat 4.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 19.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 64.8 g
Dietary Fiber 8.9 g
Total Sugars 30.7 g
Sodium 422.2 mg
Protein 16.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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