Smoky Slow Cooker Baked Beans – This Healthy Kitchen

Healthy baked beans recipe slow cooker

These homemade baked beans are slowly cooked to absorb all the delicious smoky and tasty sauce, loaded with so much flavor that you won’t miss the meat. Easy to make, even easier to eat.

beans cooked in sauce spilling over the side of the purple bowl This recipe was originally published in August 2018. Updated for content and photos.

Baked beans, despite their name, don’t always need to be baked. In fact, you’ll love making them in a clay pot. It is truly a hassle-free way to get delicious results with very little effort.

Do I dare say, even better, creamier results than the traditional oven method?

Yes, I’m just going to say it.

These slow cooker baked beans are the BEST baked

beans I’ve ever had, vegan or otherwise


spoon picking up a bite of baked beans from the purple bowl

The slow cooking process really gives the beans a chance to absorb all the delicious flavor and take this dish to the next level


In addition, this dish can be prepared in minutes. The only hard part is waiting for the magic to happen.

If you didn’t plan ahead or don’t have time to wait, try my instant baked beans instead.

Where is the meat?

I promise you won’t miss the meat in these vegetarian baked beans. The salty and smoky flavor you are looking for is very prominent here with the help of smoked paprika and other spices.

In fact, if you don’t tell anyone, they probably won’t even realize that this dish is not only vegetarian, but also vegan.

How to Make

Baked Beans in Slow Cooker

(This is a summary with step-by-step photos, complete recipe measurements, and instructions found on the recipe card below.) First of

all, soaking your beans overnight for 10-12 hours or up to 24 hours is fine. If you forgot to soak them, see my quick soaking method in the notes below.

Drain and rinse the beans and add them to your slow cooker, along with your finely chopped onion and garlic, and all remaining ingredients. (photo 1)

Mix everything to combine, and be sure to mix very well. Everything will look watery before you cook them, but that’s perfectly fine. (photo 2)

raw dried beans, seasonings, tomato paste and mustard inside the slow cooker

Secure the lid and simmer for 6-8 hours, or over high heat for 4-5 hours. Remove the lid and give them a good mixture before serving. (photo 3)

baked beans cooked in slow cooker with wooden spoon lifting a bite

EXPERT TIP: Remember that slow cookers vary greatly in strength, so keep an eye on your beans toward the end of cooking. Add more broth or water if needed, and cook until smooth and creamy. Adjust the seasoning to your preferences and enjoy.

With very little preparation, no precooking or sautéing, this easy baked bean recipe will quickly become your choice! Just throw everything away, sit down and let the magic happen.

Can I bake them?

Yes of course!

If you want to bake them in the oven, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Add all the ingredients to an oven-safe dish and stir all together, make sure it’s well combined. Then bake for about 2 hours, until thickened and the sauce is mostly absorbed.

Check them after an hour or so, give them a mixture and add more liquid, if necessary.

Tips for Making the Best Beans Baked in Slow Cooker

  • Soak the beans before cooking. Ideally, soaking overnight for 10-12 hours is best. I’ve even gotten soaked up to 24 hours before. The longer they are soaked, the softer they will be and the faster they will cook. See my quick soaking method in the notes below if you forgot to soak them.
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to your soaking water to help soften the beans further. In addition, it has also been said that this helps eliminate beans from their gaseous effects.
  • Chop the onion and garlic very finely. The smaller the pieces, the better distribution you will have, making each grain full of flavor.
  • Do not open the lid of your slow cooker for at least 2 hours. I know it will be tempting, but resist. You want to keep warm there. So make sure you give everything a good stir before you start cooking them.
  • These clay pot baked beans are simmered and simmered for 6-8 hours. Then, towards the end of cooking (around the 6-hour mark), stir very well and taste for seasoning. Add more salt, paprika, or maple syrup to adjust the flavor to your preference. Just be sure to wait until the end of cooking once the beans have had a chance to absorb the sauce and seasoning.
  • Slow cookers vary greatly. Keep an eye on your beans towards the end of cooking and if they start drying out before they’re soft enough, add more broth or water to the pot. Then mix well and continue cooking. Don’t overdo it. Simply add 1/4-1/2 cup at a time as needed. Beans are made when they are soft and creamy and the sauce is very thick.
  • Change the clay pot to the keep warm setting once done and leave them up to 2 hours before serving.

two purple bowls filled with beans in BBQ sauce

  • Variations Add a finely chopped jalapeño with its seeds to make the beans spicy. Or add extra cayenne, or a few splashes of your favorite hot sauce.
  • Do you like your extra sweet beans? Add some unrefined coconut sugar or brown sugar to the mixture.
  • Raise maple syrup with molasses if you prefer its unique rich flavor.
  • Use another variety of dried beans. I like the creamy texture of white white beans, but if you want a bigger, more abundant variety, try white beans. Do not use red beans, as they are not recommended for slow cooking due to the possible release of toxins.

spoon picking up a bite of baked beans from a purple bowl

Can I prepare in advance?

Yes, absolutely. You can chop the onion and garlic, and combine all the ingredients together, and keep them refrigerated up to 8 hours before cooking in your slow cooker.

How long do they keep?

Since there is no meat in this dish, your leftovers will stay refrigerated for up to 5 days, if you can manage not to eat them before that.

Store them in a

sealed container in your refrigerator and reheat them in a pan on the stove.

Can baked beans be frozen?

Yes and beautifully! They can be kept frozen for up to 2 months.

To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator and heat in a skillet over medium-low heat on the stove.


to pair with these

baked beans are truly an amazing dish to pair with breakfast, brunch, and even dinner recipes.

Some of my favorite pairings include:

  • The Easiest Vegan Pancakes of All
  • Time Allergen Friendly Frittata Egg-free Muffins
  • Mushroom risotto burger
  • Easy

  • vegan
  • cornbread

  • Salad

Mexican corn If you tried this recipe, please let me know in the comments below. I always love hearing from you! Don’t forget to subscribe to this healthy kitchen to be among the first to get my new recipes! You can also FOLLOW me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to see more delicious food and get the latest updates.

Buon appetito, Pink Culinary specialist with more than 10 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

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