Easy Crock Pot Baked Beans
This great recipe for crock pot baked beans is an easy side dish perfect for summer cookouts or family gatherings. It’s a delicious baked beans recipe with a variety of colorful beans and homemade barbecue sauce that simmers the perfect flavor in as it cooks.
It also has crispy bacon and browned ground beef – so it can be used as a main dish if you choose. In fact, some people call this “calico beans” and our kids used to love it served as a main dish with a slice of buttered bread on the side!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
On hot Summer days, I’m a big fan of using the slow cooker instead of turning on the oven and heating up the whole house. This classic recipe works perfect in the crock pot.
I have also made and assembled this recipe and then frozen it in a freezer bag to use later. It makes a perfect make ahead meal with just minutes of prep time.
Easy slow cooker baked beans makes a great addition to picnics, potlucks, and family meals. It’s a perfect side dish or a main – whatever you choose. And bonus -the leftovers are delicious the next day, too!
Ingredients for this slow cooker bean recipe
(Note that a printable recipe card is at the bottom of this post for your convenience.)
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 4 slices bacon, cut in thin strips – I prefer thick cut bacon for this recipe, but any kind of bacon will do. (Or if you want to eliminate the bacon all together, it’s still delicious.)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons yellow or dijon mustard
- 4 teaspoons vinegar
- salt to taste
- 1 can pork & beans with sauce – I used Bushs pork & beans, but use whichever kind you like best.
- 4 different cans of beans, drained and rinsed – I used red kidney beans, black beans, white beans, and lima beans. But feel free to mix together whatever beans you’d prefer. Some other varieties of beans include green beans, wax beens, navy beans, and butter beans.
Instructions for crockpot baked beans
- Place the ground beef and diced onion in a heavy skillet and cook until the hamburger is browned and the onions are transluscent. Drain off excess fat.
- Meanwhile, place the cut up bacon in a cold skillet, turn on to medium high heat, and simmer until the bacon is crispy – stirring frequently (about 10-15 minutes). Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set it on a paper towel to absorb the extra grease.
- Reserve a few tablespoons of crispy bacon bits for garnishing, and pour the rest of it in the crock pot. Add the cooked ground beef, all the canned beans (don’t forget to drain them all except the pork & beans), ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, and salt to the slow cooker.
- Use a large spoon to stir it all together until well combined.
- Place lid on the slow cooker and set on the low setting and cook for 4 hours, or on the high setting for 2 hours. (The beans should be simmering around the edges and heated through when they are done.)
Substitutions & Variations
- For a slightly different flavor, the bacon can be eliminated all together.
- Add some cayenne pepper for a hot and spicy flavor.
- This recipe can be made the classic way and baked covered in a preheated 300 degree oven for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
Other Side Dishes Perfect for BBQs
- Potato Salad with Egg
- Pasta Salad
- Greek Salad
- Tasty Summer Salad Recipes
- Today is the start of a 5 day Summer recipe series with my friend Shirley at Intelligent Domestications. She is sharing a yummy side dish salad recipe today. Go check it out and tell her I said hi!;)
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