If you are looking for something healthy and filling on a budget, then give these Slow Cooker Baked Beans a try! Forget the tins of beans - make these lower in sugar and salt homemade baked beans that the whole family will love. Not only are baked beans comforting, but that are a fantastic vegetarian protein source and super cheap to make.
You really can't beat homemade baked beans. We have taken a classic British breakfast and cooked it in a slow cooker (crockpot), so you can wake up on a cold morning with this comforting breakfast ready to eat.
Eat them by themselves on toast, with eggs and bacon (baked beans with bacon is next level) or have them for lunch on a baked potato.
Why you will love them
- Can be cooked overnight - You can put these in the slow cooker before you go to bed and they are ready in the morning for breakfast.
- Low in sugar and salt - Canned baked beans are high in sugar and salt. These homemade baked beans are a much lower version.
- An easy way to cook beans - This is an easy baked beans recipe. Just dump it all in and leave.
- A healthier kids favourite - Kids love these as they go with all their favourite foods.
- Freezable - Make a big batch of these and then freeze them in smaller portions.
- Protein packed - Beans are a great source of plant based protein.
- Dried cannellini beans - Ever wondered what kind of beans are baked beans? They are cannellini beans. These are the best beans to use for baked beans, as they are nice and creamy.
- Garlic granules, onion powder, mustard powder and paprika - these create the lovely flavour and can be adapted to suit your own tastes.
- Passata - For that lovely rich sauce.
- Vegetable stock - Try to use a really good quality one, as you will be able to taste the difference. If making these baked beans in a slow cooker for young children, then use low salt stock.
- Maple syrup or honey - You can leave this out, but it's nice to have a touch of sweetness in the baked beans that would get with canned baked beans.
- Apple cider vinegar - This is more than to add flavour. Vinegar enhances the other flavours.
- Tomato puree - Also known as tomato paste. Used to thicken the sauce and give the baked bean recipe a really boost of tomato flavour.
- Sea salt and black pepper - Generously season.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make baked beans - Step by step
One: To make baked beans from scratch, put all of the ingredients in to a large slow cooker and mix well.
Two: Cook on low for 6-8 hours, so most of the liquid is absorbed. The beans should be creamy and tender.
Why use the slow cooker?
Why use the slow cooker to make homemade baked beans when you could cook them on the hob? Well, apart from not having to stand over the hob, the slow cooker makes much creamier baked beans, and it's an easy way to cook dried beans as they are done low and slow.
Baked beans are best when cooked over a longer time as it really softens the beans and allows the flavours to really come together. You end up with a really rich and delicious sauce.
They won't taste exactly like the beans you get out of a tin, but that's not a bad thing. Making them yourself means you get to control exactly what goes in them, so these have a hint of smokiness from the paprika in them and not loads of salt and sugar. These slow cooker baked beans have so much more flavour than canned beans.
How to use homemade baked beans
Beans on toast is such a classic, but there is so much more that you can do with baked beans. Add them to stews, pies and bolognese or put them on top of a baked potato with some cheese. They make a really delicious and cheap nacho topping too, especially when you add some Mexican spices to them.
We love them in a Shepherd's Pie as a way to bulk it out and make it go further. You can also put them in a puff pastry parcel to make a comforting pasty. Follow our Cheese and Onion Pasty recipe, but use beans instead.
The great thing about homemade baked beans is you can change the flavours around. Personally, we LOVE BBQ beans. Add some BBQ spices or homemade BBQ sauce. Want curry beans? Add some curry powder. Play around with the recipe and see what you like. Make them spicy by adding a splash of buffalo sauce, or your favourite chilli sauce.
Oh, and a little grated mature cheddar cheese goes a long way on these, but if you leave it out then these are vegan.
Want to make them more indulgent? Just fry up some chopped bacon and add it to the slow cooker with all the other ingredients. You could use turkey bacon to make it lighter.
Baked beans are a great source of protein and fibre and if you make them yourself, then you can make sure they aren't loaded with salt and sugar like the tinned ones can be. Beans are also a good source of vitamin B and folic acid.
You sure can, and they make a great batch cook dish. Just allow them to fully cool and then freeze them flat in zip lock bags. You can also keep them in the fridge for 4-5 days in an air-tight container.
To reheat them, just make sure they are fully defrosted and then gently heat them in a pan.
We used cannellini beans to make this recipe, but you could use a mixture of cannellini, haricot and chickpeas. To keep this recipe budget friendly, we used dried beans, but you could use canned (rinse them first) and just reduce the cooking time.
These might look a bit liquidy once finished cooking, however they will thicken up as they cool. If you want them even thicker, then you can cook them for 30 minutes extra with the lid off and this will help some of the liquid to evaporate.
• Use a mixture of dried beans like cannellini, haricot and chickpeas.
• Make flavoured crockpot baked beans by adding BBQ sauce or curry powder.
• Use these baked beans to fill out bolognese or shepherd's pie or on top of toast or baked potatoes.
• Make these baked beans more indulgent by adding some cooked chopped bacon with all the rest of the ingredients.
• If you are using dried beans, make sure they are soaked overnight.
More slow cooker recipes
Slow Cooker Baked Beans
- 200 g Dried cannellini (haricot) beans, - soaked overnight and drained
- 1 tablespoon Onion powder
- 1 tablespoon Garlic granules
- 500 g Passata
- 500 ml Vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoon Maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon Tomato puree
- 2 teaspoon Mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
- 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
- Put all of the ingredients into a large slow cooker and mix well.
- Cook on high for 8 hours, until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Use a mixture of dried beans like cannellini, haricot and chickpeas.
- Make flavoured baked beans by adding BBQ sauce or curry powder.
- Use these baked beans to fill out bolognese or shepherd's pie or on top of toast or baked potatoes.
- Make these baked beans more indulgent by adding some cooked chopped bacon with all the rest of the ingredients.