Baked beans are a lovely treat to have as a side dish or even as a main meal. It does take time to make, mostly overnight soaking and then letting the crockpot stew the beans over many hours. Be sure to start this in the morning for eating at evening! Also this recipe can be halved if your crockpot is smaller or you don’t want so many beans, the choice is yours.
Prep Time: Overnight soaking plus 30 minutes day-of cooking
Cooking Time: 6 to 8 hours
- 2 lb navy beans
- 1/2 lb bacon, cut in 2 inch pieces
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 cup ketchup, no-sugar added
- 2 tsp. mustard powder
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
- 6 cups boiling water, plus more as necessary
- (Optional) 1 diced bell pepepr
- (Optional) Cornstarch, if you want a thicker consistency at the end
- Cutting board
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Small bowl x 1
- Chopping knife
- Stirring spoon
- Stove-top pot to parboil beans in
- Strainer for the beans after parboiling
- Soak the beans the night before. Rinse the beans and place them in cool water and allow to sit on the counter overnight. Make sure to have a couple inches of water above the beans to account for swelling. Next put the beans and water into a stovepot. With medium high heat, bring the beans to boiling, then remove from heat and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Strain the beans and transfer to the crockpot. Heat the bean water back to boiling (if it gets cool) to add to the crockpot in a later step. If you tossed it down the sink, just bring 10 cups of water to boiling.
- While the beans are soaking, chop the bacon into 2-inch pieces, dice the onion, and then add both to the crockpot. If adding bell peppers, chop and add to the crockpot too. In a small bowl add the ketchup, mustard powder, molasses, maple syrup, black pepper; and the soy OR Worcestershire sauce. Mix to blend all the liquids together.
- Stir the beans, bacon, and onion to mix it together. Next add the sauce and mix until evenly coated on the beans. Add boiling water, such as from when you parboiled the beans. The amount of water will vary with the appliance; we started with 6 cups and then had to add more as the beans cooked. The important aspect is to have the beans covered with water, but just enough.
- Heat the crockpot on high for one hour, then turn to low to cook for 6 to 8 hours. Keep an eye on the water and add more if necessary. If you think the liquid is too runny at the end, let it cool a little bit before serving and see how well it will thicken up. If it’s still too runny add 1 Tbsp. corn starch at a time and stir well.