Baked beans are a simple side dish everyone loves. These Easy-Prep Slow Cooker Baked Beans are a chinch to make at home, contain no refined sugar, and require minimal prep time. They are perfect for potlucks, barbecues, or make an easy side dish any night of the week.
Our summer so far has been a whirlwind of activity. During the months of June, July and August I feel like we pack an entire year's worth of trips and social activities into three short months. Maybe it's because I live in the Pacific Northwest where the winters are long and dark, and there seems to be a undeniable need to get out there and have fun while the sun is shining. Part of our packed social calendar this summer has included attending barbecues and potlucks with friends. I usually volunteer to bring a dish, and I try to bring one that is both healthy, satisfying to guests, and kid-friendly. Sure, I want to make something healthy but I also don't want to sacrifice taste.
These Easy-Prep Slow Cooker Baked Beans are on my short list of what to bring to parties when I'm looking for something healthy that everyone will love. Over the years I've simplified the prep process so all that's required is to throw a few ingredients into a slow cooker, give it a stir, and walk away. And if you're taking the dish on the road, you can even transport the Baked Beans in the slow cooker so they can be served warm at your destination. Of course, there's no need to save this recipe for just for special occasions. These Baked Beans make the perfect, simple side to any meal.
I recently brought these Easy-Prep Baked Beans to a barbecue at a friend's where there were many kids in attendance, the ultimate test for a recipe. I was thrilled when the beans quickly disappeared, and even more excited when the parents of twin toddlers came back to the buffet to serve the boys seconds. I sent those parents home with the leftovers (I'm guessing they need all the help they can get at the moment), and I hope this recipe is easy enough they (and you!) can recreate it at home. I use onion powder to make prep easy (no chopping required), which you can find in the jarred or bulk spice section of your grocery store. As written these Baked Beans are naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar free, and vegetarian.
Kid-friendly notes. This recipe is very kid-friendly, but here are some options for adapting the recipe for resistant eaters:
- If your child prefers a certain type of beans (chickpeas or white beans for example) feel free to use those in this recipe.
- Taste the smoked paprika before adding it to the recipe. Some can be on the spicy side, so omit it if yours is spicy and you have a child sensitive to heat.
Now, on to the recipe!
Easy-Prep Slow Cooker Baked Beans (Refined Sugar-Free)
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoon molasses
4 15-oz cans beans, rinsed and drained (white beans, pinto beans, and garbanzo beans work well, or try a mix)
1. Combine the tomato sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, honey, and molasses into the bottom of a slow cooker. Whisk until well combined.
2. Add the rinsed beans to the tomato mixture, stirring to combine.
3. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6. If you want thicker beans cook a little longer. If the beans are too thick at the end of the cooking time add a little water to thin it out. Serve warm.
Serves 8 as a side.
Notes: I used a 3-Quart Slow Cooker for this recipe.
Making this recipe? Let me know what you think and any adaptations you make in the comments. I really love hearing from you!
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