The Best Baked Bean Recipe
In a Slow Cooker/Crock pot!
I have made this baked bean recipe several times over the past few weeks of summer and every single time it has received rave reviews. It’s a step above ordinary baked beans with the smokey goodness of smoked sausage and chipotle pepper spice. You could actually enjoy this as a main course (remember beanie weenies?).
Add to that that during the sweltering summer months, you make them in a fix-them-and-forget-about them crock pot which requires NO heating up of stove or oven.
I realize the above pictures are not actually in a crock pot, but man, have you ever tried to take a pretty picture of food in the crock pot? It just isn’t happening!
After all, don’t most cook-outs/picnics occur during the warm summer? We have had multiple 100º days here and if I don’t have to turn that oven on, I am HAPPY!
We have covered the garden with 50/50 shade fabric and some of the veggies not under it are trying to get crispy and curl up and die, but we are having great success with kale, onions, peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. Zucchini….I’ll save that for another post but needless to say…I’m TICKED!
This recipe makes enough to feed 10-15 people so you could half it or even make it and freeze half of it for another day. It freezes incredibly well! So, on to the recipe!
Mr. Wonderful bought me this cool contraption recently and I ADORE it. You turn the control dial to one side and it becomes a stove top, meaning you can saute or stir-fry your garlic, onion, pre-brown meat or whatever else you might want to sizzle. Then you turn it to the other side and it becomes a slow-cooker. It’s genius I tell ya.
By the way, if you don’t have a Ninja cooking system, just saute away in a pan on the stove and then transfer to the crock pot!
To begin, chop up one large onion and four cloves of garlic.
Let’s just stop and celebrate the abundance of fresh sweet onions coming out of our garden for a minute…
It’s a glorious thing.
Saute one whole onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for about 3-4 minutes or until the onion is cooked to the translucent state.
Add in the chopped four cloves of garlic. Stir that around for about a minute, then add in all the chopped smoked sausage and continue to cook and stir for another 3-4 minutes or until the sausage is browned.
I love this sausage in this recipe.
There is just something about that is just a cut above the others I’ve tried.
Once the sausage has browned, add in the remaining ingredients, stir well and then cover your crock pot, set it to High and let it go for 4 hours. Don’t stir it, or mess with it at all from this point on or you’ll mess up the gooey top from occurring!
And that’s it.
These beans are everything you want in a side dish for a barbecue. They are smokey and a tiny bit spicy from the sausage and chipotle chile pepper, sweet from the maple syrup and brown sugar along with a bit of tang from the vinegar which rounds it all out perfectly!
Don’t forget they freeze beautifully! Go ahead and make the large batch and save from for another night!
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 pound smoked sausage, chopped fine (I Prefer Homes Original Pecan Smoked)
- Three 28-ounce cans pork and beans (I love Bush's Hickory)
- 1 c. cup ketchup
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup light-brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar
- 2 t. chipotle pepper (less if you don't like spicy)
- 1 T. dry mustard
- ½ t. salt
- Heat the oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat.
- Once it's hot, toss in the onion and after 3-4 minutes add the garlic for another minute.
- Chop the smoked sausage into fine pieces and cook until the meat has browned, about 4 minutes more.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
- Set crock pot to high and cook 4 hours. Different crock pots will vary - what you're looking for is a thickened syrupy look on top and a lot of the moisture to have cooked down so beans have thickened up.