Crock Pot Baked Beans (No-Soak!)

A couple months ago I refused to follow the typical recipe instructions of soaking dried beans overnight and successfully made delicious pinto beans in my crock pot. This week I decided to use the same principle. I rebelled against the overnight soaking directions and made baked beans in the crock pot. I actually had never made baked beans (the ones in the can seemed to do the trick until now!) and I wanted to make them from scratch for a cookout.



I learned a few things through this process:

1) Truly, you do not have to soak dried beans overnight if you are cooking them in the crock pot.

2) You really do have to put bacon in baked beans for them to taste right. I think I have only purchased bacon twice in my entire life.

3) There’s a lot of sugar in baked beans and if you attempt to eliminate those sugary ingredients, they don’t taste right.

4) You will seriously waste your time if you soak your beans overnight (see lesson #1). I tried them both ways and the cooking time was, surprisingly, the same.

Aside from not needing to soak the beans, I was most amazed at how much cheaper it was to make my own batch of baked beans than to buy cans of them. This is especially true for feeding a large crowd (which we were).

We had some leftover and a quick Google search led me to the realization that you can actually freeze baked beans in Ziplock bags! So, if you have some leftover, feel free to freeze them.


The final product was soft (but not mushy) beans, covered with a thick, sweet, smokey sauce. We were really pleased with the results and I would definitely make them again!

This recipe is perfect for the upcoming holiday and cookouts!

Crock Pot Baked Beans


  • 1 lb bag white navy beans
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup or molasses
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup bbq sauce
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 1/2 cups of hot water (may need to add more depending on your crock pot)

1) Spray your crockpot with cooking spray for easy clean up later. In a medium bowl, combine molasses, brown sugar, ketchup, bbq sauce, dijon mustard, cloves, and hot water. Whisk to combine.

2) Place beans at the bottom of your crock pot. Add the chopped onions and bacon. Pour the sauce mixture on top and stir to combine.

3) Cook on HIGH for 8 hours. Check on them after about 3 or 4 hours to see if you need to add water. You don’t want them to burn!

Servings: 18 1/2 cup servings.

Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 148 Carbs: 29g Fat: 1g Protein: 6g Sugar: 15g Fiber: 6g

WW PointsPlus: 3 Old points: 2

Recipe adapted from:



21 thoughts on “Crock Pot Baked Beans (No-Soak!)

  1. Hi there! Found your recipe doing a web search and would love to try them… today! Just wondering… you really cook on HIGH for 8 hours? I know you specify to check after 3-4 hours… so maybe that’s why. I’ve never seen something cooked in the slow cooker on HIGH for that long before and I want to make these for a baby shower, so I really don’t want them to flop! Thanks! Julie

    • Hi Julie! Yes, I really let them cook all day on high! Because you don’t have to soak the beans ahead of time, they take longer to cook and become soft. I would definitely check on them 3-4 hours in to make sure the water isn’t evaporating too quickly. That’s really the only way they could flop. I’m so glad you found the recipe and I hope you enjoy it — these baked beans have been a huge hit with everyone I’ve served them to! Let me know of you have any more questions!

      • I have made these 3 times now, exactly how you made them, and they are perfect! This is my new slow cooker recipe! I’ve never run out of liquid but I check every time, just in case. BEST BEAN RECIPE! Thank you!

      • Julie I am sooo glad to hear you loved these as much as I did!! It’s a great feeling having a perfect baked beans recipe in your pocket when you need it! Thank so much for your comment!

  2. I’m wondering what I did wrong. I made these tonight and they did NOT get soft after about 9 hours on high in the crockpot. The flavor was good but the beans were still slightly crunchy. Any ideas? I was really disappointed as I made them for guests….had to quick come up with a substitution last minute!

    • Oh no! I am so sorry to hear that! You must have been so disappointed. That’s never happened to me before, and as you can see other readers have not had that issue either…honestly the only thing I can think of is that perhaps your crock pot does not get hot enough. I’m not sure how old it is but some older models heat differently. Mine always cooks things during the recommended time, often less. Again, I am very sorry they didn’t turn out perfectly for you!

    • I have one of the first crockpot/slow cookers ever sold. Very basic. One knob with 3 settings-off, low, hi. I’ve never had a problem cooking beans. My suggestion is to always check the sell by/use by date on any dry beans you purchase. The older the bean the longer it takes to cook. Just because you’re past the date on the bag doesn’t mean the beans aren’t good. Only means you’ll need to add 1-2 hours to cooking time. If you use molasses make sure it’s unsulphured.

    • I unfortunately had the same problem. I’ve made this recipe twice, and the same thing has happened. It is definitely NOT my slow cooker, as usually it cooks things faster than the recipe calls for. There was nothing wrong with the beans, they were brand new from store and not even close to expiring. And add water?? It was so watery, it was like soup. I followed the directions exactly, will definitely not try this again. Sorry. Glad it turned out better for everyone else. Maybe you all like your beans a lot more “al dente” than I’m used to.

      • 3 most common things that effect bean cooking time are:
        1-age of beans. Older beans need additional 1-2 hrs cook time.
        2-hard water. Minerals in hard water toughen skin of beans and will add 1-2 hrs to cook time. Solutions to reduce cook time are use distilled water to cook beans or pre-soak beans in salt water (3 tablespoons salt/gal of water).
        3-acid. Any acid (cider vinegar, ketchup, BBQ sauce, tomatoes) will toughen skin of bean and can add to cook time. Solution is to cook beans 1-2 hrs before adding any ingredient containing acid. The only exception I’ve found is lentil beans. They have tendency to break down and get mushy. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar at start of cooking and they’ll keep their shape.
        Hope this helps. BTW I’ve cooked beans 100% in crockpot for last 10 yrs. Taste so much better than stovetop.

  3. Thanks Audrey….yes, I was disappointed but puzzled as much as anything. My crockpot is a bit older but usually, like you, I have to reduce the time on things, so I don’t think that was the problem. It was boiling most of the time.
    We have somewhat hard water and I’m wondering if that would have anything to do with it. It’s really weird though because I often cook beans on the stove using this water…..
    Might try it again but either soaking the beans or allowing several more hours for the cooking. Because like I said, the flavor was good, just the beans were not soft.

    • I’m truly stumped as well. I’m glad you liked the flavor, though! I think your plan for next time is perfect…I’m sure soaking the beans would do the trick, it just requires a little bit of planning (which is why I was so excited to eliminate that extra step!). Let me know how it goes. Good luck!!

  4. After replying to a few readers who’ve had problems with beans not getting soft, I realized I haven’t reviewed the recipe. It’s actually very good. It’s my go to recipe when I’m requested to bring those “dang good beans” to a gathering of friends and family. I’ve made 2 minor changes. In place of 6 slices of bacon I use an equivalent amount of smoked hog jowl. I dice it and slightly brown it in a cast iron skillet. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to crockpot. Put onions in skillet and sweat for 2 minutes. Use slotted spoon to transfer to crockpot. Instead of Dijon mustard I substitute Creole mustard. Making 2 gallons for big Valentine Day party this weekend.

  5. Making this recipe again! I love how changing the BBQ sauce changes the beans, so it doesn’t have to be the same everytime! Currently using Guy Fieri Bourbon and Molasses. So good in this recipe! I will admit that one time, my beans were a bit hard, which had never happened before. I only buy quality beans for this recipe. Last time, I used boiling water in place of some of the hot water. These are always a hit, and the recipe was requested. Can’t wait to enjoy these again tomorrow! Thanks for this recipe!

  6. I know you dont soak overnight, but do you still have to simmer them for an hour or so to soften them before putting in crock pot to cook.

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