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Baked Beans Recipe – Healthy & Homemade

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Goodbye canned beans.

Crock Pot Baked Beans

After trying this homemade baked beans recipe, it’s hard to imagine going back to canned. Bush’s is good and all, but it just doesn’t compare to the heightened flavor and superior texture of baked beans made from scratch. Since July is National Baked Bean Month, there’s never been a better time to learn how to make your own healthy baked beans. It’s much easier than you might think…

When I first started learning to cook, one of my favorite meals to make was a large sweet potato topped with Bush’s baked beans and melted cheddar cheese. I wasn’t even a vegetarian yet, but I’d eat this meal at least once a week. It was quick and simple, and I loved the revelation that I no longer needed to rely on someone else to always cook for me.

In middle school, feeling independent is of the upmost importance… I remember around the same time, my friends’ moms and mine would take us to the mall and sit on a bench while we shopped. We had to check back in every thirty minutes, but we felt super cool, shopping by ourselves. Other people in the mall were probably rolling their eyes at the 7th graders who strutted around the mall like they owned the place. But we didn’t notice or care. And then I’d come home and prepare my very own homemade dinner, feeling very grown up.

Never mind that said “homemade dinner” was as simple as popping a potato in the oven, opening a can of beans, and microwaving everything together. That’s beside the point Winking smile.

Vegetarian Baked Beans Recipe   Crockpot Baked Beans

I felt the same sense of accomplishment the first time I made this vegetarian baked beans recipe from scratch a few days ago. Never mind the fact that it’s as simple as throwing all the ingredients into a crockpot, putting on the lid, and waiting for it to cook.

That’s beside the point.

Crock Pot Baked Beans

Baked Beans Recipe

Print This Recipe 4.6/5
4.6/510

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb pinto or white beans, soaked overnight in water
  • 1 can “no salt added” tomato sauce (15oz)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free soy sauce (45g)
  • 1 3/4 cup water or vegetable broth (420g)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (30g)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (10g)
  • 1 tbsp molasses (blackstrap or regular) (15g)
  • 1/8 tsp pure stevia extract, or 4 tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
Yield: 3 to 3 1/2 cups

Instructions

Crockpot baked beans recipe: Drain and rinse the beans. Lightly grease a crockpot (mine is 4 quarts), then add all ingredients. Cover with the lid, and cook on high 7 hours or until beans are soft. Turning off the crockpot, but keeping the lid closed, let sit 1 hour. Serve immediately, or transfer to a container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. If reheating, add a little water (up to 1/2 cup for the entire recipe) and stir, then heat. Yields about 3 1/2 cups.

*View Baked Beans Nutrition Information*

Crock Pot Baked BeansBaked Beans

Question of the Day:

Do you remember the first thing you learned to cook?

Link of the Day: Homemade Larabars Recipes

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. My go to is normally the Bush’s Grilling Beans, but I love the idea of making your own with no added “stuff” in there! Brilliant.

  2. Oh my yum those look so good! I’m a huge fan of baked beans, but don’t eat them as often as I’d like because of the high sugar ontent.

    Thanks Katie!

  3. Chris says:

    Your timing is perfect! I’ve been wanting to control the salt consumption around here more and this is exactly what I need right now. And the guys can throw their nasty bacon in it after I pull out my share…so…another win-win!!

  4. The first thing that I ever learned to “cook” was cornbread. My mom taught my brother and I how to follow the instructions on the jiffy box, mix it up in a big bowl, and microwave ut until the bread was cooked. Then we would cut out big triangular slices and drizzle it with a mound of syrup. That was our breakfast on Saturday mornings when my parents were still asleep. Lol.

  5. Joyce says:

    Hi Katie,
    We love baked beans! Was wondering if you know if your recipe for the Baked Beans freeze well?
    Thanks for all your posts. When I see an e-mail from you, it’s always the first to get read!

    1. I’ve not tried freezing them… I do think it’d work, though.

    2. Alyssa B says:

      I bet they would freeze well. I learned how to cook dry beans here: http://www.budgetbytes.com/2010/12/how-to-kick-the-can-of-beans/
      and the author says she freezes them all the time.

      1. Trajayjay says:

        I have frozen them successfully, all you need to do is just thaw them in the microwave.

  6. Nessa says:

    This looks great! The first thing I made entirely by myself was a batch of honey cookies for the High Holidays. They were delicious 🙂

  7. Sandra says:

    thanks a lot Katie you just read my mind I wanted a baked beens recipe

  8. Toni says:

    These look really good. I’m planning to make them for a 4th of July party.
    I noticed that you lightly greased the crock pot first. I’ve been using slow cooker liners and love how easy the cleanup is. Give these a try sometime: http://www.reynoldskitchens.com/products/slow-cooker-liners/
    Thanks for the recipe!

  9. lisa says:

    I tried to make Kraft Mac and Cheese once when I was little. My mom was sick, and we were out of soup, so I thought that Mac and Cheese was the next go to! 😉 Lol. I added WAY too much butter–or cream cheese, I don’t recall–and when my mom sat down to taste it, her face was priceless. I could tell that it tasted horrible no matter how much she diluted the hard truth. Haha, it wasn’t a surprise when my concoction disappeared from the fridge and was rediscovered by my dog in our backyard.
    Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  10. Faith says:

    This is genius! My husband and I both love baked beans, but I hate buying the canned stuff. Can’t wait to try this!

  11. Lisa says:

    I still haven’t had baked beans before! They seem super simple to make though, I may need to try them out.

  12. Haley says:

    Just wondering, would not adding the soy sauce change the flavor too much? I have a very low tolerance to salt and 500mg is still quite a bit for me.

    1. Sorry, I really don’t know.

      1. Maria says:

        I use Braggs Liquid Aminos to replace soy sauce. It has about 1/3 the sodium of soy sauce and all the taste. The bottle says if you need to further limit your sodium intake you can dilute with water.

        1. Monika says:

          Yes I second this! Braggs amino is amazing. It saves you so much on salt intake and tastes just as good. Even better!

          1. Trajayjay says:

            I have successfully used Worcestershire (Idk if it’s vegan) as a one to one ratio. And you can successfully reduce the soy sauce by about 1 T if you slightly augment all the other flavoring agents.

  13. Julie Michelle says:

    Do you add any water to the crockpot? If so, how much?

    1. Nope, the beans cook in the tomato sauce. Don’t add anything else but the amount in the recipe.

      1. Kristi says:

        Sorry, I’m confused because the recipe does list water as an ingredient. Are you just clarifying to the previous poster to not add any more water than what is listed? However, from her question it sounds like water was not listed and you state it cooks in the tomato sauce but then say not anything else but the amount in the recipe. A little confused by this exchange. Please clarify. Thanks!

        1. Sorry for the confusion! It means to not add any extra. DO add the water listed in the ingredient list.

  14. cocolex says:

    Hi Katie! I don’t mean to be a hater, but I feel like recently your recipes have been a bit boring and not very original. I used to try out every recipe of yours hours and sometimes minutes after you posted, but now I’m not thrilled. Is it because you are so busy writing the cookbook and putting the best recipes there? I want the old Katie back! Please, consider this a message from a fan, not a hate. I would love to see more creative desserts 🙂

    1. A says:

      I think you need to read this thread. It sounds like it was written exactly for selfish people like you.
      http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/04/24/the-healthy-fruit-yogurt-breakfast-bowl/comment-page-1/#comment-931785

  15. Lily says:

    Oooh, thank you so much for this. I’ve been wanting to make some healthy baked beans for a while but never quite gotten round to it! I have sweet potatoes that need eating and I think that’s a perfect excuse to make this recipe! I’ll probably make my own tomato sauce as I have tomatoes that need using up too, but thank you so, so much for this recipe! Lily x (I’m new to your blog and I’m in love already!)

  16. My go to baked beans have always been in the can; I always thought baked beans needed to be baked. I never got the concept.

  17. Lulu says:

    Awwww adorable toddler Katie learned how to cook! I am probably a noob when it comes to cooking. My first dish was tomato and egg stir fry in high school, and now I don’t really cook lol I just bake or microwave or throw a bunch of things into the pan or pot and hope it comes out okay 😛

  18. Beth says:

    how do you microwave an egg? 🙂

  19. Amanda says:

    Sounds great! I love new and (old) ideas for using beans!

  20. I used to love baked beans and hot dogs and toast as a little kid. Gone are the days where I eat hot dogs, but I still love baked beans. I’ve been wondering about how to make them myself, and I love this recipe. However, I don’t have a crockpot. I pre-bake my beans and freeze them- any tips on how to do this sans-crockpot?

    1. I’ve only tried it in a crockpot, but I think it’d be fine in a saucepan… just cook uncovered so it doesn’t get too liquidy.

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