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Healthier Slow Cooker Maple Balsamic Baked Beans

Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 8 hrs 5 mins
Servings 16

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We LOVE these for summer barbecues! Healthier Slow Cooker Baked Beans that pack a big punch of flavor with maple syrup and balsamic vinegar — great cold or warm! Gluten free.

healthier slow cooker maple balsamic baked beans in black crockpot

So, this is actually my first time experimenting with making my own “baked” beans. Is that crazy?

Growing up, we’d have canned beans occasionally, with a cold summer meal or sandwich, and I actually always enjoyed them. I think there are a lot of kids who don’t (or think they don’t), but I was never one of them.

bowl of slow cooker baked beans with green onions on top and green towel in the background

Now as an adult, I don’t buy canned pork and beans or baked beans because I avoid buying to many pre-packaged foods. I guess it had never occurred to me before now to make my own!

One of the things I love about these Slow Cooker Baked Beans is that they are perfect cold, warm or room temperature. So you can make a big batch (and this makes quite a large batch!) and just keep them in the fridge to serve with all of your grilled meats for the week. Now that the weather is warmer and we’re spending more time outside, I don’t like to have to think long and hard about dinner. I like to keep things simple!

overhead image of grey bowl of slow cooker baked beans with sliced green onions on top

Normally I like to make a big batch of potato salad (like this BBQ Bacon Potato Salad or this Warm Maple Bacon Potato Salad) and keep it in the fridge for a week or so to add to meals, and we are definitely going to add these beans to our list too!

I wanted to make them using as many whole ingredients as possible, and skip things like ketchup that are made from a whack of other things you may not want to be eating (though I have nothing against ketchup!). I also skipped the extra fat of the bacon that a lot of recipes have, but feel free to add that back in if you want! I have nothing against bacon 😉

I was originally going to use apple cider vinegar, but when I was reaching in my pantry for the vinegar I caught sight of the balsamic and I love balsamic in all kinds of things (like this Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork), so I thought it would be kind of amazing. It is. But if you don’t like it, feel free to swap it out for your favorite!

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Healthier Slow Cooker Maple Balsamic Baked Beans

We LOVE these for summer barbecues! Healthier Slow Cooker Baked Beans that pack a big punch of flavor with maple syrup and balsamic vinegar — great cold or warm! Gluten free.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 5 mins
Cuisine American
Course Side Dish
Servings 16
Calories 132kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cans white kidney beans or Navy beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can tomato paste 156ml
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic or 2 cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup not pancake syrup!
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch

Instructions

  • In a 4-6 quart slow cooker, add the beans, tomato paste, vinegar, garlic, salt, mustard, maple syrup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir.
  • Stir together water and corn starch. Add to slow cooker and stir until combined.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours — serve warm, room temperature, or cold!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 286mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Caitlin says

    Taste really sweet, what size can of beans did you use?? I also think I need more time in the slow cooker 🙂

  2. Caroline says

    Do you think this recipe would work for uncooked beans? Like the ones you buy in a bag. I’m looking for a recipe for a healthier version for these type of beans. THANKS!

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Caroline! They might, but you’d likely have to soak them first and I’m not sure if they would require more liquid. I can’t say for sure because I haven’t tried.

  3. Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron says

    OK I have this weird phobia of recipes that contain ketchup. I don’t know why because I love ketchup on its own, but when I see it in an ingredient list I go running for the hills LOL! So basically I love that you left it out! These beans look seriously delicious! Yay for spending lots of time outside right now!

  4. Kelly says

    My husband and kiddos love baked beans and I love that you made them healthier and in the slow cooker! The maple and balsamic combo sound perfect with any grilled dishes!

    • Ashley Fehr says

      I checked them earlier, and I wasn’t quite happy with how the flavors had come together and how tender the beans were. If you like your beans firmer, you can definitely go with a shorter cooking time. It will also depend on the slow cooker you use — they’re all so different!

  5. Rachel @ Bakerita says

    I’ll take a big bowl of these along side any summer meal, please! Easy is the best right now, and the fact that you don’t have to turn on your oven for these “baked” beans makes things infinitely better. Love these!

  6. Stacey @ Bake Eat Repeat says

    I love maple and balsamic together, I bet these baked beans are amazing! I’ve never actually made my own either, although I like them well enough. And I never buy the canned ones either, so I think I might need to try making them soon! Perfect for BBQ season!

  7. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says

    I don’t buy canned beans either, I just can’t. Ew, right? Leave it up to you to experiment with baked beans for the first time and knock it out of the dang park! These look faaaaaaab, chicka! LOVE the maple and balsamic combo! I would have never thought of those two ingredients with baked beans. Plus you made these in the slow cooker FTW?! Heck yes! Boy constantly hassles me to make him baked beans, so I’m totally busting out this easy, delicious recipe next time! Cheers, Ashley!

  8. marcie says

    I love baked beans and haven’t made them in so long — I have no idea why! These are inspiring me to get in the kitchen and make some — these look like the best side for BBQ!

  9. Danielle says

    I love any and all baked beans! I’ve never tried a maple balsamic version, but they sound delicious. Love that these area made in the crockpot, it’s too darn hot here to turn on the oven!

  10. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Ashley! I love all kinds of beans, but baked beans are my favorite! And (like potato salad) I’m always on the lookout for new recipes to try. I must admit though that I would add bacon!
    I actually eat cold baked bean sandwiches with yellow mustard…a throw back to childhood.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Oooh I do love bacon Dorothy! I was trying to keep these a little on the lighter side, but I think bacon is a fantastic addition! I could eat baked beans and potato salad with grilled meat alllll summer long! We love it too!

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