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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
- 2 cans white kidney beans or Navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (156mL) can tomato paste
- 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
- 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!
More baked beans!
Bacon Baked Beans from The Food Charlatan
Cowboy Beans from Yellow Bliss Road