Try these Crockpot Bourbon Baked Beans for a delicious twist on the classic. They’re chock full of brown sugar, molasses, and spices overlaid with the rich flavor of bourbon and smoky bacon! These baked beans are the perfect side dish for summer BBQs and holiday cookouts.
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Great July 4th Recipes
Skip the canned beans and make something unforgettable! Crockpot baked beans with bacon is the perfect side dish to take to a cookout or BBQ; you can literally smell the difference.
With this slow cooker baked beans recipe on hand, you're definitely ready for July 4th! Celebrate by grilling up some Buffalo Burgers, whip up a little roasted potato salad, have a few wine slushies (one for me too), and treat the kids to rich chocolate popsicles. Oh, then invite me over! (just kidding, well maybe 🙂 )
Why You'll Love Slow Cooker Bourbon Baked Beans
The ingredients are what make the difference in this bourbon baked beans recipe. It's made completely from scratch with dried beans - so much better than with canned beans.
The balance of sweet and savory flavors is perfect! Brown sugar, molasses, and honey all combine to round out the saltiness of the bacon.
And both the sweet and salty flavors enhance the smoky undertones from the bourbon and the applewood smoked bacon!
The list of ingredients may look long but they go together quickly and easily then the crockpot does the rest.
- Dry navy beans - they need to be soaked overnight before preparing recipe
- Applewood smoked bacon
- Sweet onion
- Garlic cloves
- Chicken stock
- BBQ Sauce - use your favorite brand
- Maple Syrup - pure maple syrup will give you the most flavor
- Brown sugar
- Smoked paprika
- Ground cumin
You can leave the bourbon out (although why you would want to I don't know) and add additional stock in its place. However, the bourbon, of which most of the alcohol burns off during cooking, really lends a nice flavor to the finished dish. Its taste definitely stands out, so cut down the amount or omit it if you're not a bourbon fan or abstaining from alcohol.
Best Beans for Baked Beans
When making baked beans from scratch, it is best to use dried beans. White beans such as navy beans are the most common type of beans in baked beans.
Great Northern beans are traditionally used for Boston baked beans. And since Boston baked beans are flavored with maple syrup, brown sugar, and molasses, they can be used instead of navy beans for this recipe.
How to Make Baked Beans in a Crock Pot
- Chop all the bacon and place in a large skillet.
- Cook until crisp then remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel. Set aside.
- Add chopped onions to bacon grease in skillet.
- Cook until the onions beging to caramelize (about 15 minutes) then add minced garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.
- In the same large stockpot you used to soak the beans overnight, place the BBQ sauce, ketchup, molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar, and spices.
- Pour in the chicken stock and the bourbon.
- Stir well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Pour beans into the sauce mixture, stir, then return to a boil.
- Pour the bean mixture into a crockpot. Add cooked bacon.
- Pour in the onions and garlic along with the bacon fat.
- Stir then cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 10-12 hours. Stir the mixture occasionally.
- Once fully cooked, set the crockpot on warm and simmer for 30-60 minutes to thicken.
Serve the beans right from the crockpot, in a large serving bowl garnished with parsley, or pour them into cute little individual bowls. Then dive into the incredible flavor of warm beans flavored with bourbon, bacon, and a barbecue sauce full of rich spices.
You can make these crockpot bourbon baked beans heartier and enjoy them as a main dish. Or you can opt to make them meatless for a vegetarian side dish.
- Crockpot Baked Beans with Ground Beef - Add 1 pound of browned hamburger.
- Crockpot Baked Beans with Sausage - Add 1 pound of browned ground sausage.
- Crockpot Baked Beans with Ham - Use 1½ cups diced ham instead of or in addition to bacon.
- Vegetarian Crockpot Baked Beans - Leave out the bacon and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
Different Ways to Use Baked Beans
- Baked Potato Topping
- BBQ Bean Nachos
- Dip with Tortilla Chips
How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat
Allow the baked beans leftovers to cool to room temperature. You can speed up this process by placing them in a bowl and then placing it in an ice bath (sink filled with ice and water). Stir every 15 to 20 minutes until they are cooled.
Store cooled baked beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Freeze the cooled baked beans in a freezer-safe container or plastic freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the fridge overnight.
Reheat baked beans in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Crockpot Bourbon Baked Beans with Bacon
- 1 lb. dry navy beans soaked overnight
- 12 oz applewood smoked bacon chopped
- 1 sweet onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup bourbon (can omit & add additional chicken stock in its place)
- ¾ cup BBQ Sauce
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons molasses
- 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
- Pour beans into a large pot, cover with water and let sit overnight. The next morning, drain and rinse beans then set aside.
- In a large skillet, brown chopped bacon until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon to a paper towel.
- Add onions to pan with bacon grease and cook on medium heat until beginning to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and cook additional 2 minutes.
- Combine remaining ingredients in the same large pot that you soaked the beans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add beans and return to boil. Pour into crockpot.
- Add crisp bacon, onions and garlic with bacon grease into crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 10-12 hours. Stir occasionally.
- When beans are fully cooked, let crockpot sit on warm setting and simmer for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour to thicken.
This post has been updated with new photos, more useful information, and clear step-by-step directions. It was first published on July 1, 2016.