by Olena

Slow Cooker BBQ Baked Beans

by Olena

Slow Cooker BBQ Baked Beans is an easy barbecue beans recipe made from scratch with dried beans and healthy homemade BBQ sauce cooked in a crockpot. |

These slow cooker BBQ baked beans from scratch were such an accident and yet the most delicious beans you will ever make with the least effort! Great for potlucks and summer BBQ’s (40+ more ideas => healthy potluck recipes).

I had a bag of organic dried pinto beans sitting on my pantry floor for months now. It was waiting for beans to be cooked and usually frozen for later use (=> how to cook dried beans), but this week we are expecting a company and I will be making my favourite healthy turkey chili (with venison this time). It was Monday morning, I was in a rush to get kids to school and work out, so I thought I would soak beans just for a few hours instead of overnight. 

Many people argue you don’t need to soak beans. I don’t think so. Soaking beans helps to reduce gases, get rid of dirt, shorten cooking time thus to preserve most nutrients.

Slow Cooker BBQ Baked Beans is an easy barbecue beans recipe made from scratch with dried beans and healthy homemade BBQ sauce cooked in a crockpot. |

So, a few hours was all I had and it seemed to work. Beans were quite hydrated. Then I quickly chopped garlic and onions and was about to add spices. What spices? I opened the fridge and my Clean Eating BBQ Sauce was staring at me (you can also use Hawaiian BBQ sauce leftovers). I swear, my best recipes and meals are made by accident using what I have on hand. I added a cup of that, closed the lid and called it a day.

OMG could dinner be any simpler than these slow cooker BBQ beans?! Later on I ended up making cauliflower and carrot soup (it was OK) so that was dinner too. I mixed beans with leftover pasta in tomato sauce for kids, accompanied by a green smoothie. We also split a few avocados and Alex toasted a slice of sprouted bread. And green smoothies for adults too.

Looking for more recipes with beans? Try my 20 minute greens and beans recipe. Be healthy!


Slow Cooker BBQ Baked Beans

Slow Cooker BBQ Baked Beans is an easy barbecue beans recipe made from scratch with dried beans and healthy homemade BBQ sauce cooked in a crockpot.

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Total Time: 5 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x


  • 4 cups dried pinto beans, soaked for 2 hours (then rinsed & drained)*
  • 4 cups water**
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 bay leaves


  1. Add all ingredients to a large slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on Low for 10 hours or on High for 5 hours. Stir and serve hot with meat, rice or vegetables.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop with a splash of water covered on low.


*Soaking beans overnight will require less water for cooking. **Use 2 cups of water if soaking beans for at least 8 hours or overnight.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.


olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

16 comments on “Slow Cooker BBQ Baked Beans

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      1. Thanks that would be a great one pot meal. A lot healthier than some recipes I get via email like from Tablespoon. A dessert made with cookie butter and cookie mix in totaling over 600 calories and almost 60 grams of carbohydrates! That is why i love your site and I love Sparkpeople too. I see you mention their calculator are you a memer too?

        1. I am a member. I use their calculator. Never fully uploaded recipes with directions there though. Maybe I should. I just calculated calories based on ingredients there.

          1. I love it there especially the different groups you can join and tracking my calories and fitness. Alas! I have not been doing that for a while though.

  1. I’m kind of bummed. I soaked my veans for 2 hours and they have been in the crockpot on high for 2.5 hours and they are still rock hard. I was making them for dinner tonight but I don’t think they will be ready in time 🙁

    1. Recipe says to cook on High for 5 hours. Also opening the lid of slow cooker during cooking to check on meal adds cooking time because you break the vacuum seal. Leave them to cook longer.

  2. Hi Olena! For some reason this recipe didn’t work out for me. I did double the recipe and perhaps that is why. I soaked my pinto beans over night. It looked like a lot of water, but I went ahead and put in the 8 cups of water with my 8 cups of beans. After 10 hours in the crockpot on low there was still a ton of liquid. I turned it up to high for another 6 hours. After the 6 hours I drained the beans of about 4 cups of liquid. I made another batch of your BBQ sauce (which is delicious!!) and added it to the drained beans. Unbelievably the beans still aren’t soft, they have a texture like cauliflower. Maybe there was something wrong with my beans!

    1. Hi Carolyn. I know why beans were too watery. Instructions say to soak beans for 2 hours only. The longer you soak the beans, more water they absorb and less water they need for cooking. I honestly thought to put that in notes and I should have because I guess not everyone has experience with dried beans vs. canned. Secondly, why beans were not cooked after such a long time I have no idea. They should have been for sure! Either issue with your slow cooker (I have one slow cooker working way slower than another one – I think it is a defect) or your beans were too old or had this issue . Draining beans at the end and adding extra sauce was a good idea, I would do the same. I don’t think doubling the recipe was an issue. However, was the lid of you slow cooker tight? I don’t think double the recipe would fit into my 5 qt. slow cooker.

      1. Thanks for the tip! I have never worked with dry beans before. I have an 8 qt cooker so I was able to fit it all without causing a bbq bean flood 🙂
        I’ve really enjoyed you’re site. I have 4 children and just found out, after 6 months of confusion, that our 22 month old has a gluten and corn intolerance. Gluten gives him diarrhea and corn gives him eczema. I’m struggling a bit with the learning curve here, but I’m motivated to get him healthy!

        1. I also have him off dairy too, and as you know corn is in almost everything!! I had to send my hubby to the store for more tomato paste for the BBQ sauce since the one I had contained HFCS. Im sure it will get easier with practice! In the meantime I’m grateful for your website for showing me a new healthy way to cook!

        2. I honestly haven’t realized so many people do not know how to cook dried beans here. In Ukraine we didn’t have canned ones, so I assumed everyone knows tricks with beans. I already added notes. I wonder if your little one might outgrow his allergy and maybe won’t be allergic to organic gluten and corn. Just a thought. Glad you are enjoying everything here and many blessings on your journey. I admire people who make healthy change especially with so many kids because most people come up with excuses. Proud of you!!!

        3. I think I solved the mystery today. 1. You are correct – doubling the recipe made your beans cook twice longer. Today I cooked beans and because my pot was so full it took me twice as long. 2. I soaked beans overnight and made this recipe with 2 cups of water and they turned out fantastic!

  3. Can you use another kind of bean like a northern white bean? Also I have tried a lot of your recipes and my family really like them. I am trying to get my family of the GMO’s JUNK and so far it’s going well. Thanks for all of recipes and food knowledge that has helped me and my family become a CLEAN Eating Family. Were also becoming more organic . Keep up the great work cause it really helps family’s become more knowledgeable about our food.

    1. Hi Amy. Yes, you can. SUPER stoked to hear that because it means so much for the good future for all of us, mainly our kids! I want to post more informational posts about organics and GMOs.

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