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Slow-Cooker Baked Beans

May/June 2014

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (23 votes)

A must-have dish for any backyard barbecue, this classic baked bean recipe is made simple by simmering in a slow-cooker. Spiked with bourbon, maple syrup and molasses, these healthy baked beans have just the right amount of bacon to add a salty touch of smokiness.


Makes: 12 servings

Serving Size: About 1/2 cup

Active Time:

Total Time:

Equipment: 5- to 6-quart slow cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet or yellow onion, diced
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound dry navy beans or great northern beans, soaked (see Tip)
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper or hot chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation

  1. Cook onion and bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the onion is starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continuing cooking until the onion is very soft, about 5 minutes more. Stir in bourbon (or 3 tablespoons broth) and cook for 1 minute, scraping up the browned bits. Set aside.
  2. Drain and rinse the soaked beans; transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in 3 cups broth, ketchup, maple syrup (or brown sugar), molasses, dry mustard and chipotle (or chili powder). Spoon the onion-bacon mixture on top of the bean mixture, but don’t stir the two together. (The layer on top helps keep the beans submerged during cooking so they don’t dry out). Cover and cook on High for 6 hours or Low for 8 hours. Stir in vinegar and salt just before serving.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months; reheat before serving.
  • Before using beans in a slow-cooker recipe, soak them to ensure even cooking. Start by sorting beans to remove any pebbles; rinse well with cold water. To soak overnight: Place beans in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours. To “quick soak”: Place beans in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour.

Nutrition

Per serving: 200 calories; 2 g fat (0 g sat, 1 g mono); 2 mg cholesterol; 35 g carbohydrates; 9 g added sugars; 11 g total sugars; 10 g protein; 9 g fiber; 307 mg sodium; 535 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Folate (32% daily value), Potassium & Magnesium (15% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 other carbohydrates, 1 lean meat


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