Packed with flavor, these hearty Crockpot Express Baked Beans can also be made in the slow cooker or in the oven. They are the perfect summer BBQ side dish!
Let me head you off at the pass before you send me an email. I know they aren’t technically baked beans because they are cooked in the pressure cooker. But calling them Crockpot Express Baked Beans is just the easiest way for everyone to know what this recipe is supposed to be. Besides, if you microwave a can of beans, you still call them baked beans, right? 😉
Actually, this recipe already has a name. We call them 4th of July beans and my mom makes them for every Memorial Day and Independence Day picnic. They are a summer BBQ staple in our family. The recipe actually comes from an old church cookbook, which is also where I got the recipes for several other things on my site! (Several of these were my mom’s submissions, so I claim them as family recipes.) Don’t you love church cookbooks?
- Cool Veggie Pizza
- Sour Cream Enchiladas
- Zucchini Relish
- Maple Cream Coffee Treats
- Chocolate Eclair Cake
- Earthquake Cake
- Church Windows
As you can see, Crockpot Express Baked Beans are very hearty. The addition of bacon and ground beef to the beans make them more like a main meal than a side dish. But don’t let that stop you from grilling up a big steak to go along with them! The sauce they cook in pairs so well with BBQ dishes like hot dogs, hamburgers and steaks. The pan is scraped clean every single picnic.
My 6 quart Crockpot Express was quite full by the time I added all the beans to the pot. You could probably add a couple more cans to make even more, but be careful not to fill the pot beyond the “max fill” line. It takes a long time to come pressure when it’s that full, so be prepared to wait about 20 minutes before you hear the tell-tale hissing that lets you know the pot is almost pressurized.
Because you need thinner liquids for pressure cooking, I added 1/2 cup of broth to the sauce to make sure I didn’t end up with the dreaded E6 message. This left me with a little more “sauce” than I needed, so I just drained off a bit when transferring it to a casserole dish. (It also thickens up as it cools.) You can serve the beans directly from the pot, but I needed to take these with me and I never miss an opportunity to show off my gorgeous Le Creuset that my sister-in-law got me for Christmas. 😉
If you decide to make Crockpot Express Baked Beans in the oven instead (you know, actual BAKED beans) then just eliminate the 1/2 cup of broth. The same goes for using the slow cooker. Any which way you make them, I guarantee, you’re going to LOVE them!
Crockpot Express Baked Beans
- 1/2 pound bacon chopped
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 2 cans (15 oz) pork and beans
- 1 can (14.5 oz) black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 can (14.5 oz) kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup broth or water (beef, chicken or vegetable)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp mustard
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- Remove the lid from the pot and press Brown/Saute and Start/Stop to begin heating the inner pot. While it's heating, chop the bacon into bite sized pieces.
- Add the bacon to the pot and cook long enough to render the fat and begin turning pink (about 3-5 minutes.) Add the ground beef and onion to the pot and continue cooking until browned and crumbled (about 2-3 minutes.) Press Start/Stop. Drain the fat and return the meat to the pot.
- Add the pork and beans, black beans and kidney beans to the pot on top of the meat mixture. Do not stir.
- In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients into a smooth sauce. Pour evenly over the beans. Do not stir!
- Close and lock the lid, turning the steam release valve to closed. Press Beans/Chili and set time to 5 minutes.
- When cooking cycle is done (it will take about 20 minutes to come to pressure and begins cooking) allow for a 5 minute natural pressure release and then do a quick release of any remaining pressure.
- Open the lid and stir. Sauce will thicken as it cools, but you can also drain some off before serving, if desired.