Slow Cooker BBQ Beans

Since Labor Day is just around the corner, I thought I would share one of my favorite recipes for a BBQ …and you won’t even need to start up the grill to make this crowd-pleasing dish!

This recipe also comes from my favorite Betty Crocker’s Easy Slow Cooker Dinners cookbook (if you love slow cooker recipes, you should definitely get this cookbook!).  These BBQ beans are a great alongside grilled meats, but they also make a perfect meatless main course packed with protein and fiber.

Here’s how I make the beans:

Slow Cooker BBQ Beans (serves 6 as main dish or a small crowd as side dish)

2 cups dried pinto beans, rinsed and sorted (I didn’t pre-soak mine)
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
7 cups of water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
freshly cracked black pepper to taste (1/4-1/2 teaspoon)
toppings: hot sauce, crushed red pepper, sour cream, chopped avocado, grated cheese (optional)

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook covered on HIGH heat 7-9 hours until the beans are tender but not falling apart.

I have found that my slow cooker cooks fast and hot, so the beans are usually done in 7 hours and I have to check them to make sure there is enough water so the beans don’t burn.  If the beans need more water, I add 1/2 cup at a time.

These beans easily serve a small crowd (8-10 people) as a side dish.  You can use any toppings you like.  We always serve the beans with cheese and hot sauce at the very least.  Freeze the leftovers (if you have any), and reheat the defrosted beans on the stove (add a little water when you reheat them so they don’t dry out) for an easy meal later!

They also make great refried-style  beans if you mash them.  Top the refried-style beans with cheese and hot sauce for tasty pintos and cheese!

Have a great long weekend!  Happy BBQ-ing!