These apple cider baked beans are a delicious way to bring your favorite summer barbecue side dish into the fall. This easy slow cooker baked beans recipe can be put together in just a few minutes for a hearty side.
As much as I love fall and the upcoming holiday season, I’m not ready to fully let go of summer barbecue season. Tailgating and football are great reasons to keep barbecue season alive and well as the weather cools off.
In order to make barbecue season feel a bit more fall appropriate, I updated some classic recipes. These fall twists on the classics gave me these deliciously sweet apple cider baked beans.
What kind of beans to use in homemade baked beans?
Any baked bean recipe starts with one thing: the beans!
Traditional baked bean recipes generally include any variety of white bean.
For my apple cider baked beans I’m using two cups of dried navy beans. And don’t let the name fool you. Navy beans are a variety of white beans.
To use them in this recipe, you’ll wash them and soak them overnight prior to adding them to your crock pot.
Apple Cider Baked Bean Sauce
Many kinds of baked beans are served in a sweet brown sugar or molasses based sauce.
Instead of basing all the flavors of the baked beans on the brown sugar or molasses, I’m stealing a trick from popular barbecue sauce recipes and using a fruit base for this sauce the way this apple cider barbecue sauce does.
The apple cider provides a lot of the sweetness so you don’t need to use as much molasses. And because it has so much sweetness, I’m not including any brown sugar in this recipe.
Trust me, it will be plenty sweet enough with the sugar. Plus, the other flavors in the sauce provide a nice balance.
Dijon mustard gives it a little kick. Apple cider vinegar lets it have a nice tang. Soy sauce helps deepen the color and gives it a bit of saltiness that the ham hocks reinforce.
And if you don’t have or can’t find ham hocks? No worries, cut up a few slices of bacon and add it to the pot.
Making these apple cider baked beans is easy. Just dice up the onion and then add all the ingredients to the crock pot. Then cover and turn it on low. Then let it work its magic and cook for 6 to 8.
What to Serve with Apple Cider Baked Beans
Any picnic or tailgate food goes really well with these apple cider baked beans. I particularly love to serve them with these oven baked hot dogs and these spicy barbecue chicken fajita sliders. They would also go really well with these Instant Pot pulled pork sandwiches.
No matter what you serve them with, these homemade baked beans will have you skipping canned baked beans for good!
OTHER BAKED BEAN RECIPES YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY:
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Apple Cider Baked Beans
- 2 cups dried navy beans wished, picked through, and soaked overnight
- 1 white onion diced
- 4 tbsp molasses
- 4 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 4 tsp soy sauce
- 1-2 ham hocks
- 2 cups apple cider brought to a boil
- Add beans to the bowl of your slow cooker.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients, stirring gently to combine.
- If the liquid doesn't quite cover the beans, add more boiling water- just enough until it does.
- Cover the slow cooker with it's lid, and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.
- Stir, and remove any bones and the bay leaf. Serve immediately.