Slow-Cooker Beans: The Master Recipe

Effortlessly whip up a large batch of your favorite beans to have on hand for a variety of quick and easy 
fiber-rich meals. You can add onion and garlic to the beans for extra flavor, but it’s not necessary if 
you’re pressed for time. Start checking the beans at the early end of the suggested cook time – 
they should be plump with a creamy texture and have no chalkiness when you bite into them.
Publish date:
Slow Cooker Beans

Slow-Cooker Beans

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 7 to 8 cupsServings


  • 3 cups 
dry beans, picked over and rinsed (NOTE: If using kidney or cannellini 
beans, first cook in a saucepan of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes; drain, rinse and follow recipe 
as directed.)
  • 1 
small yellow onion, chopped, optional
  • 1 
clove garlic, 
peeled, optional
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp sea salt


1. Place beans in a 3- to 6-qt slow cooker. If using, add onion and garlic. Stir in bay leaf and salt. Add enough cold water to cover beans by 2 inches. Cover and cook on low until beans are plump and tender, 
5 to 9 hours (see chart below for cook times). 

2. Discard bay leaf. Drain bean mixture in a colander and rinse under cold water. Let cool completely. Refrigerate in an airtight container or zip-top bag for up to 
3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.