Whether it’s for your next BBQ or family dinner, this chicken & baked beans (homemade) slow cooker meal is a kid-friendly AND a crowd-pleaser.
I was inspired to create this recipe after seeing something similar on my friend’s Instagram page. She knew she was going to be working late so she threw a couple of cans of baked beans and chicken breasts in her slow cooker. From the pics it looks fantastic. And she said it tasted really good. I was instantly intrigued to make a healthier version that didn’t use canned baked beans. The hardest part in creating this recipe was getting the base (broth, honey, ketchup, etc) for the homemade baked beans right. I wanted the sweetness of the beans without overloading the dish with processed ingredients or refined sugar. I’ll admit – it took me a couple tries. My poor, patient husband ate a lot of beans while I worked on this recipe!
For the beans I decided to use great northern white beans. If you can’t get a hold of northern white beans then any white bean will do. Other suggestions are navy beans or cannellini beans. Please note you have to pre-soak the beans for at least 12 hours for them to cook properly. If you are using canned white beans (this is alright too) then drain and rinse them first. My friend uses chicken breasts in her recipe but my recipe calls for chicken thighs. It is okay for my friend to use breasts because she also used canned baked beans. Because of this, her food did not need to cook as long. Since I’m using pre-soaked white beans, they’ll need to cook longer than canned baked beans. Since my beans needs to cook longer, thighs are the better option; breasts dry out very quickly in the slow cooker when overcooked.
Give everything a good stir before setting this to cook. You’ll notice halfway through it will start to thicken. This is when I to like to open the lid and give it a good stir. Yes, normally you are NOT supposed to open the lid on the slow cooker once it is set but I find that stirring this halfway through helps cook the beans evenly.
- 3 lbs chicken thighs
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cups northern beans, pre-soaked (or 2 15 ounce cans drained & rinsed)
- 2½ cups chicken broth
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Add broth, honey, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, salt and pepper to the bottom of the slow cooker. Stir to mix well.
- Add chicken, northern beans and onions.
- Stir again until all the ingredients are well blended.
- Cook HIGH 3-4 hours or LOW 6-7.
Note: This will thicken as it sits, especially when it cools. No need to add any liquid. When you re-heat the beans & chicken it will go back to the original consistency.