Sweet, tangy and spicy flavored beans come together quickly in your slow cooker. These Slow Cooker Root Beer Beans are the perfect side dish to a savory meal. Great for entertaining, everyone will love the sweet-heat taste.
There is just something amazing that takes place when you add a can of root beer to something you are cooking. It adds a complexity you can't quite pinpoint. I have added it to cake and beef short ribs with great success. And these beans are no exception, they are so delicious.
This recipe has a nice sweet-heat from the jalapenos and root beer. They go together magically. The vinegar and roasted red peppers add another layer of flavor you would not expect. With a savory main dish these beans create the perfect balance of flavors.
Make sure to use a 6-7 quart slow cooker to allow for all the beans and liquid combined.
The grilled jalapenos on top are completely optional, but it creates a nice presentation. It also let's people know there is some heat in this recipe from the canned jalapenos.
Slow Cooker Root Beer Beans
- 1 lb bacon
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 (12 oz) can root beer
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/8 cup yellow mustard
- 1 Tablespoon buffalo wing sauce or other hot sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon each coarse black pepper and table salt
- 2 (15 oz) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
- 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (16 oz) jar roasted red pepper, drained and coarsely chopped (Mezzetta is my fave brand)
- 1 (4 oz) can diced jalapenos
- sliced, grilled jalapenos for garnish (optional)
- In a large pan over medium heat, fry bacon until crispy. Remove to a paper towel lined paper plate and set aside. Coarsely crumble the bacon when it's cool enough to do so. Leave behind 2 Tablespoons of bacon grease in the pan to use to fry your onions. Cook onions until very soft, about 10-12 minutes. Add garlic and saute for an additional 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat.
- To the slow cooker, add root beer, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, yellow mustard, buffalo sauce, salt and pepper. Whisk until well mixed. To the liquid, add all beans, canned jalapenos, red peppers, 3/4 of the crumbled bacon and onion mixture. Gently incorporate the liquid into the bean mixture with a few good stirs. Cook on high for 2-1/2 hours. Before serving, top beans with remaining crumbled bacon and fresh grilled jalapenos (totally optional).
- Cooking Notes: When the beans are done the liquid will seem watery and that's okay! It does thicken slightly as it cools. If you are serving the beans on a plate where there is other food, provide a slotted spoon for serving. If they are going to be in individual bowls, serve with a regular spoon to capture the delicious juices. This recipe can also be made in the oven. Follow all instructions but replace slow cooker with a 7-quart Dutch oven. Bake covered on 300 degrees F for 2-1/2 hours.
Other Slow Cooker Bean Recipes You Might Enjoy:
Slow Cooker Mexican Beans
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Barbecue Beans
Slow Cooker Charro Beans
Crockpot Pinto Beans
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