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Vegetarian Slow-Cooker Baked Beans

Vegetarian Slow-Cooker Baked Beans
172 votes, 3.74 avg. rating (74% score)
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Yield: 8-10 Servings

All the goodness of seasoned, simmered old-fashioned New England baked beans, without the salt pork plus the added convenience of the slow cooker! Both bean traditionalists and vegetarians will gobble these up.

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Vegetarian Slow Cooker Baked Beans
Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey


  • 1 lb. dried beans (such as Great Northern)
  • 1 large onion, diced fine (around 1 3/4 cups) — save the end
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 4 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (a vegetarian version)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 8 whole cloves


The night before, pick through the beans to remove any stones, then place in a bowl and cover with enough water to cover the beans by two inches. Soak overnight.

In the morning, mix together all ingredients except the beans, onion, and cloves in a large bowl.

In the bottom of minimum 4-quart slow cooker, layer the diced onion, then add the beans*.

Pour the liquid mixture over the beans, then add up to an additional 3 cups of water until the tops of the beans are just submerged.

For extra flavor, take the reserved onion end and press 8 cloves into it in a circle. I used a skewer to make the holes before inserting the cloves. (I also used more than 8 cloves, which I think overpowered the beans a bit, so in the future I will be using less!) Place the onion end into the center of the beans. Remove before eating.

Cook the beans on high for 6-8 hours, or on low for 8-10 hours. I left mine in the pot on low for around 12 hours (it was a long day), and as you might expect, they taste better the longer they sit.

Additional Notes:

If the beans will be in the slow cooker for less than 8 hours, parboil them first for 30 minutes before adding them. If the cook time will be longer than 8 hours, there is no need to parboil.
Updated Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

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9 Responses to Vegetarian Slow-Cooker Baked Beans

  1. Steffanie July 6, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    I made these for a family reunion, and the pot was empty in no time flat! The flavors were wonderful! But, I would still parboil the beans,even if you are cooking them for more 10-12 hours. I cooked mine for 13 hours on low and the beans still had a certain firmness. Also, I made my own vegan worcestershire sauce using gluten-free tamari sauce to accommodate a celiac in the family. Thanks for the vegetarian recipe!

    • Aimee Seavey July 6, 2015 at 11:29 am #

      So glad you liked them, Steffanie, and thanks for sharing your tips!

  2. Susan July 9, 2015 at 3:49 pm #

    How many servings does this make?

    • Aimee Seavey July 13, 2015 at 9:11 am #

      Hi Susan. This recipe makes about 8-10 servings. Thanks!

  3. Yokie July 10, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

    Lea & Perrins Original Worcestershire Sauce is gluten free. I have used it many times with no difficulty and I become ill immediately if there is gluten in a product. I doubled checked their website and they are gluten free as of July 2015.

  4. ElizaBeth July 11, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

    How many servings would you say this recipe makes? I don’t see it listed anywhere.

    • Aimee Seavey July 13, 2015 at 9:11 am #

      Hi ElizaBeth. This recipe makes about 8-10 servings. Thanks!

  5. Liz W January 20, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

    What happened to all the old comments? They were super useful. Apparently most people preferred not to add tomato paste, and there were cooking tips.

  6. Liz W June 15, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

    So I found where the other baked bean recipe is hiding on this site. It was under the “new-england-traditions” directory rather than the “recipe” one.

    If you’re making this and having any problems with it cooking properly or tasting authentic, please see the comments at the other link:

    (Basically leave out the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce -they’re not authentic and it’s best not to cook beans with anything acidic.)

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