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9 Slow Cooker Recipes That Harness the Power of Beans

March 26, 2024
Courtesy of 100 Days of Real Food

Whether you’re a vegetarian or just want to incorporate more plant-based protein into your diet, beans are a natural go-to ingredient. And when you whip up these slow cooker bean recipes for set-and-forget cooking, you can enjoy their creamy texture and ample nutrition even more conveniently.

If it seems like beans are having a moment right now, it’s no wonder: Not only are they an excellent source of protein, they’re also rich in fiber, folate, potassium, iron, magnesium, and sometimes even calcium.

Another reason to love beans: their versatility. Here are nine easy slow cooker recipes that match the power of beans with the flavors of different cuisines.

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1. Slow Cooked Spicy Caribbean Black Bean Soup

Slow Cooked Spicy Caribbean Black Bean Soup

Courtesy of Ambitious Kitchen

Black beans are a staple food in the Caribbean, where their mellow taste is a good match with spicy ingredients like garlic, jalapeño, and peppers — as in this slow-cooked black bean soup. Try this one for a meal with super-satisfying complex flavor.

Try the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.

2. Sweet Apple Baked Beans

Sweet Apple Baked Beans

Courtesy of The Endless Meal

Barbecue baked beans are the king of slow cooker bean recipes, so you may have used your handy-dandy pot to crank out a version of this low-and-slow side dish in the past. But we’re guessing you’ve never tried baked beans quite like this. Here, cannellini and white navy beans get a surprising addition of skin-on apples, making them extra sweet.

Try the recipe from The Endless Meal.

3. Kung Pao Chickpeas

Kung Pao Chickpeas

Courtesy of Detoxinista

If you’re craving Chinese takeout but want something a little lower in sodium (or don’t feel like paying restaurant prices), try these Kung Pao chickpeas. The spicy beans get their firecracker flavor from a tamari-based sauce that contains an entire teaspoon of red pepper flakes. (Though, of course, you can cut back on the spice if you like.) Serve this gluten-, dairy- and nut-free dish over rice as a hearty vegan meal that’s also allergy-friendly.

Try the recipe from Detoxinista.

4. Tuscan Soup with White Beans

Tuscan Soup with White Beans

Courtesy of Haute and Healthy Living

Fiber and vitamins are never so delicious as when they’re wrapped up in the creamy, nourishing package of soup. This Tuscan-themed comfort food also happens to be vegan, getting its thick texture from coconut milk and canned white beans. Choose low-sodium beans and broth to keep salt in check.

Try the recipe from Haute and Healthy Living.

5. Easy Slow Cooker Refried Beans

Easy Slow Cooker Refried Beans

Courtesy of 100 Days of Food

Refried beans usually take hours of soaking, cooking, and vigilant stirring to prepare — or, at least, they used to. In this easy recipe, you let refried beans simmer in the slow cooker overnight as you sleep. This way, you’ll wake up to a rich, ready-to-roll vegetarian dish you can easily stash away for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and more.

Try the recipe from 100 Days of Real Food.

6. Creamy Vegetarian White Bean Buffalo Dip

Creamy Vegetarian White Bean Buffalo Dip

Courtesy of Everyday Homemade

No casual party spread is complete without a slow cooker brimming with bean dip. Take this one to your next family gathering or game day hangout and watch it disappear. With just five ingredients, this classic buffalo dip is a snap to prepare — just note that, as written, it’s made in the oven. Check the blogger’s notes for how to make it in the slow cooker. Don’t forget to serve it with chips and/or sliced veggies.

Try the recipe from Everyday Homemade.

7. Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup

Courtesy of Well Plated

This slow-cooked ham and bean soup starts with a dry bean soup mix and jazzes it up by marinating it for hours with savory ham, veggies, herbs, broth, and tomatoes. The result: a comforting blend with epic levels of nutrition. Each serving packs 34 grams of protein and 19 grams of fiber.

Try the recipe from Well Plated by Erin.

8. Slow Cooker Chickpeas and Red Beet Hummus Bruschetta

Slow Cooker Chickpeas and Red Beet Hummus Bruschetta

Courtesy of Healthy Nibbles by Lisa Lin

For an appetizer that’s totally unexpected, check out this beet hummus bruschetta. Chickpeas get nice and creamy after a stint in the slow cooker, then you puree them with cooked beets for eye-popping pink color. Eat the finished product all by itself or slather the mixture on toasty baguette slices and top with salsa for next-level bruschetta.

Try the recipe from Healthy Nibbles by Lisa Lin.

9. Slow Cooker Black Bean Tacos

Slow Cooker Black Bean Tacos

Courtesy of 100 Days of Real Food

What happens when Taco Tuesday meets Meatless Monday? Answer: These slow cooker black bean tacos. The night before your fiesta, soak dried black beans in water. Once softened, toss them in the slow cooker with veggies and spices and let them simmer all day. When you get home, all you have to do is grab some tortillas and taco toppings and fill ’em up.

Try the recipe from 100 Days of Real Food.

Read more: 6 Slow Cooker Breakfasts for Easier, Healthier Mornings

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