Crock Pot Great Northern Beans

Crockpot great Northern beans recipe

The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 5 hrs 30 mins
Total: 5 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 8 1/2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
79 Calories
0g Fat
15g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 79
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 490mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 4mg 21%
Calcium 56mg 4%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 289mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There's a lot to be said for using the slow cooker to prep big batches of beans, and Great Northern ones are no exception.

Larger than navy beans but smaller than cannellini beans, Great Northern beans have a delicate nutty flavor and a flattened shape, making them versatile, protein-packed additions to any meal—or a meal on their own.

Great Northern beans made in a slow cooker with an assortment of vegetables gives you a side dish to pair with grilled meats, a flavorful ingredient for salads, dips, soups, or stews, or a meal prep foundation to build on all week. Start with dried beans for the most economical dish and add vegetables and seasonings to taste. Beans also freeze well, so you can use some in a dish right away, keep some in the fridge for the next meal, and/or freeze the rest.

This dish is endlessly customizable. Keep it vegetarian as is, or throw in a ham hock for a smoky, meaty flavor. What's great about using the slow cooker is that because the beans cook for five hours or more, you do not need to soak them overnight first. It's a mostly hands-off process that requires little intervention on your part, leaving you free to do other things. Serve with rice, if desired.

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"High-protein beans are a sure bet for a versatile, filling, and comforting meal. The beans are delicious by themselves and can be added to so many other dishes like soups or braises. Crock-pot cooking makes this recipe practically hands-off." —Diana Andrews

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry great northern beans

  • 1 1/2 quarts water

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

  • 1 large rib celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice

  • 2 large bay leaves

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 tablespoon dry celery flakes

  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh parsley

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather ingredients.

    Ingredients for great Northern beans
    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn
  2. Rinse the beans well in water and pick them over. Discard any malformed beans or small stones you might find.

    Great Northern beans covered with water in a bowl
    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn
  3. Transfer the beans to the slow cooker. Add 1 1/2 quarts of water to the ceramic insert.

    Beans transferred to slow cooker crock
    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn
  4. Add the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves, garlic, celery flakes, parsley sprigs, and freshly ground black pepper.

    Great Northern beans in a crock pot with carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves
    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn
  5. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours (start checking for doneness at 4 1/2 hours, taking care to replace the cover quickly to avoid heat loss).

    Great Northern beans cooked in a crock pot
    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn
  6. Add kosher salt to taste.

    Salt added to great Northern beans in a slow cooker
    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn
  7. Discard the bay leaves. Serve the beans over steamed or boiled rice; use them in salads, chili, stew, or soup; or mash them as a dip or a spread for crostini appetizers.

    Serve Great Northern beans
    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Variations

  • Dice about 1/4 pound of salt pork and add it to the slow cooker along with the vegetables.
  • Add a ham shank to the slow cooker along with the vegetables. Remove the bone before you serve the beans.
  • Mix about 1/4 cup of diced cooked bacon or 1/2 cup of diced ham into the beans before you serve them.
  • Replace some or all of the water with vegetable or chicken broth for a richer flavor.

How to Store and Freeze Great Northern Beans

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 or 5 days. Reheat them at medium power in the microwave or in a saucepan over medium heat on the stove. You can also enjoy them cold in a salad or dip.
  • Freeze leftover beans in recipe-portion or serving-size containers for later use. Let the beans cool thoroughly before you pack them into airtight containers, leaving about 1/2-inch of headspace to allow for expansion. You can also freeze beans in zip-close freezer bags. Use within 3 months for best quality.