Crock Pot Great Northern Beans

Crockpot great Northern beans recipe

The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  • Total: 6 hrs 45 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 6 hrs 30 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
317 Calories
1g Fat
60g Carbs
19g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 317
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 49mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 60g 22%
Dietary Fiber 16g 59%
Protein 19g
Calcium 203mg 16%
*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.

It's endlessly customizable. Keep it vegetarian as is, or throw in a ham hock for smoky, meaty flavor. What's great about using the slow cooker is that because the beans cook for six 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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Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried Great Northern beans
  • 1 1/2 quarts water
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 medium carrot (diced)
  • 1 large rib celery (diced)
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon celery flakes
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt (to taste)
  • Optional: ham hock

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.

    Rinse beans
    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn
  3. Transfer the beans to the slow cooker. Add 1 1/2 quarts of water to the ceramic insert.

    Transfer beans
    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn
  4. Add the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves, garlic, celery flakes, parsley sprigs, and freshly ground black pepper.

    Celery and onion
    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn
  5. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours.

    Cover beans
    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn
  6. Add kosher salt to taste.

    Great Northern beans
    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn
  7. 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.

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.