Slow-Cooker Cowboy Beans


Your favorite bar-b-que beans may have to take a backseat once you try these cowboy beans flavored with thick-cut bacon. Add dried pinto beans to water and soak overnight. Drain and rinse the beans, then add them, along with bacon, bacon drippings, garlic, onion, chipotle, and other ingredients to a slow cooker. Then set it and walk away. The slow cooker is one of the most popular kitchen appliances; cooks turn to their slow cooker for comforting soups and stews, delicious side dishes, and even slow cooker desserts. This recipe makes tender beans in a nice soupy broth. For a thicker consistency, mash 1 cup of cooked beans in a bowl, the stir the beans back into the slow cooker. When the beans have your desired degree of tenderness, stir in lime juice oregano, and cumin. Serve over hot cooked rice or buttery mashed potatoes. If you have leftover beans, you can spoon them over a pan of nachos, or bulk it up a bit and stir in shredded pork or beef.

Slow-Cooker Cowboy Beans
Photo: Slow-Cooker Cowboy Beans
Active Time:
15 mins
Soak Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
6 hrs 15 mins
6 serves


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans

  • 6 thick-cut bacon slices, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed

  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped

  • 4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1 large white onion, diced, divided (about 2 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, plus more for garnish

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Hot cooked rice, for serving


  1. Combine beans and water to cover by 2 inches in a large bowl. Cover and let soak at room temperature 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse beans; set aside.

  2. Cook bacon in a medium skillet over medium until crispy, about 10 minutes. Pour bacon and drippings into a 6-quart slow cooker. Add 2 cups water to skillet, and scrape up browned bits from bottom. Pour into slow cooker. Add drained beans, garlic, chopped chipotle, broth, salt, and 1 1/2 cups of the chopped onion; stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW until beans are tender, about 6 hours.

  3. Stir in lime juice, oregano, and cumin. Serve over hot cooked rice. Garnish with remaining 1/2 cup chopped onion and oregano leaves.

Related Articles