Summer Baked Beans

These Summer Sausage Baked Beans are super easy thanks to the slow cooker! {Brittany's Pantry}A few months ago I hosted a summer birthday shindig for my husband.

You know what that means, don’t you? Man food. Spicy things and salty things and meat. Wanting to play and visit and chill with our guests, I tried to plan a menu that would be more hands off, ensuring I didn’t spend the day in the kitchen. I knew I wanted to make a slow cooker full of beans, but decided to do something different in order to meet the spicy, salty, meaty requirements.

These aren’t very salty, and actually, not very spicy either, but the men (and women and children) were more than happy to devour them. It is entirely possible that I may never make beans any other way again. Like, ever. They are that good.

In addition, they are a great dish to travel to a potluck type of situation, so be sure to share. The slow cooker is a beautiful thing, friends and this one is our absolutely favorite! Especially in the summer when you don’t want to heat up the house. Perfect for a birthday shindig or any other event you need ‘man food’ for.

These Summer Sausage Baked Beans are super easy thanks to the slow cooker! {Brittany's Pantry}Just mixed up and ready to cook! You can tell because the color hasn’t deepened yet and the onion is still raw. You can absolutely make these the night before and then start them in your crockpot the next day! These Summer Sausage Baked Beans are super easy thanks to the slow cooker! {Brittany's Pantry}Summer Baked Beans
You can substitute cannelini beans for this recipe, but they don’t hold up to long cooking times as well as great northern beans do, so don’t let them go all day! Also, note that this feeds a crowd! Feel free to halve the recipe, but leftovers reheat wonderfully!

4 cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1-14 oz package, smoked sausage or kielbasa of your choice (we like the all beef versions), diced
1 large onion, diced small
1/2 c ketchup
1 c brown sugar
2 T dijon mustard
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a standard, 3 quart slow cooker (or a larger one) and stir carefully. It will be full! Turn it on low for about 6 hours (or high for 3) or until the flavors meld and the onion is cooked. Depending on your sausage and the size of your onion, the time may vary, but the beans hold up well so no worries. Give them a stir once or twice if you can so that they heat evenly. Enjoy!