Slow Cooker White Beans (meatless recipe)

By Robin Shreeves
June 9, 2016, 4:05 p.m.
White bean soup
This delicious recipe can be served as a main or side dish. (Photo: Joerg Beuge/Shutterstock)

About This Dish

I've been working on adding more beans to my family’s diet. Dried and canned beans are the perfect high-protein, nutrition-packed, low-fat, flavorful way to do that. Canned beans are convenient, but I’ve wanted to experiment with much less expensive dried beans. I slightly adapted a recipe from Veg Web for great northern beans cooked in a slow cooker. (Honestly, the hardest part of this recipe is remembering to soak the beans the night before.)

This made enough for several meals worth of perfectly cooked, flavorful beans for a main or side dish. It took about 20 hours from start to finish, but less than a half hour of that was hands-on time.

Prep Time
Total Time
  1. Measuring cups and spoons
  2. Slow cooker
  1. 1 pound great northern beans (or any white bean)
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. 2 carrots, chopped
  4. 2 ribs celery, chopped
  5. 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  6. 2 heaping tablespoons vegetable bouillon seasoning (I used Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian No Chicken Base)
  7. 1 bay leaf
  8. 14 cup olive oil
  9. 1-2 tablespoon butter
  10. salt and pepper, to taste
  11. water
Cooking Directions
  1. Sort, wash and cover the beans with water the night before to soak. This can be done in the crock of the slow cooker; just don’t plug the slow cooker in.
  2. In the morning, add all the remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper to the slow cooker, and cover them with just enough water to submerge everything.
  3. Cook on high for 8-10 hours. Slow cookers vary depending on how old they are and how their heating mechanisms work. You’ll know your beans are done when they are fork tender.
  4. Remove the bay leaf before serving. You can take a ladle or two of the beans, puree them, and return them to the pot to make a thicker dish or serve as is.