Slow Cooker Beer and Bacon Bean Soup


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Turn dried navy beans into a deliciously wholesome meal with this Slow Cooker Beer and Bacon Bean Soup recipe. In addition to the beans, all you’ll need are just a few pantry staples like chicken broth, veggies, seasonings, and of course – beer!

If you want to skip the beer, try my Campbell’s copycat Slow Cooker Bean and Bacon Soup.

scoop of beer and bacon bean soup over a slow cooker.
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Why This Beer and Bacon Bean Soup Recipe Works

Cooking up a good pot of beans is pretty easy; however, there are times when you may want to add extra flavor and heartiness. This bean soup recipe gives you just that thanks to the celery, onion, carrots, and bacon. The Italian seasoning and bay leaves add a kick of flavor while the broth and beer enhance everything altogether.

This is a delicious meal that can be enjoyed as is or be paired alongside other main course meals of your choice. With easy prep and quick cooking time, beer and bacon bean soup is ideal for busy weekdays and weekends. Another recipe that we love using beer is in my slow cooker beer cheese soup.

Recipe Ingredients

ingredients for slow cooker beer and bacon bean soup on a table.
  • Dried Navy Beans: Soaking the beans before cooking isn’t necessary; however, it can help soften them and reduce cooking time. (these are the same beans we use in Slow Cooker Ham and Beans)
  • Chicken Broth: Creates a delicious soup base.
  • Beer: I recommend a pilsner like Bud Light or Coors light. The alcohol content will cook out and leave the flavor enhancing attributes behind.
  • Veggies: White onion, celery, and carrots are diced to bite-size pieces.
  • Bacon: Adds a nice flavor.
  • Seasonings: Italian seasoning, black pepper, and a couple of bay leaves are all you need to help flavor the navy beans.

Step-by-Step

two images showing how to make slow cooker beer and bacon bean soup.

Step One – Add the cooked and chopped bacon, beans, vegetables and seasonings to the slow cooker.

Step Two – Pour over the chicken broth and beer. Stir until well combined.

three images showing how to make slow cooker beer and bacon bean soup.

Step Three – Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 hours or until the beans or tender.

Step Four – When the cooking time is up remove about a cup of the beans into a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add back to the slow cooker. Doing this adds some creaminess to the beans since the slow cooker doesn’t boil the beans and they don’t break apart like stove top cook

Step Five – Stir and add salt to taste. Serve and enjoy!

close-up of a bowl of slow cooker beer and bacon bean soup.

How to Serve

  • Serve a bowl of beans as is along with a hearty piece of homemade cornbread.
  • You can also add toppings like extra crumbles of bacon, fresh cilantro or parsley, pickled onions, or chow chow (a tomato relish).
  • Cracker are always a great choice for a bean soup! Saltines, oyster crackers or Ritz!
  • Some people enjoy a touch of sour cream and/or a shake of hot sauce on top of bean soup.
overhead shot of a bowl of slow cooker beer and bacon bean soup.

Recipe FAQs

How do I store leftovers?

Store any remaining bean soup in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove over medium heat until warmed throughout.

What’s the easiest way to make these beans spicy?

You can add red pepper flakes, diced jalapenos (keep the seeds for even more spice), or a few dashes of hot sauce before cooking for a spicy bean soup.

Can I use a different kind of broth?

Chicken broth does taste best for this recipe but vegetable broth can be used instead.

Is this a good freezer meal?

Although you can freeze this recipe, it will keep for about 2-3 months before the texture and taste will begin to change. If you’re planning to freeze it, consider undercooking the beans just a bit.

scooping out beer and bacon bean soup from a crockpot.

Slow Cooker Beer and Bacon Bean Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6
Add a twist to navy beans with this tasty Slow Cooker Beer and Bacon Bean Soup recipe.

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 lb. sliced bacon
  • 1 lb. dried navy beans
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots, (I used 1 very large carrot)
  • 1 cup diced celery, (I used 2 celery ribs)
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, (sometimes called Italian herb blend)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 12 oz. can beer, such as pilsner, bud light or coors light

Wait to add:

  • salt to taste

Instructions 

  • Slice the bacon in 1/2 inch pieces. Add the bacon to a hot skillet set to medium high heat. Cook until crisp. Drain off fat and let drain on a paper towel.
  • Add the beans, vegetables and seasonings to the slow cooker.
  • Pour over the chicken broth and beer.
  • Stir.
  • Cook on HIGH for 5 hours or until the beans or tender.
  • When the cooking time is up remove about a cup of the beans into a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add back to the slow cooker. Doing this adds some creaminess to the beans since the slow cooker doesn't boil the beans and they don't break apart like stove top cook
  • Stir and add salt to taste.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Sarah’s Notes

  • Store any remaining bean soup in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove over medium heat until warmed throughout.
  • Chicken broth does taste best for this recipe but vegetable broth can be used instead.
  • You can add red pepper flakes, diced jalapenos (keep the seeds for even more spice), or a few dashes of hot sauce before cooking for a spicy bean soup.

Nutrition

Calories: 630kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 1553mg | Potassium: 1254mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3682IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.

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3 Comments

  1. Joan McC says:

    What adjustments would need to be made for using canned beans ?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      It’s hard to say without testing it. But just at glancing at the recipe I would cut back on the chicken broth and cook for about an hour less.

  2. Gail says:

    When do you add back the bacon?