(Weight Watchers Friendly Crock Pot Cooking Day 199 – Slow Cooker White Beans)
The slow cooker is my favorite way to cook dried beans.
They’re super easy. Taste better than canned. And cost a lot less.
What’s not to like?
You can serve these slow cooker beans as a side dish warm or at room temperature drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Or try them spooned over warm toasted Italian bread. Mashed into dips. Stirred into soups. Tossed into salads. Added to pasta…
Make a big batch and then store them in small containers in the freezer to use in any recipe calling for canned white beans. They take 8 to 10 hours to reach tenderness, so they’re perfect to cook overnight or during a long day away.
Skinny on Slow Cooker White Beans
According to my calculations each serving of slow cooker white beans has 90 calories and *2 Weight Watchers Points Plus. A great source of fiber and protein, they work with Simply Filling.
different beans – pinto, great northern, cannellini, navy, black-eyed peas, etc. will all work with this basic method. (Caution about red kidney beans: Red kidney beans contain a natural toxin which may not be destroyed if your slow cooker doesn’t reach a high enough temperature. To be safe, red kidney beans should be pre-soaked, drained, and then boiled in fresh water for 10 minutes before cooking in the slow cooker. Read more here and here about potential toxins from red kidney beans.
different seasonings – bay leaf, dried thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, paprika, smoked paprika, etc.
different veggies – peeled garlic, minced onion, chopped carrots, chopped celery, chopped fennel, chopped chile pepper, etc.
meaty – add smoked meat, like ham hock or smoked turkey leg, a bit of bacon or salt pork.
- 1 pound dried white beans (great northern, cranberry, cannellini etc)
- 2 large garlic cloves, slightly crushed
- Herbs of choice (bay leaf, fresh rosemary sprig, thyme sprigs, etc.)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Ideal Slow Cooker Size: 4 to 6-Quart
- Rinse the beans and pick them over to remove any broken beans or small stones.
- Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water by 2 to 3 inches. Refrigerate for 4 hours or up to overnight.
- Drain the beans and place them in the slow cooker. Add the garlic and herbs, if using and 1 teaspoon salt. Add fresh cold water to cover by 1 to 2 inches. Cover and cook on LOW until tender, 8 to 10 hours. (Always test a few beans to determine doneness because not all of them will be cooked at the same moment.)
- Add salt to taste and let stand for 10 minutes. Discard the herbs before serving.
Variation: For another flavor boost can also add: 1 carrot, trimmed, 1 celery stalk, 1 onion during cooking and then discard when done.
If your water is hard, at ¼ teaspoon baking soda for each cup of beans.
Source: The Italian Slow Cooker
*PointsPlus® for slow cooker white beans calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
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