A slow cooker pork and beans recipe with a modern-day twist, featuring tender pork ribs, white wine, thyme, and kielbasa. Extra flavorful. Only 5 easy steps.

Slow Cooker Country-Style Pork and Beans Recipe with Sausage

Can you name an American comfort food dish that’s aged as well as pork and beans? I’ll wait… 

Just for fun, here’s a little bit of pork and beans history.

The original pork and beans recipe is said to have first been published in 1828  in the cookbook: The American Frugal Housewife: Dedicated to Those Who Are Not Ashamed of Economy by Lydia Maria Child.

As you might guess from the book title, the original pork and beans recipe has the most modest of ingredient lists. It contains only three things: a quart of baked beans, a pound of salt pork, and black pepper. Today, you likely know pork and beans as a popular side dish, but back then, its nutritional content (fat, fiber, and complex carbs) made it a well-balanced, inexpensive main meal in more trying times. Many households had it on repeat to feed their families.

Since The American Frugal Housewife cookbook was born out of the necessity to be thrifty during lean times, pork and beans have had quite the glow-up over the centuries.

Now, you’ll find homemade pork and beans recipes that include all kinds of herbs and spices for different flavor themes. Pork and beans can be made on the stovetop with a dutch oven as well as in the oven. 

In true American fashion, I’ve seen pork and beans with brown sugar, ketchup, and extra chunks of cooked bacon. Some people also flavor their pork and beans with Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, BBQ sauce, and even add a kick with jalapeño. You’ll see pork and beans with various cuts of pork meat, too (including pork shoulder, pork butt, and pulled pork) to add texture and depth. 

Personally, I prefer using pork ribs for slow cooker pork and beans because they withstand long cooking times the best and are the most flavorful, so we’ll use those for this recipe.

How to Prep for This Slow Cooker Pork and Beans Recipe (4 Simple Steps)

Just imagine the heavenly, savory smell of fresh thyme, chicken broth, white wine, tomato sauce, pork ribs, and kielbasa wafting through the air and filling your kitchen as you kick back and relax. Perhaps with a glass of wine. 

This crockpot version of pork and beans has a somewhat gourmet vibe without a ton of labor, thanks to the herbs, flavorings, and long cook time at a low temperature. This ensures you get as much flavor out of the ingredients as possible. Slow cooking also makes the sausage and pork cook perfectly tender, so you don’t have to worry about overcooking them. 

All you need to do for this pork and beans recipe before the slow cooker takes over is:

  1. Soak the dried beans overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse the beans the next morning.
  3. Sauté the aromatics before adding them to the slow cooker.
  4. Season the pork ribs.

When the slow cooker time is up, you’ll simply remove the fat that’s floated to the surface, get rid of the bay leaves, stir in the fresh parsley, season with salt and black pepper, and serve. It doesn’t get much easier!

Slow Cooker Country-Style Pork and Beans Recipe with Sausage

Which Beans Work Best for a Pork and Beans Recipe?

None of the different recipes I’ve seen are super fussy about which type of beans you use. You’ll find recipes with pinto beans, navy beans, baked beans, and Great Northern beans. You could even use a bean mixture if you’d like. However, you could use another variety of white beans, like cannellini beans, which are similar to Great Northerns but slightly “meatier”. Many pork and beans recipes use navy beans by default, so feel free to use those if you can’t find Great Northern beans.

Dried or Canned Beans?

Dried beans work best for the slow cooker method, but you can use canned beans. To do so, make sure you drain them first, then add them to the pot 30 minutes before the cooking time is up.

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Slow Cooker Country-Style Pork and Beans Recipe with Sausage

Slow Cooker Country-Style Pork and Beans Recipe with Sausage

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 hours
  • Total Time: 9 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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A slow cooker pork and beans recipe with a modern-day twist, featuring tender pork ribs, white wine, thyme, and kielbasa. Extra flavorful. Only 5 easy steps.


Units Scale
  • 2 pounds bone-in, country-style pork ribs, cut into 2-inch long pieces
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound dried Great Northern beans, rinsed, picked over, and salt-soaked overnight (you could also use cannellini, navy, or kidney beans)
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound kielbasa, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 cups chicken bone broth or chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves


  1. Season pork ribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot, and sear the pork on all sides until slightly browned, about 30 seconds on each side. Transfer the pork to the slow cooker.
  2. Drain and rinse the beans and transfer them to the  slow cooker.
  3. In the same skillet over medium heat, using residual oil, add onion, garlic, tomato paste, thyme, and fennel seeds. Cook until the onions are translucent and slightly brown, stirring often, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in wine and scrape up any browned bits.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker and stir in tomatoes with the juice, kielbasa, chicken broth, and bay leaves until evenly combined.
  5. Nestle the ribs into the slow cooker and cover. Cook on low for 9-11 hours or on high for 6-7 hours, until both beans and pork are tender.
  6. Once done cooking, let the liquid settle for a few minutes. Remove as much fat as possible from the surface with a big spoon. Remove the bay leaves, stir in parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Use gluten-free sausage for a gluten-free version.


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 708
  • Sugar: 6.8g
  • Sodium: 1338.1mg
  • Fat: 23g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.8g
  • Fiber: 10.5g
  • Protein: 80.6g
  • Cholesterol: 211.8mg

About the Author

Sharon Chen, StreetSmart Kitchen

Sharon Chen is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and author of the Complete Sous Vide Cookbook. She believes food not only brings healing but also connection. As the creator of StreetSmart Kitchen, she aims to make meal prep easier than ever and help you find balance, ease, joy, and simplicity in the kitchen as you improve your well-being.