Country-Style Pork and White Beans {Slow Cooker}

This simple slow cooker meal is unbelievably delicious! I’ve made it three times in the last couple of months and every time we eat it, my husband and I sit at the table and just sigh over it’s tastiness. It’s kind of funny-slash-pathetic that we’d be so enamored over such simple ingredients. I mean, what we are really talking about here is a revamped slow cooker pork and beans recipe, made even better with flavorful turkey sausage, simple but delicious seasonings and the standard tender pork and hearty beans.

It’s not rocket science. And definitely not filet mignon. But it is the epitome of comfort food and since I’ve already hunkered down for the winter, this healthy, affordable and tasty meal is just what I need to feel better about the months of snow ahead.

Country-Style Pork and White Beans {Slow Cooker}

What To ServeHot, cooked white rice or Baked Brown Rice
Fresh fruit or a light fruit salad like this Honey Lime Fruit Salad
Cottage cheese or sliced cheddar cheese

One Year Ago: White Bean Turkey or Chicken Chili
Two Years Ago: Bourbon Chicken

Country-Style Pork and White Beans {Slow Cooker}

Yield: Serves 8-10

Country-Style Pork and White Beans {Slow Cooker}

Note: Great northern beans are large, hard beans that hold up well in the slow cooker. If unavailable substitute dried red or kidney beans. Because the beans need to be soaked for at least 8 hours, make sure to plan ahead!


  • 1 pound dried great northern beans
  • 3 pounds country style pork ribs (about 12 ribs), trimmed of excess fat
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound chicken or turkey kielbasa sausage, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 (14.5 ounce each) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. Eight to 24 hours before assembling in the slow cooker, rinse the white beans and place them in a large bowl with cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Let the beans soak anywhere from 8 to 24 hours.
  2. Eight to 9 hours before eating, drain the beans and transfer them to the slow cooker. Dry the pork ribs thoroughly with paper towels, then season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until the oil is hot and rippling. Add half of the ribs and brown on all sides, 4-5 minutes. Transfer them to the slow cooker. Return the skillet to medium heat and heat 2 more teaspoons oil until hot and rippling. Brown the remaining ribs and transfer them to the slow cooker.
  3. Return the skillet to medium heat and heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil until shimmering. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth, tomato paste, celery seed, thyme and bay leaf, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Transfer the onion mixture to slow cooker.
  4. Add the kielbasa, tomatoes and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on either low or high, until the meat is tender, 7 to 8 hours on low or 5 to 6 on high. Before serving, discard the bay leaf, stir in the parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over hot, steamed rice, if desired.


Freezable: I freeze leftovers of this meal in freezer-safe plastic containers or ziploc bags. I pull it out the night before I want to reheat it and when I’m ready to cook it, I reheat it on on low on the stove. It freezes and reheats beautifully!

Recipe Source: adapted from Cooks Illustrated Cover and Bake

67 Responses to Country-Style Pork and White Beans {Slow Cooker}

  1. Cindy says:

    I have noticed that you cook the beans with tomatoes in this recipe, and also your black bean recipe. I have always read that the beans will never soften when cooked with tomatoes, so I have avoided doing that. Is there really no problem with cooking beans and tomatoes together? Would you clear up the confusion, for me and others?

    • Mel says:

      I’ve never had an issue cooking the beans in this recipe with the tomatoes, Cindy…seems to work ok for me, but I’m also not an expert when it comes to that sort of thing. Sorry I’m not more help!

  2. Robin says:

    Country-style ‘ribs’ are just the pork shoulder (sometimes called ‘butt’) cut into strips. You can save yourself some money by buying the shoulder and cutting it yourself! And the shoulder is easier to find.

    Also…this is the most amazing recipe EVER! I make it in double batches and freeze up a few containers. It defrosts great! We eat this all the time. I can’t keep it made up…even with freezing a batch! So so good!!!

  3. Chelsea says:

    This is a-ma-zing! First time cooking country-style ribs. I used bone-in. It always gives more flavor and it’s not too difficult to pick the bones out, especially because the meat falls right off. The dried beans cooked perfectly with the proper soaking time. What a great dish!!!

  4. Cassidy says:

    I added the kale at the end like someone else suggested and it did add some nice color and texture. I recommend!

  5. franceen o'toole says:

    Why use various kinds of meat? ribs with chicken sausage or turkey sausage or kielbasa? Why can’t you just use one flavor? why not just the ribs alone? I can’t imagine mixing chicken flavor with pork ribs.

    • Mel says:

      franceen o’toole – You could certainly substitute the types of meat that are appealing to your taste buds. The different varieties of meat in this recipe blend really well together and add different levels of flavor.

  6. Hillary P says:

    I made this tonight and it’s super yummy. It is definitely soupier than I expected, especially if it should be served over rice, but maybe I should have drained the tomatoes before adding them to the mix? Also, I feel like the sausage turned out really smooshy after that long in the pot. Still, I would make this again keeping those things in mind.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Hillary – I don’t drain the tomatoes but you are right, this is a bit on the soupy side. You could avoid that by draining the tomatoes and possibly stirring in the sausage halfway if you didn’t like the texture.

    • Suzanne Taylors says:

      I agree that the tomatoes should be drained…it too tomato sauce taste overpowered the beans.

  7. Meredith says:

    I made this yesterday and it was a hit! I have a picky husband, so I can always tell whether or not he ACTUALLY likes what I cooked by his reply. If he was “meh” about it, he’ll say “it’s good.” But if he ACTUALLY liked it he always says “this is really good.” This meal got the “really!” Victory!! My picky boys also ate it without complaint. My only modifications were that I used the full can of tomato paste and only one can of crushed tomatoes (even petite diced send my husband and boys running for the hills). I also am a slacker and forgot to soak the beans overnight so I did the rapid soak method given on the package and I was nervous I was going to end up with crunchy beans, but after 6 hrs on high they were soft. We ate it with hot, crusty bread and it was scrumptious. Thanks for the great recipe!

  8. Hailey says:

    So, I made this recipe almost 2 years ago and it was a disaster. I had soaked my beans with about 2 inches of water covering them in the fridge the night before and after 12 hours of cooking (at 11 o’clock at night) the beans were still crunchy. It also overflowed my crockpot all over my kitchen (this recipe makes a LOT of food). We ended up eating it as leftovers and the flavor was good despite my cooking troubles. It took almost 2 years (and a new, larger crock pot) for me to regain the courage to try this one out again and it was a complete success! This time, I soaked the beans in a very large bowl with a LOT of water at room temperature and they were soft and ready after 8 hours on low. It still makes a ton of food, but I was prepared this time and froze half of the leftovers. It’s a little meat-heavy for my liking, but at least it’s the tender, delicious, fall-apart meat that only the crockpot can deliver and my husband definitely loved the results. I make your recipes pretty regularly and this was one of the very few that wasn’t perfect the first time around, so I’m glad I finally got it right.

    Thank you for sharing your delicious food with the world, I really love your blog and recipes!!

  9. Beth says:

    I’m intrigued to try this for some big quantity cooking I will be doings at Christmas. What do you serve it with? Is it a stand alone meal, like a chili, or does it need a starch like potatoes or rice to go with it? I see something white and hazy in the background of your (always beautiful) picture and can’t make out what it is.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Beth – I usually serve this with rice (some people choose to eat it stand-alone, others eat it over rice). I also like to serve it with cornbread and a really big, delicious green salad.

  10. amber says:

    Mel, this looks amazing! Lame question I’m sure…but can I leave the sausage out? I never buy it…

  11. Richard says:

    I loaded the ingredients in my new crockpot, and then read the “hints” section of the instructions, and they said to soak dry beans overnight,, THEN BOIL FOR 1 1/2 HOUR (especially red beans), then add them to the pot and start the cooking. So I hope not having boiled them will not be a problem.

  12. Liz says:

    Thanks Mel. I cooking this one tomorrow.

  13. Melanie B. says:

    Mel –
    I know you say this freezes and reheats well, so what are your thoughts on making, then refrigerating, then reheating in the slow cooker? Want to take this for an easy meal for camping. Thx!

    • Mel says:

      Melanie – I think that should work fine as long as it doesn’t cook too long the 2nd time in the slow cooker (just reheat it, don’t let it cook or the beans could get mushy).

  14. Mel says:

    Sharon – the sausage is the kind that comes precooked.

  15. Sharon says:

    Is the sausage cooked or uncooked when added to the slow cooker? Looks delicious!!

  16. Mel says:

    Jen – I’m a little confused by your question but to clarify, the beans soak for 8 to 24 hours. Then, the beans need to be rinsed and transferred to the slow cooker at which point you can proceed with the recipe and add all the other ingredients so that the beans and other food can cook for another 8 or so hours. Make sense?

  17. Jen says:

    Hi. I am making this! I am confused though now if I have to let the beans dry for 8 hours as well?



  18. […] Country-Style Pork and White Beans {Slow Cooker}. The smell alone is heaven ! I found this recipe I do so love how it turned out! So get out that crock pot and give it a try yourself.. you will be happy you did! low-cost budget meal the family will enjoy!. […]

  19. Shawnessy says:

    Yuuuuum! I made this today and it was deelish! I think I found your website via “Can you stay for dinner”… but however I found myself her, I’m glad I did. Thank you for your beautiful, well-designed website and wonderful recipes. So, the pork n beans!
    Truly lovely – my husband was quite pleased too. This sounds weird, but the dish reminds me of this crazy canned cassoulet I used to eat in France. I know, canned cassoulet, right? I loved the stuff and this dish has a taste similar to it. Thanks again for a wonderful dinner!

  20. […] and spices into my slow cooker.  After taking stock of my ingredients, I found this recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe that hit all the right notes with me.  However, I went the extremely lazy route and skipped the […]

  21. […] country style pork with beans and sausage, frozen mixed […]

  22. […] country style pork with beans & sausage, homegrown baked butternut squash, dinner rolls, cinnamon zucchini cake with […]

  23. Danielle H. says:

    Quite simply to die for. The whole family agrees, which makes it even more to die for. Seriously.

  24. Val A. H. says:

    This recipe really is a great one. My family all loved it! My husband rated it as a 10.
    The recipe is a keeper. Thanks Melanie!

  25. Les in NE says:

    I’m facing the same situation as DessertForTwo. I wound up with a very full crockpot and had to eliminate one can of tomatoes. Fortunately, I used a condensed tomato paste (in a tube), so I think the tomato flavor will be alright. I’m not sure how many quarts my crockpot holds, but this looks like it might be a bit too full. What size do you use? I double-checked my pork packaging and I wound up with 3.34 lbs. instead of 3. Oh, well. I’m sure it’ll be fantastic! My husband can’t wait for dinner! 🙂

  26. Nicole says:

    yummy! a total hit- especially with enough for another meal that week, and another meal frozen for later, and a few lunches- when stretched with rice of course!! I added a whole bunch of chopped kale, and switched out one of the cans of tomatoes for a can of tomatoes with green chilies, and it was incredible! The kale added more flavor, and christmas colors, and of course more nutrition,and the green chilies added a little more kick!

  27. Jennifer says:

    I tried this last night for my husband’s birthday dinner. It was great for a cold Colorado evening and so flavorful. It was worth a bit of extra work browning the meat and soaking dry beans overnight, the texture was nice and firm even after cooking all day. I had never cooked with country style pork ribs before. I found some bone in ribs on sale so I just bought those. Right before serving I fished them out of the slow cooker and removed bones and chopped meat into chunks (it was falling apart already). It was delicious but probably would be easier to use boneless next time. We had the leftovers tonight (this recipe makes a ton!) and served it over the oven baked brown rice. Delish, thanks.

  28. I made this last night and it was DELICIOUS! I couldn’t fit the entire pound of kielbasa in my slow cooker, so I only used half. Also, I only used 1 can of tomatoes and doubled up on the tomato paste. This is another winner! 🙂

  29. Claire says:

    Love your recipes! Just wondering – do you ever use a pressure cooker? I usually do all my beans in one – it only takes an hour, as opposed to soaking beans overnight, then cooking them all day. I’ve heard that meat cooks well in a pressure cooker too, but I’ve never dared try it. Any suggestions?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Claire – I am not a pressure cooker aficionado but I’ve heard from friends that meats cook up deliciously well in one. I bet this recipe would work in a pressure cooker with a bit of tweaking. Unfortunately, I’m not an expert enough in the field of pressure cooking to offer tweaks. Let me know if you are brave enough to try it!

  30. Katie says:

    I want to make this recipe this weekend, but I am wondering if the tomatoes are drained or undrained.

    Thank you!

  31. Angela says:

    Made this and it’s a winner! So tasty that I had more for dessert. 🙂 Thanks Mel!

    A quick note on the beans. For those who plan ahead enough to use the crockpot but not enough to presoak beans, there’s a quick method that should appear on the bean package (boil beans for 2 minutes, cover and soak for an hour) that works fine. I still needed to cook the food for 6 hours with the crockpot on high to get them soft enough, but they’ll get there.

  32. Kara says:

    I made this this weekend and it’s THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My family loved it! I used Bush’s canned great northern beans (drained & rinsed) instead and it worked out great! Thanks for the great recipe and like many of your other ones, it’s my recipe of the week on my blog!!

  33. Lisa Z says:

    One more pork question! Do you think a boneless pork shoulder would work with this? I saw a boneless Swift pork shoulder I’m thinking about……its on sale this week!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mel says:

      Lisa – can I say probably? Does that work? I hate to say yes and have the meat not cook up tender, but I’m guessing it should probably work, as long as you cut the shoulder roast into chunks before cooking. Good luck if you try it!

  34. CaSaundra says:

    Isn’t it funny how slow-cookers can yield such delicious recipes with such little effort?? I am total fan! 🙂

  35. Another instant Melanie classic! This is seriously delicious! 🙂

  36. cindy says:

    i also love a crock pot recipe and am really excited to make this. but a question: what size can tomatoes do you use?

  37. grace says:

    pork and beans, pork and beans. nothing’s as comforting as pork and beans. [is that a country song?] 🙂

  38. teresa says:

    cant. wait. to make this!!

  39. Ann says:

    That looks delicious. I’m always looking for slow cooker recipes. That one looks fantastic!

  40. This looks great! I’ve never cooked with dry beans but here it’s such a money saver. I like the sound of this – I wonder if it would be good with turkey sausage!

  41. Val A. H. says:

    Can’t wait to try this! Thanks!

  42. Megan H. says:

    ok, um first off… yum-my. Anything for the slow cooker i am totally super excited to try. ok, and 2 more things… 1, can i just bust open a can of white beans and chuck them in? how necessary is it for them to be dried? ive never cooked with dried beans, :/ they intimidate me…and 2, would any pork work with this? pork chops maybe? ok just kidding one more question/comment.. is it super lame i never realized there was chicken/turkey kielbasa sausage? apparently i dont cook with sausage to much either 🙂 welcome back! hope you had a happy thanksgiving. I was pretty excited to see a new recipe in my email from you today.

    • Mel says:

      Megan – using dried beans is pretty important in this recipe because it cooks for so long in the crockpot. Canned beans will get far too mushy by the end of this, so I’d highly recommend dried beans. Don’t be afraid of them! Not only are they cheaper than canned, usually, but they are super easy to work with. If you absolutely don’t want to use them, you could probably sub canned beans, but drain and rinse them first and add them in only the last hour or two of cooking. Even then, I’m not sure how it would throw of the liquid-to-beans ratio…but it’s always worth a try, I guess. I hesitate recommending other cuts of pork because they all have different amounts of fat, etc, but you might be able to get away with using thick-cut boneless pork chops. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  43. I’m in love with that idea. Sounds and looks great, Melanie! Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

  44. kathleen says:

    This looks like the perfect easy comfort meal dinner. I can’t wait to try it 😉

  45. Amber says:

    This is going to be on the menu here for sure!! Looks delicious!

  46. JJ says:

    Looks amazingly comforting. Do you use bone-in country ribs or the boneless ones. Seems anytime I but bone in ribs in the crock pot I find myself fishing for then as the meat is always falling off the bone.

    • Mel says:

      JJ – I use boneless country style ribs – otherwise it is as you mentioned, I’m fishing the bones out because everything has become so tender it is falling apart.

  47. StephenC says:

    Nicely done! Maybe this could be a use for some wok-smoked homemade turkey sausage I’ll be making next week.

  48. Lisa H. says:

    Looks wonderful,. I’m always looking for good slow-cooker recipes. Thanks!

  49. Kim in MD says:

    YUM! I am SO ready for something other than turkey! This recipe looks like just the recipe to make for dinner tomorrow night. 🙂 I hope you and family had a wonderful, happy Thanksgiving, Melanie!

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