Boston Baked Beans

Boston Baked Beans

The Spruce / Julia Estrada

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Soak: 8 hrs
Total: 11 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
240 Calories
3g Fat
42g Carbs
13g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 240
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 7mg 2%
Sodium 455mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 102mg 8%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 759mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

They don't call Boston "Beantown" for nothing. Boston baked beans has been spreading happiness at picnics and potlucks for hundreds of years. Boston baked beans are usually made with navy beans, but any small dried bean will work in this recipe.

Slow-cooked until tender and flavored with brown sugar, molasses, onions, and bacon, these beans will be the star of your next barbecue lunch or family dinner. While the recipe takes some time, it's mostly hands-off and is easy to prepare. Serve hot or transfer to a slow cooker to keep warm.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry navy beans

  • 6 cups water

  • 1 pinch baking soda

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 6 strips bacon (cut in 1/2-inch pieces or 4 ounces traditional salt pork)

  • 1 yellow onion (diced)

  • 1/3 cup molasses

  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Boston Baked Beans ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  2. Soak the beans in the 6 cups of water overnight in a large saucepan or Dutch oven.

    bean soaking in a pot of water

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  3. Add a pinch of baking soda and bay leaf to the water and beans, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.

    baking soda and bay leaf added to the bean and water in the pot

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  4. Drain into a colander set over a large bowl and reserve the liquid. Preheat the oven to 300 F.

    drained beans in a colander

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  5. Transfer the drained beans into a Dutch oven or bean pot if you have one and add the remaining ingredients. Stir until combined.

    beans and other ingredients in a pot

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  6. Add enough of the reserved water to just barely cover the beans. Cover the pot tightly and place in the oven for 1 hour.

    beans cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  7. Uncover and check the liquid level—do not stir the beans. Add some more reserved liquid if the beans are getting too dry. Cover and cook 1 more hour.

    beans cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  8. Uncover and test the beans; they should be getting tender, but if they're still firm, cover and cook a bit longer, adding a splash of water if they're getting too dry.

    baked beans in a pot

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  9. When tender, turn the heat up to 350 F and continue to cook uncovered for another 30 minutes or so. This is to give the beans a nice crust on top as well as reduce the liquid to a thick, syrupy consistency. Remove when ready and serve hot or room temperature.

    Boston Baked Beans in a pot

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

Tips

  • The cooking times will vary, but the process will not. After boiling, bake the beans covered until tender and finish uncovered until the beans are crusty and liquid has thickened.
  • Other good bean options include pinto beans and cannellini beans.
  • If you're concerned about the texture of the bacon, you can pan-fry it first before adding to the beans.
  • For vegetarians and vegans, simply leave out the bacon or salted pork.