Boston Baked Beans

Boston Baked Beans
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Guest recipe post from South Your Mouth food blog: "So, guess what I did this weekend? I made real deal, from scratch, homemade Boston baked beans! And, boy oh boy, was it an experience! Those suckers required some lovin’ over many, many hours but in the end it was worth it..." See the original post at

Cook Time
Kitchen Time
Servings 16


  • 1 lb. Hurst’s Great Northern Beans (with Ham Flavor)
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 very large white onion, diced
  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

Cooking Directions

  1. Combine dried beans (with seasoning packet) and water in a large pot and stir. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat (not high - we want these to cook gently) then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours.
  2. Drain beans, RESERVING LIQUID. Pour liquid into a 2-cup measuring pitcher. You should have right at 2 cups of liquid. If not, add water to make 2 cups. If you have more than 2 cups, just discard the extra.
  3. Combine 2 cups bean liquid, molasses and remaining ingredients then stir well. Set aside.
  4. Using a 2-quart crock, bean pot or baking dish (a deep, bowl-shaped vessel is best), layer onion, bacon and drained beans.
  5. Pour liquid mixture evenly over beans.
  6. Cover with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil and bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours. Uncover beans, stir, then continue baking, uncovered for 3 hours, stirring occasionally to ensure the top doesn’t brown too much or dry out.
  7. Yes, this seems like a ridiculously long time to bake the beans but it takes this long for the beans to get tender and for that liquid to turn into Boston-baked magic. Remove beans from oven, cover and let sit until sauce thickens (if it’s not thickened already).

Cooking Tips

  • Authentic Boston Baked Beans don’t have ketchup in them but I wanted a touch of acid in here to balance the creamy beans and sweet molasses. If it goes against your religion to put ketchup in Boston Baked Beans, substitute with additional molasses.
  • You don’t want to make this in a shallow dish as the sauce will evaporate rather than cook into the beans. If you don’t have any other choice, cook the beans covered for 3 hours (vs 2) then cook uncovered for 2 hours (vs 3).
  • I really don't know if these will work in a crock pot since they need to cook uncovered (I think the sauce will stay thin in a slow cooker). If you try it and are successful, comment below to let us know!
  • If you can’t find Hurst’s Great Northern Beans in your market, please ask your grocer for them. Until then, you can order them online!