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Boston baked beans

As the early settlers did, you could get more than one dinner from a batch of baked beans. Freeze any surplus beans in small containers for other times when you are squeezed for time. You could easily double the quantities and freeze half of it the same way.


1 lb beans (about 2 cups dried beans)
1 onion (medium sized, peeled and quartered)
1⁄2 lb bacon (diced - salt pork is an alternative)
1⁄4 c brown sugar
1⁄4 c molasses
1 t mustard (dry mustard)
1⁄2 t salt
1⁄2 t pepper


Soak the beans overnight in cold water –or for 8 hours, minimum, to 12 hours maximum. When you are ready to cook, drain and rinse the beans., discarding the water.

The oven method

Boil the beans in water with 1/2 tsp baking soda, until the skins starts to crack. It should take about 25-30 minutes if done in a pressure cooker, about 60-90, if using a normal pot.

Put the onion quarters at the bottom of a bean pot or casserole pan. Add the boiled beans. Put the bacon on top of the beans. Mix molasses, brown sugar, dry mustard, ketchup, salt and pepper with ¾ cup of water and pour over the beans.

Bake a 300° F (150° C) for 6 hours. Add more boiling water if necessary.

The slow cooker method

Put the onion quarters at the bottom of the slow cooker pot; add beans, then the bacon on top.

Mix molasses, brown sugar, dry mustard, ketchup, salt and pepper with 1 cup of water and pour over the beans.

Cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours.

The pressure cooker only method

Add all ingredients except the beans to the pressure cooker and stir thoroughly. Then add the beans. Bring to a boil, then stir and lock the lid in place and bring to pressure.

Lower heat and cook for 40 minutes at 15 psi. Release pressure using the quick release method or auto release and remove lid.

If you wish, simmer uncovered for a few minutes to reduce liquid.

Total time
3 hours
Cooking time
Preparation time
8 servings


  • To prepare baked beans the Maine way, skip the ketchup and add ¼ cup more water.
  • Add 1/4 tsp cumin and a pinch of chili powder for a South Western flavor.
  • For vegetarian baked beans, just skip the salt pork.
  • Prepare gourmet baked beans by adding different flavors: a few cloves of garlic, ½ tsp ginger, a good splash Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, all together, any mixture of them, or add your flavors.

Quick baked beans

2 Tbs cooking oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cans of beans -16 oz (450 g) each)- drained and rinsed under running water
1/3 cup ketchup
3 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs molasses
1 Tbs mustard.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C).
  2. Sauté the onion in the oil for 4-5 minutes, until soft.
  3. Put beans, onion, ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, and mustard. Stir to mix.
  4. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.


North American cuisine.

The method to make baked beans was passed from the Native Americans to the early settlers. The settlers substituted salt pork and molasses for the bear meat and maple syrup Native Americans used as flavorings.

Many of the early settlers were Puritans. Puritans were not supposed to work on Sundays, including cooking. This started the tradition of having beans on weekend evenings. Beans would be cooked and served on Saturday evening and double for Sunday’s dinner. Some would cook the beans on Saturday but serve them only on Sunday.

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beans and pulses
Massachussets recipes
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Food in U.S.A.