Almost Old-Fashioned Baked Beans

Almost Old-Fashioned Baked Beans

Canadian baked beans have come a long way from their ancestral origins in old Qu├ębec, where huge pots of navy beans were cooked for seven or eight hours with little more than salt pork and molasses, enough to feed enormous families. Onions, mustard and ketchup add a comforting tang to these pork-free baked beans that take far less time to cook and yield a much more manageable amount — a new, vegetarian-friendly comfort food tradition for modern families. Any white bean can be used in this recipe, but I prefer to use a mixture of navy beans and white kidney beans.

What is Canadian food, you might rightly ask. Well, whatever you can cook up in your kitchen with ingredients available to you, complete with requisite imagination. But I recall that maple syrup is an abundant luxury here, and that the birth of Nanaimo bars and butter tarts are patriotic fodder for us Canucks.

Almost Old-Fashioned Baked BeansAlmost Old-Fashioned Baked Beans
Recipe by
Cuisine: Canadian
Published on June 28, 2008

A simple vegetarian version of traditional Canadian baked beans with a little modern update from onions, mustard and ketchup

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours 30 minutes

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  • 2 cups dried white beans (navy and/or cannellini)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup black molasses
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • Rinse the beans and soak for 8 hours or overnight in water. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a large saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are soft but not falling apart. Remove from heat and drain, saving a little of the cooking liquid.

  • Preheat an oven at 350°. Combine the beans with all the other ingredients in a large baking or casserole dish with a lid. Cover and bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the beans have reached the desired thickness, stirring every half an hour or so. Add a teaspoon or so of the reserved cooking liquid if the beans become too dry.

Makes 6 to 8 servings
Almost Old-Fashioned Baked Beans


Lucy said...

They look (and sound) perfect.

It is July the 1st, isn't it? Shall wear red and white and dabble with a little maple syrup whilst you all celebrate.

Lisa Turner said...

'Tis July 1st, yes. Usually holiday weekends mean squat to me, as I typically have Mondays off - from my going out of the house job that is - yet work Saturdays, at my going out out the house job. I'm into Canada Day this year though, as I also get Tuesday off. I like staying home.

Siri said...

I usually manage to get the canned version of 'Baked Beans'.. urs looks yummy Lisa.. Thanks for the recipe.. U have surely saved me from spending some bucks over my fav baked beans!!


jasmine said...

I've always wanted to do my own baked beans but the idea of the hours and hours of cooking makes me think twice. Yours looks delicious and much easier.

Thanks for participating!


Thistlemoon said...

I am a total sucker for baked beans! These look great! I usually sub the molasses for a little maple syrup!

test it comm said...

Those baked beans sound good. I didn't even think about trying to make my own. Now I will have to.

Chef Jeena said...

Now this is something I could eat all day long! It looks so wholesome and such a comfort food, delicious!

Peter M said...

Lisa, the baked beans look very substantive despite being a veg dish. I like making bean bruschetta - if there are any leftovers.

Johanna GGG said...

these look delicious - it is definitely baked bean weather here - and I have never thought of them as being Canadian - always think of them as british - but maybe that is just the tinned version!

Anonymous said...

This is the type of recipe I'm always looking for. Something really simple and hearty. This is the perfect comfort food.

Anonymous said...

Mmmm...brings back great memories - pure comfort food :)

eatme_delicious said...

Ohh yum I have only tried making baked beans once but would love to try again! Saving this recipe.

Laura Paterson said...

Oooo - real baked beans! Y'know, until a couple of years ago I didn't realise they even came outside of a tin... shocking!!