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New England Baked Beans

For a potluck or picnic, you can’t beat this classic side that starts with a pound of dried beans. Molasses and maple syrup give it a slight sweetness. —Pat Medeiros, Tiverton, Rhode Island
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1-1/2 hours + soaking Bake: 2-1/2 hours
  • Makes
    12 servings (2/3 cup each)


  • 1 pound dried great northern beans
  • 1/2 pound thick-sliced bacon strips, chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1-1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper


  • Sort beans and rinse with cold water. Place beans in a Dutch oven; add enough water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour or until beans are softened.
  • Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid. Return beans to Dutch oven; add 6 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until beans are almost tender.
  • In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon; drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. Saute onions in drippings until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, syrup, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
  • Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid; place in an ungreased 3-qt. baking dish. Stir in onion mixture and bacon. Cover and bake at 300° for 2-1/2 hours or until beans are tender and reach desired consistency, stirring every 30 minutes. Add reserved cooking liquid as needed.
Nutrition Facts
2/3 cup: 385 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat), 7mg cholesterol, 810mg sodium, 77g carbohydrate (50g sugars, 8g fiber), 11g protein.

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  • Alison
    Jan 13, 2021

    These are the Best Baked Beans I have ever had! I am not big on sweet at all & I did not think they were too sweet as other's had mentioned. They have a nice balance of sweet & savory. I had to cook them a little longer because the beans were not soft enough for me. That may have been because I didn't cook the beans long enough in the first place. I will be using the sauce for barbeque sauce in the future. It's delicious. I thought I didn't like barbeque sauce. Never had any I liked. It turns out I am just a barbeque sauce snob.

  • tkuehl
    Dec 28, 2020

    Thanks for a great recipe that reminded me of oven baked beans that my Grandmother made decades ago. I cheated though, and jumped to step three and halved the recipe (a little less on the sugar and omitted the syrup). I used canned baked beans, and prepared using my Ninja multi-cooker. I cooked the bacon and onion on the “stovetop” setting, then added the remaining ingredients and used the “bake” setting for 45 minutes., stirring once The flavors were all there, just a quicker method. Thanks for a recipe with all the flavors that remind me of my childhood.

  • blufftonnative
    Sep 28, 2020

    Very good recipe. Unless you like your baked beans really sweet use caution with the sweet ingredients. I completely omitted the brown sugar and still had a nice sweetness. No need to bash the recipe as written as everyone has different tastes. Thanks for the recipe Pat!

  • Stephanie
    Aug 26, 2020

    This is a great recipe. I use canned navy beans versus soaking dry beans overnight. In my opinion, the low sodium canned navy bean produces a more creamy bean after cooking. Otherwise, I made using ingredients as listed in the recipe. I cooked the mixture in a 13x9 crockpot for 3 hours on high and 3 hours on low and let it warm until dinner was ready to serve. It was perfect!

  • Katy's mom
    Jul 8, 2020

    This recipe is nothing but candy with some beans in it. If you want something approaching real baked beans, leave out the ketchup, maple syrup, and worcestershire sauce. Reduce the brown sugar to 2 tablespoons, and add about 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard.

  • pmchat
    Jul 8, 2020

    I made this dish for a 4th of July get-together. It was very well received! I also halved the brown sugar as others did, but it was pleasingly sweet nonetheless. Also added some smoke flavor to amp things up. Next time, though, I will use pink beans. Soak overnight and they're ready to go, and keep their texture better than great northerns.

  • Jessy
    Jul 5, 2020

    Made it today, and I have never made baked beans from scratch before, and they turned out great! Theres nothing left!

  • tsuop
    Jun 26, 2020

    Love these beans but I cheat : )) I use canned beans, just as good

  • Deb
    Jun 1, 2020

    My husband loves baked beans so I made this recipe for him. He gave it a 5-Star Keeper rating, so I'll make it again. Due to the advice of readers about the recipe being too sweet, I cut the molasses, maple syrup and brown sugar all by half. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. Something about the dish tasted a bit odd to me, which I think is the ketchup, because ketchup is also very sweet, so I'll cut the amount of the ketchup, the next time I make it.

  • Ashley
    Apr 27, 2020

    This is my new favorite recipe for baked beans! Amazing. I used this recipe because I couldn't find my molasses in my pantry. I searched for a recipe without, and boy am I glad that I did. I probably wont use the molasses version again!