Authentic Boston Baked Beans Recipe

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A year-round American favorite, but especially beloved in the North during the cold winter months, is this Authentic Boston Baked Beans dish. These rich, spicy beans make a great side dish for a warm weather smoky barbecue, and they’re also excellent “comfort food” in colder weather.

Authentic Boston Baked Beans

(Photo Attributed to Author: Victorgrigas)

Most commonly used are Navy Beans, but the creamy heirloom beans are often used in New England, as well as others, like yellow-eyed beans and maroon-eyed soldier beans. You may need to cook those alternative beans longer. Whichever beans you use, if you follow this recipe to the letter, you will be treated to real, authentic Boston Baked Beans.

Authentic Boston Baked Beans Recipe-



  1. Put the beans in a large bowl, add enough water to cover by about 2 inches, and refrigerate for 8 to 16 hours. (Or bring the beans and water to a boil in a large pot, remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes.) Drain and rinse the beans.
  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 250° Fahrenheit.
  3. Spread the onion in an even layer on the bottom of a 5-quart Dutch oven or similar heavy-duty pot. Scatter the salt pork on top and then the beans. In a large measuring cup, combine the molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, mustard, salt, and pepper with 5 cups water. Gently pour over the beans.
  4. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then transfer to the oven and bake uncovered until the beans are fully tender, 4 to 6 hours—it’s OK if they still look watery at this point.
  5. Note: If you are using a gas oven, some ovens cycle on and off and have difficulty maintaining a low temperature. If the  beans are not tender after 6 hours, your oven could be a factor. Also resist the urge to check on them often. Every time you open the door, the oven loses heat.
  6. Once they are sufficiently tender, take out of oven and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours to thicken the liquid before serving. Resist skipping this step. After smelling this aromatic dish cooking for hours and hours, you will want to dig right in. Don’t. For optimum success, let it set for a minimum of 30 minutes, and an hour or two is even better.
  7. Serve your Authentic Boston Baked Beans warm, or cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.

Note: This recipe is just one of many, taken from our All-American Classic Side Dishes pages.


12 thoughts on “Authentic Boston Baked Beans Recipe

  1. I love me a good juicy ribeye or porterhouse steak, and bake beans always go great with them. I’ve usually just bought canned, but I think I’ll kick it up a notch and whip up some of this authentic stuff. Nice looking recipe, thanks.

    • Arnold, you are welcome, and enjoy. I am also a good steak lover, and trust me, this Boston baked beans recipe really kicks the meal up a major notch!

  2. Oooooh – yummy yummy! Hubby and I love the Boston Baked beans we get at fine restaurants or delis, but I’ve never had much success making them at home. It’s that “robust un-sulfured molasses” I had been missing – thank you so much for this!!

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