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Boston Baked Beans (vegetarian)

July 11, 2010

If  you Google “Boston Baked Beans” you are returned about 230,000 search results.  Woah.  First of all, without the internet, how on earth would I have found a recipe for this American classic?  No one in my family is even from Boston.

Oh yeah.  Cookbooks.

But that might lead me with 3 or 4 recipe versions to choose from.  And absolutely no reviews on said recipes.  Too sweet?  Too bland?  Ketchup added here, tomato paste added there.  Tomato products omitted entirely.  You’d never know what you love unless you made all the recipes.

So do I instead turn to the internet?  So I can then waffle through a quarter million websites to find the perfect recipe?  That’s just intimidating.

Lucky for me, someone in Boston actually reads my blog (score!).  And after my post on British Baked Beans she contacted me with the most authentic, original, Boston Baked Beans recipe.

And it was.  No need to search through hundreds of thousands of recipes and reviews.  This recipe stole the show.  Perfect for the July 4th cookout.  Perfectly sweet and tangy.  Flavorful, delicious, classic.

Authentic Boston Baked Beans (makes a bunch!, adapted from here)
2 lbs dry white beans
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 large yellow onion, peeled
1 lb bacon, chopped (I omitted)
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons dry mustard
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Soak the beans overnight in water.  Drain, rinse and put beans in a large stockpot.  Add enough water to cover beans along with the baking soda.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

OVEN VERSION
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Place the onion in the bottom of a 3 quart ovenproof casserole.
Add half the bacon (if using), add the beans and top with remaining bacon.
Mix the sugar, molasses, mustard, salt and pepper together.
Pour over the beans.
Add just enough water to barely cover.
DO NOT stir.
Cover and bake for six hours (you may need to add a little water but be careful not to get the beans too wet).

CROCKPOT VERSION
(To fit into a 2 1/2 quart crockpot cut ingredients in half)
Place the onion in the bottom of the crockpot.
Follow with half the bacon, if using, then all the beans and the remaining bacon.
Mix the sugar, molasses, mustard, salt and pepper and baking soda together.
Pour over the beans.
Add just enough water to barely cover.
DO NOT stir.
Cover and bake for 7- 8 hours (you may need to add a little water but be careful not to get the beans too wet).

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 11, 2010 1:25 pm

    mmm i love baked beans! i don’t think i’ve ever had Boston Baked Beans though. they look good.

  2. July 11, 2010 1:34 pm

    Score indeed! 🙂 Glad that came out so good! I’ll have to try to make them now too.

  3. July 11, 2010 2:53 pm

    Boston baked beans are one of my memories growing up in New England!!! Yours looks like a great adaptation!

  4. July 11, 2010 5:34 pm

    thanks for this! I’ve looked forever for a recipe that didn’t call for adding canned beans or bacon.

  5. Katherine permalink
    July 12, 2010 11:39 am

    What a great recipe! I love that it is vegetarian and I love that it is authentic. Your picture looks much better than anything I could produce but it’s making me want to go try to right now 🙂
    Katherine

  6. July 12, 2010 4:33 pm

    The perfect summer recipe!!

  7. July 12, 2010 9:06 pm

    I’m so going to try these this weekend! They sound so simple.

  8. Becca :-) permalink
    July 18, 2010 8:12 am

    I think I am ready to make baked beans from dry again!! This is the recipe for me!!!!

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