Boston Baked Beans

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Recipe by South Your Mouth

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Boston Baked Beans

1 lb. Hurst’s Great Northern Beans (with Ham Flavor)

7 cups water

1 very large white onion, diced

1 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into small pieces

1 cup molasses

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup ketchup (see note)

2 tablespoons mustard powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons black pepper

Combine dried beans (with seasoning packet) and water in a large pot and stir. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat (not high - we want these to cook gently) then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours.

Drain beans, RESERVING LIQUID. Pour liquid into a 2-cup measuring pitcher. You should have right at 2 cups of liquid. If not, add water to make 2 cups. If you have more than 2 cups, just discard the extra.

Combine 2 cups bean liquid, molasses and remaining ingredients and stir well. Set aside.

Using a 2-quart crock, bean pot or baking dish (a deep, bowl-shaped vessel is best), layer onion, bacon and drained beans.

Pour liquid mixture evenly over beans.

Cover with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil and bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours. Uncover beans, stir then continue baking, uncovered for 3 hours, stirring occasionally to ensure the top doesn’t brown too much or dry out.

Yes, this seems like a ridiculously long time to bake the beans but it takes this long for the beans to get tender and for that liquid to turn into Boston-baked magic. Remove beans from oven, cover and let sit until sauce thickens (if it’s not thickened already).

Makes approximately 16-18 servings.


  • Authentic Boston Baked Beans don’t have ketchup in them but I wanted a touch of acid in here to balance the creamy beans and sweet molasses. If it goes against your religion to put ketchup in Boston Baked Beans, substitute with additional molasses.
  • You don’t want to make this in a shallow dish as the sauce will evaporate rather than cook into the beans. If you don’t have any other choice, cook the beans covered for 3 hours (vs 2) then cook uncovered for 2 hours (vs 3).
  • If you can’t find Hurst’s Great Northern Beans in your market, please ask your grocer for them. Until then, you can order them online!