Baked Beans – a NE/Maine Tradition

Baked Beans – a NE/Maine Tradition

Course: Breakfast, Main course, Side dish, SnackCuisine: New England

A must have in your recipe file – this is a basic recipe – sometimes simple is best!
Start or stay here – you won’t be disappointed with this classic dish. Use Marfax (the classic baked-bean bean), Yellow Eye or Pinto dry beans – or a mixture of dry beans.


  • 1 MG Marfax dry beans (or see above for an alternate)

  • 4 qts cold water (or veg stock)

  • 1 cup chopped yellow or Vidalia onion

  • 1⁄2 cup molasses

  • 6 strips cooked bacon – crumbled – many people use salt pork in addition of in lieu of the bacon

  • 1⁄4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 tsp ground mustard

  • 1⁄4 tsp pepper

  • 1 1⁄2 tsp salt


  • In a large pot bring the beans, salt and 2 qts. of water to a boil – boil for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and let stand for about 1 hour. An alternate method (my preferred) is to soak the beans in water the night before, rinse and drain.
  • In a separate pan cook the bacon until just crisp adding the onions until just soft. Crumble or cut up the bacon then add 1/2 cup of water to the bacon/onions along with the mustard, salt and pepper.
  • Place the beans in a Dutch oven, baking dish or bean pot. Add the bacon/onion mixture making sure to add the liquid and fat from the pan as well to the beans. Add the molasses and brown sugar. Stir.
  • Add enough water to just cover the beans by 1″. Stir to blend all.
  • Place in a 325ºF heated oven and bake for 3-5 hours depending on desired doneness of beans. Check beans after the first hour to add more liquid if needed and to stir. Beans will be tender when done with a thick sauce.
  • Some variations: 1 cup ketchup; a whole apple; garlic; salt port; worcestershire sauce; balsamic vinegar (about 2 tbsp); chili powder; a halved onion rather than chopped added directly to pot.

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Thank you to Taste of Home and The Food Network for their recipes for baked beans.