Old Fashioned Baked Beans
Sweet, creamy, filling and so simple to make, these Old Fashioned Baked Beans are the perfect companion to your morning eggs and will make any morning that much brighter! Try them once, you’ll never reach for the canned stuff ever again!
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had a soft spot for baked beans and I believe that they will always have that special place in my heart.
You see, my love for baked beans comes to me from my dad. He didn’t use to cook all that much, but baked beans are something that he’d like to whip up once in a while and when he did, the whole house smelled soooo deliciously good, it almost felt like Christmas to me. And I can’t tell you the number of times that I saw him grab a container of leftover baked beans straight from the fridge and dig right in, then exclaim with such a passion in his voice: “Is there anything better than baked beans, I ask you?”
Funny thing is he would say the exact same thing every time he’d have mashed potatoes!
He was very adamant on adding lard — a total must for most purists — to his baked beans though, so I’m not sure that he would’ve approved of my “lardless”, vegetarian version… Personally, I never cared for it much and to be honest, I don’t miss the jiggly pieces of soft fat one bit!
Besides, these baked beans they taste so amazingly good, I’m sure my dad would’ve exclaimed just the same about how delicious they were with every new bite.
Of course, you’ll need to soak your navy beans in cold water overnight first; then, you’ll want to pre-cook them a little bit, before you send them in the oven.
Drain the soaked beans and place them in a medium saucepan, then add enough water to cover the beans by about 2 inches, cover loosely and bring to the boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes or until the beans are almost tender.
While the beans are simmering away, preheat your oven to 350°F and then heat some olive oil (or use your favorite cooking oil) in a 7 quart Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onion, apple, savory, salt and pepper to your Dutch oven and cook until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Kill the heat and set aside.
When the beans are cooked to your liking, i.e. tender and almost but not quite cooked all the way, drain them and add them to the Dutch oven…
Then throw in the canned diced tomatoes, molasses, Dijon mustard, Bay leaves and water.
Give everything a good stir, put the lid on and cook in the oven for about 6 hours, stirring from time to time…
…until the beans are super soft, have taken a beautiful dark brown color and the cooking liquid has turned into a thick and luscious sauce. Ideally, you’ll want to let the beans rest at room temperature for about an hour before serving.
Honestly, I think they’re even better the following day… so don’t hesitate to make them ahead of time! As in, make them on the week-end to last you all through the week, why not? Your finished baked beans will keep for at least that long if not more, if properly stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I wouldn’t recommend freezing them, though; I find they tend to turn to mush once thawed.
These guys, they’re the absolute best alongside a couple of pan fried eggs in the morning: talk about starting the day right!
Old Fashioned Baked Beans
- 1.3 lb white navy beans, soaked overnight in cold water
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 apples, peeled and finely diced
- 1 tbsp dried savory
- 1 tbsp salt, I use Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 large 28oz can diced tomatoes,
- 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 8 cups water
- Drain the beans and place them in a medium saucepan; add enough water to cover the beans by about 2 inches, cover loosely and bring to the boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes or until almost tender.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F and heat the olive oil in an 7 quart Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onion, apple, savory, salt and pepper and cook until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Kill the heat and set aside.
- Drain the beans and add them to the Dutch oven, followed by the tomatoes,
- Add bay leaves, tomatoes, molasses, mustard, Bay leaves and water. Stir, put the lid on and cook in the oven for about 6 hour, stirring from time to time, until the beans are super soft, have taken a beautiful dark brown color and the liquid has turned into a thick and luscious sauce.
- Let the beans rest for about an hour before serving.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and let me know how things went for you in the comments below. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you!
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25 Comments on “Old Fashioned Baked Beans”
I could eat a huge bowl of these beans by themselves. Oh, this looks so good!
Thanks Libby, I appreciate that! 🙂
I love baked beans, I’m going to have to try this.
dried savory?? I’m so embarrassed, but I’ve never heard of it! Since these MUST be made- is there anything you think I could substitute in for it just in case I can’t find it at the store?
Savory has a very distinct flavor that I think works quite well with baked beans. However, if you can’t find it, I say maybe use half thyme, half sage. That should do the trick! 🙂
These look so incredibly good to me right now. I occasionally get a craving for baked beans and I haven’t been able to find a good traditional recipe(minus the gross jiggly bits, haha. I totally agree – I was always grossed out by those!) I really can’t wait to try these, especially with the cooler weather we’ve been having 🙂
Thank you Heidi. There is something quite comforting about baked beans, I find. Especially home made. Just their smell is comforting, so they are the perfect thing to bake on a cold autumn day, much like the one we are getting here today. I almost wish I had plans to bake beans today. 😉 I hope you (and little baby) like my recipe. 🙂
Baked beans are so good! One of my favourite sides. This recipe looks incredible!
These beans look great. Real, wholesome, old fashioned, and perfect! Saw them on one of the foodie sites TS, FG, I forgot already…congrats 🙂
Thanks much Averie! Glad you like ’em! 🙂
2 tsp dried savory
That’s on the ingredient list. What is that?
Savory is a herb that as a very distinct flavor which t I think works quite well with baked beans. However, if you can’t find it, you could probably use half thyme, half sage. That should do the trick!
I love beans!!! Had a similar idea for baked beans that I’ve been meaning to try! I bought dried navy beans two weeks ago and still haven’t made them – I want a HUGE bowl now, ahhhh!
These baked beans were really good too! My daughter was very skeptical when she saw me add the apples, but she ended up liking them (it seems like I say that quite a lot, don’t I?) I think the apples were a very nice addition. I don’t think I’ll ever make baked beans again without adding the apples. Plus, I’m certain my dad would’ve approved of that! He looooved apples!
Now, don’t tell me you had also meant to add apples to your baked beans, ‘cuz if that’s the case, I’ll serioulsty start making phone calls to see if maybe I didn’t have a twin sister that got kidnapped at birth or something! 😉
These beans were good but if you don’t like spicy, omit the pepper totally (which I should have done) heartburn city all the way. But they were quite good, I cooked them at 350 for 2 hours then 250 for 2 hours (because the molasses started to smell like it was burning) then turned the oven off, left the beans in there, and after 2 hours I added brown sugar to sweeten it up and they were great!
This recipe looks amazing so I decided to give it a shot… it’s been 6 hours and there seems to be WAY too much liquid (nevermind adding 2 more cups!)! It looks more like soup… tips????
Do you have the lid on? I’d say remove the lid if that was the case! Are you beans nice and tender now or do they still need more cooking time? You could always remove some of the liquid and cook them for another hour or so… Also, the beans should get “thicker” after they cool down.
I agree with Sonia, if they are tender, turn off the oven and let them rest without taking them out of the oven, it will absorb all the water.
Had subscribed to your blog recipes a while back and this morning, I decided to check your website after seeing that you appeared to be fluent in French “Fèves jaunes et vertes”. What a nice surprise to see that you are also from my home town and that you have alternative recipe to “fèves au lard”.
I live in Texas now and will soon be moving to FL so after I unpack the kitchen there, I promise to try many of the wonderful recipes you have such great pictures for. Questions: you wouldn’t have a healthy alternative to “les cretons du Québec? What part of Quebec are you from? Do you offer classes? I was born and raised in Ste-Foy and lived near la rue Cartier until I moved to Montreal in 1970. Thanks for the great recipes, and keep up the great postings!
Hey Josette! Good to hear from yet another fellow Québécoise! I’m currently located in the Laurentians, but spend A LOT of time in Montreal, where I was brought up… and well, French would be my mother tongue, the “official” language that I speak on a day to day basis! 😉
Glad you like my meatless, “porkfatless Fèves au lard” alternative. Unfortunately, I never really looked into making healthy cretons, as there is absolutely nothing healthy about them to start with! 😉 I could eventually come up with some kind of a spread, but it would have no pork or pork fat in it whatsoever, therefore, it wouldn’t even be remotely related to cretons. Unless maybe I came up with Cretons de dinde, maybe? Hmmmm… here’s an idea. Just thinking as I type, here… I like that! I’ll definitely keep that in mind! Thanks for inspiring me! 😀
And thanks to YOU for subscribing and reading my recipes and sharing your thoughts. Without people like you, this place wouldn’t even exist. So yeah… thank YOU Josette! 🙂
Can these be made in the crockpot? I am looking for a way to speed up the cooking process. Thanks!
To be honest, I’ve never used a crockpot before, Sara, so I have no idea how, but I’m sure it can definitely be adapted.
Hi Sonia! I’m from Brazil and i’m not sure you know this, but we eat A LOT os beans here, most people eat it every single day. But I gotta tell you, I’ve never seen a baked bean recipe, or anyone adding apples or sugar or molasses (say whaat) in them! I’m not sure how I feel about this, it’s like an “is this real life?” felling…
What we do here is simply soak the beans overnight, then cook them with nothing but water for about 40 to 50 minutes until they’re tender. Then on a separate pan we put oil, diced onions and garlic, salt, a little pepper, then add these to the cooked beans and let simmer until the water evaporates a little and your bean “soup” is a bit creamy. If you like, you can add some meat in it like bacon and it’ll be deliciousss.
Now, OF COURSE I’ll try it your way next time I cook some in my house, even though it seems too strange for me to see those ingredients together, I just have noooo idea what it’ll taste like, but i just have to try!
Congratulations on your website, I’m getting a lot of inspiration from your cooking. 😉
This is real life indeed, Gleyce. While the addition of apples isn’t all that common, baked beans that contain molasses or brown sugar are very very common here. I certainly hope that it pleases your taste buds should you ever decide to give them a go! 🙂
Can you tell me what is the serving size? It doesn’t say here