Tangy yet sweet this Boston Baked Beans recipe can be made on the stovetop or in a crockpot. Don’t like tang? I have alterations for that too! Serve with Mexican Corn Salad Hot Dogs with a side of fresh Homemade Fruit Punch.

boston baked beans in a white bowl

What are Boston Baked Beans?

To put it simply, Boston Baked Beans is a version of traditional baked beans but with the very important addition of molasses. The result is a deeply flavored savory-sweet side dish that is perfect for BBQs.

Shortcut Boston Baked Beans

Usually, Boston Baked Beans take forever to cook. This is because the molasses prevents the dry beans from cooking at their normal rate. My secret? Use just enough molasses to flavor the dish and use canned beans! Canned beans are precooked and so you don’t need as much time as you would if using dry beans.

I used canned pinto beans but you could also use canned navy beans, great northern beans, or even kidney beans.

Other Simple Substitutions

One of the many reasons why I love this Boston Baked Beans recipe is because it uses simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t jazz it up with fancier ingredients or find other common substitutes if you’re out of something. So here’s a substitution list that you might find helpful:

  • Bacon: You could use something a little fancier like salt bacon here or even pork belly if you’d like.
  • Onion and Garlic: If you don’t have garlic or onion, sub with 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder and 3/4 teaspoon of onion powder.
  • Maple Syrup: Replace maple syrup with another sticky sweet substance like honey or agave nectar.
  • Molasses: Don’t have molasses? Replace with more maple syrup!
  • White Vinegar: Replace with lemon juice!

To Reduce The Tangy Flavor

If you just want these to taste more like plain Boston baked beans and reduce the tang, replace the white vinegar with another tablespoon of brown sugar, and voila! Problem solved.

Beans

How to Make Boston Baked Beans

For full details on how to make Boston Baked Beans, see the recipe card down below 🙂

Cook Aromatics

Place a large pot over medium heat. Slice bacon into small bite-sized pieces and brown in the pot. Stir in onions and garlic and cook another 2 minutes or so.

Add Other Ingredients

Pour in the remaining ingredients and cook to bring to simmer.

Slow Cook

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 4 hours. The longer these cook the better they taste. Serve with anything you’d like (I recommend homemade cornbread).

How to Make Boston Baked Beans in the Crockpot

And because I know there are going to be some people out there who ask, here’s how to make Crockpot Boston Baked Beans.

Cook Aromatics

Place a large pot over medium heat. Slice bacon into small bite-sized pieces and brown in the pot. Stir in onions and garlic and cook another 2 minutes or so.

Add Other Ingredients

Pour in remaining ingredients and cook to bring to simmer

Transfer to Crockpot to Slow Cook

Transfer to a pre-warmed crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours. The longer these cook the better they taste. Serve with anything you’d like (I recommend homemade cornbread).

Serve With These Main Dishes

This side dish goes well with pretty much any summer meal/grilled meat! Here are a couple of recipes that I love to serve with Boston Baked Beans:

boston baked beans in a small white bowl with a spoon next to it

More Bean-Based Recipes to Try!

Serve these Boston Baked Beans up on their own, or add them to any meal. I found that these tasted their very best the next day after a night in the fridge. Totally weird, but true.

The printable recipe card is down below. Enjoy, friends! Have a great day!

boston baked beans in a white bowl

Print

Boston Baked Beans

Tangy yet sweet this Boston Baked Beans recipe can be made on the stovetop or in a crockpot. Don’t like tang? I have alterations for that too!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword boston baked beans, boston baked beans recipe, how to make boston baked beans
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 623kcal
Author Lauren

Ingredients

  • 5 slices bacon
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 60 ounces pinto beans 4 cans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

Stovetop Directions

  • Place a large pot over medium heat. Slice bacon into small bite-sized pieces and brown in the pot. Stir in onions and garlic and cook another 2 minutes or so. Pour in remaining ingredients and cook to bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 4 hours. 

Crockpot Directions

  • Place a large pot over medium heat. Slice bacon into small bite-sized pieces and brown in the pot. Stir in onions and garlic and cook another 2 minutes or so. Pour in remaining ingredients and cook to bring to simmer, then transfer to a pre-warmed crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours. The longer these cook the better they taste. Serve with anything you’d like!

Notes

Reduced Tangy Flavor: If you just want these to taste more like plain Boston baked beans and reduce the tang, replace the vinegar with another tablespoon of brown sugar and voila! Problem solved.

Nutrition

Calories: 623kcal | Carbohydrates: 108g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 1145mg | Potassium: 1586mg | Fiber: 26g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Vitamin C: 6.1mg | Calcium: 173mg | Iron: 6.6mg

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