Baked Beans


This is one of the first recipes I published on the blog. I shared it here because it is easy to make, is inexpensive, my family loves it, and it's a crowd pleaser (for vegans and non-vegans alike).

This recipe uses more processed ingredients and refined sugars than I normally use these days - molasses, ketchup and maple syrup. So I wouldn't call this a strictly whole foods recipe.  However, it's a great recipe to have in your repertoire and I make it often.

Original Post

Since changing our diet to nearly vegan (we eat non-vegan edibles from time to time) our daily life involves a lot of beans. And I know you're wondering so I'll just say it out loud "no, we're not farting a lot". Some, but not a lot.

In case you're reluctant to try eating more beans because of flatulence our experience has been the more you eat the more your body adapts. After years of eating beans most every day; homemade soymilk for breakfast, beans on salad for lunch, or beans for supper I can say without a doubt that beans do not give us gas.

They probably did at one point but I can't remember anymore. This particular bean dish is one of my family's favorites and it's great all year round. In summer beans are a traditional addition to a cook-out or barbeque and in winter baked beans are the epitome of warm-your-belly comfort food after a day of cold outdoor activity.

And if you eat beans on Saturday night you're participating in the long history of the Bean Suppah, (supper pronounced with a Maine accent).

last year's bean harvest
last year's bean harvest from our garden

Baked Beans

Our family eats these beans as "the" supper dish. I am a one-pot wonder cook. This meal is simply eaten as a bowl of beans or sometimes I'll serve with bread or baked potatoes. 

I use my pressure cooker to cook dried beans beans. I prefer the texture, taste and reduced sodium (& cheaper price) of homemade beans vs. canned.

5 cups of dried kidney beans produces 10 cups cooked. For this recipe I like to use a pinto and kidney mix.


  • 10 cups cooked beans
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2 cup good ketchup (avoid the HFCS stuff)
  • 1 3/4 cup water (if you remember save the water used for cooking the beans - I always drain it off before I remember)
  • 1/4 cup Maine maple syrup (I suppose Vermont or Quebec syrup might work also ;)
  • 2 tbsp dry mustard
  • 2 - 4 tbsp Braggs or soy sauce, less if you're using canned beans
  • 1/2 tsp each garlic powder and onion powder, for good measure


  1. Preheat oven to 300 or 350F. See point 4 for explanation.
  2. Sauté chopped onions and garlic in a little water till mostly soft.
  3. Put cooked beans in a very large casserole dish. When onions and garlic are nearly soft add them to the beans. Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
  4. If you want to beans to bake for 2 hours (I choose this option if I'm going to out of the house doing errands and such) cover and bake beans at 300F. To cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes or so cover and bake beans at 350F.

Related Posts:

I am contributing this post to this week's Food Roots at Nourishing Days. Baked beans are a very real part of my adopted Maine identity, part of my food roots

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  • Kika

    Kika on July 23, 2009, 7:32 p.m.

    looks good; I'll try the recipe some day. Regarding beans=gas... we cook for a time, pout off the water, add fresh water and finish cooking. This is how my husband learned to cook black-eyed beans (staple in our house) growing up in West-Africa and it works for us.


  • Anonymous

    Anonymous on July 24, 2009, 1:33 a.m.

    This is similar to one I make that we call "Cowboy Beans," as I introduced them to the kids while we studied the westward expansion of the US. Any trick to get the excited about a new food! :) This is the only bean recipe where I cook the beans from scratch. They start in a pot, and then cook on @200 for most of the day, "just like Grandma made." Or "Cookie," the cook on the wagon train. :)

    Loved the soap workshop tonight! :)


  • Rana

    Rana on July 24, 2009, 3:19 a.m.

    This sounds good. My MIL makes some mean baked beans. I'll have to try this recipe and compare. We love a good Toot Fest.:)

    Rana's last blog post... Zucchini's everywhere!


  • Jenn

    Jenn on July 24, 2009, 5:09 a.m.

    we eat tons of beans too and you are right, the more you eat them the less gas you have. my mother in law drives me nuts because every time we mention "we are vegetarian, remember?" she says, "oh, you eat tons of beans....the musical fruit..." blah blah... :( just grow up people!

    anyway, thanks for the recipe. can't wait to try it! :0)


  • Jamie

    Jamie on July 24, 2009, 5:15 p.m.

    Mmmmm, I've been meaning to find a good baked bean recipe! Especially in this BBQ season when we show up to friends houses and my mouth waters over their baked beans only I know I won't taste them because they added some meat. Thanks for sharing!

    Jamie's last blog post... Baby Will | Newborn & Family Portraits


  • Shannon

    Shannon on July 24, 2009, 6:36 p.m.

    lol thank you for answering that question. I literally laughed out loud. It looks really yummy. My man loves baked beans and this looks like a super frugal recipe without the bacon. Lord knows I have pounds and pounds of pinto beans I could use for this :).

    Thanks for participating in food roots, renee. Always inspiring.

    Shannon's last blog post... Food Roots - July 23: where does your food come from?


  • 5 orange potatoes

    5 orange potatoes on July 25, 2009, 1:17 a.m.

    Big bean eaters here too! I LOVE a good warm bean chili on the cold fall and winter days. This sounds and looks delicious. I will for sure be trying this one. I've never heard of liquid smoke though......

    Thanks for sharing! Lisa :)


  • kyndale

    kyndale on July 25, 2009, 2:06 a.m.

    once the gut gets used to the fiber....Oh, that made me laugh that you used the word fart!! It's just fun typing the word.

    I love baked beans and I will try this for sure. Thanks!! We still eat some meat but I am trying to do less all the time. At one time I was a vegetarian (for 6 years). Have a great weekend!!


  • Kika

    Kika on Oct. 12, 2010, 2:47 p.m.

    Heh Renee, I am making baked beans this morning using black beans as that is what I have on hand. (No idea how it'll turn out). Do you actually mix up the type of beans you're using in one dish? Or did you just mention the many varieties that could work well, seperately, in this recipe?


    • renee

      renee on Oct. 19, 2010, 1:33 a.m.

      This reply is coming way to late for your cooking session. sorry about that. I have made this with just one type of bean (usually red kidneys) and a mix of beans. We like it both ways. 


  • Amanda

    Amanda on Dec. 12, 2010, 4:56 p.m.

    Making this today with VT cranberry beans from my garden! So excited - it's the perfect meal for a day like today. I'm not making 10c of beans, though - I hope it's safe to halve the recipe!


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