Skip to Content

Recipe: Classic Boston baked beans

Medically reviewed on Aug 20, 2018

Serves 12

Dietitian Tip

This legume dish is high in folate and a good source of iron. Folate helps form red blood cells, which contain iron. Both nutrients are important in preventing anemia.


  • 2 cups dried small, white beans (navy beans), picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight and drained
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup light molasses
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 3 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces


In a large, ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid or in a Dutch oven, combine the beans, water, bay leaves and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the beans have softened but are still firm, 65 to 75 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Don’t drain the beans.

Heat oven to 350 F.

Stir the onion, molasses, mustard, bacon and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt into the beans. Cover and bake until the beans are tender and coated with a light syrup, 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Check periodically to make sure the beans don’t dry out, stirring and adding hot water as needed.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving)

Serving SizeAbout 1/3 cup
Carbohydrate31 g
Cholesterol6 mg
Fiber8 g
Protein9 g
Sodium215 mg
Monounsaturated Fat2 g
Saturated Fat1 g
Total Fat4 g

© 1998-2018 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of use