Using dried beans gives this dish a delicious bite and nutty texture but canned beans work fine too.
Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans are the ideal side dish and they could not be any easier to make from scratch.
It probably isn’t a huge surprise that my husband who was born and raised in Boston adores baked beans. Of course, he would be perfectly happy re-heating them from a can but that’s no fun. (And don’t get me started on some ingredient lists I’ve seen.)
When I realized how easy these were to make, I kicked myself for not making them more often. But truth be told, my Aunt Patsy is the Baked Beans Queen of our family and serves them at almost every warm-weather gathering. Aunt Patsy showing up to a summer gathering without baked beans would be like me showing up to Thanksgiving without a platter of hummus.
If you know anything about my Aunt Patsy, you know she would never make a batch of beans without massive amounts of smoky and delicious bacon. I’m not anti-bacon, I just rarely have it sitting around in our fridge. To give these beans that unmistakable smoky flavor we crave, I relied on my BFF, smoked paprika. Let me tell you – it did not let me down. My husband and 21 month old devoured these and I know your family will too.
Your fork is waiting.
- 1 pound dried beans (navy beans,Great Northern, pinto, etc.)
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup ketchup or tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar or cider vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Rinse and sort dried beans then place in slow cooker covered with 2 inches of water and let soak overnight.
In the morning, drain the beans then add back to the slow cooker along with all remaining ingredients.
Add 2 1/2 cups fresh water plus a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours.
Check for seasoning before serving.
Beans can be made up to two days in advance. In fact, the flavor develops over time as it sits in the fridge. Canned beans work fine too if you don't have dried beans on hand.
Cook time may vary based on the age/freshness of the dried beans.
Omit Worcestershire sauce to make recipe vegan.