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New England Baked Beans Recipe

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New England Baked Beans Recipe

Savor America’s colonial history when you enjoy this rich New England baked beans recipe; it’s naturally gluten-free.

A short time after we married, we visited my husband’s extended family in New England and stayed with his grandparents. Grandma dished up her New England baked beans recipe for supper one fine day when autumn colors were at their peak . . . brilliant and beautiful . . . like nothing I’d ever seen before!

I grew up on canned pork and beans . . . yuck!  I thought all baked beans tasted bad.  

Was I ever wrong!

Imagine my delight when I tasted the golden sweetness of maple, bacon and caramelized beans.

Moreover, Grandma’s New England baked beans recipe had been passed on to her, as it had to all wives of the family, down through the generations.

The origin of the family pedigree has been traced from Lincolnshire, England back in time to 1598, where family ancestors landed in North America in 1630 as members of a grand fleet who settled and named Boston, Massachusetts.  From there descendants gradually settled other areas of New England, including Vermont, and a small number emigrated to the west coast, California and Oregon.  Today’s descendants are numerous, inhabiting a great portion of the United State, and all are related to the original sire.

Living in the New World was very tough for the early colonials, who lived mostly on beans and salt pork, especially when snowed in during the long, harsh winter months.

Inheriting the family's New England baked beans recipe is a cherished honor, one filled with warm memories, especially now, since Grandma has passed way.  The family’s history lives on in its food traditions.

Grandma's New England baked beans recipe yields a BIG batch, enough to feed a large family or a crowd of friends.  It’s a potluck favorite (the pot always comes home empty), and leftovers freeze well.

Traditionally served with fresh baked brown bread (make yours gluten-free), you can turn this delicious main dish into a highly nutritious meal by serving coleslaw and ice cold milk on the side.


New England Baked Beans Recipe

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Time:  overnight, plus 7.5 hours

Servings:  12 to 18

Ingredients

2 pounds dry beans (small white beans, black-eyed peas, navy beans or yellow-eyed beans)

½ pound bacon, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Hot water

1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Sort beans, culling discolored, misshapen and broken beans.
  2. Rinse beans in cold water.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cover beans with cold water.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and then soak beans overnight at room temperature.
  5. Drain and rinse the beans in cold water.
  6. Place beans in a large Dutch oven and cover with cold water.
  7. Bring beans and water to a boil, cover, and then simmer for 1 hour; skim off foam as necessary.
  8. Drain and rinse beans in hot water, and then return to the Dutch oven.
  9. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10. Into the beans, stir in bacon, brown sugar, maple syrup, vinegar, dry mustard, ginger and black pepper until well mixed.
  11. Pour beans into a very large baking dish.
  12. Add enough hot water to just cover the top of the beans, and then cover the baking dish with foil.
  13. Bake for 6 hours, or until beans are soft and are golden brown, and the liquid is reduced to a nice sauce.
  14. While baking, stir beans every hour and make sure beans remain moist; add a little hot water if necessary to maintain sauce.
  15. Remove from oven and stir in salt.
  16. Serve hot.

Variations


Make it Quick

Ingredients

¼ pound bacon, cooked and crumbled

3-15 ounce cans beans (small white beans, black-eyed peas, navy beans or yellow-eyed beans), drained and rinsed

½ large onion, chopped

½ cup dark brown sugar

½ cup maple syrup

½ teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon ground ginger

2 dashes teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a 4 quart oven safe baking dish, stir together bacon, beans, onion, brown sugar, maple syrup, dry mustard, ginger and black pepper.
  3. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 1 hour; stir halfway through cooking time.
  4. Remove from oven and stir in salt.
  5. Serve hot.


Microwave Magic

Ingredients

¼ pound bacon, chopped

3-15 ounce cans beans (small white beans, black-eyed peas, navy beans or yellow-eyed beans), drained and rinsed

½ large onion, chopped

½ cup dark brown sugar

½ cup maple syrup

½ teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon ground ginger

2 dashes black pepper

½ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Place bacon in a 4 quart microwave safe baking dish and cook in microwave oven on full power for 6 to 7 minutes, or until crisp.
  2. Remove bacon and set aside.
  3. Add onion to the bacon fat and cook on full power for 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is tender.
  4. Stir in bacon, beans, brown sugar, maple syrup, dry mustard, ginger, and black pepper.
  5. Cook at full power for 12 to 15 minutes, or until heated through and the internal temperature of the beans is 150 degrees Fahrenheit; stir halfway through cooking time.
  6. Remove from microwave oven and stir in salt.
  7. Serve hot.


Slow Cookery

Ingredients

2 pounds dry beans (small white beans, black-eyed peas, navy beans or yellow-eyed beans)

½ pound bacon, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Hot water

1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Sort beans, culling discolored, misshapen and broken beans.
  2. Rinse beans in cold water.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cover beans with cold water.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and then soak beans overnight at room temperature.
  5. The next morning, drain and rinse the beans in cold water, and then return to the mixing bowl.
  6. Mix in bacon, brown sugar, maple syrup, vinegar, dry mustard, ginger and black pepper.
  7. Pour beans into a very large slow cooker.
  8. Add enough hot water to just cover the top of the beans, and then cover the slow cooker.
  9. Cook on high for 12 to 14 hours; check occasionally to make sure beans remain moist; add a small amount of hot water if necessary.
  10. Stir in salt just before serving.
  11. Serve hot.


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