Maple Baked Beans

Maple Baked Beans

Are baked beans as a brunch side dish a Canadian thing? I think they might be. Not that I wouldn’t like to eat them for lunch or dinner but there’s something super satisfying about beans for breakfast. Google baked beans and you find a lot of variations that seem to depend on region but they’re almost always family recipes. You could noodle around with the ingredients – some people like molasses instead of syrup or a bit of dry ginger.

Seeing them on the menu at the Shaw Farm where we visited last weekend made me want to try to make my own. The kids both liked them a lot and kept stealing spoonfulls of Ben’s. I don’t know why I’d always thought of them as something you had to buy from a store or order in a diner. Most canned baked beans have a staggering amount of sodium, with some containing over 30% of your daily allowance from a 1 cup serving. Homemade come in more like 9%. All my Facebook food pals assured me they take forever but are otherwise dead simple to make at home. This recipe makes a whack of beans so it would be great to make if you have a crowd coming over.

Maple Baked Beans

2 cups white kidney beans
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
dash or two of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp vinegar


Place beans in a bowl and cover them with cold water. Let them soak over night.

Rinse the beans well and place in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Drain. Put the beans in an oven-safe pot with a lid like a Dutch oven.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix syrup, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, onion, bacon and mustard. I read so many recipes because I thought it seemed strange to not cook the onions and bacon before adding them to the beans but it does work, plus makes this even simpler. Stir the sauce into the beans so that they’re completely coated. Mine seemed a bit dry so I added about 1 cup of water. Luckily I’d gotten pretty far along in this recipe before Julian added a few of his thoughts.

Put the lid on the pot and put in the hot oven. Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Carefully take the pot out every 45 minutes or so and give it all a stir to make sure that the beans are drinking up the sauce evenly and checking the beans for doneness. When they’re done taste to see if you’d like to add salt and pepper. And stir in that little bit of vinegar – it really does make a difference!

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  1. yasmin
    April 04, 10:58 Reply

    i love this maple series! james’ grandmother makes family-famous baked beans and she holds the secret ingredients close (even the veg version she makes us). i’ve long suspected maple syrup, vinegar and mustard are key so i’m excited to try your recipe which includes all 3! looks soooo good.

    when is julian posting his recipe? 😉

  2. Karen
    April 04, 13:10 Reply

    You had me at “maple” but there’s also BACON in this recipe. YUM.

  3. sandra
    May 17, 14:16 Reply

    Fabulous! First time through I did pre-cook the bacon (used 1/4 lb of the lower salt stuff) so that I could pat off the excess grease. Cooked it in the crockpot all day on low. Had chopped up everything the night before and then just dumped in the crockpot. Came home to wonderful smells and tasted yummy, but seemed a wee bit dry and beans were still a bit crunchy (although I had soaked them overnight). Next time, I simmered the beans for about a half hour while I was eating breakfast, and upped the water to 1 1/2 cups, and a good long squirt of ketchup. Much improved! Recipe is definitely a keeper.

  4. Ceri Marsh
    May 17, 14:18 Reply

    Hi Sandra,
    I’m so glad it worked out for you. Isn’t it amazing how long those beans take to cook? Crazy! But the results are really good, I agree. I think I’d up the bacon amount next time, too.
    Thanks for following!!

  5. Janine
    May 17, 18:48 Reply

    Don’t add the salt till the end it prevents the beans from cooking. I have made baked beans before many times and there is always water to cook with so definitely add water. The liquid should cover the beans by around an inch or so.

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