Boston baked beans in a bowl

Boston baked beans

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(7 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 2 hrs - 2 hrs, 30 mins Plus soaking


Serves 6

Try our American-style version of baked beans served with pork belly. This hearty, budget-friendly one-pot makes a comforting family dinner.

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal615
  • fat27g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs54g
  • sugars14g
  • fibre16g
  • protein43g
  • salt0.8g
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  • 500g pack dried haricot beans
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • ½ tbsp black treacle or molasses



    More commonly known as treacle or black treacle or, in the US as blackstrap molasses, molasses…

  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 800g piece pork belly
  • handful parsley, roughly chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. Soak the beans in a large bowl of cold water for at least 4 hrs or overnight. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Drain and rinse the beans and put in a large flameproof casserole with 1.5 litres water. Boil for 10 mins, skimming off any scum that appears on the surface.

  2. Add the onion, celery, carrot, Dijon mustard, sugar, treacle or molasses and tomato purée. Stir until everything is well mixed, then bury the piece of pork in among the beans. Cover tightly and cook in the oven for 2-2½ hrs until the beans and pork are very tender. Check halfway through the cooking time and top up with hot water from the kettle if necessary.

  3. Take the pork out of the pot. Cut into large chunks and serve with the beans, sprinkled with parsley.

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Comments, questions and tips

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7th Feb, 2014
Struggling to find dried Haricot beans these days! Tried Tesco, Aldi, Asda and Holland & Barrett. Any suggestions please? Tinned beans OK?
badzilla's picture
10th Oct, 2013
Great results but the sheet effort (overnight soaking and 3.75 hours cooking meant it had to be well planned, and as such I wouldn't repeat. I did blog the recipe and photographed my results at
12th Apr, 2013
Beans don't always need to be soaked overnight or for hours. Just wash, place in pan with water specified bring to the boil and continue boiling for 2 - 3 mins then remove from heat, cover and leave for 1-2 hours or until plump.
2nd Mar, 2012
I agree with Kaz. From the Boston area and this is NOTHING like Boston Baked Beans. I've never see carrots or celery in Boston Baked Beans. There are many variations...but never with vegetables other than maybe an onion for flavor. And we make them with either red kidney beans or pea beans. I grew up having Baked Beans EVERY SATURDAY night and my moms are obviously the best, but I've had them in several places. Take the celery and the carrot out...and you're close to the recipe...but we don't tend to use tomato based anything in them either.
12th Feb, 2012
@ Kaz: "Boston Baked Beans are traditionally flavoured with molasses and pork.." Erm, they're in the list of ingredients, M'kay??
12th Feb, 2012
This recipe needs to be renamed as it's nothing like Boston Baked Beans. Boston Baked Beans are traditionally flavoured with molasses and pork and tend to given a little kick with chilli powder. I have been making them for over 20 years having learnt the recipe when I lived in the USA. I make mine with regular beans (Heinz) to which I add, chilli powder, cayenne pepper, onions, minced beef,Ham, brown sugar and treacle and bbq sauce. Obviously mine is also a variation on the original theme which has evolved over the years
16th Dec, 2011
A great recipe which never fails. I usually serve it with sourdough bread which is a delicious contrast to the sweet molasses. Adding a bit of chorizo works well too!
28th Oct, 2011
Gonna try a good "Keith Floyd style" glop of red wine next time...(i.e., a couple of bottles ;-)
28th Oct, 2011
Doesn't get more simple! Slow cooker (crockpot) does it perfectly I make it at least once a month for Girlie and I. I use honey, molasses and brown sugar - about a tablespoonful of each - (tried it with dried kidney beans, following the soaking/boiling instructions in the same water, and that was even better). Put it in the pot on low in the evening. Forgot it till the following afternoon. Didn't matter. When we ate it first time, it was fantastic! You could've gone to a restaurant and blown 75 quid, but we spent less than a tenner for the same (We fill the freezer with every packet saying "50% off, and I use my local ethnic shop for pulses, etc.)
14th Apr, 2011
Very bland, a waste of good pork belly!


7th Feb, 2014
Hi. I'm struggling to find dried Haricot Beans. I've tried Tesco, Asda, Aldi and Holland & Barrett. any suggestions please? How do I need to amend the recipe if using tinned beans?
goodfoodteam's picture
13th Feb, 2014
Hi there, thanks for your question. If you're using tinned beans you can skip the overnight soaking. Add the tinned beans to the pork for the final 30 minutes of cooking time.Best wishes, BBC Good Food team
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