Molasses baked beans with a touch of sass

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Molasses baked beans

I associate February with crazy storms. When I was in grade three our region was hit with the Groundhog Gale, a massive nor’easter that hit on February 2nd, Groundhog Day.

As an eight year old it was thrilling.

Molasses baked beans

It all started out as a normal school day.

Off we walked to our neighbourhood elementary school in a heavy breeze and pelted with rain. Before recess we could see garbage cans being blown down the street and before lunchtime we were told that school was closing dues to the storm and we were all to go home.

Most of us were walkers so out into the gale we went to make our way home.

It was the most thrilling walk of my life. With the wind at our backs we were tossed along the rain coated ice like it was some kind of high-speed carnival ride. We were blown into puddles and hung onto trees to catch our breath. We screamed in delight and took the long way home to prolong the fun.

Can you imagine?

Molasses baked beans

Apparently the winds were clocked at over 140 km per hour and there were reports that salt spray from the Bay of Fundy was found on homes more than 10 kilometres inland. I’m sure we were home before it got that bad but still…

My poor mom hadn’t even been notified that school was closed.

Molasses baked beans

Baked beans are the sort of satisfying meal that helps you weather February storms. The long baking time keeps the kitchen cozy (although they can be baked in a crockpot) and leftovers can we eaten with breakfast.

This is the recipe that I grew up with, adapted from The Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook. It has a bit of a bite from the pepper (that’s the sass) to balance the sweetness and develops an amazing depth of flavour. Enjoy these baked beans with oatmeal brown bread or cracked wheat brown bread

Molasses Baked Beans

  • 2 cups dried navy or pea beans
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. dried mustard
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 slice of bacon, chopped or 1 Tbsp. butter
  • Boiling water
  1. Soak 2 cups of dried navy or white beans in water overnight.
  2. The next day, drain the beans, put them in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes (or until the skins break when you blow on them).
  3. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  4. Drain the beans and put them in a large ovenproof pot or bean crock. Bury peeled onion in the middle of the beans.
  5. Mix together and pour over the beans: brown sugar, molasses, salt, dry mustard and pepper. Dab with the butter or sprinkle over the bacon pieces.
  6. Pour over enough boiling water to just cover the beans.
  7. Cover the pot and cook for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary so the beans do not dry out. Take the lid off for the last half hour of cooking.

Tasty tip: You can also add half a peeled apple to the mixture along with the onion.


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Here’s to eating well, everyday,

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11 thoughts on “Molasses baked beans with a touch of sass

  1. Lorraine says:

    Hi there;
    I have the beans waiting for me when I get home tonight; made them in the slow cooker on low and added just a bit more water to accommodate this method of cooking. Can’t wait! The recipe has more sugar than my usual one so will let you know how it goes. I am sure the family will love it. Beans and fish cakes; yumm, should chase away the winter blues.

    1. Hi Lorraine, Lucky you to have baked beans waiting at home. I’m wishing I had the same but I do have navy beans soaking on the counter so that’ll be my supper tomorrow night. Fish cakes alongside sounds delicious, must give it a try.

  2. Baked brown beans are a strong favourite childhood memory for me, too… and I have a similar memory of walking through a storm, but I was in junior high – but could relate to that feeling and it brought me right back to my old family home table – warm and cozy, with the storm raging outside. Home was always such a safe place. I love that feeling. So, these baked beans look heavenly… yet my mom always made pork and beans… always… there wasn’t much pork to eat in the bowl, but the flavour of smoky bacon was strong and prevalent, so I know that more than one piece of bacon was used in her recipe. Reading all the comments here, it is time to make my own. Never have.

  3. Sheila says:

    I triple my recipe and then I can freeze in batches also this is the time for homemade bread/biscuts. Ham and coleslaw.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Great suggest. I’m going to do that next time since we love leftovers but never seem to have any.

  4. monica bourque says:

    I have been making baked beans with molasses for many years, and my mother before me, this recipe is almost like mine except I use olive oil instead of bacon or fat pork, my husband loves them.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Monica, Like you I never use meat in my recipe, although the original recipe calls for 1/4 lb of fat salt pork! I might try olive oil next time.

  5. Maggie says:

    My aunt used to use yellow or brown eyed beans for this, made for a nice change. I myself add a few drops or hot sauce to my bowl! And, they taste pretty good cold plopped on top of a green salad for lunch the next day!

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Maggie, THanks for the suggestion to add a bit of hot sauce. Sounds like a delicious addition. I love them cold too!

  6. Danielle says:


    I have a question for you,
    the last time a make some bean, very good,
    and 3 days..
    whas rot, in my refrigerator,…

    I follow the recip,and ont no y not good at all..

    thank you…

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Danielle,
      Baked beans should last more than three days in the fridge, so I’m not sure what went wrong with your recipe. If there is meat in the recipe they won’t last as long.

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