Canadian Recipes Side Dish Vegetarian

Baked Beans in Tomato and Molasses

This traditional recipe of navy beans slowly simmered in a tomato-molasses sauce makes a perfect side for holiday meals and is a hit with vegetarians too.

This traditional recipe, passed down from my grandpa, was usually served when the whole extended family got together for holiday meals.  It’s not terribly complicated and you can throw it together in a couple of minutes, however you must plan a day ahead if you want it to be ready in time for dinner.  The key to perfect beans is to soak them over night which allows them to swell, then boil them for about an hour and a half until perfectly tender.  This recipe is also a hit with the vegetarians in the family since it is high in protein, fiber and not to mention pretty filling too. Other variations include Boston Baked Beans (molasses and salt pork) and French Canadian Fèves au lard where they are flavored with maple syrup, lardon or bacon.

Baked Bean Ingredients
Baked Bean Ingredients

Baked Beans

This traditional recipe can be baked or slowly simmered in a slow cooker.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time9 hrs 30 mins
Soaking Time8 hrs
Servings: 8
Calories: 91kcal
Author: Kevin Lamoureux


  • 1 lb 16 oz. navy beans
  • 2 quarts water
  • ¾ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup chili sauce or barbecue sauce
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion 1 medium


  • Pour beans and water into a large saucepan, cover and soak for about 8 hours.
  • After soaking, adjust water level to cover beans if required.
  • Bring beans to a boil then reduce and simmer for 1½ hours.
  • Stir occasionally, remove foam and add water if required to ensure beans are covered in water.
  • After beans are tender, save 1 cup of the water (bean juice) and drain the rest.
  • Add beans and all other ingredients to a slow cooker, oven roast pan or bean pot.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours in a slow cooker or about 6 to seven hours in an oven at 250F.
  • Two hours before cooking is complete, remove 1 cup of the beans and mash them.
  • Stir mashed beans into the cooking pot and add a little water if bean mixture becomes dry.

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