Old Fashioned Molasses and Bacon Baked Beans

Posted on Mar 11 2014 - 1:41pm by Barry C. Parsons

Old Fashioned Molasses and Bacon Baked Beans – this easy recipe has all the flavour of grandma’s baked beans. Once they are in the oven, all you need is plenty of patience to let these slow cook to perfection.

Old Fashioned Molasses and Bacon Baked Beans

Old Fashioned Molasses and Bacon Baked Beans

Old Fashioned Molasses and Bacon Baked BeansBaked beans is another family favorite in our household and we have several go-to recipes depending on what else is on the menu. Search baked beans on this website and you’ll see several recipes from spicy Maple Chipotle to Baked Beans with Apple Sausage.


Today’s recipe is the one we use most often though and is pretty close to how I first made them over 30 years ago. The only real difference is that I like to use smoked paprika for added smokey flavor to the beans these days but you can easily substitute regular paprika if you can’t find smoked.

Be careful to use fancy molasses or light molasses in this recipe, other types like blackstrap or cooking molasses can be too strongly flavored.

This batch is also quite big and would serve a dozen people or more but we always make this large a batch to freeze them in 16 -20 ounce plastic containers to enjoy for lunch or with a great brunch for several weeks later. If you don’t want to make that much, the recipe is easily halved.

Apple Barbecue Pulled Pork

Apple Barbecue Pulled Pork


We love these beans served with our favorite Apple Barbeque Pulled Pork Sandwiches. The pulled pork and the beans are slow cooked for a similar amount of time so we often have both in the oven at the same time and are guaranteed leftovers for a couple of days, so it’s a great weekend cooking project.

Old Fashioned Molasses and Bacon Baked Beans

Old Fashioned Molasses and Bacon Baked Beans


Like this recipe?

You’ll find many more like this in our Newfoundland Inspired Recipes Category and in our Side Dishes Category.

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Old Fashioned Molasses and Bacon Baked Beans
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Old Fashioned Molasses and Bacon Baked Beans - this easy recipe has all the flavour of grandma's baked beans. Once they are in the oven, all you need is plenty of patience to let these slow cook to perfection.
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 12 or more servings
  • 1½ pounds dry white beans (or navy beans)Instructions
  • 1 pound sliced smoked bacon, cut in small pieces
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 large red onions chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup light or fancy molasses
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • one 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes, pureed
  • one 28 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 4 tbsp dijon mustard
  1. Begin by soaking in water overnight or up to 48 hours.
  2. In a large skillet slowly fry the bacon. Completely render the fat out of the bacon, leaving it crispy.
  3. Pour off the majority of the fat from the pan. Set the bacon aside.
  4. Return the pan to the stove over medium heat and add the onions and garlic.
  5. Cook until the onions and garlic are softened, then add the water.
  6. Let the water come to the boil to deglaze the pan.
  7. Add to a large covered roaster (Turkey roasting size) along with the crisp bacon, the soaked beans (which have been drained) and add all of the remaining ingredients.
  8. Stir all together well, cover and place in a 325 degree F oven for 4-5 hours or longer, stirring occasionally. The beans should be fully cooked and tender and the sauce should thicken. (see NOTE Regarding cooking time.)
  9. I almost always add a little extra boiling water at a few points during the cooking time if the sauce thickens too quickly before the beans are fully cooked, usually about 1 to 1½ cups at a time. This is not a problem at all and is to be expected.
The cooking time seems to vary a great deal depending upon the type of white bean you are using. I have seen some that can take up to 8 hours to fully cook in a slow oven. The best approach is to consider this an all day recipe that you start in the morning for dinner. Baked beans are even better when cooked a day ahead, which is how I mostly cook them.



12 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Krista February 23, 2015 at 12:47 am - Reply

    Hi Barry,

    I just got a new Le Creuset bean pot and can’t wait to try this recipe!! I was just wondering if any other beans would work for this recipe? Like red kidney beans or black beans? I only ask because those are the two I use the most and always have on hand! I don’t mind picking up other kinds, just curious really! Thanks!!!

  2. heather May 23, 2015 at 12:17 am - Reply

    Hi Barry, I usually just boil the beans for an hour prior to cooking instead of soaking overnight. Do you know if this changes their texture at all? I’m excited to try your take on another Newfoundland recipe (I use your snowball recipe because it’s better than my Nan’s…shh!)! Of course the most important thing to know about baked beans is that all you need with them is homemade bread…yum!

  3. Cathy July 7, 2015 at 7:53 am - Reply

    hi Berry. I have made this recipe a few times and I love love it. I’m looking forward to serving my entire family this weekend for the first time. They will be shocked I made this. I don’t like to cook but I want your book. Where can I purchase it

    • Barry C. Parsons July 7, 2015 at 10:33 am - Reply

      Thanks. Online at Amazon is probably the easiest way to purchase.

  4. Marguerite March 12, 2016 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    Could they be cooked in a crockpot?

  5. Tanya April 4, 2016 at 12:33 am - Reply

    Would any adjustments need to be made if these were done in a slow cooker? Thanks!

  6. Lynda McGuire October 15, 2016 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    I hate to ask this question as the recipe seems perfect the way it is….but….I don’t use dried beans ever therefore, could you use canned baked beans with all the accompanying flavors and eliminate the water and tomatoes?

    • Barry C. Parsons October 16, 2016 at 11:24 am - Reply

      Why don’t you use dry beans? Definitely better. I wouldn’t recommend using cooked beans. This is a very large batch of beans, so it would be difficult to adapt to taste similar to the real thing. The slow cooking is really what intensifies the flavour.

  7. David November 30, 2016 at 10:55 am - Reply

    I’ve always soaked the beans and then cooked for an hour before going in the oven. Reserve the bean water then to use if they are dry. Prevents any hard beans.

    Liked the smoked paprika.

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