Homemade baked beans can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch or supper -throughout the year. This recipe for Quebec maple baked beans is truly that versatile. Also provided in this recipe are cooking guidelines so that these baked beans can easily be made in your slow-cooker or oven. Make a batch of these great-tasting baked beans today!
I was raised in Montreal’s Italian neighborhood – tomatoes growing in small backyard gardens, Sunday lunches lasting an entire afternoon; those sorts of things were commonplace.
But growing up in Montreal also meant that I had the privilege of being exposed to so many wonderful French Canadian food traditions, such as this recipe for Homemade Quebec Maple Baked Beans.
Any Quebecker will tell you that baked beans, also known as fèves au lard, are an integral part of any sugar-shacking experience in the spring.
But these baked beans can easily be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch or supper and throughout the year. They make one of the best side dishes, especially when served alongside this finger-licking recipe for Bar-B-Barn Ribs.
This easy-baked beans recipe is so versatile that it can be easily adapted for your meatless Monday lineup. I have also provided you with cooking guidelines so that it can easily be made in your slow-cooker or oven.
How to make baked beans
When preparing any recipe for baked beans, you will immediately notice that the prep time is minimal compared to the idle time and that it all starts with a good soak.
Rinsing and soaking the beans
Before you soak your beans, it is important to
- rinse and sort them;
- remove any shriveled or discolored beans and
- remove any small rocks or debris.
Regarding the issue of soaking your dry beans, there have been different opinions regarding the necessity of this activity. In my humble opinion, providing your dry navy beans with an overnight soak will allow you to reduce the total cooking time.
Furthermore, it literally takes a couple of minutes to fill up a bowl of beans with water and leave it for an overnight soak on the counter. The overnight room temperature soak can take anywhere from 8 to 12 hours. Ensure you submerge your beans with at least two inches of water as they will absorb a lot of water.
Precooking the beans
Here’s another highly debatable step. Some will argue that since the beans will cook for a long period of time, this step is unnecessary. Once again, I will share the method that works for me.
With that being said, I rinse and drain (again) the soaked beans. I will then place them in a pot of water to simmer for about 45 minutes. After which, they get another rinse and are ready for the final step.
Slow cooker method for baked beans
Transfer the rinsed precooked beans to your slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir together and place a whole onion in the center. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours or until the beans are tender. If the mixture appears dry, you can add some water. These crockpot baked beans can be served immediately or refrigerated and served reheated the next day. The flavor actually improves the longer they stay in the fridge.
Dutch oven method for baked beans
Preheat oven to 225°F. Once again, transfer the precooked beans to your dutch oven or a large ovenproof pot. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover and cook for approximately 6 hours. You can remove the lid for the last 30 minutes or so to obtain a nice golden color. As with the slow cooker method, if the beans appear dry, add a little water.
I prefer to make a vegetarian version of this recipe for Homemade Quebec Maple Baked Beans. However, I have been known to throw in some Italian pancetta or even some Canadian smoked bacon. The final product is creamy and smokey… just perfect as a main, as a side or even to top off those potatoes!
There is nothing healthier than eating a bowl of baked beans. This low-calorie food is high in fiber, which keeps your intestines working properly; it’s also a great protein source, promoting healthy muscle tissue. As a bonus, it even has a low glycemic index. There are just a few of the benefits of baked beans. [Pulse Canada]
White bean recipes we love
As I have previously mentioned, I have an extensive collection of newspaper clippings from the Food section of the Montreal Gazette. I’ve adapted this recipe from one such clipping.
Healthy Homemade Quebec Maple Baked Beans … the perfect side dish for your BBQ.
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★★★★★ If you have made this Baked Beans recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Homemade Quebec Maple Baked Beans
- 1 pound dry beans (navy, great Northern...) 2-⅓ cups
- water for soaking and precooking
- 1 medium onion
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste in a pinch I have substituted with ketchup
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 3 cups water for cooking
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
Rinsing and soaking the beans:
- Rinse and sort the beans; remove any pebbles or debris.
- Place the beans in a large bowl.
- Fill with water to submerge the beans with at least two inches of water.
- Soak overnight (8-12 hours).
Precooking the beans:
- The next day, transfer the drained and rinsed beans again to a large pot.
- Re-fill with water and bring to a boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.
- Remove from heat and rinse again.
Method for the slow cooker:
- Transfer the rinsed precooked beans to your slow cooker.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, stir together and place the whole onion in the center.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours or until the beans are tender. If the mixture appears dry, you can add some water.
Dutch oven method:
- Preheat oven to 225°F.
- Once again, transfer the precooked beans to your dutch oven or a large oven-proof pot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, cover and cook for approximately 6 hours.
- Remove the lid for the last 30 minutes or so to obtain a nice golden color. As with the slow cooker method, if the beans appear dry, add a little water.
This post was originally published on April 24, 2016 and republished on March 7, 2018 with updated content and photos.
The beans turned out great. However, added a 1/4 cup of cider vinegar since I found all the ingredients were a little too sweet. Will definitely make it again.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience with this recipe. I appreciate it Tanya!
Hello! The Maple Baked Beans recipe came across my search today. I am so glad I have found your site. I’m especially looking for ways to increase calcium, reduce salt and in general, prepare healthier recipes. I love this baked bean recipe! I am going to look through your recipes thoroughly and I really appreciate the work you have put into your recipes. Thank you so much!
My pleasure Barbara! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.
I just found your recipe and just made it yesterday! Since I’m living in Québec, my husband loves baked beans so I wanted to try! First I made it with exactly same amount you wrote. Used slow cooker and put 10h. After that my husband checked the taste and he wanted like Clark beans… so we put kinda double amount of the ingredients (maple molasses salt) then put extra 10h. Now he is happy lol I loved it original taste because I don’t like too sweet. But anyway… came out 20h plus double ingredients!
Thanks so much for taking the time to share Hiro!
Just finished a batch tonight.
They are terrific. I followed the recipe, but i took more than 8 hours in the slow cooker for water to reduced. I also added lard i had previously removed from half pork loin. Delicious.
Next time, i will be using 1.5 cup of water instead of 3 cup.
Did i did something wrong? Pleaselet me know.
Thanks so much for sharing Patrice. I don’t think you did anything wrong. I am guessing that slow cookers are a little bit like ovens… everyone heats up a little differently. Glad to read you enjoyed them.
added some dried thyme and cider vinegar but otherwise stuck to the recipe. thank you!
Thanks so much for sharing Jen!
I tried these last night (as the first recipe in my new dutch oven).
They turned out well (so thanks for posting), but I think I will play with the recipe next time.
My pleasure LG. Thanks so much for your comment.
What did I do wrong?, I cooked these in the slow cooker with the ingredients and three cups of water. They cooked for 6 to 7 hours . The beans are cooked but I still have almost three cups of liquid! Bean soup albeit maple flavoured. I’m going to try to bake in the oven tomorrow with the lid off. Any thoughts as to what went wrong? Thanks
Hi Judy, I don’t think you did anything wrong. Every slow cooker works a little differently. Once you bake them and the liquid evaporates, the taste will amazing. Perhaps you can reduce the amount of added liquid the next time you make the recipe. Thanks so much for your comment.
I loved this recipe as did my family. The only change I made to the recipe was that I chopped the onion into the beans before turning on my crockpot. I will be making these again!
Thanks Cynthia! So glad to hear you enjoy the recipe. That is exactly what my daughter does! It really is so good!
I made these beans exactly as written, adding a bit of bacon, and they were perfect! Thank you for sharing this.
My pleasure Lyn! Thank you for taking the time to comment.
Hi Maria, Just getting the ingredients to make these awesome beans again. My family truly love this recipe and I make it quite often. One question. If I double the recipe, should I double the water to 6 cups instead of 3? It seems like a lot.
Hi Kathleen, I have never doubled the recipe but I would agree with you, it does seem like a lot. I would start with 4-5 cups and assess. You can always add a little more water if needed. Thrilled to hear you are enjoying this recipe. Thanks so much for stopping by!
Thanks Maria. I ended up making two batches over two days then mixed everything together. Turned out delicious. With weather in Montreal being as it is, everyone enjoyed this truly comforting dish. Thanks again Maria.
My pleasure Kathleen! Your very own cabane à sucre! Thanks for sharing!