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.