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...) 2-1/3 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.
I’m making a new batch of these today. Best ever!! First time I didn’t have dry mustard so I just used yellow mustard. Everyone loved these!! Great recipe!!
How wonderful Sandi! Thanks so much for sharing!
This recipe looks wonderful! I’m wondering if the pre-cook of dry beans could be avoided by using canned white beans? What would be the amount needed, and would the water or cooking time need to be adjusted? Sometimes, the overnight soak and all the boiling isn’t an option if the chance to plan ahead isn’t there. Thank you.
Hi May! This is a really great point. I will have to try it out to give specific directions. I am putting it on my to-do list.
Hi Maria, I’m just preparing your delicious looking recipe now. Should i be stirring, occasionally, once in the crock pot?
I can’t wait to try this ❤️
Thanks for your interest Lori. You could if you wanted to but it is not necessary. That being said, I stir more frequently towards the end of the cooking time. Enjoy!
Do NOT throw out the pre cooking water. Use was the actual cooking. That is what makes the beans so good. And so many nutrients are in it! Other than that, excellent recipe, thank you.
Thanks for sharing Manon!
john randy hobbs
Thanks so much John!
Awesome recipe everyone loves it. The only thing is I find cooked in crockpot beans don’t get tender enough,I leave them on longer
Thanks Lisa. Yes, there could be slight variations in the total cook time based on the type and size of the crockpot. It’s always best to taste and check.
This looks perfect, but it I admit that I’ve not tried them yet. I will! I’m commenting on the overnight soak and pre-cook as an expert (Md/PhD biochemistry). Beans have an indigestible carbohydrate that pulls water via osmotic pressure into the gut. The indigestible carbohydrate can and is digested by gut bacteria, which get a bit carried away in a feeding frenzy. Hence, the, er, unfortunate GI side effects of beans, which makes people stay away. The overnight soak pulls a lot of this carbohydrate out of the beans. The pre-cook pulls the rest. Notice the discarded water both times. That white coloration is your saying “bye-bye nasty carb.” There is most definitely a reason to do both. You and your gut will be happier with beans. FYI, you are so right about the québécois food. We spent out honeymoon in the Laurentians and visit annually for F1. Vive Montreal!
Thank you so much for taking the time to share Zackbox! It really is “la belle province”. All the best!
Robin Ten Heggeler
The 3 cups of wAter for cooking. Is this added to the slow cooker or used for pre-cooking the beans?
Robin Ten Heggeler
Thanks for your interest Robin. It is for cooking the beans. Enjoy!
My family loves these baked beans. I actually quadruple the batch and freeze them in smaller portions in ziploc bags.. My family are big meat eaters so I add bacon and ham and sometimes brisket. I chop up my onions instead and caramelize then with some bacon grease for added flavour. I’ve given some to friends and neighbours and they all love this recipe as well. Thanks for sharing!!
How wonderful Lyndsay! So happy to read this, thanks for sharing.
Quick question Maria.
Do you have to use molasses or can just the maple syrup be used?
Thanks for your interest Ashley. I find the molasses creates a deeper flavor. Hope that helps.
perfect breakfast beans recipe. I make them all the time.
Thanks so much for sharing Julia! They really are so good!
I rarely leave comments and I am not a baked bean lover but these
are amazing. My husband makes this and doubles the recipe. The only addition he makes is he uses maple bacon and the flavour is delicious.
I am so thrilled to read this! Thanks so much for sharing Debbie!