Baked beans are a vital part of the traditional foodways of Maine. The bean of choice: heirloom yellow eye beans, favored for their mild taste and ability to hold their shape through a 4-1/2- to 5-hour cooking process.

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 300 min

Total time: 305 min

New England Baked Beans
Copyright Recipe © 2015 Woodland Foods


Makes 6 to 8 servings


  1. Place beans in bowl with three times their volume of water. Soak overnight. Drain.

  2. Cover beans with fresh cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 40 minutes or until beans are just tender.

  3. Preheat oven to 325°F.

  4. Cut salt pork into small pieces. Mix onion and pork into beans, add bay leaves and add to earthenware bean pot or other dish with lid. Pour molasses over mixture.

  5. Bring 2-1/2 cups water to a boil. Add sugar, mustard, ginger, salt and pepper, and stir. Pour over beans. Top with more water if necessary. Beans should be just barely covered.

  6. Cover dish, transfer to oven and bake 3-1/2 hours. Remove lid from dish, and continue baking for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, until beans are very tender but retain their shape.