ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans

Updated on January 28, 2018
DzyMsLizzy profile image

Vegetarian recipes, healthy foods, kitchen tips and shortcuts interest Liz, but she also likes desserts!

Boston Baked Beans Introduction

Traditionally, this hearty recipe is made with a chunk of salt pork for flavor and some fat content. As meat goes, it is a very minuscule amount, and the pork is left in the pot; not served with the beans. (There is actually precious little "meat" in salt pork--it is mostly a chunk of fat and rind.)

Nonetheless, for vegetarian purists and vegans, even a tiny bit of meat can add an unwanted flavor, or be considered as a contaminant.

As a practicing vegetarian since the mid 1980's, and missing my mother's "BBB," (as we used to refer to this dish), I eliminated the pork and found another way to keep the recipe as genuine as possible.

Beans And Brown Bread, Plated And Ready to Serve

Boston Baked Beans with brown bread is a traditional New England meal.
Boston Baked Beans with brown bread is a traditional New England meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups small white beans, sorted, rinsed, and soaked
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1 heaping tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup honey, (optional-if you want sweeter beans)
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, (replaces the pork fat)
  • 2 tsps. liquid smoke flavoring, (optional)
  • boiling water, to just cover the beans
  • 1 small onion, chopped fairly fine
Ingredients laid out at the ready.  The apparent discrepancy between recipe quantities and those shown in the photo is because I was making a double batch
Ingredients laid out at the ready. The apparent discrepancy between recipe quantities and those shown in the photo is because I was making a double batch
Chop the onions fairly finely
Chop the onions fairly finely
Prep time: 24 hours
Cook time: 8 hours
Ready in: 32 hours
Yields: Apporximately one dozen 1 cup servings

Please do not freak out about the preparation and cooking time. Much of it is unattended time, while the beans soak overnight, and bake in the oven. You are free to do other things during these hours, such as get some quality sleep while the soaking happens.

Before You Begin

The first thing you need to do is to

Next, par-boil (meaning to boil them for a while before putting into the baking dish) the beans so they will be sure to get fully cooked.

Par-Boiling the Beans is an Essential Step

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Boiling beans will create foam; it is not harmful, and can be ignored, but you can skim it off if you wish.Boil the beans until skins roll back when blown upon. This is what you're looking for in this test
Boiling beans will create foam; it is not harmful, and can be ignored, but you can skim it off if you wish.
Boiling beans will create foam; it is not harmful, and can be ignored, but you can skim it off if you wish.
Boil the beans until skins roll back when blown upon. This is what you're looking for in this test
Boil the beans until skins roll back when blown upon. This is what you're looking for in this test

Method

  1. Cover the soaked beans fully with fresh water, and bring to a boil. Allow to boil until the skins roll back when blown upon, about 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the beans. Start a pot of fresh water on the stove to boil.
  3. Place all ingredients except the beans in the bottom of a bean pot or 2-quart casserole with a snug-fitting lid.
  4. Dump the beans into the pot or casserole on top of the other ingredients. Pour boiling water over the top to just barely cover the beans. Cover the pot.
  5. Place beans into the oven at 350° F (176° C) for 8 hours. You will want to check them every hour or so, and top off with a bit more boiling water. Don't let them cook dry.
  6. At the end of the cook time, remove bean pot to a heat-proof mat, and allow to stand for a few moments prior to serving.

Dump All Ingredients Into Your Baking Dish

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Add all the other ingredients to the bottom of the baking pot before the beansDump the boiled beans on top, and pour the boiling or very hot water over the top; no need to stir
Add all the other ingredients to the bottom of the baking pot before the beans
Add all the other ingredients to the bottom of the baking pot before the beans
Dump the boiled beans on top, and pour the boiling or very hot water over the top; no need to stir
Dump the boiled beans on top, and pour the boiling or very hot water over the top; no need to stir

Ooops! Check Your Cooking Pot First!

I actually have an antique bean pot that my mother used; it was her mother's before her. I've used it myself in the past, but it suddenly occurred to me that as old as it is, the glaze used on the pot is undoubtedly a lead-based glaze. Not wise to use such containers for food, now that we know these things that prior generations did not.

I was therefore going to use the crockery insert from my slow cooker instead, but still wanted the beans done in the oven, as is traditional. Lo and behold, did I ever goof! It turned out the handle on the lid is plastic, and before it was in the oven very long, it had melted out of shape!

A quick switch was in order, and I had to dump the beans into a Corning Ware™ casserole dish, which has a lid and handle fully formed of glass. (This is why the beginning photos of the ingredients do not match the end photo of the finished dish.)

Normally, you do not stir the beans during cooking, but this time, they got fully stirred and mixed during the pot-changing process. Oh, well. No harm is done if you do stir or mix; it just is not the traditional method.

Lesson learned: check your cookware prior to putting it in the oven so you know it can handle the heat!

Checking the Beans During Baking

Click thumbnail to view full-size
If the beans look similar to this when you check them, you don't need to add any water If the beans look like this when checked, add boiling water to just cover them
If the beans look similar to this when you check them, you don't need to add any water
If the beans look similar to this when you check them, you don't need to add any water
If the beans look like this when checked, add boiling water to just cover them
If the beans look like this when checked, add boiling water to just cover them

Be sure to have a snug-fitting lid to cover your beans as they cook. This will both protect your oven from spatters and help keep the moisture in the beans.

The photos above have the lid removed for photo purposes, but you can see by the sides of the dish what a mess you might have without the lid. The clear glass lid to the pot I used was so covered with splatter that it became opaque! Photos through the lid would have been impossible.

No wonder the antique bean pots were glazed with a dark brown color!

Serving Suggestion

We used to always have just the beans with brown bread, and maybe a tossed salad. Other vegetables can be added as a side dish, perhaps squash or spinach.

The beans can be eaten plain, or served with ketchup (a kid favorite), or some like them with piccalilli, a sweet relish made from green tomatoes, another New England tradition.

My mother used to eat leftover baked beans cold, in a sandwich with mayonnaise. I never got into that--it doesn't even sound good to me. But apparently is an Old New England practice, for that is where she grew up.

Enjoy your fresh, home made baked beans any way you choose; there are no right or wrong ways, as long as you like what you are eating.

Cast your vote for Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans

© 2014 Liz Elias

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    3 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Hello, Sed-me,

    I use brown sugar sometimes, mostly molasses, and other times, I use both. It depends on my mood and what I have on hand. It's a fairly flexible recipe, but I didn't add 'and/either/or' to the recipe here, to avoid confusion.

    Thanks for stopping by, and sharing your memory of your mom's baked beans. Cheers!

  • Sed-me profile image

    Sed-me 

    3 years ago from An undisclosed location.

    My mom used to make these... Im surprised there is no brown sugar, maybe b/c of the molasses. Now Im hungry! :)

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    4 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Hi, Suzanne--

    I'm not sure where your source might be, but we find smoke flavoring in the same section of the store with the things like ketchup and mustard. Failing that, you might be able to purchase it online.

    I'm glad you liked the recipe; be advised the beans are less dark if you use light molasses, which the original recipe calls for--I prefer the more bold flavor of the dark variety.

    Thanks very much for the votes!

  • Suzanne Day profile image

    Suzanne Day 

    4 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

    This looks like a great recipe for vegetarians - I am always on the lookout for something new or something you can make with minimal fuss at home. I don't know where I would be able to purchase smoke flavouring, but I do have access to lots of different molasses in the supermarket where I work, so I look forward to trying out different molasses to see what flavours can be achieved. Voted up and useful!

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    4 years ago from Oakley, CA

    @ catgypsy--Glad you liked the recipe; I hope you enjoy them. Thanks very much!

    @ b.Malin--Thank you very much for the nice compliment on the photos! I, too, enjoy beans, and am always on the lookout for vegetarian options; I've converted many old family recipes. Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • b. Malin profile image

    b. Malin 

    4 years ago

    Hi DzyMsLizzy, I so enjoyed reading and looking at your Wonderful pictures, I'm a Bean lover, and vegetarian beans are my choice as well. I will definitely try your Recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  • catgypsy profile image

    catgypsy 

    4 years ago from the South

    Sounds perfect and I'll bet you wouldn't even miss the salt pork! I'm definitely going to try these.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    4 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Hello, FlourishAnyway!

    Thank you very much. I'm delighted you like the recipe. I agree, I'm always on the hunt for vegetarian dishes. Thanks for your comment.

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 

    4 years ago from USA

    Well done instructions. This looks good. We need all the vegetarian options available.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    4 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Hello, ChitrangadaSharan,

    So pleased you liked this recipe and the photos. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

    Chitrangada Sharan 

    4 years ago from New Delhi, India

    Sounds simple and delicious! Nice and well done hub with helpful pictures! I like it the vegetarian way.

    Thanks!

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)