Chef John's Boston Baked Beans

Bacon, navy beans, molasses, brown sugar, and mustard are the key ingredients in this simple, inexpensive side dish.

Soak navy beans overnight in a large bowl with enough water by several inches. Drain and place beans into a large Dutch oven or heavy pot with 6 cups water, baking soda, and bay leaf. Bring...


  • 1 pound dry navy beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 pinch baking soda
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

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