Julia Child’s Boston Baked Beans

This classic baked beans recipe from Julia Child comes from her long-running column in Food & Wine.

Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
12 hrs
2 quarts

The leisurely overnight soak followed by long, low simmer produces, to my mind, a bean as tender, meaty, and thoroughly pleasurable as a bean can be. An electric slow cooker is ideal because it needs no watching, but a well-tended and roomy saucepan or casserole will also do.

These Boston baked beans are cooked long and slowly, so they literally caramelize in their juices. Using the slow-cook system, there's no soaking, no fussing. You just dump everything into the pot at night, and the next morning they are done. I particularly like using the electric slow-cooker here since I feel safe leaving it on overnight. — Julia Child


  • 1 (2-inch square) salt pork, cut into matchsticks

  • 2 cups small dried white beans, rinsed and picked over

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoons dark unsulfured molasses

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 5 cups water


  1. Place all ingredients in a slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 12 to 14 hours, regulating heat to maintain an almost simmer. Alternatively, cook in a tightly covered casserole in a 225°F oven until beans turn a dark reddish caramel brown, about 8 hours. Add a little boiling water if beans begin to look dry. Correct seasoning before serving.

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