bostonbeansBoston Beans may not have onions in the title but I have included it in the onions recipe section because it;

  • - contains 2 large onions, more than most recipes!
  • - is such a popular food at our parties we needed to include it somewhere.
  • - is a very flexible recipe

This recipe can be used as a meal in itself they are tasty enough. It is equally good served as a side with any grilled meat. It was originally served to us as an accompaniment to BBQ food and in my opinion it is best cooked long and slow so the beans start to go mushy. For this quantity you’ll need a big saucepan.

Serves lots! Approx 4 people as a meal,10 - 20 people as a side, however they usually want seconds

Link to measurement conversion chart


  • 3 x 420g cans of baked beans
  • 1 x 410g can of butter beans
  • 1 x 410g of red kidney beans
  • 2 large or 4 small onions chopped
  • 8 rashers bacon chopped  – optional
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 6 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste or 3 cloves crushed

You will also need

  • A large saucepan
  • A wooden spoon
  • A good Yee Haw voice!


  1. Fry the onions in a little oil until soft and brown
  2. Add the bacon and fry till crisp
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil
  4. Turn down the heat to simmer and cook for at least 30 mins, stirring occasionally. Have a care as the high sugar content means the beans may catch in your pan
  5. At the end of the cooking time shout yeehaaaaw! Very loudly. You have just made Boston Beans

Serving suggestions and variations

  • This is best made in advance and allowed to mature, reheat gently just before serving being carful to ensure the beans dont burn on the base of the pan.
  • Use 5 cans of mixed beans instead of the individual ones listed, or your favourite selection of mixed beans with a tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Add a jar of tomato passata sauce if you want more sauce with your beans
  • The quantity of beans can be halved if you need less but the other ingredients and cooking time should be the same
  • The quantity can be doubled but you will need a huge pan, may need to cook the beans a little longer and will need to mind them carefully so they dont burn.
  • These beans freeze well, make the full quantity and portion them so you can defrost the volume needed.
  • Miss out the bacon if you want a vegetarian option but increase the onions to compensate.
  • Do not miss out the Yeehaaaaw especially if you have children, it authenticates the beans, very important!


This recipe for Boston Beans is an authentic American recipe passed on to me by a former colleague, Nick, who had received it from his American mother in law. Thanks Nick you have helped to bring a wonderful food to the masses. Now I can send friends to the web site instead of e-mailing the recipe when they want it.

If you liked this recipe you may also like to try one of these recipes from our collection:

  • Slow Cooked Onions should not be held in reserved for a BBQ, try them as a side with a chop or roast
  • For the diet concious Roasted Jacket Potato Wedges make a super alternative to chips, they also great served as a sharing starter or snack with dips
  • You can't beat a Traditional Cream Tea on a warm summers day, and remember warm scones are also great in the middle of winter too.


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Happy eating!