To me, baked beans are the ultimate winter comfort food. This recipe from Canadian Living—based on the traditional dish served at the Zurich, Ontario bean festival—is delicious. Quick soak and cook dried white beans, combine with bacon, tomato juice, brown sugar, ketchup, salt, dry mustard and pepper and then bake low and slow for three to four hours. You can serve this as a side dish or on its own with toast and a green salad.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for bacon preserved with celery salt instead of nitrites. Heinz tomato juice and ketchup are additive-free, as is Keen’s dry mustard.

Soak beans and then cook until tender

Add tomato juice, ketchup, bacon, brown sugar, salt, pepper and dry mustard to cooked beans

Cook for 3-4 hours, adding bean cooking liquid if necessary


2 ½ cups (625 ml) white pea beans

¼ lb (125 g) bacon, cubed

1 ½ cups (375 ml) tomato juice

1 cup (250 ml) brown sugar

1 cup (250 ml) ketchup

1 tbsp (15 ml) salt

½ tsp (2.5 ml) dry mustard

½ tsp (2.5 ml) pepper


In large saucepan, pour 8 cups (2 L) water over beans, bring to boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand for 1 hour. Drain, discarding liquid.

In same saucepan, pour 8 cups (2 L) fresh water over beans; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until beans are tender. Drain, reserving liquid.

In casserole, combine beans, bacon, tomato juice, sugar, ketchup, salt, mustard and pepper. Cover and bake in 300 F (150 C) oven for 3 to 3 ½ hours or until tender, checking every 45 minutes and stirring in reserved liquid, if necessary, to moisten beans. Serves 6.

From the Canadian Living 20th Anniversary Cookbook