Québécois Maple~Mustard Baked Beans

Baked beans are popular additions to summer barbecue buffet tables.  Although classic Boston-style baked beans are in a tomato based sauce and sweetened with molasses, this French Canadian version is more delicate in flavor and seasoned with pure maple syrup, a staple in all French Canadian homes.  Navy beans or any white beans are soaked overnight and slowly baked in a low oven or in a crockpot with onions, mustard and bacon.  This is my mother Pierrette’s recipe but a little of my research has discovered that virtually all Québécois baked bean recipes are almost identical and go back to the 19th Century.  Such longevity is a strong testimonial to how delicious these beans are!  A favorite of traditional French Canadian hearty breakfasts, a side of these beans is enjoyed in the morning.  For breakfast recently, I served them with fried eggs and a spicy sweet potato hash to my husband who raved about the sweet-spicy combo.  Adding some sautéed greens and serving  the beans over grains turns them into a meal.  Economical, versatile and easy, they feed a crowd or can be frozen for later use.  Take your summer entertaining north of border this year with fèves au lard (pronounced fev-o-lar) and watch them vanish to rave reviews.


Maple~Mustard Fèves au lard

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 pound of dried navy beans (cannellini or white kidney or a mix of them can be substituted)

water to soak and to cook in

1 onion, chopped 

8 oz thick cut bacon or salt pork, finely diced

1 T dried mustard

1 t salt, or more to taste

1/2 t  black pepper, or more to taste

2/3 c maple syrup

Place the beans in a casserole and pick through and discard any broken beans or stones. Cover the beans with cold water and soak overnight, at least 8 hours.  Add water to keep the beans covered, as needed.  Drain the beans.

In A Dutch oven or the bowl of your slowcooker, place the beans and add enough water to just cover the beans, about 2 1/2 cups.  Stir in the onions and bacon.  Whisk together the maple syrup and seasonings and pour over the beans. Mix well.  Cover.

If using the crockpot:  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

If using the oven method:  Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes on the stove top. Drain.  Add more water to just cover the beans.  Mix in all the seasonings. Transfer to oven and   bake with a cover on , at 275 F oven for 3 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings.  The oven baked version will be a little more golden in color and it is how my mom always makes them.

For the best flavor, baked beans are best served the day after baking them.





Jean- Paul Lemieux, Village le long du St-Laurent, 1951 Lock Gallery, Calgary, AB Jean- Paul Lemieux, Village le long du St-Laurent, 1951
Lock Gallery, Calgary, AB

If your travels take you to Montréal this summer, here is where you can try authentic fèves au lard:



22 thoughts on “Québécois Maple~Mustard Baked Beans

  1. Great French Canadian dish Johanne. You’ve got me longing to go to Montreal and Quebec City again – such a wonderful culture, and amazing cuisine. Love the painting too 🙂

    • Porter can take you, Loretta 🙂 i never tire of going to Montréal and Québec City! Have you ever checked out les Quatre Vents gardens east of Québec, on the shores of the St Lawrence? You have to write to get chosen to visit. There is a wonderful book The Greater Perfection on the making of the gardens. I had been selected once to visit and could not make it. On the bucket list! In the meantime, there are baked beans. Happy FF and Happy Memorial weekend.

      Sent from my iPad


  2. I have never had baked beans this style, but am intrigued. We only ever have the more traditional Boston Baked Beans which I love, but would like to try your recipe for something new to add into the summer picnic rotation. You are the best and Happy Memorial Day.

  3. Hi Johanne, Many years ago I worked for a barbecue company and had to make huge vats of baked beans–15-25 gallons at a time. they were the Boston style. Needless to say, I lost my taste for them. But your French-Canadian recipe—now that’s one I could enjoy. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • 15-20 gallons of Boston baked beans would kill all taste for them in anyone! What is so nice about these is that their mildness makes them easily adaptable to other add ins. I hope you’ll give them a try Nancy! Welcome home!

      Sent from my iPad


  4. Pingback: Deedee’s Best Pulled Pork~ Summer Crockpot Cooking | French Gardener Dishes

  5. I’ve been looking for a recipe for the “blond beans” (as I call them) that my husband’s Memere used to make & this seems to be the closest: not too sweet, light in color and (hopefully) leave a ‘crust’ on the side of the cooking pot & serving spoon!

    • I grew up with a mémére of my own and this is the kind of baked beans common in French Canadian families. I would recommend the oven method to get the crusty sides your husband remembers. Bon appétit!

      Dr. Johanne Lamarche 630 Spruce Lane Berwyn, PA 19312-1457 610-220-2086


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