Baked Beans Recipe Inspired by Little House on the Prairie

by | Jan 20, 2019

I’m glad I put beans to soak last night,’ said Ma. She lifted the lid of the bubbling kettle and quickly popped in a spoonful of soda. The boiling beans roared, foaming up, but did not quite run over. ‘There’s a little bit of salt pork to put in them too,’ Ma said. Now and then she spooned up a few beans and blew on them. When their skins split and curled, she drained the soda-water from the kettle and filled it again with water. She put in the bit of fat pork.

—The Long Winter

Baked Beans Inspired by Little House on the Prairie

Pa said it best, “there’s nothing like good hot bean soup on a cold day.” I couldn’t agree more with Pa on that one. Nothing beats a hot cup of soup or hearty hot food on a cold winter’s day. The Ingalls used comfort food like baked beans to keep them warm and full, and we do the same thing. 

One thing that goes well with baked beans, and something Ma and Laura often made with a pan of baked beans, were Johnny-Cakes.

This particular baked beans recipe is from Barbara Walker’s excellent cookbook, The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories, and is very simple and only requires a few ingredients. When I initially looked at the list of ingredients, I wasn’t sure these baked beans would be pleasant, however with the added bacon and drizzle of molasses, I discovered that it is a delicious and hearty winter dish.

Old-Fashioned Baked Beans Recipe Inspired by Little House on the Prairie

(Jump to Printable Recipe)

Ingredients Needed for Baked Beans

  • 3 Cups of white beans
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 pound of bacon, cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup of molasses
  • 1/2 cup of onions, diced
  • additional molasses to sweeten as needed

Directions To Make Baked Beans

Step One – Soak white beans overnight to soften them.

Step Two – In the morning, rinse the beans. (Preheat the oven to 350)

Soaking the baked beans for a delicious old-fashioned side dish.

Step Three – Place the beans in a pot with clean water and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. 

Old-Fashioned Bake Bean Recipe Inspired by Little House on the Prairie

Step Four – Stir in the baking soda, and allow beans to simmer until they are soft. Pour off the cloudy water and cover the beans with 5 cups of fresh water and return to simmer.

Old-Fashioned Baked Beans Recipe Inspired by Little House on the Prairie

Step Five – Dab a small amount of oil into a cast iron skillet (or baking pan) and line the bottom of the pan with the strips of bacon. 

Step Six – Pour the beans into the cast iron skillet (or baking pan) without the water. 

Old-Fashioned Baked Beans Recipe Inspired by Little House on the Prairie

Step Seven – Add the onions and stir them into the skillet/baking pan with the beans. 

Old-Fashioned Baked Beans Recipe Inspired by Little House on the Prairie

Step Eight – Drizzle 1/4 cup of molasses over the beans. 

Step Nine – Cover the beans with water, or you can use bean broth from the simmering pot. 

Old-Fashioned Baked Beans Recipe Inspired by Little House on the Prairie

Step Ten – Bake at 350 degrees for 4 hours. Continue to add water, so the beans don’t dry out. 

Serve warm with a drizzle of molasses to sweet as desired. I did add a bit more molasses to give a sweeter taste. This baked bean recipe is different from what we’re used to making, but a little molasses and bacon makes it enjoyable and a great hearty dish.

Old-Fashioned Baked Beans Recipe Inspired by Little House on the Prairie

This baked bean recipe is simple to make and will be great as a winter side dish. You could even serve it during the holidays, along with your Christmas ham and Cornbread Stuffing

What are some of your favorite Little House on the Prairie inspired dishes? And if you give this baked bean recipe a try, leave me a comment and let me know. And for more Little House on the Prairie inspiration, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter.

Printable Recipe

Ingredients Needed for Baked Beans

  • 3 Cups of white beans
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 pound of bacon, cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup of molasses
  • 1/2 cup of onions, diced
  • additional molasses to sweeten as needed

Directions To Make Baked Beans

Step One – Soak white beans overnight to soften them.

Step Two – In the morning, rinse the beans. (Preheat the oven to 350)

Step Three – Place the beans in a pot with clean water and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. 

Step Four – Stir in the baking soda, and allow beans to simmer until they are soft. Pour off the cloudy water and cover the beans with 5 cups of fresh water and return to simmer.

Step Five – Dab a small amount of oil into a cast iron skillet (or baking pan) and line the bottom of the pan with the strips of bacon.

Step Six – Pour the beans into the cast iron skillet (or baking pan) without the water.

Step Seven – Add the onions and stir them into the skillet/baking pan with the beans. 

Step Eight – Drizzle 1/4 cup of molasses over the beans.

Step Nine – Cover the beans with water, or you can use bean broth from the simmering pot.

Step Ten – Bake at 350 degrees for 4 hours. Continue to add water, so the beans don’t dry out.

Serve warm with a drizzle of molasses to sweet as desired. I did add a bit more molasses to give a sweeter taste. This baked bean recipe is different from what we’re used to making, but a little molasses and bacon makes it enjoyable and a great hearty dish.

Tatanisha plays a Super-Fun Mom to three active & handsome boys. A Foodie at heart and Wife to an awesome Chef.
When she's not blogging about ways to save money or about autism, she loves to travel and try new food. You can find her creating new tablescapes over at A Worthey Read, as well as saving you money on A Mitten Full of Savings.

8 Comments

  1. Tiff

    It says to boil them until they are soft. About how long would this be? Does this mean until are completely cooked through?

    Reply
  2. janelynn

    Never made these in a crockpot but in the oven they will turn out–IF you’ve soaked them and cooked long enough.

    Reply
  3. Emily Ann Mayer

    I make Boston baked beans when the weather is really cold; such a great meal when it’s -40 F. and the wind is blowing! I was curious about the green tomato pickles mentioned in The Long Winter but could not get pickling lime in my hometown. One day I had the TV on and Martha Stewart was making them with a guest on her show and I found out where to get the lime. Green tomato pickle is a time consuming process, but oh so worth it! And it does go fabulous with baked beans, as Ma said!

    Reply
  4. Brenda Litzke

    From one Laura fan to another, I love your blog!

    Reply
  5. Phyllis

    How would one do this using a crockpot?

    Reply
    • Sophie Brown

      Just a reader, but I have a hard time with beans in a crockpot. Even if soaked, they can cook all day and never be right. If anyone has a suggestion about this? Louis Armstrong has a GREAT red beans recipe, but I’ll tell you a crock pot is useless here as well. This doesn’t sound like it would take a long time here. I wonder if the soda or the fat helps with the beans, that’s what I want to know.

      Reply
      • Lori

        If you mean your beans don’t get tender, it could be salt. Only add salt after beans are done, not during cooking.

        Reply
  6. Cele

    Mmmm, this sounds delicious! I own a copy of Barbara Walker’s cookbook. I must prepare
    this recipe soon! Thanks for posting it, Tatanisha!

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. DIY Little House on the Prairie Pioneer-Themed Summer Camp - Little House on the Prairie - […] Do your kids think baked beans come in cans? Try this filling recipe and inspire a discussion about pioneer…
  2. Little House on the Prairie® Recipe Index - Little House on the Prairie - […] Baked Beans Recipe Inspired by Little House on the Prairie […]
  3. The Little House Cookbook Review - […] Baked Beans Recipe Inspired by Little House on the Prairie […]
  4. Little House on the Prairie Cinnamon Chicken Recipe - […] ensure a flavorful, tender finished product. This versatile recipe can be served with any number of side dishes to…
  5. Little House on the Prairie Lifestyle Category Index - […] Baked Beans Recipe Inspired by Little House on the Prairie […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *