By Diana Tsuchida | July 27, 2012

Photo: Jeffreyw

Don’t let the fact that the recipe for this classic side dish was once served up from the first vending machines in NYC. These beans are made with the simplest ingredients, including bacon, to yield incredibly tasty results.

The Automat (photo by Diana Tsuchida)

Take your palette through a time traveling excursion to the days when the Automat’s convenience ruled the hustle and bustle of the city. For more on the history of lunchtime in America, read more here: Quick Bites of the Big Apple.

Horn & Hardart’s Automat Baked Beans

Servings: 4
Calories: 185 per serving
Prep Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 13 hours


  • 1/2 lb. pea beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 strips raw bacon, diced
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 11/2 tsp. salt
  • 11/2 tbsp. dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tomato juice
  • 1 cup water


1. Soak the beans overnight. Using the same water, boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes or longer.

2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Add all other ingredients to beans. Pour into a baking pot or pan.

3. Bake uncovered about 4 hours or longer. If necessary, add boiling water to prevent drying.

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