Baked Beans

Monday 9 April 2018

We love baked beans in this house.  When  I was growing up baked beans were often on themenu on Saturday evening suppers, and there was nothing tastier.  Good baked beans do take long slow baking. My mom always started hers early Saturday morning, and by about noontime onwards, we were tortured by the tantalising smell of them cooking. By the time we tucked in at supper time, we were all more than ready for them!  They were so, so SO good! 😋

This recipe I am showing you today is a bit of a cheat in that you don't have to bake them for all day in a slow oven.  Instead they cook to taste perfection in about 2 hours, and surprisingly do taste very similar to the ones my mother used to bake back in the day.

This is a vegetarian version however, adapted from a recipe that I got from a book published by Ryland Peters,  entitled "The Vegetarian Pantry", by Chloe Coker and Jane Montgomery.

It makes use of store cupboard ingredients I always have in my larder . . .  good tinned tomatoes, tinned cooked haricot beans . . .  Dijon mustard, brown sugar and dark treacle . . . with a hint of a good balsamic vinegar . . .

You begin by softening some onions over low heat in a bit of oil until they are lovely and almost meltingly soft.   Into that goes some garlic, just enough to give them a lovely subtle layer of additional flavour  without going over the top . . .  

There is no bacon to give that smokey flavour home baked beans usually have . . .  instead some smokiness is imparted by using paprika, along with the above ingredients and some vegetable stock.

Once you get it all mixed together and simmering, you cover them and bake them in a slow oven for about 2 hours, which condenses all those flavours down and gives you a beautifully flavoured sauce  . . .

We enjoy them, hot  . . .  with a grating of a good cheddar on top and some warm crusty bread to mop up all of these delicious juices . . . these are a real taste treat. Low in fat. High in fibre.  Healthy, and delicious!  What more could you ask for?

*Homemade Baked Beans*
Serves 2 as a main
4 as a side

 These are the perfect comfort food.  Serve with plenty of crusty bread or cornbread to sop up all the tastiness!  They are also very tasty spooned over hot buttered toast. 

2 TBS olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 TBS dark soft brown sugar
1 TBS dark treacle or molasses
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch dried chili flakes (how much you use depends on how spicy you want them)
1 TBS Balsamic vinegar
1 (400g) tin of haricot beans, drained and rinsed (14 ounce)
1 (400g) tin of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice, undrained (14 ounce)
240ml of vegetable stock (1 cup)
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/ gas mark 3.   

Put the onion, oil and 2 tsp of water in a flameproof casseroe and cover with a lid.   Cook gently over low heat for about 10 minutes, without allowing the onion to take on too much colour.   Add the garlic, brown sugar, treacle, mustard, paprika and  vinegar.  Stir to combine.   Stir in the beans and tomatoes, as well as the stock.  Bring to the boil and cook for two minutes.  Cover with a lid and then transfer to the oven.  

Bake in the preheated oven for 2 hours.  If at the end of that time you think the consistency is too liquidy, you can simmer over  gentle heat and reduce the liquid to your desired consistency.   Season to taste and serve hot with crusty bread or corn bread. 

We enjoyed them with some sliced cucumber, but a salad would go also go very nicely on the side, as would coleslaw.  (Oh, I do so love coleslaw.)  Once we get into really warm temperatures I won't want to be heating up the oven, but for now, while we are still enjoying the Spring weather, these went down a real treat.  Bon Appetit!  

Note - I have never doubled this recipe myself, (there are only two of us) but I imagine that it would work very well to do so.


  1. La Table De Nana has left a new comment on your post "Baked Beans":

    Jacques enjoys baked beans.. I only make them maybe once a yr..but he used to keep a can or two:) I may make him your ham,egg dish for lunch..He etas less and less I was going to add beans..but he won't eat all that now..less and less ..

    So sorry Monique, on the iPad I accidentally deleted your comment and couldn't get it back So sorry for that! I know what you mean, Todd eats less and less as well. I think it is a natural thing as we get older, our calorie needs are not as much and so we eat less. xoxo PS - These beans really are great!

  2. I think I must disagree - I doubled this recipe and we ate the lot. And we are only two people in our sixties. Very delicious!

    1. Wow! Hearty appetites! So pleased they were enjoyed! Xo

  3. This recipe sounds super! I made a huge batch of slow-cooker NE Baked Beans (i.e. Boston)recently. My husband who is 65 & retired from life as a MA State Ranger and still very active with home renovations, activities, his orchids, etc. :) ate them for dinner (lots) lunches (lots) and didn't want me to give any away to my Mom & Dad or my daughter (I did) LOL! Your recipe sounds so good! I'd love to try it, but I was wondering about a USA substitute for your tin of haricot beans? I usually use white Navy Beans, soaked in water overnight... for a pot of baked beans. What do you suggest Marie? Thank you for another great recipe!! Regards, Mary

    1. Oh, I love Boston Baked Beans Mary! That is what my mom made, but in her bean crock in the oven. I haven’t tried slow cooker ones! You could use any tinned cooked bean in this, pinto would be good. Or you could just cook some pea beans (navy) until they are soft, drain and use them. Hope this helps! Xo


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