Easy Homemade Vegan Baked Beans

Beans on toast has to be one of my all time favourite comforting breakfasts. These easy homemade vegan baked beans are filled with rich tomatoey flavour. Not to mention they’re super quick to throw together, and so much healthier than canned varieties too.

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Why are homemade baked beans better?

You might be thinking “why on earth would I go to the effort of making baked beans, when I can just buy them in a can!?”. I don’t blame you for that, I was thinking that too before I tried making my own!

To start with, homemade vegan baked beans are just so much tastier. The sauce is thick, rich and tomatoey, with no artificial taste or sweetness. There’s a subtle sourness and saltiness from the apple cider vinegar and soy sauce, and a lovely natural sweetness from the sweet paprika. You can even add a touch of smoked paprika or liquid smoke, to add a delicious smoky flavour to the sauce. 

ingredients for homemade baked beans

These are also healthy baked beans. Canned baked beans contain heaps of processed sugars, salts, and additives. In this recipe, I add a little bit of maple syrup for sweetness, which is a healthier alternative to refined sugar. I add a bit of salt to taste at the end, but this is minimal, thanks to all of the other whole ingredients.

Which type of beans should I use?

The beans used in a classic can of English baked beans are haricot beans, also known as navy beans. I love using these beans as they have a lovely creamy texture, and hold their shape well in the sauce.

You could use any other type of white bean such as cannellini beans or great northern beans. You could even try this recipe with pinto beans or red kidney beans if you fancied something different!

homemade vegan baked beans in a bowl

On this occasion I used a mix of haricot beans and cannellini beans- because that’s what I had in the cupboard. Use what you have to keep the cost really low on this recipe!

Dried or canned?

I have used canned beans in this recipe, mainly because it makes the recipe really quick and simple. As they’re already cooked, all that is needed is for them to heat through in the sauce and soak up a little bit of flavour. 

I have to admit that dried beans have a slightly better texture and flavour, but sometimes just aren’t worth the effort for me! If you want to go down this route, you’ll need to soak the beans for at least 5 hours, then cook them in the sauce for 1.5-2 hours. It’s not an exact science and depends on several different factors, but when the beans are soft and creamy textured, they’re done!

When it comes to the weight of dried beans you would need, you’d want to be looking at around 250-300g of dried beans for this recipe.

American vs English baked beans

It’s come to my attention recently that there is an American version of baked beans which is completely different from the English interpretation! 

American baked beans are cooked with bacon or salt pork and plenty of brown sugar and molasses, resulting in a much sweeter and thicker sauce, which is darker in colour. They’re normally eaten as a side dish at BBQs and picnics (Americans, correct me if I’m wrong!).

These are not those beans. Although not a Heinz beans ‘replica’, these are closer to the English version of baked beans. Stewed in a much-less-sweet tomato based sauce, without any kind of pork or bacon, we British like to enjoy our baked beans over thickly sliced toast or on the side of a full English breakfast.

vegan baked beans on buttered toast

I may be biased, but I think that English baked beans sound much superior! We definitely have the best baked beans recipe!

How to make easy vegan baked beans

These homemade vegan baked beans are so simple to make, they pretty much cook themselves! Start by heating a little oil over a medium-low heat, in a large saucepan.

Add the chopped onion, and sauté for 5 minutes, until it’s softened and just starting to brown. Add the garlic powder and sweet paprika, then give it a stir for 2 minutes more. 

Next, all you need to do is add the beans, tomato passata, tomato puree, maple syrup, soy sauce and apple cider vinegar. Mix it all together, then leave to simmer over a low heat, partially covered, for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, season with salt and pepper to taste, and check the consistency. If you like your baked beans a little saucier, you can add a splash of boiling water or stock.

How to cook these beans in the instant pot…

This recipe is super versatile, and can also be cooked in the instant pot or slow cooker. There are definitely benefits to both of these methods of cooking. 

In the instant pot, the beans are ready after 8 minutes of pressure cooking on high, making this a really quick option if you’re short on time! All you need to do is cook the onion on the saute function for 5 minutes, stir through the garlic powder and paprika, add the rest of the ingredients, mix and set to high for 8 minutes. You can quick release the pressure at the end of cooking.

…and the slow cooker

If you have the patience, slow cooking these homemade baked beans really develops the flavour of them, and definitely produces the tastiest result.

Like above, all you’ll need to do is fry off the onions for 5 minutes (in your slow cooker if it has a saute function, but you can do it in a pan if not). Then add the garlic powder and paprika, and stir through the rest of the ingredients. Set to high and cook for 4 hours, or slow and cook for 7 hours.

What to serve with homemade vegan baked beans

The true classic serving for baked beans is on top of buttered toast. Use your favourite bread (the thicker the better!), toast it to perfection, and slather it with dairy free butter. Then pile on the beans! You can even top this with dairy-free grated cheese for extra yumminess.

Beans on toast

Baked beans are also great on top of a jacket potato, or as part of a fry up with silken tofu scramble, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes, wilted spinach, hash browns and vegan sausages. You can literally eat them from a bowl with a spoon. Or go crazy- I’ve seen baked beans on chips, nachos, in a toastie, and even inside yorkshire puddings.

FAQs

Can I prepare homemade baked beans in advance?

Yes, these beans will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days, in an airtight container. Like a lot of stewed recipes, their flavour will develop over time, so they are even tastier made in advance. To reheat, give them a few minutes in the microwave or on the stove, until they are pipping hot through.

Can I freeze easy vegan baked beans?

These homemade baked beans can be frozen, just pop them in an airtight container once cooled, and freeze for up to 3 months. To eat, defrost them in the fridge overnight, or on the counter for a few hours, then reheat as above once defrosted.

Can I multiply this recipe?

This recipe multiplies fantastically, so is a fab option if you’re looking to batch cook your healthy baked beans to save buying cans in future. Double it or triple it, as long as you have a big enough pan it will work!

Love beans?

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vegan baked beans on buttered toast

Easy Homemade Vegan Baked Beans

Chloe from Forkful of Plants
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine English
Servings 4
Beans on toast has to be one of my all time favourite comforting breakfasts. These easy homemade vegan baked beans are filled with rich tomatoey flavour. Not to mention they’re super quick to throw together, and so much healthier than canned varieties too.
5 from 10 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 400g cans white beans* drained and rinsed
  • 250 g tomato passata
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or other natural sweetener
  • ½ tbsp dark soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Start by heating the oil over a medium-low heat in a large saucepan. Add the chopped onion, and sauté for 5 minutes, until it’s softened and just starting to brown.
  • Add the garlic powder and sweet paprika, then give it a stir for 2 more minutes.
  • After 2 minutes, add the beans, tomato passata, tomato puree, maple syrup, soy sauce and apple cider vinegar. Stir to combine, then leave it to simmer over a low heat, partially covered, for 20 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, and check the consistency. If you like your baked beans a little saucier, you can add a splash of boiling water or stock.
  • Serve on buttered toast or a jacket potato, or on the side on a vegan fry up!

Notes

*You could use any type of white bean such as haricot, cannellini or great northern beans, though haricot is most traditional. You could even try this recipe with pinto beans or red kidney beans if you fancied something different!
 
More info above on storage methods and slow cooker and instant pot cooking!

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22 thoughts on “Easy Homemade Vegan Baked Beans”

  • This looks delicious, with the bonus point that seems very easy to make! I always steer away from store-bought baked beans because of the overly processed sauces, but I really miss having a good baked-beans-on-toast. Thank you for this recipe! x

    • Thanks Elena- I’m totally with you, we shouldn’t have to miss out on beans on toast! I hope you give it a go one day, I’d love to hear how you get on with the recipe 🙂

      • 5 stars
        Made them today: absolutely delicious! I am so glad you shared this recipe – Thanks! x

        • I’m so glad you gave them ago! Thanks for coming back and letting me know 🙂

  • 5 stars
    Easy and delightful! Will be my regular homemade baked beans recipe.

    • So glad you enjoyed the recipe Ramona, I hope you enjoy it just as much every time!

  • 5 stars
    These are so good and lots of good flavors!

    • Thanks Audrey, I’m glad you enjoyed them!

  • 5 stars
    So easy for a healthy meal. I love how you’ve served them as well.

    • Thanks Kim! Beans on toast is the best way 😀

    • I’m so glad you liked it Leslie 🙂

    • Thank you Elizabeth, glad you enjoyed them!

  • Mama Maggie's Kitchen says:

    5 stars
    This looks so so good. My husband will love this dish.

    • Thank you, I hope he does!

  • 5 stars
    so delicious….and I loved how easy it was to make too.

    • Really glad you enjoyed them Debra!

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