Baked beans are a British staple! Try these homemade vegetarian baked beans for a gourmet version – made in just 15 minutes.

Homemade baked beans on buttered toast.

We Brits are known for eating stuff on toast. There’s nothing that can’t be improved by serving it on a slice of crispy, buttery toasted bread! Mushrooms on toast, cheese on toast, and of course, best of all – baked beans on toast.

For a really special version, try these homemade vegetarian baked beans – they’re quick and easy to make, and they make an utterly delicious breakfast or lunch.

Homemade vegetarian baked beans on buttered toast topped with parsley.

What are British baked beans like?

I know some non-Brits find it really strange that we eat baked beans on toast – but if pretty much everyone in the UK agrees that baked beans are awesome, it must be true.

As far as I’m aware, British baked beans are nothing like the American version. American baked beans are very sweet in a rich, dark sauce, whereas British baked beans are much lighter and more tomatoey, and nowhere near as sweet.

These homemade baked beans aren’t quite like the kind we buy in tins here – don’t be expecting that they’re a perfect replica of Heinz or Branston beans! Those are amazing in their own right, but these are gourmet baked beans, in a thick tomato sauce with heaps of flavour.

Homemade vegan baked beans served on two slices of buttered toast.

Rich tomato sauce

The recipe starts by cooking off some onion and garlic, then adding a few tasty ingredients that give the tomato sauce its beautiful flavour – smoked paprika, soy sauce, dried herbs, even a little sprinkle of sugar.

The sauce ends up being the perfect balance of smoky, salty and sweet – much richer than the canned version!

Onions and tomato puree cooking in a small saucepan.

What beans should I use for homemade baked beans?

Then, just add some passata (tomato sauce) and some beans. I used cannellini beans, but baked beans you’d buy in a tin are made with haricot beans – so just use whatever you fancy.

Leave the beans to simmer for a while until they’re piping hot. The whole recipe only takes about 15 minutes in total, so not actually that much longer than opening a tin! And so much more satisfying.

Homemade vegetarian baked beans cooking in a saucepan.

How to use baked beans

We Brits usually eat our baked beans in a few different ways:

Of course, you’re not limited to just these ideas – baked beans are also great inside a toasted sandwich, used as an ingredient in soups and stews, stirred through pasta, and much more… I use them alllll the time.

Two slices of toast topped with homemade baked beans.

Homemade baked beans on toast

If you do opt to serve your baked beans on toast, they make a great light meal.

I usually serve beans on toast for lunch, as it’s a bit more than I usually eat for breakfast, but plenty of people prefer beans on toast for breakfast.

Feel free to add some breakfasty extras on the side – a fried egg, some sliced avocado, grilled tomato, fried mushrooms… all British breakfast staples!

Two slices of toast with homemade baked beans.

How can I adapt this recipe?

I feel like this entire blog post is just me giving you a thousand different ways to serve these baked beans – but I’m not going to stop just yet.

Feel free to adapt the recipe however you fancy – it’s the sort of thing you can pretty much throw anything into, and it will be great:

  • add some Indian spices for curried baked beans (maybe served in chapattis instead of on toast!)
  • or add TexMex spices for chilli-inspired baked beans to wrap up in a tortilla
  • swap the cannellini beans for black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, or whatever else you have on hand
  • add a dollop of BBQ sauce for a deeper flavour

Whatever you decide to do with the recipe, and however you choose to serve your homemade vegetarian baked beans, they’ll never fail to satisfy.

A fork taking a scoop of homemade baked beans on toast.

Homemade vegetarian baked beans

Baked beans are a British staple! Try these homemade vegetarian baked beans for a gourmet version – made in just 15 minutes.
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 onion (or 1 small onion), finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 400 g tin cannellini beans or haricot beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
  • 125 ml (~ 1/2 cup) passata or tomato sauce

Instructions

  • Heat a dash of oil in a small saucepan, and add the diced onion and garlic. Cook over a medium-low heat for 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the tomato puree, soy sauce, sugar, smoked paprika, and dried thyme, as well as a generous pinch of salt and pepper, and mix well. Cook for another couple of minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Next add the drained cannellini beans and passata, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 5 more minutes (or a little longer, if preferred), and serve hot. I garnished mine with a little parsley.

Video

Course: Breakfast, Light lunch
Cuisine: British
Author: Becca Heyes
Nutrition Facts
Homemade vegetarian baked beans
Amount Per Serving (1 portion)
Calories 230 Calories from Fat 70
% Daily Value*
Fat 7.8g12%
Saturated Fat 1.1g6%
Sodium 309mg13%
Potassium 443mg13%
Carbohydrates 31.1g10%
Fiber 8.6g34%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 9g18%
Calcium 44mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/2 the recipe.

Try serving your homemade vegetarian baked beans as part of a veggie full English breakfast: