Homemade Vegetarian Baked Beans

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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 it’s a really quick meal – 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 bean soups and bean stews, stirred through cheesy pasta with beans, 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.

If you’ve cooked this recipe, don’t forget to leave a star rating!

5 from 5 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 230kcal
Author: Becca Heyes


  • 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


  • 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.



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%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
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.

Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.

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  1. The link stopped working – super sad as I really loved that recipe! Would you be able to look into it? It says “There is no page here at the moment” so I don’t know if it is temporary though!

    1. Ah sorry Julie, Great British Chefs have recently had a redesign and I guess their URLs have changed. It’s on my to do list to add all the recipes to the relevant pages :) For now, here it is:

      Homemade vegetarian baked beans

      Serves 2

      1tbsp oil
      1/2 onion, finely diced
      2 cloves garlic, minced
      1tbsp tomato purée
      1/2tsp smoked paprika
      1/4tsp dried thyme
      1tbsp brown sugar
      1tbsp soy sauce
      1 x 400g tin cannellini beans, drained (240g when drained)
      100g passata
      Black pepper

      Heat the oil in a saucepan, and add the onion and garlic. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the tomato purée, paprika, thyme, brown sugar and soy sauce, and cook for a couple more minutes.
      Add the beans and passata, and simmer for at least 5 minutes, until the mixture is piping hot and the sauce has thickened a little. Season generously with black pepper you probably won’t need salt because of the soy sauce, but add it if you think it needs it.
      Serve warm on toast.

  2. I made the similar Tom Kerridge version a few weeks ago which had bacon, ok for my wife, daugter and I, but my son is now back from Uni for Christmas, and he is veggie, also that recipe called for too much sugar (I halved it and was still too sweet).
    So now post Christmas i thought- home made beans on soda bread toast. Will be giving your version a go tonight and serving with a nice side of cauliflower cheese.

  3. Hurray!

    We used to be able to get Heinz baked beans in a local supermarket until some time last year when they stopped carrying them. We’ve tried a number of alternative beans, but none of them really satisfied Picky English Husband (don’t tell him I called him that), although I will admit that one or two of the tins we tried were pretty dire. One of them raised the question of whether or not the manufactuerer actually knew how to cook beans at all…

    I shall definitely be trying this recipe and see how those go down and attempt to adapt if he wishes it. (Am I a sweet wife or what?)

    1. Haha well I can’t promise that these are anything like Heinz (these are much thicker and richer) but your husband might like them nonetheless :) if you can get Branston baked beans those ones are pretty good too! But you’re right, some of the cheaper brands are terrible!

      1. I think his primary problem with other kinds (apart from the horridly cooked ones, obviously) tended to largely have something to do with the sauce to bean ratio. Some of them he could just peer into a newly opened can and declare that it was All Wrong because there was far too much sauce.

  4. My baked beans have gone vegan since my husband didn’t want to pay the price for salt pork. Works for me as now everyone in the family can eat them. Mine are the boston type of baked bean with molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup and dry mustard but no tomatoes or onions (other than me, my family literally hates onion).

    I had raisin bran and soy milk yesterday. Not exciting but I really don’t like the vegan sub for scrambled egg. Pancakes come out great when made with bisquick and soy milk. Homemade are okay but not quite as good. I am not up to cooking a breakfast everyday so that would get me stuck right off the bat. I would enjoy a slice of vegan pizza right now with a bit of sauce, pineapple, mushrooms, onions and bell pepper. No cheese needed! (I’m not vegan, I just try to be flexible since my son is and my granddaughter is vegetarian heading towards vegan).

    1. Ah yes I think American baked beans are a lot different to the British type. As far as I can tell, American ones are far sweeter.

      Raisin bran is actually one of my favourite breakfasts haha.

      I’m not sure cheeseless pizza could quite hit the spot for me!!