For whatever reason, I feel like I’ve made it my mission to share the joy of beans on toast. I realize, it’s a bit of a funny mission. However, beans on toast is a magical thing and if you like beans, you should eat them on toast.
Growing up in the midwest, baked beans were a thing for nearly every family get-together. And yet, I never ate them. I avoided them, in fact. I’m not sure if it was the flavor, the texture, or just that I wasn’t a big fan of any bean. Luckily all of that has changed and now I have my favorite vegan baked bean recipe to share.
All the beans
When it comes to bean varieties, small navy beans are the traditional baked bean. I’ve also been known to use great northern. I’d also highly recommend checking out Rancho Gordo and using their Yellow Indian Woman Bean or their Alubia Blanca. I picked up a bag and the texture of these beans is perfect for a long-baked dish.
I usually stick with molasses, maple syrup, or honey but I have a weakness for dark muscovado sugar. This unrefined cane sugar has all of the molasses, making it a rich/moist sweetener. Paired with an extra bit of molasses, it makes these beans really shine. Of course, if you can’t find muscovado sweetener, use a bit more molasses or swap for brown sugar.
Keep it vegan
Traditional baked beans use bacon and while I could definitely swap in something more substantially meat-like, I don’t care. For me, the bacon brings the smoke and that’s why I can’t recommend enough picking up a bottle of smoked salt. Paired with the smoked paprika, you’re good-to-go, sans bacon.
Also, look for vegan Worcestershire sauce. Annie’s has a solid one and sometimes stores carry at least one other variety. This sauce is good to keep on hand for an extra boost of fermented goodness to many meals.
1 medium yellow onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoon muscovado sugar (or dark brown sugar)
2 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon smoked salt
3 cups cooked navy beans in liquid (see note)
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Peel and mince the onion. Heat a small dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil, followed by the minced onions. Cook until the onions are tender. Add in the tomato paste and cook for another minute or so.
- Next, measure in all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer the beans to the oven. Bake the beans for about 45 minutes, uncover, and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes. The sauce for the beans should be thickened.
- Serve as is or eat my favorite way, on toast sprinkled with greens.
+ When I say ‘in liquid’, I typically fill a measuring cup near the top with beans then pour the liquid over until it reaches the top.
Keywords: vegan baked beans, baked beans