There is nothing more satisfying, delicious and humble that a pot of homemade baked beans in a flavour packed tomato sauce bubbling away on the stove.
This homemade baked beans in tomato sauce recipe is super quick and easy. A pot of wholesome homemade beans can be ready in less than an hour and can happily stew on the stove-top while you prepare the rest of the meal.
Scoop the baked beans on to a slice of toasted bread or a baked potato. Or enjoy with a few veggie sausages and mashed potatoes.
Origin Of Baked Beans In Tomato Sauce
Baked beans are normally prepared with haricot beans (navy beans) and cooked within a tomato sauce.
Cans of baked beans in tomato sauce are a popular British favourite convenience food. Most homes have at least one can of beans lurking in their food cupboards!
Heinz baked beans in tomato sauce are the most popular brand of baked beans in the UK. Although tins of Branston baked beans are just as loved and many supermarket own brand and value brands can be equally tasty.
Ordinary cans of Heinz baked beans are suitable for vegans whilst Heinz no added sugar variety appears to be only suitable for vegetarians. Branston baked beans are also great for vegans and for those looking for organic vegan baked beans Suma baked beans are available in most wholefood/health shops.
Over in the US baked beans in a tomato sauce are less common. In the US haricot beans are termed navy beans and are available to buy in cans labelled baked beans but are more popularly seasoned with hickory smoke, brown sugar, honey or maple syrup, and commonly have bacon bits or pork added.
American baked beans are claimed to originate from the Native Americans. English colonists during the 17th Century took many cooking ideas from the Native Americans and adapted them to suit their tastes.
As a result New England or Boston baked beans became very popular and featured in many old New England cookbooks during the following centuries. Many old baked bean recipes featured brown sugar but molasses soon replaced the brown sugar when the British sugar tax on the colonies became too high.
Incidentally, haricot beans were termed navy beans as during the 1800s haricot beans were part of the navy sailors food rations.
Cans of baked beans were first sold in Pittsburgh, US in 1895. A few years later baked beans were imported over to Britain but remained too expensive for ordinary family's to be able to afford as a staple.
However by the 1930s, due to British factories beginning to mass produce baked beans, baked beans were on route to becoming a much loved household British staple. However, for the British market, pork and bacon were omitted from the cans of baked beans with tomato sauce being cooked with the beans instead.
Vegan Homemade Baked Beans In A Tomato Sauce
This recipe for vegan plant-based baked beans does not contain any pork or bacon nor is any meat alternative necessary.
The recipe is similar to Boston Baked Beans or New England Baked Beans as black-strap molasses can be used to provide depth of flavour and sweetness.
Although black treacle can also be used instead of molasses and the end result for both of these ingredients is just the same as I have prepared this recipe with both. Soft brown or light brown sugar is also added and this compliments the treacle or molasses providing deeper savoury caramel notes.
Tomato passata is used for the sauce, but of course canned chopped tomatoes can be added instead. Tomato passata is a popular ingredient in the UK although it may be known as sieved, pureed, uncooked tomato sauce in other countries.
Tomato passata or sieved/blended tomatoes is perfect for baked beans as it provides the smoothest, velvety tomato sauce texture.
I know that it is simple and easy to just open a can of baked beans bought from the supermarket or store but really cooking your own is a lot more indulgent especially if serving for a special meal.
Also homemade beans are much more easily adapted to suit your dietary needs, such as low salt or sugar, as well as flavour preferences. Homecooked baked beans are so worth the extra thought and time.
If you prepare this plant-based baked bean recipe do let us know how you got on.
We love reading all feedback and comments.
Thanks so much. Jacq x.
How To Prepare Vegan Homemade Baked Beans In Tomato Sauce
Recipe Notes And FAQS
Store homemade baked beans within a covered food container for 3-4 days.
Add the cooled baked beans to a freezer and food safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Defrost completely before reheating.
Baked beans are very simple to reheat.
It's just a matter of scooping the beans and sauce into a non-stick pan and reheating until piping hot.
Reheating in a microwave can be even quicker.
Any bean or a mix of beans can be substitute the haricot beans for this homemade baked bean recipe.
Cans of mixed baked beans in tomato sauce are available in most supermarkets.
Try a mix of butter beans, cannellini beans, kidney beans, borlotti beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, etc.
Of course not!
Modern homemade baked beans tend to be stewed on the stove-top within the sauce or flavourings.
The baked part refers to the old-fashioned method of baking beans from raw in the oven. Once beans are soaked in water, they are drained, and added to an oven-proof pot along with water and flavourings.
A lid is added to the pot and placed in the oven for a few hours until the beans are cooked and the sauce is thick.
Traditionally for Boston or New England Baked Beans flavourings include salt pork, bacon, brown sugar, molasses, hickory smoke flavour, etc.
Tomato sauce does not appear to be a classic US addition rather the tomato sauce is an adaptation that the British added to baked beans.
Mass produced cans of baked beans in tomato sauce are not actually baked either rather they are added raw and blanched to the can along with the blended tomato sauce.
The beans and tomato sauce are then steamed and cooked within the actual can.
A slice of toasted or grilled bread is all that is required for a tasty simple lunch, with perhaps a sprinkle of nutritional yeast flakes over the beans before serving.
Especially good is a slice or two of this toasted or grilled Irish wheaten bread (soda bread)
A few more suggestions:
* cornbread or cornbread muffins
* American biscuits
* grilled vegan cheese bread toasties
* vegan cheesy beans on toast (use grated/shredded vegan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes)
* baked white or sweet potato
* sweet potato fries/wedges/chips or use white potatoes
* mashed potatoes or mashed mixed root veggies such as this old-fashioned champ recipe that features a mash of potatoes, turnip (swede/rutabaga) and cabbage
* veggie sausages or burgers
* carrot hot-dogs
* use the baked beans to prepare a delicious family favourite cowboy cheesy bean pie
* veggie pie/pot-pie/pasties
* as part of a vegan cooked breakfast
* a side dish for a BBQ or cook-out
* add a scoop of baked beans in tomato sauce to a veggie chilli or serve on the side of a chilli such as this black bean chilli
* baked beans can also be enjoyed chilled from the refrigerator as a tasty quick snack. Many people love to eat cold baked beans straight from the can.
A few ideas:
* use chopped fresh onion instead of dried (I have tried both dried and fresh, both were equally tasty but dried onion was much more convenient!)
* use fresh diced garlic instead of dried
* sub out black treacle for molasses or date syrup
* instead of soft brown sugar use coconut or date sugar, or your regular sweetener
* vegan Worcester sauce can be replaced with soya sauce especially Tamari soy sauce if available
Yes with a few considerations baked beans are perfect for gluten-free diets.
Firstly, ensure that you use a gluten-free vegetable stock and if you can't source a gluten-free vegan Worcester sauce choose a gluten-free soya sauce.
Tamari soya sauce is generally free from gluten as opposed to regular soya sauce which is prepared with wheat.
Lastly, if adding the optional liquid smoke then check the ingredients for gluten.
More Delicious Vegan Meal Ideas:
Homemade Baked Beans In A Tomato Sauce
- large non-stick pan
- 2 cans haricot beans two 400g/14oz cans, drained (or about 480g cooked beans)
- 2 teaspoons onion powder or 1 medium diced onion
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder or 4 diced/minced garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar light brown
- 2 tablespoons black treacle or use black strap molasses
- 2 teaspoons mustard such as English, Dijon or hotdog mustard (or 1 teaspoons of mustard powder)
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcester sauce or replace with soya sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree paste
- 500 grams tomato passata (sieved pureed tomato sauce) or two 400g/14oz cans chopped tomatoes or 2 cans plum tomatoes (crush the tomatoes)
- 250 ml vegetable stock
Mix through finished beans:
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke optional, use more if liked
- Pop the beans into a large non-stick pan.
- Pour in the veggie stock, tomato passata, Worcester sauce, and black treacle. (dip the measuring spoon in boiling water before scooping out the treacle as then the treacle will slide off the spoon much easier).
- Tip in the soft brown sugar, garlic and onion powders, mustard, and tomato puree. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Stir everything well together. (At this point you can leave the beans on the stove with a lid on the pot until your ready to cook them later in the day, or pop into the refrigerator until the next day.)
- Bring the beans to a simmer and over a low heat cook for 30-35 minutes. If preferred pop a lid on the pot if the sauce starts to gloop and splutter out the pot! But don't place the lid directly covering the entire pot, just on ajar so that steam escapes and the sauce has a chance to thicken.
- To finish the beans stir through 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and 1-2 teaspoons of liquid smoke if liked.
- Season with salt and pepper if necessary, and garnish with fresh parsley and a few red pepper flakes if liked.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Data does not include liquid smoke optional addition.
- If serving 6 portions with this recipe as opposed to 4, calories are reduced to 170 per serving, 8 g protein, 4 mg Iron and 97 mg calcium.
- Store homemade baked beans within a covered food container for 3-4 days.
- Or freeze for up to 3-4 months.
- To reheat simply add the beans to a non-stick pan or pot and reheat until piping hot. Stir frequently.
- Or pop in the microwave for a minute or two.
- Instead of haricot (navy) beans try a different single bean or a mix chosen from: butter beans, cannellini beans, kidney beans, borlotti beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, etc.
- For gluten-free baked beans use a gluten-free vegetable stock, gluten-free soya sauce (Tamari) and check that all your flavourings/herbs/spices are free from gluten.
- Serve baked beans along side pot-pies/pastries/mashed potatoes, veggie sausages, on toasted bread, chilli's, baked potatoes, etc.