These vegan baked beans are sweetened with molasses and maple syrup and are gently spiced with smoked paprika and cloves. They're so simple to make, you'll never buy canned baked beans again!
While baked beans are not the most glamorous of dishes, they share the same fate as most "brown" foods by being absolutely delicious. They are easy to make—they take a while, but cook themselves—are inexpensive, feed a crowd, and are up there on the long list of comfort foods.
You'll need some navy beans, home-cooked if possible (cook beans in the oven for an easy method). Simple pantry staples like tomato paste, maple syrup, onion, smoked paprika, and molasses round out pretty much the rest of what you'll need.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Navy beans: cook your own if possible. If using canned, drain and rinse well, and sub tap water for the bean cooking water.
- Molasses: use whatever you have on hand. I usually use blackstrap molasses because it contains the most nutrients.
- Mustard: Dijon is best, but another mustard can work, as long as it's not hotdog mustard.
- Apple cider vinegar: this is the best option, flavour-wise, but white wine vinegar will work in a pinch.
Step by Step
This recipe is so easy to make, because both the beans and the baked beans are made in the oven, so you don't have to worry about boiling over or burning on the stove-top.
Step 1: heat the oil and start cooking the onions.
Step 2: while the onion is cooking, mix the sauce ingredients.
Step 3: cook the onion for about 10 minutes, or until completely soft.
Step 4: add the beans, cooking water, and sauce.
Step 5: mix to combine.
Step 6: cover and bake for about an hour and a half.
Step 7: bake uncovered for another half hour.
Step 8: serve hot any way you'd like.
- Reserve the cooking water: for the best baked beans, cook the beans yourself, and keep some of the water to use here. It will give the best flavour.
- Make sure the onions are cooked through: they won't cook once the other ingredients are added, so the onions need to be completely soft before continuing.
- Adjust the spice level: if you're not a fan of spicy foods, omit the red pepper flakes or reduce the amount to your preference.
How to Serve
There are so many ways to eat vegan baked beans, but these are some of my favourite ways:
- On gluten-free toast
- Alongside a breakfast—think scramble and hash
- Add slices of your favourite sausages
- Alongside roasted veggies like yam
- On top of shredded cabbage
- On a baked potato (or sweet potato)
- In a bun like a sloppy Joe
How to Store
Storage: cool fully, then transfer to a sealed container. Store baked beans in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezing: freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat as usual.
Are vegan baked beans good for you?
Beans are full of protein, fibre, and nutrients, making them a great food choice. Baked beans have some extra bits like maple syrup and molasses, but that doesn't make the beans bad for you, just tastier.
What bean is best for baked beans?
Little white beans, often sold as navy beans, make the very best baked beans.
Are baked beans full of sugar?
The canned versions often are, but making them yourself means you can sweeten them to taste, and reduce the amount of sweetener used here if necessary.
More Vegan Bean Recipes
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Vegan Baked Beans
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Large bowl
- Dutch oven
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion chopped about 1 ½ cups
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons tamari or coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon Djion mustard
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 cups cooked white navy beans
- 2 cups reserved bean cooking liquid
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring often, until it is completely tender (it will not cook once you add the other ingredients). This can take 10-15 minutes.2 tablespoons oil, 1 onion chopped
- While the onion cooks, mix together the tomato paste, vinegar, maple syrup, molasses, tamari, mustard, and spices.¼ cup tomato paste, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup maple syrup, ¼ cup molasses, 2 tablespoons tamari or coconut aminos, 1 tablespoon Djion mustard, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Add the beans, bean water, and tomato mixture to the cooked onions. Cover the Dutch oven and bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours at 160°C (325°F). Remove the lid and continue to bake for another 30 minutes.3 cups cooked white navy beans, 2 cups reserved bean cooking liquid
- Serve hot as desired.