This easy vegan healthy baked beans recipe is simple and no-fuss, making it perfect for a potluck or delicious addition to any barbecue. Much better than any canned baked beans you can buy at the store, this homemade baked beans recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
Cannellini, or any other white bean that you prefer, combines with onion, garlic, tomato puree, mustard, and thyme for flavorful vegan healthy baked beans. You can use dried or canned beans, but I prefer to use dried ones because they are more economical and healthier than canned ones.
This baked bean recipe was inspired by my easy navy bean soup, which is another vegan-friendly bean recipe on my site. These healthy baked beans would pair seamlessly with my roasted lamb ribs, or bbq pulled lamb as a side dish.
Healthy baked beans are a great dish for the summer and can be made anytime for a nourishing vegan side that is packed with vitamins and nutrients, including lots of protein!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Simple and healthy ingredients
- Vegan friendly
- A filling side dish or main
- One-pot recipe
- You can make it ahead of time and enjoy leftovers
How To Make This Recipe
You can use cooked canned beans if you wish. It’s just that it’s healthier, and you get more bang for your buck by buying the dried version and cooking it yourself.
What to Serve With Your Homemade Baked Beans
These healthy baked beans are so tasty you may be tempted to dive into them on their own for a midday snack or an addition to your toast and eggs in the morning. Pair them with some other delicious recipes and finish with one of these fantastic desserts for a satisfying meal!
- Classic macaroni salad - nothing says summer and warm weather like this classic macaroni salad, which is a perfect accompaniment to healthy baked beans.
- Maple glazed carrots - more veggies to accompany your vegan homemade baked beans; maple syrup glazed carrots come together easily and are sweet and savory all at once.
- Marmite roast potatoes - these savory, umami-packed potatoes are crispy because they are cooked in duck fat, but you can skip it if you are vegan. Replace your regular roasted potatoes with these tasty delights!
- Keto coleslaw - another summer side dish, my keto coleslaw is creamy and only requires a few ingredients that make up a dish that compliments these healthy baked beans to the T. If you're vegan, try this vegan coleslaw instead.
- Butternut and chickpea burger - this vegan barbecue option is healthy and tasty with warm spices and nutritious ingredients.
- Smoked beef short ribs - try these smoked beef short ribs and enjoy them with a side of baked beans for a winning combo.
- Marinated chicken drumsticks - savory with a little hint of spice, these versatile marinated drumsticks are great with healthy homemade baked beans.
- Paneer Tikka - if you are a vegetarian, this paneer tikka is a great barbecue for the grill. Mild paneer cheese is combined with tandoori spices for a satisfying stand-in for meat.
- Vegan oat cookies - these vegan oat cookies are made with brown sugar and coconut oil, with lots of good-for-you ingredients but a decadent taste.
- Kinder Bueno cookie bar - everyone's favorite candy incorporates into these rich cookie bars for a treat for children and adults.
- Carrot cake cupcakes - a perfect dessert for carrot cake lovers, not just for easter! Topped with a cream cheese frosting, these cupcakes are amazing.
- Chia seed cake - the crunch of the chia seeds makes this spongy, lemony cake irresistible to anyone with a sweet tooth.
Popular Substitutions For This Recipe
These vegan baked beans call for cannellini beans, but any other white dried beans, also known as dried haricot beans, will also work. Canned baked beans are often made with navy beans, which are slightly smaller than cannellini beans.
In addition to navy beans, you can use other dried beans, such as pinto beans, kidney beans, or butter beans. Pinto beans are the closest to a navy bean if you are trying to recreate canned baked beans.
Instead of tomato puree or paste, you can use tomato sauce if that's all you have in the pantry. The main difference between tomato sauce, tomato puree, and tomato paste is the consistency, so using tomato sauce will give you a looser outcome when making baked beans.
You can also use ketchup, but remember that ketchup contains sugar, which will add sweetness and make these slightly less healthy!
In place of whole grain mustard, you can try dijon or spicy brown mustard as a substitute. Dijon mustard, spicy brown, and whole grain mustard are relatively close in flavor, with the main difference being texture.
Variations to This Recipe
- Brown sugar or maple syrup can be used to add some sweetness to this baked bean recipe. Using either brown sugar or maple syrup will keep this recipe vegan. Maple syrup is a healthy option that adds some rich flavor to baked beans. Dark brown sugar will give this delicious recipe depth of flavor as well.
- If you decide to add sweetness to your baked beans like other baked bean recipes, try adding a splash of apple cider vinegar as well. The apple cider vinegar will help to balance out the sweetness.
- Add pork or turkey bacon to this baked bean recipe ingredient list to transform the flavor and give it a meaty flavor if you aren't making it vegan. Turkey bacon is a leaner choice than regular bacon if you want to stick to a healthier alternative.
- Cook your baked beans in a slow cooker instead of on the stove. Using a slow cooker will make the recipe more hands-off so that you can focus on other dishes if you're throwing a party and have a lot of prep to do. Saute your onions and garlic first for added flavor, and then add all of your ingredients to the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6-8 hours, or set your slow cooker to high and cook for 3-4 hours, checking the baked beans for doneness.
- Add more flavor and customize your baked beans by adding smoked paprika, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, or even BBQ sauce. Be careful not to add too much smoked paprika since a little goes a long way.
You can play around with tomato puree and mustard ratios to tweak the recipe to your taste.
How Do I Store Leftovers?
Store leftover baked beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for four to five days. Make sure to cool beans to room temperature before placing them in the refrigerator.
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
Yes, you can freeze this recipe, which is why it's so great to make it in bulk. Freeze a large batch of healthy baked beans in a freezer-safe airtight container.
How Do I Thaw This Dish?
Remove the frozen beans from the freezer and place them in the refrigerator overnight. You can continue to heat and thaw them right before you plan to eat them by putting them in the microwave and heating them in increments or on the stovetop.
Can This Recipe Be Made In Advance?
Yes, make this recipe a day or two ahead of time before serving. The flavors will meld together and become even better after sitting.
Other Bean Recipes You'll Love
- Butter bean soup - vegan, healthy, and delicious; this recipe calls for garlic and leeks, which give it incredible flavor and aromatics.
- Borlotti bean soup - packed with veggies, this healthy Italian-inspired soup hits the spot for lunch or along with a piece of toasted garlic bread for dinner.
- Oxtail stew with beans and red wine - oxtail braised with beans and red wine is a comforting dish that is filling and warming, especially on a cold day.
- Butter bean stew - if you're looking for a vegetarian alternative to oxtail stew, this butter bean stew is hearty enough to stand in. Finished with cream, this soup is luxurious and a great weeknight staple.
- Edamame salad - for a protein boost, try this colorful and crunchy edamame salad. Perfect for a side dish or as a lunchtime salad.
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