Easy Baked Beans on Toast (British-Inspired)

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Using a vintage spoon to spread baked beans on toast

Beans for breakfast? It’s a thing and it’s delicious! This British-inspired meal is plant-based and easy to make, without sacrificing on flavor. 

And unlike store-bought baked beans that tend to be heavily sweetened and fairly bland, this homemade version is lightly (and naturally) sweetened yet full of flavor! Just 1 pot and 30 minutes required. Let us show you how it’s done!

Sourdough bread, tomatoes, spinach, white beans, onions, olive oil, mustard, molasses, salt, pepper, garlic powder, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and tomato paste

Origin of Baked Beans on Toast

There are several theories on where baked beans originated. But the concept of baked beans on toast seems to be an iconic British staple. And Heinz (yep, the ketchup company) claims the combo was invented by one of its executives in 1927.

British baked beans are traditionally made with navy beans, which are a small white bean. Navy beans are called haricot beans in England and also go by names such as Boston beans and white pea beans.

Baked beans on toast is often served for breakfast as a part of a fry up (the British term for a Cooked English Breakfast). For lunch, they are more commonly served with a jacket potato (the British term for a baked potato). And they’re even served at dinner, too!

White cannellini beans in a tomato-based sauce

This recipe starts with sautéing shallot with sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder as the base. Next comes water to make it saucy, vinegar for tang, and tomato paste for rich tomato flavor. Mustard and molasses add depth and maple syrup provides a sweet balance. This combination creates the sauce.

Cooked white beans are added to the sauce and simmered to soak up the flavors. We used white (cannellini) beans because they are readily available and have a mild flavor. But other types of white beans work well here, too.

The saucy, subtly spiced, flavorful beans are served atop toasted bread (sourdough being our favorite).

Stirring a pot of baked beans

We hope you love this recipe for baked beans on toast! It’s:

Hearty
Flavorful
Savory
Lightly sweetened
Versatile
Quick & easy
& SO delicious!

It’s perfectly satisfying for any meal of the day! For breakfast, try serving with a fried egg (if not vegan), shiitake mushroom “bacon”, vegan sausages, and/or fresh fruit. Or for lunch or dinner, swap out the toast for a baked potato (or sweet potato) and serve with a simple green salad.

Slices of sourdough bread topped with British baked beans, wilted spinach, and slow roasted tomatoes

More Flavorful Bean Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Holding up a slice of baked beans on toast

Easy Baked Beans on Toast (British-Inspired)

Flavorful, British-inspired baked beans on toast! An easy, versatile, and delicious plant-based meal. Just 1 pot and 30 minutes required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Topping two slices of toast with British baked beans
5 from 17 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (Slices)
Course Breakfast, Entree
Cuisine British-Inspired, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month (beans only)
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

BEANS

  • 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil (or sub water if oil-free)
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped (~75 g or 1/2 cup // or sub 1/2 small white onion)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder (or sub 2 cloves fresh minced garlic)
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 ½ Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 4 tsp maple syrup (or coconut sugar)
  • 2 tsp unsulphured molasses* (adds depth of flavor // we used blackstrap molasses)
  • 2 (15-oz.) cans white beans, drained and rinsed (we prefer cannellini or Great Northern, but navy beans are more traditional // or sub ~3 cups cooked white beans made from 1 cup dry)

TOAST

  • 4 slices bread of choice (use gluten-free if needed or serve on a baked potato)
  • Vegan butter or olive oil (optional)

FOR SERVING optional

Instructions

  • Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil (or avocado oil or water), shallot, salt, and pepper and sauté until translucent and tender — about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add garlic powder (or minced garlic) and stir. Then add all the remaining sauce ingredients to the pot: water, cider vinegar, tomato paste, yellow mustard, maple syrup, unsulphured molasses. Stir again to combine. Whisk if needed to break up any clumps.
  • Add the drained and rinsed beans and stir to coat. Turn the heat to medium-high and let the mixture reduce for 8-10 minutes (you should be able to hear and see the sauce bubbling). If the sauce starts to spit, turn the heat down slightly. Avoid covering the pot or the sauce won’t reduce quickly.
  • Stir often to avoid sticking. After 10 minutes the baked beans should be done and there will be some sauce coating the beans. Turn off the heat. Taste test and adjust, adding more salt for overall flavor, maple syrup for sweetness, apple cider vinegar for tang, or molasses for depth of flavor. Place a lid on the pot to keep the beans warm.
  • If serving with toast (we prefer hearty sourdough), put your bread in the toaster. Once golden brown, remove — usually within 3 minutes.
  • Once toasted, option to butter your toast with vegan butter or drizzle with olive oil. Then top with the piping hot beans.
  • Best when fresh and eaten with a knife and fork. The toast will turn a little wet where the sauce lands, and that's how it’s typically eaten. Alternatively, serve on a baked potato. Optionally, garnish with arugula, roasted cherry tomatoes, or wilted spinach.
  • Store leftover beans covered in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat until hot (adding a bit of water to thin as needed if too thick).

Video

Notes

*We recommend unsulphured molasses as sulphured can have a metallic taste.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with olive oil and sourdough bread, and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 slice Calories: 392 Carbohydrates: 69.7 g Protein: 19.2 g Fat: 5 g Saturated Fat: 0.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 2.7 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 889 mg Potassium: 1137 mg Fiber: 10.8 g Sugar: 11.4 g Vitamin A: 251 IU Vitamin C: 5.1 mg Calcium: 197 mg Iron: 7.6 mg

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  1. Sue says

    This recipe is so good! It is fast, easy, comfort food, and inexpensive. I’ve made it several times since you posted it. Thank you for such a good recipe!

  2. Noélia says

    I also rate this recipe with five stars. I have made it several times, with a variant of rice and also without roasted tomatoes. Have shared it with family, and everyone loved it! Thank you for this easy to make plate of goodness! Noélia

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you and your family enjoy it, Noélia! Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  3. Michal says

    This was so good. I ws going to pass on the molasses but ended up getting it and it was worth it! Next time I would add a little more salt, or less maple it was a tiny bit too sweet for me.
    We had baked a fresh sourdough the day before and it was perfect:)
    10/10 would make it again:)

  4. VICKY says

    Really delicious, we ate it so fast that the toast didn’t get soggy lol! Definitely making this many more times!

  5. Kristyn Wilson says

    I’ve never had anything like this before and it was so good! I used beans I soaked overnight and cooked for a little over an hour before adding them to this recipe.

  6. Lissette says

    Dana you really knocked it out of the park with this one! I absolutely loved the beans. My boyfriend is Irish and thought they were a tad sweet for his taste, but I thought they were perfect! Thanks so much for this keeper!

  7. Dave Spencer says

    Great timing for me. I made a different version weeks ago, being curious about this breakfast. That recipe was good, however, yours improved upon it! I hope people give this a try. I am by no means saying anyone in this country needs to eat more protein, but, as a vegan, I find this a treat to start the day with a little more of it. Easy to digest and leaves you feeling content for hours. Finally, a deep thank you for all the vegan recipes. My wife, daughter and I cook very nearly everything we eat, and we have used your recipes more than any other author. Big fans here!

  8. Kirsti says

    Living in the UK myself, I couldn’t help but be tempted to try these beans as I love baked beans… and boy did they deliver! As my husband said, these beans are Heinz 2.0!!! Made the recipe as written and wouldn’t change a thing.

  9. Aman says

    I bought the navy beans many years ago to make this. But never got to it until today. This recipe came out so delicious. You hit the nail on the head with flavor on this one too! If we don’t finish it all ‘taste testing’ we might actually use it for toast in the mornings. What an absolute fiber filled treat!

  10. Louise Sanchez says

    Having my vegan son and his girlfriend over for a brunch tomorrow. Can this recipe be made a day ahead and just reheat before serving. I am going to serve it on pumpernickel bread. I know he will love it.
    Thank you so much, I find a lot of very useful recipes here for my vegan family.

  11. Suzanne Baker says

    This came out delicious! I used navy beans and added a splash more apple cider vinegar, molasses and maple syrup at the end and it was perfect! Had it for dinner last night and again this morning for breakfast on my gf toast. I agree that canned baked beans are too sweet so this is a great recipe as an alternative.

  12. Craig Stephen says

    It’s similar to what we ate growing up though we’d add bacon, salt pork or sausage, ketchup (in lue of the tomato paste and vinegar) and use more molasses, sulphered so the dry beans don’t burst during the long cooking time. Placed in a slow cooker or low oven, they can cook overnight and be ready for breakfast the next day or cooked during day for supper and served with cut up hot dogs (franks and beans).

  13. Isla says

    As a Brit who doesn’t like the original Heinz Baked Beans, this version was fantastic! Really lovely flavour without being too rich. I didn’t have molasses so used some brown sugar and coconut sugar instead and it came out great!

  14. VICKY says

    I want to make this, do you think it would taste good without molases? don’t have any at the moment and wont grocery shop till next week.
    TIA

  15. Vickie says

    Tried this recipe this morning for breakfast and it was delicious. Added a little extra molasses and maple syrup. Going to try it with the wilted spinach next. Thanks for the great recipes on your site.

  16. Becca says

    Thank you so much Dana, I am British and never in my life thought Heinz baked beans could be beat…until you came along and totally smashed it of course :) This is absolutely delicious!!! Yes it takes longer than cracking open a can of shop brought beans but the taste is fresh and satisfying and bonus you can freeze leftovers so it’s at the ready for emergencys (I do have some leftovers but will get through it in the next few days) perfect for beans on toast with a sprinke of cheese which is my go to for comfort food or even on a jacket potatoe as suggested, absolutely delicious x

  17. Alexis says

    Made this today for my siblings and I, had to stop at a grocery store to get tomato paste also because we had Italian tomato paste at home instead! Haha turned out wonderful though, I served it with sourdough bread and Happy Farms eggs!

  18. sherry says

    i love baked beans on toast. especially when you add a slice of cheddar cheese on top and put them on the grill to melt. soooo delish!

  19. Tanya says

    Excellent job on the photo of the ingredients!! The measuring spoons and the wilted tomatoes on the vine are just gorgeous!! Thank you for the work you put into your craft!!

  20. blutterfy says

    This is amazing and just what I needed to mix up my breakfast routine midwinter. =)
    Also the Brits calling navy beans (itself a lol name) the haricots beans made me spit out my tea – haricot is the french word for bean and thus the “navy” white “pea” bean is called bean bean.

  21. Lola says

    Hey there!! This is an irrelevant comment to the beans on toast ~looks delicious btw~ but I wasn’t sure where else to submit a question such as mine…
    I’ve been advised to go on the Auto-Immune Protocol diet for a time so that my doctors and I can get to the root of some health issues. The recipes and UI on this website are top notch already, but if we could have an AIP filter, that’d be amazing! Or the addition of a “no beans/ legumes” and/or ” no nightshades” would be so very helpful to me and others with this diet, or these allergies and sensitivities.
    Love ya’ll either way. Thank you for all you do.

  22. JB says

    I love baked beans! Especially butter beans. There is a greek recipe called gigantes pilaki (I think). Makes a lovely lunch with some feta cheese and toasted sourdough bread or pita to dip in the yummy tomatoey juices. If you have them on top of a baked potato you have to have cheese too – it’s the law here in the UK! When my Mother was newly married, she used to make something called ‘egg, bacon and beans in the oven’. I sometimes think I should write a recipe book based on beans…..

  23. Sarah R says

    I couldn’t not leave a comment being British! It made me laugh. I came to the US in 2006 and stayed with a friend for a few months. It was awesome at that time being only 19. I really missed my British staples (cooked breaky and Indian takeaway) and was amazed by all the weird and wonderful flavours that you have for baked beans over there. It through me off… along with the square sausage and syrup with bacon!? Anyway, thank you for trying something different and educating others on a bit of British!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Sarah! We had help from someone who lives in the UK develop this recipe so we hope we paid the traditional version a respectable homage!

    • Elizabeth says

      Yum! This is super duper flavorful! My entire family gobbled this down. Totally a new staple! Thank you for all of the incredible recipes! Have a great day!