There is nothing quite as comforting as a piping hot plate of homemade baked beans. These vegetarian baked beans are packed with rich, smoky flavor - and incredibly simple to prepare. Plus, they're completely vegan and gluten-free.
Do the words "baked beans" illicit memories of that horribly watery and synthetic, tinned variety?
It's time to cast those memories aside because my homemade vegetarian baked beans are worlds apart from the tinned imitation.
(And while you're here - be sure to snag a free copy of my ultimate vegan toolkit. It's packed with my favorite plant-based recipes, printables, cheat sheets, and more.)
Putting the "Beans" in Vegetarian Baked Beans
Okay, so this recipe still uses canned beans, but not like you might think. Buy canned cannellini beans, which are the white beans often used to make baked beans.
If you really want to start from scratch, you can buy the dried cannellini beans and let them soak for five hours, but trust me, the tinned cannellini beans will work great too, and save you a lot of time.
What makes these vegetarian baked beans sublime is the smokiness of the paprika, complemented by the sweetness of the onion. It's divine!
Making the Sauce
Start by heating your stovetop to medium heat and cooking some onions in a bit of olive oil. You can try adding some shallots as well, if you want to mix things up a bit.
The shallots will give a slightly sweeter flavor. Then, add a bit of salt and cook the onions until they are just soft. Then add some fresh garlic and cook a little longer.
Next, you'll add the rest of the ingredients. For the tomatoes, you have a couple of options. I prefer to used crushed tomatoes, which you can buy canned at the store. You could also make your own from fresh tomatoes - here's a tutorial, in case you want to give it a try.
If you prefer much chunkier tomatoes, you can use cans of chopped tomatoes for your vegetarian baked beans instead.
Now, when it comes time to add the rest of the ingredients, do not skip the smoked paprika - it's the secret ingredient that gives the baked beans its' smoky flavor!
The paprika can also be used to make a side of delicious chili, lime, and smoked paprika pita chips.
You'll let the baked beans cook on the stove top for 45 minutes to one hour. Around 45 minutes, just check on the beans to see how much longer they need to cook.
Sweetening Your Vegetarian Baked Beans
And even though your beans will be cooking with brown sugar, if you want a slightly sweeter flavor, add a touch of maple syrup. It really adds another layer of flavor to the dish.
They may be healthy vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free beans, but I never said they'd be sugar-free. I have to feed the sweet tooth!
Other Tips for Vegetarian Baked Beans
It's important to choose good, quality crushed tomatoes, which provide the base for the rich tomato sauce. This is how we get incredible flavor without hours of cooking.
I am personally in love with these crushed San Marzano tomatoes, and have been using them in all my recipes lately. I swear they are more flavorful than any others I've tried!
Left-over tomatoes (this recipe only requires 2 cups) can be used to make my Vegan Margarita Pizzas.
My favorite way to eat these vegan baked beans is for lunch with a side of kale chips in place of bread. But, they're also delicious on hot buttery toast, or a piece of grilled sourdough rubbed with garlic.
If you want to make your own bread, try my dill soda bread recipe. The mix of flavors will be surprising and delicious!
And be sure to grab a copy of my free Ultimate Vegan Toolkit for more easy plant-based recipe ideas!
Vegetarian Baked Beans Recipe
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes canned
- 28 oz cannellini beans canned
- 1 tbsp brown sugar heaped
- 1 tbsp soy sauce gluten-free variety if needed
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 sprig rosemary leaves removed and chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place a saucepan over a medium heat and add the olive oil and onion. Add a pinch of salt and cook the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Adjust the seasonings as necessary.
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Delicious! I substituted maple syrup for sugar (just over a teaspoon), and left out the rosemary. Thank you!!
absolutely loved these baked beans!
Hi i plan to make these this weekend. I aim for zero waste so ill be buying my beans at the bulk store. Im in australia so im guessing ill get 250g of beans as soaking them makes them double in size so ill end up with 500g. Since 28oz is about 800g almost a kilo and i dont want to make that much although i could freeze it ready for next weekend. Thank you for this recipe.
Heidi Wolff says
Soy sauce is not gluten free.
It's pretty easy to find gluten free soy sauce these days. If your grocer doesn't carry it, you can find it here.
Nice Blog!!I will defiantly try this recipe!!
Omg loved this i did tweak the recipe a bit by adding some cayenne pepper (1/4 tsp) and about a tsp and a half of crushed cumin seeds as well as a bit more paprika and sugar it was incredible
Thanks for the feedback Cassandra. I love the addition of cayenne and cumin. 😀 So glad you enjoyed it.
David Crichton says
Hi Jennifer, I keep meaning to ale a version of baked beans/ boston beans at home but keep forgetting to soak my beans. These look delicious though even with canned ones.
Brooke Schweers says
Wow home made baked beans are such a luxury! Your recipe seems so simple though and worth a try. I will replace the brown sugar with stevia but im sure the wonderful paprika will make up for the flavours of that missing element. Yum!
My Kicthen Stories says
Love baked beans like crazy. Every time I make them I eat so many I cant move
Anne ~ Uni Homemaker says
Looks yummy. What a great way to make beans. Delicious!
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says
The traditional New England Saturday night dinner was baked beans. Always homemade and I didn't know any family in town that didn't have this meal. Wacky, I know but that was Maine. 🙂
I can't wait to try your beans.
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
I love cannellini beans, this looks like such a healthy and comforting dish!
Ooh, yum, that looks great. And using the smoked paprika would give it that wonderful smokey flavour.
Cannellini cooked this way are one of my staple mid-week dinner side dishes - I adore the combination of creamy beans and tomato. The Tuscan fagioli all'uccelleto recipe is my usual as it's what I've been eating ever since I was small but I love the idea of adding spice and soy to make these rich and smoky.
A scrumptious dish! I could eat legumes on a daily basis. They taste so good and are really versatile.