Recipe: Smoky baked beans in tomato sauce

I have been experimenting with different baked beans recipes for a while now and have tried lots of different combinations of ingredients. I was never quite happy with the finished product. Finally, I have come up with a recipe that I am really happy with and couldn't wait to share it with you. The thing about canned baked beans is they contain sugar and artificial adidtives, so in my mind they are best avoided. Many recipes for homemade baked beans contain sugar in rather large quantities for a savoury dish. You would also be surprised to realise that when we order homemade baked beans when eating out they too are very often made using sugar. This is a bit annoying especially when they are usually marketed as a healthy option and many people wouldn't even think that they contain sugar.

The first thing to say is that these beans aren't actually baked at all, but rather cooked in a saucepan on the hob. The smokiness comes from the smoked paprika and it adds a depth and smoky flavour that is perfect for this dish. It's sometimes hard to achieve this type of flavour in plant based cooking so I find smoked paprika is a really good ingredient to use when you want that little bit of smokiness. I use cannellini beans, but you could use also use haricot beans. If using dried beans, you need to prepare them in advance by soaking them overnight and cooking them according to the instructions on the packet. If using canned beans, you just need to drain and rinse the beans before using them.

This dish is the perfect breakfast for a lazy morning, perhaps when you have slept in or when you just want to sit on the couch reading the papers. It is comfort food at its very best - filling, warm and satisfying. I usually serve it with toasted rye or seed bread and some hummus on the side. It also works really well for lunch or dinner. I sometimes have it on baked potato with some avocado on the side. Delish


1 tablepoon of coconut oil

1 red onion, roughly chopped

1 400g can of plump tomatoes

1 teaspoon of mustard

2 tablespoons of tomato puree

3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

250ml of vegetable stock

2 cups of cannellini beans

Salt and pepper to season

Chopped parsley to garnish


Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan over a medium heat.

Roughly chop the red onion and add it to the saucepan and allow to cook for about 5 minutes

Add the tin of plump tomatoes, tomato puree, red wine vinegar, mustard, smoked paprika and vegetable stock and bring to the boil stirring regularly and breaking up the plum tomatoes with the back of the stirring spoon. Once the mixture comes to the boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

Next add the cannelini beans and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring regularly. (Note: If using dried beans, they should be prepared in advance by soaking them overnight and then cooking them according to the instructions on the packet. If using canned beans, the beans should be drained and rinsed before use.)

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with toasted rye bread and garnish with some chopped parsley and last but not least enjoy!!

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