Healthy Baked Beans Recipe

baked bean recipe

What are baked beans?

I love baked beans. Baked beans are one of those foods you get used to eating as a child and it never gets old nor do you ever get too old to eat baked beans. If you live outside the UK (or Australia I have been told) then its likely you have not tried baked beans. I’m sorry to say that you are severely missing out. No, these beans are nothing like your bean chilli or refried beans on tacos. Baked beans, made famous by the much loved brand Heinz are simply haricot beans in a smooth tomato sauce. The tomato sauce however, is bright orange and packed with artificial ingredients, this puts a real downer on a dish that has the potential to be a complete balanced meal all on its own. Packed with protein, iron, and even considered one of your five a day. There are many baked bean recipes on the internet but none really live up to the the original recipe, and those dark red sauces and extra veggies certainly wouldn’t fool the kids. This is my own baked bean recipe with a smooth sauce, as close to orange as you can get without using too many processed ingredients. This recipe makes 4 servings and will last 3-4 days in an air tight container in the fridge.

Do you have a diet restriction?

This healthy baked beans recipe is:

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten free
  • Dairy free
  • Nut Free
  • Low GI
  • Syn Free
  • Low Fat

Step 1: The beans

The first step of this baked bean recipe is to prepare the beans. As I mentioned above baked beans are made using haricot beans. Interestingly, I searched high and low in my local supermarkets but unfortunately I couldn’t find haricot beans anywhere and I had to settle for cannellini beans. The two beans look and taste very similar, the only difference is cannellini beans are ever so slightly larger than haricot beans, but hopefully nobody will notice! Baked beans in a tinning factory are called baked beans due to the fact that the raw beans are placed in the tin, covered in sauce and then baked inside the tin. Today, were not messing around with tins, or doing any baking of beans at all.

Luckily, my beans are pre cooked and all I need to do is drain the can. However if your beans are dried you will need to soak in water for an hour or two and then cook in boiling water for 20-30 minutes. Leave your beans to one side for use later.

cannellini beans

Step 2: The baked bean sauce

Now we can start preparing our sauce. Heat a medium sized saucepan on the hob on a low heat. To keep this sauce smooth I’ve opted for passata instead of fresh tomatoes or concentrated puree. Put 250g of passata into the saucepan along with 250ml of vegetable stock, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and1/2 tsp of onion powder. Originally I did opt for blended onion but for the small amount needed it was not worth cutting into an onion for nor getting the food processor out so powdered versions are much more appropriate here. Stir well.

Add 1 tbsp of honey and 1 tbsp of maple syrup. The reason for the mixture is both have quite distinctive tastes and using either one or the other would sway the overall taste of the sauce too much in my opinion. However if you need a vegan alternative you can substitute this for sugar or sweetener. In tinned baked beans, lots of sugar or sweetener would be used to create that iconic flavour. Stir well.

baked bean recipe

Step 4: Give your sauce that iconic orange hue!

Along with this, add 1/4 tsp of turmeric and stir well. If the sauce starts boiling turn the heat down to avoid the sugars burning. When I was researching food colour theory for this recipe I came across a natural food dye video on YouTube. It gave me the fantastic idea of using turmeric to create a better shade of sauce but it also lead me to believe that I could use a large quantity of turmeric without affecting the taste of the sauce… I found out the hard way when first trying this recipe, that this is not true. Don’t add more turmeric than this.

baked bean recipe

Take 3 or 4 tablespoons of your sauce and add to a small bowl with 2-3 tsp of cornflour. Pour this into your sauce and mix well. You should see your sauce turn from red to orange. If your sauce is still too red you can repeat the process but but I wouldn’t advise adding too much extra cornflour to avoid the sauce becoming too thick. Cook for 3 minutes stirring constantly to let the sauce thicken.

Step 4: Add the beans

Add your cooked beans to the sauce and heat for a further 3-5 minutes, stirring well until the beans are hot. Serve over jacket potatoes, with cooked breakfasts, on the side of other British recipes such as cottage pie or, a personal favourite, poured over a slice of toast!

baked bean recipe

How to store baked beans:

Keep your baked beans in a sealed container in the fridge for 4-5 days.

How to reheat baked beans:

Place in a microwaveable bowl and cover, heat for 2 minutes in the microwave or heat on the hob in a saucepan.

Can I freeze baked beans?

Yes! Portion into containers and defrost completely before reheating.

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baked bean recipe

Healthy Baked Bean Recipe

This healthy baked bean recipe is a healthy recipe for weight loss.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine British
Servings 4
Calories 140 kcal


  • 2 tins haricot beans or cannellini beans
  • 250 g passata
  • 250 ml vegetable stock
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • tsp salt
  • tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2-3 tsp cornflour


  • Add all ingredients to the pan apart from the beans and the cornflour. Mix well and cook let it cook for 2-3 minutes until hot but not boiling.
    250 g passata, 250 ml vegetable stock, ½ tsp onion powder, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp paprika, ⅛ tsp salt, ⅛ tsp pepper, ½ tsp turmeric
  • Take roughly 3tbsp of sauce and mix in a small bowl with the cornflour. Return this to the sauce and cook for 5 minutes. If not thick enough or not orange enough repeat the cornflour slurry process with 1 tsp of cornflour at a time.
    2-3 tsp cornflour
  • Drain two tins of beans and add them to the sauce. Mix well and cook for 3-5 minutes until hot.
    2 tins haricot beans


Please see the full blog post above for more detailed instructions and pictures.
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  1. Sounds delicious! I never thought I would use beans for baking actually, this is very creative

  2. Kirsten Smith says:

    5 stars
    Looks delicious!

  3. Such a great recipe! I never got on board with the baked beans trend but I do like beans. I liked that you not only have the recipe but information on the process and why doing certain steps. Excited to try!

  4. Such an easy and delicious comfort recipe, love it!

  5. 5 stars
    Recipe looks really delicious! Beans are good for our health and contains many great proteins. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  6. 5 stars
    This looks yummy and very easy to make.

  7. My sons LOVE baked beans. I’m going to have to try this and see what they think! Of course I won’t tell them it wasn’t a can of baked beans!

  8. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I never heard of Haricot beans before but will definitely try this. Thanks for sharing a healthy version of this.

  9. Thank you! My daughter loves baked beans but I am not so keen to give her too much canned food I’ll surely try this recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    We used to have this growing up and I agree it never gets old because we still eat it lol.

  11. 5 stars
    These baked cannellini beans have my ❤️ . Love them. Thankyou for sharing this recipe. Will try soon

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