Homemade Baked Beans

We all know that now and again there is nothing like simply opening a can of baked beans, heating, and serving with toast- the height of sophistication. BUT! Why not try making your own baked beans for once? These are nothing like the tinned ones, I’ll admit- they are in a world of their own. Packed with flavour, texture and goodness these beans are quick and easy to make, not to mention cheap. They can be served as a side dish to a main meal, or with scrambled eggs/toast/grilled tomatoes for a breakfast, brunch, or lunch.

Ingredients: (serves 6) 

  • 400g can of haricot beans in water, drained and rinsed (I used the Tesco own brand)
  • 500g carton of passata (I used Asda Smart Price)
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/4tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2tsp cumin
  • 1tsp cayenne chilli powder
  • 1tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2tsp dried Italian herbs
  • 2tsp smoked paprika
  • 1tbsp runny honey
  • Black and white pepper, to taste
  • 2tsp vegetable gravy granules
  • 1tbsp oil, or a good spray of “fry light” or similar

Method:

  • Finely chop the onion, celery, and carrot. Add these to a pan with either 1tbsp sunflower/olive/vegetable oil, or a product such as “fry light”. Cook gently on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, add the herbs and spices, the passata, and the Worcestershire sauce. Stir well and reduce the heat to low, simmer for a further 5 minutes, adding the honey half way through this time.
  • Now add the beans, give it a mix and turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • With one minute left on the timer add the vegetable gravy granules to thicken the sauce. Remove from the heat and either serve immediately, or allow to cool completely and store in the fridge for up to three days.

Variation: Why not add some curry powder, chopped apple and sultanas? This makes these beans even MORE delicious with their fruity, Indian inspired twist!
Another great tip for leftover baked beans and vegetables is to create a creamy Italian style one pot- in the microwave! I simply mixed a little leftover broccoli, cabbage, and carrots (steamed in the microwave the day before) with the leftover baked beans, and reheated. Then add 50g Greek yoghurt and Italian herbs to taste; return to the microwave for 1-2 minutes, and enjoy!

 

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