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These homemade vegan baked beans are rich, sweet, savory, slightly spicy, and made with just 10 ingredients in under an hour, thanks to canned beans! Perfect for barbecues, potlucks, and enjoying over toast!

completed Homemade Vegan Baked Beans [Boston Style] plated in a bowl against a light surface

Quick and Easy Vegan Baked Beans with Canned Beans

If you’ve never tried homemade, homestyle baked beans before, you’re in for a treat! Sure, opening a can for your beans is convenient, but we can’t explain how much you’re missing out if you don’t try this easy vegan baked beans recipe! They’re one of our favorite ways to pack in protein in the summer months (and all year long), along with this Mixed Bean Salad and Black Bean “Meatballs”.

This old-fashioned baked beans recipe really requires minimal ingredients and is effortless but with maximum taste, containing 10 pantry-staple ingredients (plus salt and pepper) in total but absolutely loaded with sweet, savory, tangy, slightly spicy flavor. Plus, unlike many recipes for homestyle/Boston baked beans, this recipe is 100% vegan.

Better yet, by making these old-fashioned baked beans using canned beans, you can have them ready in under an hour with only about 10 minutes of hands-on prep! Plus, the leftovers are freezer friendly, so we encourage making a BIG batch that you can reheat as needed.

While these vegan/vegetarian baked beans are one of our favorite BBQ side dishes, you can enjoy them anytime. Just keep scrolling for all our favorite serving recommendations. They’re relatively economical (made primarily of pantry staples), easy to customize, and full of flavor. What’s not to love?!

The Ingredients and Substitutes

While the ingredients list for this homemade baked beans recipe may look long, you actually need only 10 simple ingredients (plus salt and pepper), most of which are probably already in your pantry!

ingredients for Homestyle Baked Beans measured against a white surface
  • Beans: We like to call these semi-homemade baked beans since we’re using canned white beans (drained and rinsed well) to save time and effort. Read below for the best types of beans for baked beans.
  • Oil: We use olive oil, but any neutral cooking oil should work. Use a little veg broth for an oil-free version.
  • Aromatics: This recipe for homemade baked beans relies on garlic and onion for flavor depth.
  • Seasonings: You only need a simple seasoning blend for these easy baked beans, including:
    • Chili powder (or a bit of hot sauce)
    • Cayenne pepper (optional if you want more of a spicy kick)
    • Salt
    • Black pepper
  • Tomato puree: We prefer puree for its cleaner flavor, but you could use ketchup in a pinch and reduce the amount of added brown sugar.
  • Brown sugar: Regular brown sugar is all that’s needed. For an unrefined substitute, use maple syrup.
  • Molasses: The wonderful molasses flavor helps give these the classic Boston baked beans flavor. Use high-quality unsulfured blackstrap molasses.
  • White wine vinegar: Alternatively, apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar for a subtle yet delicious tang in the vegetarian baked beans sauce.
  • Soy sauce: For added salty, savory, umami-flavor (and color). Use tamari or coconut aminos if gluten-free.

What Are The Best Types of Beans for Baked Beans?

Heinz usually uses navy beans (haricot beans) for their baked beans. However, there are several types of beans that work well for homemade baked beans using canned beans, including:

  1. Navy beans (haricot beans)
  2. Great Northern beans
  3. Pinto beans
  4. White kidney beans
  5. Cannellini beans

You can use one or a combination of any of the above.

The Add-ins and Variations:

You can build extra flavor into this recipe for homemade baked beans in several ways. Here are a few of our favorites.

  • Garlic powder: Season to taste.
  • Vegan Worcestershire sauce: For more umami, savory, tangy flavor.
  • Liquid smoke: If you want smokier vegan BBQ beans add some (about 1⁄2-1 tsp) liquid smoke.
  • Mustard: A small amount of yellow mustard or dry mustard powder will add subtle heat and depth to the vegan baked beans sauce.
  • Paprika: Choose from sweet or smoked paprika depending on your desired flavor profile and start with a pinch, increasing to taste.
  • Cumin: For savory, earthy flavor. Add a small pinch and increase to taste.
  • Green bell pepper: Finely diced and sauteed with the onion and garlic.

How To Make Vegan Baked Beans (Using Canned Beans)

Keep scrolling to the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients and recipe instructions.

  • 1) First, preheat the oven to 350F/180C and heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch Oven over medium-high heat.
  • 2) Once hot, sauté the onion and garlic until translucent (4-5 minutes), stirring often.
  • 3) Then, add the chili powder (and cayenne, if using) and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato puree, brown sugar, molasses, white wine vinegar, and soy sauce, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  • 4) Once boiling, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, add the salt & pepper, and allow the vegan baked beans to cook for 10 minutes. Add the beans, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  • 5) Transfer the beans to an oven-proof lidded dish if it isn’t already in one, and bake them for 15 minutes.

Optionally uncover the lid at the end for 5-10 for a thicker, more caramelized flavor.

  • 6) Finally, leave the homestyle baked beans to stand for about 5 minutes to thicken up slightly, and enjoy optionally garnished with sliced green onion or parsley.

The longer you leave the baked beans to cool, the thicker the sauce will become.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Adjust the heat: Increase or decrease the amount of chili and cayenne pepper to fit your taste buds.
  • Tweak the sweetness: Reduce or increase the amount of brown sugar as preferred.
  • Adjust the consistency: If the sauce is too thick, add a small amount of vegetable stock. If it’s too thin, continue to simmer/bake the beans (lid off) to allow the mixture to reduce and thicken.

FAQs

Are baked beans vegan?

Traditionally, many homemade baked beans, like Boston baked beans, contain salt pork or bacon (and lots of it), so they aren’t vegan.

Can I make baked beans in a slow cooker?

To make homemade crockpot baked beans, start by sauteing the ingredients on the stovetop. Then, when it comes time to ‘simmer’ the mixture, transfer everything to the slow cooker along with about ⅓ cup of vegetable broth.

Cook over LOW for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes too thick, add a little more vegetable broth.

Can I make baked beans without sugar?

Honestly, we wouldn’t recommend it, as brown sugar and molasses are so important for the flavor of these vegetarian Boston baked beans.

You could try substituting the brown sugar for a brown sugar alternative, but you’ll still be missing the molasses flavor. Also, while sugar-free molasses alternatives are available, they’re pretty pricey.

Can I use dried beans?

Yes, but you’ll need to soak them overnight in cold water and then cook them with your favorite method (stove, Instant Pot, etc.) before starting with the above easy vegan baked beans recipe. If cooking on the stove, they’ll take between 45-60 minutes to cook.

Do I have to bake the beans?

You could prepare the entire recipe on the stovetop, leaving it to simmer for longer. However, you’ll miss some of the added caramelized flavor.

completed Homemade Vegan Baked Beans [Boston Style] plated in a bowl against a light surface

What To Eat With Baked Beans?

These easy homemade baked beans are hearty, rich, flavor-packed, and perfect for enjoying with:

These homemade vegetarian baked beans work particularly well with BBQs and cookout events with all your favorite sides, like vegan potato salad, corn on the cob, pasta salad, a fresh slaw, etc.

Storage Instructions

Allow the vegan baked beans to cool, and then store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

You can enjoy them chilled or reheat them on the stovetop or in the microwave (in 30-second increments) until warm.

Can You Freeze Homemade Baked Beans?

These vegan homemade baked beans freeze well. Simply allow them to cool, then transfer them combined or in portions to freezer-safe contains/bags (or even an XL ice-cube tray with a lid) to freeze for up to 3 months.

Allow them to thaw in the fridge overnight before enjoying them chilled or reheating them. They’ll be a little softer but taste great.

More Vegan Bean Recipes

You might also enjoy browsing through this list of 59 Ways To Use A Can Of Beans.

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Homemade Vegan Baked Beans [Boston Style]

5 from 29 votes
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
These homemade vegan baked beans are rich, sweet, savory, slightly spicy, and made with just 10 ingredients in under an hour, thanks to canned beans! Perfect for barbecues, potlucks, and enjoying over toast!

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil or any cooking oil
  • 1 medium white onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • For a spicy kick: ⅛ teaspoon or more cayenne optional
  • 1 (15-ounce or 425 grams) can of tomato puree
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of molasses
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 2 (15-ounce or 425 grams) cans of white beans drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Prepare for awesomeness.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). In a saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic until both are somewhat translucent and soft.
  • Add in the chili powder and cayenne (if you are using it) and cook for a few minutes. Add the tomato puree, brown sugar, molasses, white wine vinegar, and soy sauce and bring to a low boil. Once boiling, add salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Let simmer for about 10 minutes, then add the beans and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Put the mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving, and garnish it with sliced green onion or parsley. Allow it to cool for further thickening.

Video

Notes

  • Adjust the heat: Increase or decrease the amount of chili and cayenne pepper to fit your taste buds.
  • Tweak the sweetness: Reduce or increase the amount of brown sugar as preferred.
  • Adjust the consistency: If the sauce is too thick, add a small amount of vegetable stock. If it’s too thin, continue to simmer/bake the beans (lid off) to allow the mixture to reduce and thicken.

Nutrition

Calories: 796kcalCarbohydrates: 150gProtein: 36gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.03gSodium: 349mgPotassium: 3361mgFiber: 27gSugar: 47gVitamin A: 2272IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 437mgIron: 19mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Gina and Jeremy
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Method: Oven
Diet: Vegan
Keywords: american style beans, baked beans, boston recipes, easy bean recipe, homemade beans, homemade recipes, homestyle baked beans, meal prep, sauce, simple ingredients, vegan, vegan baked beans, vegan dinner, vegan lunch, vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
 
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Gina & Jeremy

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  1. 5 stars
    My boys absolutely love baked beans and this is a perfect way to avid all the nasties in the store-bought ones! Love it 🙂