Vegan Baked Beans
Red beans, pinto beans or kidney beans – whatever type you choose you can make into a delicious bake bean recipe. I made this Vegan Baked Beans recipe for you because sometimes (vegetarian, vegan or not!) you don’t want baked beans that have meat in them. This is such a simple recipe that you can assemble in just a few minutes. It creates a versatile, protein-rich, filling and delicious side dish. These Vegan Spiced Baked Beans also make incredible leftovers as it’s a dish that the flavors seem to keep mingling as time goes on.
You may think of baked beans as a summertime accompaniment to bbq or picnic foods. Their savory yet mellow flavor goes well with bbq meat or non-meat options, corn and salads. The fun thing about a side dish like this is that it’s actually quite versatile and so I actually chose to serve it today with some delicious cilantro and blue corn chips that I had on hand. However, you can literally make these any time of year. They’re so perfect for meal prep, to whip up on a Sunday to keep all week. You can serve them like I did here – as a dip, side or snack – or you can serve them as a high fiber side to a main protein and some whole grains like potatoes or rice and veggies.
Did you know that some bean dishes are an American Southern tradition? It is believed that peas or beans symbolize wealth and will bring good luck for the year ahead when consumed around the first of the year. Traditionally, black-eyed peas, lentils or other beans are seasoned with pork or ham so I wanted to offer you a simple vegan baked beans recipe instead. I got so inspired by this actually that this year I even made a black-eyed-pea dip that was the hit of the New Year’s party I went to!
But don’t stop with the beans at New Year’s Eve. They are linked to so many positive health outcomes. High in fiber to support the digestive system and healthy cholesterol, they’re rich in nutrients, too. Beans are so high protein, too so they’re quite filling. They specifically contain antioxidants, B vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron. They can lower cholesterol, they can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, they’re anti-cancer and good for diabetes and stable blood sugars. What’s not to love? If you have any troubles digesting them, make sure to start with small amounts and increase over time. I love to weave beans into all sorts of recipes from salads and soups to brownies and bakes.
Eating Out Veggie Style
I love going to parties and celebrations (I’m Champagne Nutrition!) but, being a veggie, it can be hard to find healthy food and I often need to bring my own. Beans in particular are a challenge. I think people forget about how awesome beans are. They’re one of my favorite foods but there’s often pork products in them like those traditional Southern preparations. I finally found a recipe for baked beans that is unique, flavorful and makes an amazing dish to share with others. These Vegan Spiced Beans give veggie food a good name.
Another problem with baked beans is that they can be too sugary and sweet. I wanted just a touch of sweetness but a lot of spice which is why I used a dal recipe as inspiration. Including tomatoes and a bit of maple syrup in addition to Indian spices garlic, cumin seeds, ginger, and curry, these baked beans are healthy, spicy, light and delicious. This recipe serves 12 so you can make it to take to a party or you can food prep it for your own week. It’s pretty amazing over some brown or jasmine rice and you can add some steamed veggies on the side to round out the dish.
Vegan Baked Beans
This recipe is seriously simple. I love how hands-off it is and so if you’re prepping a large meal or if you are headed to a bbq party, this is just a great side dish to bring.
First, sauté the onions in vegan butter (to keep it vegan – if you’re not avoiding dairy, you could use regular butter) and then add the other spices. The base of this dish is so fragrant and delightful, it will make your kitchen smell amazing. Next up, simply add all the tomato products and some maple syrup, heat it all up then add the beans and milk plus a little salt and you’re ready to bake.
I love how much tomato is in this dish. That’s a wonderful amount of added vitamin C, more fiber and antioxidants like lycopene. Tomatoes are acidic and flavorful and really add depth to this dish. Spray the pan with a little cooking spray – I use coconut but you can use whatever you have on hand. Just pop it in the oven and it will be done in 30 minutes. I love food that I can get in the oven like that because it allows me to clean the kitchen or focus on other recipes or tasks. Doing more than one thing at a time on a busy week-night is absolutely where it’s at for me.
If you need more healthy bean recipes, check out this Instant Pot Lentil and Cauliflower recipe.
- 1 Tablespoon vegan unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion yellow onion diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- 1 can can diced tomatoes
- 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 2 cans unsalted red beans drained and rinsed
- 1½ Tablespoons unsweetened plain soy milk
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Cooking spray
- 1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Preheat oven to 350F. Melt butter in a large pot over medium. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4-6 minutes. Add garlic, cumin seeds, ginger, and curry; cook, stirring often until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, maple syrup, and tomato paste; stir over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in beans, milk, and salt.
- Pour bean mixture into an 8x8-inch baking dish coated lightly with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F until bubbly, 25-30 minutes.Top with cilantro. Makes great leftovers.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
Thanks for visiting! If you’re like me: obsessed with eating, wine, going out and traveling, you’re in the right place. Champagne Nutrition® LLC is a Registered Dietitian-run concierge virtual practice helping clients look and feel better. On this blog, you’ll ﬁnd cocktails, mocktails, and plant-based recipes that are easy to make quickly at home and pack for leftovers on your adventures.