Vegetarian Guernsey Bean Jar Recipe

Updated on January 9, 2020
mistyhorizon2003 profile image

Cindy is from Guernsey and enjoys cooking and organic gardening.

4.7 stars from 3 ratings of Vegetarian Guernsey Bean Jar

Traditional Guernsey Bean Jar is a delicious, inexpensive stew-type recipe usually made with beef shin, pork hocks or pigs' trotters, haricot beans, and butter beans. It originates in the British Channel Island of Guernsey (just off the coast of France) and dates back as far as anyone can remember. Legend has it that local bakers would allow the poorer islanders to use their ovens to cook their bean jars overnight. In the morning the islanders would come to the bakers to collect their earthenware pots of hot steaming bean jar and take it home to feed their families, serving it with hunks of bread and Guernsey butter.

The tradition of making Guernsey Bean Jar carries on to this day, although with the arrival of electric or gas ovens and slow cookers, it has become far less troublesome to cook than it was in the days when a crock in a baker's oven was the only practical and affordable way to prepare this simple, tasty and inexpensive meal.

Of course there are many vegetarians who are unable to partake of the delights of the meaty wholesome traditional bean jar, and it is with this in mind that I have come up with a vegetarian alternative to the standard Guernsey Bean Jar recipe. I am assured that this is an excellent version of the original recipe, and have been told this by people who enjoy both vegetarian and meat-based meals. I hope you too enjoy this winter warmer once you give it a try for yourselves.

Cook Time

Prep time: 8 hours 30 min
Cook time: 9 hours
Ready in: 17 hours 30 min
Yields: Serves six to eight people


  • 400g dried butter beans
  • 400g dried haricot beans
  • 900g (3 bags) Quorn chicken-style pieces or quorn sausages
  • 4 large carrots
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 4 large onions
  • 6 large mushrooms
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dried mixed herbs
  • a large knob of butter (optional)
  • 3 litres (approx) vegetable stock (enough to just cover ingredients)


  1. Place your dried beans in the large bowl and fill the bowl completely with cold water. Leave to soak overnight.
  2. The following day, peel and and roughly chop your carrots, onions and mushrooms.
  3. Peel your potatoes, chop into chunks and rinse in cold water to remove all starchiness.
  4. Place your vegetables and your soaked beans into the large casserole dish or slow cooker.
  5. Add your vegetable stock, butter, mixed herbs and the pepper. Don't add salt until the bean jar has finished cooking, because it can keep the beans from getting soft.
  6. Keep the uncooked Quorn pieces for later.
  7. Bring your prepared vegetables and beans to the boil as quickly as possible, either on a high oven or the 'high' setting on your slow cooker. Then reduce the heat to approx 100 degrees Celsius, or 'low' on your slow cooker.
  8. Cook for approximately 6 hours.
  9. Cook the Quorn pieces as per the pack instructions, and then add them to the casserole dish or slow cooker.
  10. Cook for a further 2-3 hours.
  11. If the bean jar is too watery, either remove the lid for a while to allow some of the liquid to evaporate away, or add a couple of tablespoons of cornflour mixed with cold milk to the dish and stir in. Return to the oven until the bean jar is boiling again and has thickened up. Adding more pre-cooked potatoes will also help to thicken the bean jar.
  12. Season with salt according to taste (and adjust other seasoning as required).
  13. Serve with buttered crusty French bread.
The beans soaking
The beans soaking | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Quorn chicken-style pieces.The prepared ingredients.The finished bean jar.
Quorn chicken-style pieces.
Quorn chicken-style pieces. | Source
The prepared ingredients.
The prepared ingredients. | Source
The finished bean jar.
The finished bean jar. | Source

For even more tasty results, allow to completely cool and reheat the second day when the flavours will have developed even more depth.


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    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia Zirkwitz 

      2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      I love beans! This looks delicious and I will try it when the cooler weather hits-- today it is around 30C so we are sticking to salads and sandwiches.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hope you try it Kristen, and I am sure any similar vegetarian meat 'copy' could work equally well. Haricot beans are basically the same beans they use in cans of baked beans.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      5 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Delicious recipe. I never heard of Quorn meat or haricot beans. I would love to give it a try.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks gardener den, hope you enjoy it.

    • gardener den profile image

      Dennis Hoyman 

      6 years ago from Southwestern, Pennsylvania

      Sounds like a great recipe! Have to try this one! Thanks keep up the great work and writing. Gardener Den.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      You are very welcome divactratus.

    • divacratus profile image

      Kalpana Iyer 

      6 years ago from India

      Looks yum! Thanks for sharing the recipe.


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