Vegetable DishesCooking EquipmentMeat DishesDesserts & SweetsFruitsBreakfast FoodsFood IndustryAppetizers & SnacksBaked GoodsBeveragesSpices & SeasoningsGrains DishesDining OutSpecial DietsSauces, Condiments, and PreservationDairy & Eggs

10 Different Recipes and Ways to Serve Baked Beans

Updated on March 21, 2016
Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or under used ingredients.

Baked beans with a poached egg and toasted dipping soldiers.
Baked beans with a poached egg and toasted dipping soldiers.

Baked beans, cooked and canned in sauce, are popular not only with kids and campers but with people of all ages and from all walks of life, in several different countries. So why are they so often used or served so unimaginatively? It is surprising how versatile baked beans can be and how the enjoyment of them can be enhanced with just a little imagination and effort.

The types of beans and the sauce in which they are canned both vary hugely from region to region or country to country, but the principle is the same. In these dishes, I used cans of haricot (or navy) beans in tomato sauce, but the recipes can easily be prepared with other types.

Healthy options: Many types are available with reduced salt and sugar.
Healthy options: Many types are available with reduced salt and sugar.

Although canned baked beans do have many positives in terms of nutritional value, particularly with regard to fibre, there are significant negatives which we should consider. Two of the biggest detriments are salt and sugar, often included to considerable excess. The good news is that many producers now offer reduced salt and sugar alternatives, making baked bean consumption a much healthier option. The variety featured above has an impressive 35% less salt and 40% less sugar than the standard cans. As for the taste? I honestly didn't find much difference, so there is little if any loss for plenty of long term gain.

Baked beans on toast is fine but isn't a particularly imaginative way of enjoying them.
Baked beans on toast is fine but isn't a particularly imaginative way of enjoying them.
A simple dash of sauce adds a little extra interest.
A simple dash of sauce adds a little extra interest.
Baked beans with garlic served on a thick slice of toasted farmhouse bread and garnished with chopped chives.
Baked beans with garlic served on a thick slice of toasted farmhouse bread and garnished with chopped chives.

One of the easiest ways of varying beans on toast is by using a different type of bread. Instead of using the same old supermarket pre-sliced bread, buy a whole loaf and cut a thick wedge to toast. Grate a clove of garlic into the beans before they are heated, add a dash of sauce, and throw on a handful of chopped chives as a garnish.

Cheese Beano with Basil and Black Pepper

Torn basil leaves are added.
Torn basil leaves are added.
Grated cheese for melting.
Grated cheese for melting.

A cheese beano is simply baked beans in tomato sauce on toast with grated hard cheese (usually cheddar) scattered over the top. The cheese may or may not then be melted by placing the toast on a tray and under a hot, overhead grill for about a minute. It's an incredibly simple variation and it doesn't take much.

This cheese beano was enhanced by the addition of a couple of torn basil leaves before it was put to the heat and some black pepper ground over the top as a final flourish.

A variety of herbs, spices, and sauces could be used so why not experiment, or even allow your family to come up with their own variations?

Baked Beans and Fried Eggs on Toasted Bread Rolls

The beans are carefully spooned on to the toasted bread roll halves before adding the egg.
The beans are carefully spooned on to the toasted bread roll halves before adding the egg.

Eggs go very well with baked beans. This idea sees the beans firstly spooned on to toasted bread roll halves before being topped off with soft yolk fried eggs and an optional little scattering of hot chili powder. When these eggs were fried, they were transferred firstly to a separate plate and trimmed carefully to size to improve presentation, but this is not of course essential.

Baked Beans with Poached Egg and Toasted Soldiers

Spooned into serving dish.
Spooned into serving dish.
Poached egg laid on top.
Poached egg laid on top.

This is still technically baked beans and toast, though this recipe technically features beans with toast, rather than on toast.

The beans were gently heated in a saucepan while the egg was poaching (see video below). When both were ready, two slices of bread were put in to the toaster.

The small serving dish simply makes for better presentation. The beans are spooned in first before the poached egg is carefully laid on top. A few basil leaves were finely sliced and added to the top of the egg as a simple garnish.

The toast was lightly buttered before being halved across the way and each half quartered in to soldiers for dipping. This idea doubles as a tasty alternative to a simple boiled egg and soldiers, at breakfast time or any time.

How to Poach an Egg

Baked beans are a key component of a British fried breakfast.
Baked beans are a key component of a British fried breakfast.

Baked beans for breakfast may not be to everyone's taste, but they are a very popular ingredient in not only a full English breakfast but also a full Scottish breakfast, full Welsh breakfast (shown above), and the Ulster fry. In these creations, the baked beans will almost certainly be served with sausages of one type or another.

Sausages, chips, and beans is—in the eyes of many Europeans— stereotypical of the British diet.
Sausages, chips, and beans is—in the eyes of many Europeans— stereotypical of the British diet.

Aberdeen Angus Sausages with BBQ Beans, Mooli, and Chives

These prime Aberdeen Angus beef sausages were a bit more expensive than the standard offerings from supermarket butcher's counters but— as is so often the case— quality costs extra. The difference in taste, texture, and overall enjoyment more than justifies the price.

What You'll Need

(for one serving)

  • 3 Aberdeen angus beef sausages
  • 1 small (8 oz) can of baked beans in BBQ sauce
  • 1” piece fresh mooli (daikon radish) (or horseradish)
  • ½ tsp chopped chives
  • freshly ground black pepper (optional)
  • vegetable oil for frying

  1. Put some oil in to a non-stick frying pan. Do not prick the sausages— this will simply allow the juices to escape and cause the meat to dry up. Instead, cook them very gently for fifteen to twenty minutes, turning frequently.
  2. This time use mixed beans with red bell peppers in a BBQ sauce.
  3. Heat the beans gently in a small saucepan and spoon them in to the centre of a deep plate. Lay the sausages on top. Season with black pepper before sprinkling over the grated mooli (daikon radish) and chopped chives.

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Aberdeen Angus Scotch beef sausages.BBQ baked beans.Fresh mooli/daikon.Grated mooli and chopped chives.Arrange them as artfully as you desire.
Aberdeen Angus Scotch beef sausages.
Aberdeen Angus Scotch beef sausages.
BBQ baked beans.
BBQ baked beans.
Fresh mooli/daikon.
Fresh mooli/daikon.
Grated mooli and chopped chives.
Grated mooli and chopped chives.
Arrange them as artfully as you desire.
Arrange them as artfully as you desire.

Pie, Chips and Beans: A Big Scottish Favourite

Scotch pie with baked beans and mash served with chips.
Scotch pie with baked beans and mash served with chips.

A Scotch Pie (usually just referred to as a pie in Scotland) is traditionally made from mutton or lamb in a hot water pastry case, though beef is more commonly used in modern times. One of the most popular ways of eating a pie like this is with homemade chips and baked beans served alongside or on top of the pie. It may seem that there is not a lot can be done to vary this recipe but one idea is to top the hot pie with warmed beans and freshly made mash before toasting the mash under a hot grill.

The wider concept of baked beans in a pie, with a pie, or encased in pastry of some sort is the one explored in the next two recipes. Hopefully, they will get you thinking of some ways you can develop your own combination.

Baked Beans, Beef, and Onion Pasty

It is possible to include just about anything in a pasty, just like a pie. As long as you follow the basic format of folding the ingredients inside pastry which is then baked golden, what you end up with is technically a pasty. Baked bean pasties may sound unusual but they are absolutely delicious.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Beef is added to a dry pot.Sliced onion is stirred in to browned beef.Preparing to roll the puff pastry.A large plate is used as a template for cutting the pastry.Pastry disc ready for filling.Cooled beef and onion is added to pastry.Baked beans are spooned on top of the beef.Pastry is folded and crimped.Pasty is laid on greased baking tray and glazed with beaten egg.Ready to eat!
Beef is added to a dry pot.
Beef is added to a dry pot.
Sliced onion is stirred in to browned beef.
Sliced onion is stirred in to browned beef.
Preparing to roll the puff pastry.
Preparing to roll the puff pastry.
A large plate is used as a template for cutting the pastry.
A large plate is used as a template for cutting the pastry.
Pastry disc ready for filling.
Pastry disc ready for filling.
Cooled beef and onion is added to pastry.
Cooled beef and onion is added to pastry.
Baked beans are spooned on top of the beef.
Baked beans are spooned on top of the beef.
Pastry is folded and crimped.
Pastry is folded and crimped.
Pasty is laid on greased baking tray and glazed with beaten egg.
Pasty is laid on greased baking tray and glazed with beaten egg.
Ready to eat!
Ready to eat!

What You'll Need

(for one serving)

  • ¼ lb minced/ground beef
  • ½ small onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ lb puff pastry
  • 2 tbsp baked beans in tomato sauce
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • flour for rolling pastry
  • beaten egg for glazing
  • butter for greasing baking tray

  1. Put the beef in to a dry pot on low to medium heat.
  2. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the beef is browned— about two to three minutes. Stir in the onion and pour in enough boiling water to cover. Simmer for fifteen minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat, cover, and leave for at least an hour to cool.
  5. Roll out the pastry on a clean, dry, floured surface with a rolling pin to a 13" square. The pastry may seem very thin but puff pastry rises considerably during cooking. Use a 13" dinner plate as a template to cut a circle from the pastry.
  6. A slotted spoon is best for laying the beef and onion on one half of the pastry, being sure to leave a border of approximately an inch around the edges. Carefully spoon the (cold) beans on top of the beef. Glaze this border with beaten egg before folding over the empty half of the pastry and crimping around the edges.
  7. Transfer to a baking tray, lightly greased with butter and glaze all over with more beaten egg. Do not forget to make a slit in the centre about 1" long to allow steam to vent during cooking.
  8. Bake in the oven preheated to 400°F/200°C for 35 to 40 minutes until the pastry is risen and beautifully golden.

Half a baked beans and beef pasty, served with dill buttered new potatoes and salad
Half a baked beans and beef pasty, served with dill buttered new potatoes and salad

Individual Baked Beans Cottage Pie

Cottage pie is a combination of beef and usually vegetables such as onion and carrot, topped with mashed potato. In this instance, baked beans are mixed with the beef and vegetable combination before the pie is assembled.

What You'll Need

(for one serving)

  • ¼ lb minced/ground beef
  • ½ small onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 2 tbsp baked beans
  • 1 medium baking potato
  • pat of butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Brown the beef in a dry pot. Finely slice the onion. Peel the carrot and chop to a medium dice. Stir the carrot and onion through the browned beef and season before adding enough boiling water to cover and simmering for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, put the lid on the pot, and leave for an hour or two to cool completely.
  2. Peel the potato, roughly chop and add it to a pot of cold water. Bring the water to a boil and simmer for about 25 minutes until the potato is soft. Drain and return to the pot with a little bit of butter and salt. Mash, cover, and leave to cool.
  3. Preheat your oven to 375°F/190°C. Spoon the meat and beans in to a small ovenproof dish. Spoon the potato on top and smooth gently with a blunt knife dipped in boiling water. Cook on a baking tray for twenty minutes.
  4. The pie is now technically ready to eat but placing it under a hot overhead flame for two or three minutes browns and crisps the top of the potato to make for more attractive presentation.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Carrot is diced and onion finely sliced.Carrot and onion are mixed through browned beef.Beef and bean combination is added to baking dish.Potato is mashed with butter.Mashed potato is spread over top.Pie removed from oven.Cottage pie has been browned under hot overhead grill (broiler).
Carrot is diced and onion finely sliced.
Carrot is diced and onion finely sliced.
Carrot and onion are mixed through browned beef.
Carrot and onion are mixed through browned beef.
Beef and bean combination is added to baking dish.
Beef and bean combination is added to baking dish.
Potato is mashed with butter.
Potato is mashed with butter.
Mashed potato is spread over top.
Mashed potato is spread over top.
Pie removed from oven.
Pie removed from oven.
Cottage pie has been browned under hot overhead grill (broiler).
Cottage pie has been browned under hot overhead grill (broiler).

How do you like to eat baked beans? Are you now going to experiment?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon Hamilton 2 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you, Kristen. It's really amazing how versatile beans can be. I hope you get the chance to try to enjoy some of these ideas.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Interesting ways on how to serve baked beans for breakfast and other recipe ideas. I love baked beans and would give this a go. Voted up!

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon Hamilton 2 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      I love your ideas, Hendrika. I'm rarely surprised by new food combinations and creative ideas. Thanks for visiting and sharing your tips.

    • Hendrika profile image

      Hendrika 3 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Thank you for these ideas on how to use baked beans. I have two more uses for them, one because i like the taste, the other for the end of the month when the budget has been stretched as far as it will go. As a variation on bakes beans on toast I serve it on French toast, topped with cheese and melted under the grill. The famine recipe simply adding the beans to cooked paste with only a sprinkling of cheese because there are no more cheese left over! You will be surprised at how tasty it actually is.

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 3 years ago from The High Seas

      I really enjoy baked beans a lot and when I first told me (Mexican) wife about eating them on toast she looked at me like I was an escaped mental patient...13 years later she loves eating beans that way now! 5 stars, voted up and useful.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, anginwu. Yes, it would be as part of the full English breakfast you were served baked beans in Manchester. I'm glad you enjoyed the unusual concept and taste of something different. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 5 years ago

      When I was in Manchester, England, i had baked beans every morning, courtesy of the hotel we were staying. Since I don't normally eat baked beans, I enjoyed it tremendously. You've given many ideas and they all look delicious.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, alliemacb and thanks. Yes, you are right - baked beans are under-rated and it is a shame more people don't experiment with them as these ideas are but the tip of the iceberg. Hope you've found at least one new baked beans idea you like.

    • alliemacb profile image

      alliemacb 5 years ago from Scotland

      Baked beans are so under-rated. This hub has shown just how versatile they can be. Great job.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, Claudia and thank you! I hope you enjoy the idea. It's really simple of course but absolutely delicious. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 5 years ago from Mexico

      I loved your idea of baked beans with poached egg and toasted dipping soldiers! My mouth is watering now…..I´ll make it next week after I´ve gone to the supermarket for the week´s supplies.

      Everything is beautifully presented in this Hub, congratulations.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thanks, itakins. Hope you decide to try and very much enjoy some of the suggestions.

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 5 years ago from Irl

      Some great ideas here for using baked beans,and such an incredibly thorough hub too.