These Old-fashioned baked beans using canned beans replicate the beloved and timeless dish rooted deep in American culinary history. Humble yet flavorful, this dish features canned beans thus cutting down the cooking time significantly. The result is a savory, sweet, and slightly smoky, rich sauce with deep flavors.
Old-fashioned baked beans have a versatile nature that makes them a cherished addition to various meals. Whether served as a side dish at summer barbecues, alongside breakfast favorites like eggs and toast or as a comforting accompaniment to winter stews, their appeal knows no season.
For another classic tomato recipe, check out our Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Sauce.
The hallmark of old-fashioned baked beans is their hearty, comforting taste and the inviting aroma that fills your home.
Traditionally white beans are soaked in water and slow-cooked or baked for a long time as they simmer to perfection. I have attempted to cut short the cooking time, to make a quicker, filling, protein and fiber-packed meal which can be also served as a meatless dinner.
This recipe is also called Boston Beans. As you can tell from the ingredients, they are a more interesting version of British-style baked beans.
You can bake these in the oven, cook them in a slow cooker, or simmer them on the stovetop. I have used the stove-top method for quicker weeknight meals. I always keep some canned beans handy but they seem to get lost at the back of the pantry. So I thought it was time to use those up for a hearty, warm dinner!
Reasons To Love These Old Fashioned Baked Beans
- Convenience: Normally, dried beans need to be soaked for a few hours. Preparing baked beans with canned beans cuts down on soaking and cooking time. Canned beans are very handy for busy weeknight dinners or when you need to whip up a side dish in a hurry.
- Consistency: No need to worry about undercooked beans or mushy mess.
- Nutritional Value: Canned beans are a good source of protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. They provide essential nutrients without the lengthy cooking process.
- Cost-effective: Canned beans are usually affordable and readily available year-round. Time to grab those forgotten cans from the back of your pantry!
- Long Shelf Life: Canned beans have a long shelf life, so you can keep them in your pantry for an extended period without worrying about spoilage.
- Make a vegan meal by serving with avocado toast, or add proteins like bacon or grilled meats.
Olive Oil: I have used extra virgin olive oil.
Canned Crushed Tomatoes: You can also use fresh diced tomatoes instead of canned. Ripe tomatoes bring a sweet yet tangy flavor to the beans, creating a luscious sauce that coats the beans and infuses them with a hearty tomato essence.
Garlic: Diced garlic enhances the overall depth of flavor along with onions.
White Onions: White onions provide a mild and slightly sweet flavor to the baked beans. They offer a pleasing crunch and work well with the garlic and leeks.
Leeks: I have used the white part of the leeks only. They add a delicate oniony sweetness and a pleasant texture. This also bulks up your dish with vegetables! Skip these if you do not have them.
Thyme: For subtle earthy aroma. If using fresh thyme, add it to the tomatoes. If using dried herb, saute it with the garlic to release its aroma.
Mustard: I have used Dijon mustard paste. Mustard provides a tangy and slightly spicy kick to baked beans.
Vinegar: Adds a bit of acidity to the beans. You can use Apple Cider Vinegar or White Vinegar.
Curry Powder: Curry Powder is a mild blend of spices like coriander, turmeric, cumin, and fenugreek. Check the level of heat on the packaging and adjust the quantity to your taste.
Seasoning: Salt and Pepper
Sweetener: You can add molasses, brown sugar, or just white sugar. Molasses or brown sugar give these beans a deep rich flavor.
Optional: Smoked Paprika: For a bit of heat and smoky flavor.
Optional: Bacon bits: You can add these while frying onions and garlic for a deeper, meaty flavor.
Step-By-Step Process To Make Old Fashioned Baked Beans Using Canned Beans
Add tomatoes and tomato paste
Recipe for baked beans – some interesting variations
How do you make canned baked beans more interesting? Beans are incredibly versatile and can be tailored to match your taste preferences or depending on what ingredients you have on hand.
Southern Baked Beans: Southern-style baked beans often include black-eyed peas or butter beans with a bit of heat from chili powder or hot sauce.
Cowboy Beans: These are hearty baked beans often made with kidney beans and feature ground beef or sausage, onions, and sometimes jalapeños for a spicy kick.
Cajun Baked Beans: Inspired by Cajun cuisine, these beans are spiced with ingredients like cayenne pepper, paprika, and sometimes Andouille sausage for a spicy, smoky twist.
Mexican Baked Beans: Seasoned with cumin, chili powder, and cilantro for a Southwestern or Mexican flavor profile.
Hawaiian Baked Beans: Pineapple chunks or juice are added to create a sweet and tangy variation with a tropical twist.
Indian Baked Beans: These beans incorporate Indian spices like cumin, turmeric, and garam masala, along with ingredients like ginger and garlic, for a curry-flavored twist.
Mediterranean Baked Beans: This variation might include ingredients like olives, feta cheese, and oregano, giving it a Mediterranean flair.
Feel free to experiment with these variations or create your own by adding ingredients you love.
Some Useful Tips
Baking in the oven: Since the canned beans are fully cooked, you do not need to cook them for too long in the oven. About 40 minutes is enough to ensure the tomatoes are simmering and do not taste raw. Preheat oven to 360 F / 180 C.
Drain and rinse the canned beans under running water before adding to the pot.
If using fresh diced tomatoes: If using fresh tomatoes, you can add a cup of water to prevent sticking. Let the tomatoes simmer for a few minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Old Fashioned Baked Beans Using Canned Beans
Toast, eggs, grilled and barbecued meats, cornbread, salads, roasted vegetables – all make excellent companions to baked beans.
Yes. Drain the beans and rinse them with water before using.
You can use Navy beans, cannellini beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans for this recipe.
Yes. Always check ready products like mustard paste etc., for allergen information.
Yes. No dairy products are added to this recipe.
This recipe uses no animal products and is vegan.
In The Fridge: 2-3 days
In The Freezer: Upto 2 months
You can use the tinned baked beans in two ways.
1. Drain and rinse them and use this recipe or,
2. Use the tinned beans as they are, but reduce the amount of sugar, seasoning, and tomatoes to suit your taste.
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Nutritional Panel: We use Spooncular API to calculate nutritional values. While we try our best to ensure these values are correct, please confirm these independently.
All information on our website is for general information only. Please seek advice from medical professionals to check if a diet, particular food, allergens, or a way of eating is suitable for you.
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Old Fashioned Baked Beans Using Canned Beans
- 1 Saucepan
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Onion diced
- 1 Leek White Part – white
- 4 Garlic diced or paste
- 1 can Tomatoes – Fresh or canned 1 lb or 400 g
- 1 can Canned White Beans, drained and rinsed 1 lb or 400 g
- 1 teaspoon Thyme dried
- 1 Tablespoon Vinegar White or Apple CIder
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Curry Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
- 1 teaspoon Mustard Paste
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika (Optional) for smokey flavor
- In a large saucepan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, sliced leek, and dried thyme.
- Sauté until the vegetables are softened and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the can of diced tomatoes (with juices) to the saucepan. See note#1
- Stir in the sugar, Dijon mustard, vinegar, curry powder, salt and black pepper. Mix everything together well.
- Gently fold in the drained and rinsed beans, ensuring they are coated with the sauce mixture.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the beans simmer for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. The flavors will come together as the beans simmer.
- If the mixture gets too thick, you can add a splash of water or broth to achieve your desired consistency.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed with more salt, pepper, or other seasonings.
- Once the beans are heated through and the flavors are well combined, remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Allow the beans to cool slightly before serving.
Nutritional Panel: Our nutritional values are calculated by Spooncular API. While we try our best to ensure these values are correct, please confirm these independently.
All information on our website is for general information only. Please consult your doctor if a diet, particular food, or way of eating is suitable for you.