Easy Baked Beans on Toast (British-Inspired)

February 17, 2021

Using a vintage spoon to spread baked beans on toast

Beans for breakfast? It’s a thing and it’s delicious! This British-inspired meal is plant-based and easy to make, without sacrificing on flavor. 

And unlike store-bought baked beans that tend to be heavily sweetened and fairly bland, this homemade version is lightly (and naturally) sweetened yet full of flavor! Just 1 pot and 30 minutes required. Let us show you how it’s done!

Sourdough bread, tomatoes, spinach, white beans, onions, olive oil, mustard, molasses, salt, pepper, garlic powder, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and tomato paste

Origin of Baked Beans on Toast

There are several theories on where baked beans originated. But the concept of baked beans on toast seems to be an iconic British staple. And Heinz (yep, the ketchup company) claims the combo was invented by one of its executives in 1927.

British baked beans are traditionally made with navy beans, which are a small white bean. Navy beans are called haricot beans in England and also go by names such as Boston beans and white pea beans.

Baked beans on toast is often served for breakfast as a part of a fry up (the British term for a Cooked English Breakfast). For lunch, they are more commonly served with a jacket potato (the British term for a baked potato). And they’re even served at dinner, too!

White cannellini beans in a tomato-based sauce

This recipe starts with sautéing shallot with sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder as the base. Next comes water to make it saucy, vinegar for tang, and tomato paste for rich tomato flavor. Mustard and molasses add depth and maple syrup provides a sweet balance. This combination creates the sauce.

Cooked white beans are added to the sauce and simmered to soak up the flavors. We used white (cannellini) beans because they are readily available and have a mild flavor. But other types of white beans work well here, too.

The saucy, subtly spiced, flavorful beans are served atop toasted bread (sourdough being our favorite).

Stirring a pot of baked beans

We hope you love this recipe for baked beans on toast! It’s:

Lightly sweetened
Quick & easy
& SO delicious!

It’s perfectly satisfying for any meal of the day! For breakfast, try serving with a fried egg (if not vegan), shiitake mushroom “bacon”, vegan sausages, and/or fresh fruit. Or for lunch or dinner, swap out the toast for a baked potato (or sweet potato) and serve with a simple green salad.

Slices of sourdough bread topped with British baked beans, wilted spinach, and slow roasted tomatoes

More Flavorful Bean Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Holding up a slice of baked beans on toast

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Servings 4 (Slices)

Course Breakfast, Entree

Cuisine British-Inspired, Gluten-Free, Vegan

Freezer Friendly 1 month (beans only)

Does it keep? 3-4 Days


  • 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil (or sub water if oil-free)
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped (~75 g or 1/2 cup // or sub 1/2 small white onion)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder (or sub 2 cloves fresh minced garlic)
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 ½ Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 4 tsp maple syrup (or coconut sugar)
  • 2 tsp unsulphured molasses* (adds depth of flavor // we used blackstrap molasses)
  • 2 (15-oz.) cans white beans, drained and rinsed (we prefer cannellini or Great Northern, but navy beans are more traditional // or sub ~3 cups cooked white beans made from 1 cup dry)


  • 4 slices bread of choice (use gluten-free if needed or serve on a baked potato)
  • Vegan butter or olive oil (optional)
  • Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil (or avocado oil or water), shallot, salt, and pepper and sauté until translucent and tender — about 3-5 minutes.

  • Add garlic powder (or minced garlic) and stir. Then add all the remaining sauce ingredients to the pot: water, cider vinegar, tomato paste, yellow mustard, maple syrup, unsulphured molasses. Stir again to combine. Whisk if needed to break up any clumps.

  • Add the drained and rinsed beans and stir to coat. Turn the heat to medium-high and let the mixture reduce for 8-10 minutes (you should be able to hear and see the sauce bubbling). If the sauce starts to spit, turn the heat down slightly. Avoid covering the pot or the sauce won’t reduce quickly.

  • Stir often to avoid sticking. After 10 minutes the baked beans should be done and there will be some sauce coating the beans. Turn off the heat. Taste test and adjust, adding more salt for overall flavor, maple syrup for sweetness, apple cider vinegar for tang, or molasses for depth of flavor. Place a lid on the pot to keep the beans warm.

  • If serving with toast (we prefer hearty sourdough), put your bread in the toaster. Once golden brown, remove — usually within 3 minutes.

  • Once toasted, option to butter your toast with vegan butter or drizzle with olive oil. Then top with the piping hot beans.

  • Best when fresh and eaten with a knife and fork. The toast will turn a little wet where the sauce lands, and that’s how it’s typically eaten. Alternatively, serve on a baked potato. Optionally, garnish with arugula, roasted cherry tomatoes, or wilted spinach.
  • Store leftover beans covered in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat until hot (adding a bit of water to thin as needed if too thick).

*We recommend unsulphured molasses as sulphured can have a metallic taste.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with olive oil and sourdough bread, and without optional ingredients.

Serving: 1 slice Calories: 392 Carbohydrates: 69.7 g Protein: 19.2 g Fat: 5 g Saturated Fat: 0.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 2.7 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 889 mg Potassium: 1137 mg Fiber: 10.8 g Sugar: 11.4 g Vitamin A: 251 IU Vitamin C: 5.1 mg Calcium: 197 mg Iron: 7.6 mg

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