Easy GF, Vegan Baked Beans

Oh, hey. Just bought you a ticket to Yum Town. Ready to board?

(Awkward silence.)

Sorry. But seriously. This is beyond words. Still, I am rarely without words, even if something lies far outside the bounds of them. (= I am really annoying.) So let me attempt to explain this to you. Did you know the secret to awesome baked beans is mustard? Yes. Many of you suggested I make this dish in a GF and vegan reconstruction for Memorial Day BBQs. I must admit, I was thinking the same thing. I tried making baked beans the other day by starting with tomato paste. No dice. Too tomato-y. If I have a fail in the kitchen, for some reason it seems like a statement about the state of my life more generally. Bad batch of baked beans = Katie is the worst thing ever and has no purpose. Yep. That’s why I need to write posts like my Think This, Not That series… I am a crazy=pants. So, anyway. I (wo)manned-up, and put my big girl apron on. I tried to summon all my baked bean wisdom and experiences. There was a lot of bacon in that zone, so I tried to go a little deeper… There has to be a (non-meat) secret ingredient, right? I remembered my mom always casually just squeezing half a bottle of mustard into her baked beans. Wait, I thought. Wait just a second. I know what I’m doing wrong here. I’m trying too hard to do this on my own. Think back. Use The Force.

What now, Baked Beans? I will slay you. And no pork necessary. Suckahhh.

1 can (about 1 1/2 C) cooked white beans (I used Great Northern, but Cannelini or even Pinto would work too)
1/2 C water
extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion (I always use red, but do whatever)
1 large or 2 medium sized cloves garlic
2 Tb ketchup (I strongly suggest this awesome agave-sweetened kind by Organicville. It’s rocked my condiment-loving-world.)
2 Tb yellow mustard (prepared — not the powder)
2 Tb molasses
1/2 t paprika
1/4 t garlic powder
salt, pepper, cayenne

1) Chop onions and add them to a stovetop pan with olive oil (I used about 1 Tb evoo) over medium heat.
2) Dice garlic, and add to onion. Sprinkle both with salt, and cook until almost caramelized (browned).
3) You should have a crust of residue from the caramelizing; add just a splash (2-3 Tb?) of water to “deglaze.” Remove from heat.
4) Add rinsed, cooked beans and sprinkle with salt (important to salt the beans, especially after they’ve been rinsed). Set aside.
5) In an 8×8 pyrex baking dish, mix remaining ingredients (I added just a sprinkle of cayenne — feel free to omit).
6) Add beans, onions, and garlic.
7) Place in a preheated 350* oven. Let cook until a nice little pseudo-crust has formed on top (~20/30 minutes?), and remove.

Yum Town arrival.

I will be the first to say I think these are even better if they sit overnight in the fridge. Aren’t most things? Especially beans. Also, my husband thinks this dish would be additionally awesome with a higher ratio of beans — feel free to add more, of course! I like mine either way.

Edited to Add: Also, I would strongly recommend doubling, tripling, or quadrupling this recipe. It’s ridiculous. One person already made this and said: “Dude…those baked beans were out of control good. Only thing I would do differently is double the recipe!” So. Take the wonderful Hilary Tina’s advice. She knows what she’s talking about. : )

I was aiming for a flavor similar to the Busch’s of old, but I think I might actually prefer some extra mustard for tang. The wonderful part of this dish is that you can easily adapt it even after it comes out of the oven. Try a taste. Not zingy enough? Add more mustard. Not sweet enough? Add a glop more molasses and/or ketchup. It’s a beautiful thing, this dish. A beautiful, tasty thing.

Featured in Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

Have a great (Memorial) day! What are you cookin’ up (activity-wise, and food-wise)?

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I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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Kara Bout It