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Food & Drink

7 delicious recipes made with baked beans

A loyal lover of baked beans, but tired of your staple go-to 'on toast'? Remain faithful to the BB and extend your cooking repertoire with these great recipes.

heinz baked beans can and gordon ramsay

Credit (left): Dave Pullig (via Flickr) - davepullig.co.uk, Credit (right): Craig Russell - Shutterstock

Whatever the time of day – and even during the toughest pre-loan periods when the kitchen cupboards are looking particularly bare – you can always rely on having a can or two of baked beans hiding somewhere waiting to be eaten.

And yes, the whole 'students eat baked beans' thing is an annoying stereotype, but there's a good reason for this: what other foods are this versatile, count as one of your five-a-day and cost as little as 30p a can? Exactly.

So whether you're looking to extend your bean repertoire, or just need some recipes that won’t result in you burning down your flat (or you just bloody love beans), we've got some souped-up, gastronomical, exquisite, gourmet baked bean recipes for you to try.

To calculate the price of each recipe, we've excluded kitchen cupboard essentials such as ground pepper and Worcestershire sauce as these only need to be bought occasionally and very small amounts are used for each recipe.

What to make with baked beans

Here are some easy and delicious recipes with baked beans:

  1. Baked bean toastie

    Serves: 1 | Total cost: £0.30 – £0.40

    Make your beans on toast a little more glamorous with a few simple alterations.

    Ingredients

    • 1 tin of baked beans
    • Some grated cheese
    • 2 slices of bread
    • Butter for spreading
    • Black pepper
    • Worcestershire sauce.

    Method

    1. Heat your beans in a pan on the hob (or in the microwave, depending on how lazy you're feeling) with a good splash of Worcestershire sauce. We recommend heating them slowly to allow the sauce to thicken a little.
    2. Meanwhile, toast your bread.
    3. Butter your toasted bread.
    4. Place one slice of buttered toast on a plate, pouring half the beans over. Then, place the second slice of toast on top, pouring the remaining beans over it.
    5. Cover with grated cheese, a generous helping of black pepper and a little more Worcestershire sauce.
    6. You can either enjoy it as it is or, if you really want to up your game, place it under the grill for 30 seconds and you'll get a lovely melted cheese topping.
    Learn these essential cooking tricks and you'll up your kitchen game with minimum effort.

  2. Baked bean shakshuka

    baked bean shakshuka breakfast

    Credit: insatiablemunch - Flickr

    Serves: 2–4 | Total cost: £1.50 – £2.00

    This is a take on a Turkish classic called shakshuka. You'll need a large frying pan with a lid – if you don't have one already, this is something we recommend investing in as it's super versatile and can be used to cook just about anything.

    Ingredients

    • 1 tin of baked beans
    • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
    • 4 eggs
    • Some mushrooms (optional)
    • Bacon bits – either lardons or chop some rashers into small pieces
    • Butter
    • Grated cheese
    • Bread to serve with
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Chilli flakes
    • Cooking oil.

    Method

    1. Fry the bacon pieces and mushrooms in a little bit of oil.
    2. Add the tin of beans and chopped tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
    3. Season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes.
    4. Crack your eggs gently into the baked bean mix, taking care not to break the yolk.
    5. Put the lid on the pan and continue to fry for around 5 minutes, then sprinkle on your grated cheese. Your eggs should cook in the baked bean mixture (with the yolks staying runny).
    6. Remove from the hob and spoon out into bowls (taking care not to break the yolks).
    7. Serve with some bread.
    If you've not yet got a frying pan with a lid, you might also want to see what other kitchen gadgets we recommend.

  3. Baked bean shepherd's pie

    Serves: 4–6 | Total cost: £1.50 – £2.00

    If you're feeling a little homesick, then this baked bean shepherd's pie is the ultimate comforter – it's got a good homey taste that should cheer you right up.

    Ingredients

    • 1 white onion, diced
    • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
    • Chilli flakes
    • 1 sprig of thyme, leaves removed
    • 3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
    • 3 tins of baked beans
    • 1.5kg Maris Piper potatoes (or other good mashing potatoes)
    • Knob of butter
    • Small cup of full-fat milk
    • Cheddar cheese, grated.

    Method

    1. Preheat your oven to 220°C/gas mark 7.
    2. Fry your onions, garlic and a sprinkle of chilli flakes in a pan for 4 minutes or so, then add the chopped tomatoes and thyme leaves and continue to fry on a medium heat for a further 8 minutes.
    3. Add the tins of beans and simmer for 5 more minutes, then tip the baked bean mixture into a large baking tray.
    4. Quarter or chop your potatoes into equal-sized pieces and pop them into a pot of boiling, slightly salted water. Boil on a medium heat for around 15 minutes or until soft.
    5. Drain using a colander, then leave the potatoes to dry for a minute or so in the colander before tipping back into the pot. Add a knob of butter and start mashing your potatoes, gradually adding splashes of milk as you go along and a third of your grated cheese.
    6. Spread your cheesy potatoes evenly over the top of the beans right up to the edges and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
    7. Bake in the oven for about 15 mins until the top is a bit crispy. Serve with salad and some garlic bread.

  4. Baked bean curry

    baked bean curry

    Credit: Matěj Baťha - Wikimedia Commons

    Serves: 2–4 | Total cost: £0.80 – £1.00

    Open your mind (and fill your belly) with this exotic baked bean curry. Yes, that's 'exotic' and 'baked beans' being used in the same sentence.

    Ingredients

    • 1 tin of baked beans
    • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
    • 1 clove of garlic
    • About a thumbnail-sized piece of fresh ginger
    • 1 medium onion
    • Chopped fresh chilli or dry chilli flakes (use as much as you think you can handle)
    • 3 tablespoons of curry powder
    • 1 teaspoon of cumin
    • 1 teaspoon of dried coriander
    • Oil for frying.

    Method

    1. Chop the onions, garlic and ginger (crush the garlic and ginger in a garlic crusher if you have one). Fry these in oil until the onion starts to go translucent.
    2. Add chilli flakes and all the spices and fry together for around a minute.
    3. Add the beans and tomatoes.
    4. Simmer on a medium heat for about 15 minutes until your curry is mixed well and piping hot.
    5. Serve with rice, naan bread, a baked potato, or whatever you fancy.
    If you fancy a slightly healthier option to baked beans on toast, check out our meal plan for recipes that'll last you all month long, for well under £3 per day.

  5. Baked bean wrap

    Serves: 1 | Total cost: less than 50p

    We know cooking with a hangover is one of the toughest missions known to man, and that's why this baked bean wrap is the easiest and quickest snack you can possibly imagine. An instant cure!

    And, in the highly unlikely event that this doesn't set you right, these hangover cures definitely will.

    Ingredients

    • 1 tin of baked beans
    • Lots of grated cheese
    • 2 tortilla wraps.

    Method

    1. Heat up the beans according to pack instructions.
    2. Put a separate frying pan on a low heat and place a tortilla wrap in the pan. Sprinkle with some grated cheese and fry until it starts to melt into gooey, cheesy goodness.
    3. Transfer your cheesy tortilla onto a plate and pour on some beans.
    4. Add another helping of cheese and fold up the wrap before the beans go anywhere.
    5. Repeat with a second wrap if you're still hungry...
    After some more easy recipes? Check out our list of surprising foods you can cook in the microwave.

  6. Baked bean burgers

    baked bean burger

    Credit: Vegan Feast Catering - Flickr

    Serves: 6–8 | Toal cost: about £1

    We call this the too-skint-for-takeaway treat, and the recipe makes around eight delicious bean burgers.

    They're great for freezing, or sharing with your housemates if you're feeling generous.

    Ingredients

    • 1 tin of baked beans
    • Oil for frying
    • 1 medium onion (red or white)
    • 4 slices of bread, or 125g of breadcrumbs
    • 1 red pepper
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 3 potatoes
    • 1 teaspoon of dry chilli flakes
    • ½ a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
    • 1 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce
    • 3 tablespoons of parsley, fresh or dry
    • Black pepper.

    Method

    1. Chop the onion, red pepper and garlic. Fry them together for around 5 minutes.
    2. Add the chilli, tabasco sauce, and cayenne pepper and heat together for a minute. Leave the mix on the side to cool for a wee while.
    3. Peel the potatoes and then cook for around 10 minutes. Mash them up well and good, then leave to cool.
    4. Once cooled, mix the mashed potato and onion mixture together.
    5. Drain the beans from their tomato sauce. Add them to the onion and potato mixture, then mix in parsley and black pepper and mash together.
    6. Divide the mix into around eight separate portions.
    7. Prepare some breadcrumbs using a food processor, or make some rough breadcrumbs using a cheese grater if you don't have a food processor.
    8. Add each portion of the mixture into the breadcrumbs and form into patties.
    9. Fry the patties in a shallow frying pan in some oil. Fry for around 3 minutes on each side until they become crisp.

    Serve on buns with ketchup and enjoy!

  7. Baked bean stew

    Serves: 1–2 | Total cost: £1.00 – £1.50

    Feeling a little rough after a crazy freshers' week (yes, freshers' flu really is a thing)? It's time to get some veg down you.

    This dish is full of vitamins to get you back on track.

    Ingredients

    • 1 tin of baked beans
    • Sunflower oil
    • 1 onion
    • 1 celery stick
    • 1 carrot
    • 300ml of vegetable stock
    • Tablespoon of tomato puree
    • 1 garlic clove
    • Chilli flakes (optional)
    • Worcestershire sauce
    • Mixed herbs
    • Teaspoon of paprika
    • 2 rashers of bacon (optional).

    Method

    1. Fry the onion, carrots, celery and chopped garlic in sunflower oil. If you're using bacon, chop it up and add it in too. Fry for around 10 minutes.
    2. Add vegetable stock and the tin of beans, and then spoon in the tomato puree.
    3. Add the herbs, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce. Add chilli flakes if you want it hot!
    4. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes.
    5. Add salt and pepper and serve with some crusty bread.

Hopefully, this should spruce up your student cooking repertoire. Be careful not to overdo it though – beans are good for your heart, but the more you eat...

We don't just cook beans – but our simple bean salad recipe (not baked beans this time) is too good for you not to try.

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