Autumn, Winter, Breakfast, Light Meals, Sides, Snacks

Proper baked beans

There's nothing posh about these baked beans – they're just done properly, without all the rubbish. Plus they're actually baked, like baked beans should be, and taste awesome to boot.

You can swap the butterbeans for haricot or cannellini beans, which would be the more traditional choice, although they can be harder to come by. I like to use beans from jars as opposed to tins, as I find the quality is better, and I can include the juices in my recipe.

Dried beans that have been soaked overnight would also work, but need to be cooked first. Tinned are fine too, but when I use these I make sure I drain and rinse them, as I don't like the taste of their brine.

I've use liquid smoke here, for that extra hit of flavour, but if you can't get hold of it, it's by no means essential.

5 minutes

45 minutes

30-40 minutes



1 x 600g jar butter beans or beans of your choice

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika

1 tbsp tamari soy sauce

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp liquid smoke (optional)

½ tsp dried thyme, or 1 tsp fresh

1 tsp sea salt

Good grinding of black pepper

200-300g cherry tomatoes on the vine (optional)

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

To serve

Few fresh thyme sprigs

Sourdough bread

Plant-based butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4.
  2. Add all the ingredients except the vine tomatoes and olive oil to a baking dish. Stir gently to mix everything together, then top the mixture with the vine tomatoes, if using, and drizzle with the oil.
  3. Bake the beans for 30-40 mins, until everything is bubbling nicely, and the sauce has thickened a little.
  4. Serve on hot toasted sourdough spread with plant-based butter, and finish with a sprig or two of thyme.

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