Baked beans are a rich source of protein, carbohydrates and fibre. And they are versatile. Try these ideas for a tasty change. Choose salt-reduced baked beans for a healthier option.
1. Breakfast scramble with beans
Scramble some eggs with baked beans for a breakfast that will keep you full all morning.
2. Beans with soup
Add flavour and texture to a tomato or vege soup with a small can of baked beans. Puréed beans add creaminess to soups. Next time you make a vege soup, add a can of beans and stir through. Remove half the soup from the pot and blend or purée with a stick blender before combining again.
3. Mexican with a twist
Make burritos, tacos, fajitas, nachos, tortillas or any Mexican dish featuring beans with baked beans.
4. Beans con carne
Try this for lunch or dinner: Chop 1 onion and 2 garlic cloves. Pan-fry in oil over a medium-high heat until brown. Add 500g beef mince. Cook until brown. Add a 420g can chopped tomatoes, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 teaspoon dried oregano. Stir until liquid reduces. Stir in 2 teaspoons brown sugar and a 420g can baked beans and simmer until sauce thickens. Add chilli to taste. Serve with rice.
5. Baked bean patties
Mash a 420g can baked beans. Mix in 1 small chopped onion, 1/2 grated carrot, 1 egg and 1/2 cup flour. Mould into patties. Fry each side until golden brown. Serve with a salad or as a hamburger.
6. Say cheese
Make cheesy jacket potatoes. Bake 2 medium potatoes at 200ºC for 50 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven, cut each in quarters to halfway down only. Squeeze gently to open. Heat half a 420g can baked beans in cheese sauce. Spoon into open top of potatoes. Sprinkle with grated reduced-fat cheese.
7. Pizza perfect
Spread no-added-salt tomato paste onto wholemeal pita bread. Top with a 220g can baked beans. Add your choice of toppings and a pinch of dried basil and oregano. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake at 220ºC until base is crisp and golden.
8. Pasta pronto
Join two favourites for a quick, fuss-free dish: simply add heated baked beans in tomato sauce to cooked, wholemeal spaghetti and top with parmesan cheese.
9. Makeover cottage pie
Chop 1 onion and 2 garlic cloves. Pan-fry in oil until soft. Add 500g beef mince. Break up lumps. Brown meat. Stir in a 420g can baked beans, 1/2 cup no-added-salt tomato paste and 1/2 cup beef stock. Simmer for 10 minutes until thick. Place in a baking dish and top with 4 mashed potatoes and 1/2 cup grated cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 180°C or until golden brown.
10. Get full-on frittata
Chop onion and garlic. Fry over a low heat until golden. Stir in a 220g can baked beans, 1 chopped tomato and 6 whisked eggs. Sprinkle with grated cheese and chopped parsley. Cook over a low heat until set and place under grill to finish top. Serve with a salad.
11. Bean dip
Mash or purée your favourite baked beans or chilli beans with fresh herbs such as coriander or parsley, and spices such as smoked paprika and ground chilli. Season with salt and pepper and add a dash of extra-virgin olive oil. Serve with pita or tortilla chips.
12. Cowboy casserole
One of the all-time top 20 HFG recipes, Cowboy casserole combines mince, baked beans, pasta and a tasty cheese topping. Vary the classic by using spicy Mexican beans and adding veges such as broccoli and spinach.
13. Surprise cheesy baked bean muffins
Make savoury muffins. Fill the muffin cases halfway, then place a spoonful of baked beans into each muffin. Top with the rest of the mixture and bake as normal.
14. Beany pasta sauce
Mix baked beans with sweet chilli sauce, chopped cooked sausages, tomatoes and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach or carrot. Warm through and serve over pasta with a salad on the side.
15. Baked bean mash
Next time you have sausages try a quick and healthy mash alternative. Warm then mash baked beans or cannellini beans with olive oil and black pepper.
16. Baked bean mini frittatas
Mix eggs, a little milk and a little lean bacon with baked beans and mix well. Spray a muffin tin with oil and pour mixture into the tin. Bake in a moderate oven until set.
17. Boston beans
Jazz up plain baked beans by adding a dash of barbecue or chilli sauce and a little chopped bacon or lean chorizo sausage. Serve on toast or with a baked potato.
18. Baked bean mini pies
Place slices of wholemeal bread (crusts removed) into the holes of a muffin tray. Add baked beans and a grating of tasty cheese. Bake in the oven until beans are warmed through and bread cases are toasted.
19. Bean and cheese toasty
Don’t forget the good old baked bean toasted sandwich, made in a toasted sandwich machine. Add a slice of reduced-fat cheddar for extra tasty flavour. An egg broken in on top of the beans makes a portable breakfast.
Here are some of our favourite recipes using baked beans: