These homemade vegan baked beans are a welcome addition to your next backyard barbecue. Made with molasses and BBQ sauce, these Midwestern-inspired baked beans are full of delicious flavor and a rich, thick, sweet, and savory sauce. Serve them alongside some Vegan Potato Salad and some Black Bean Burgers for the best outdoor potlucks!
You’d be surprised to see some of the ingredients included in regular baked beans, everything from bacon to hamburger.
I’m here to tell you, making plant-based baked beans is easy and creates a dish that is just as tasty as the other kind. Let’s get into how to make it.
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Olive oil — Any neutral oil will work, I just mostly use olive oil.
- Onion — You can use yellow, white, or even red onion.
- Bell pepper — I like green for the pops of color, but you can use red or orange.
- Garlic — You’ll need two cloves of garlic.
- Molasses — Be sure to use light molasses, not blackstrap.
- Brown sugar — Use light, dark, or homemade brown sugar.
- BBQ sauce — I prefer using homemade Vegan BBQ Sauce, but if you use storebought check the label and avoid sauces with Worcestershire sauce as it is not vegan.
- Vinegar — I prefer apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
- Soy sauce — The best sauces have a combination of sweet and salty, which is why adding a bit of soy sauce is great. Substitute tamari or coconut aminos to keep this gluten-free.
- Dijon mustard — You can use dijon mustard, yellow mustard, or even dried mustard.
- Beans — I prefer plain navy beans for this recipe but you could also use canned vegetarian baked beans. Just be sure to drain the sauce.
- Veggie bacon — This is an optional ingredient but I love the flavor and texture that comes from adding veggie bacon.
How to Make Vegan Baked Beans
It’s easy to make this recipe for vegan baked beans. See the recipe card below for ingredient amounts, substitutions, and step-by-step instructions.
- Cook onions and peppers in an oiled pot over medium heat until tender.
- Add garlic and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients.
- Stir in the drained beans and veggie bacon.
- Pour the beans into a baking dish.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- Remove the dish from the oven and set it aside to cool slightly.
Quick Fix Tip
You can substitute an equal amount of Bush’s Vegetarian Baked Beans or any other brand of vegetarian baked beans. Simply drain the sauce then proceed with the steps of this recipe.
Baked Beans Without Bacon
Baked beans without bacon may seem like a strange concept, but they can be an incredibly delicious and nutritious meal choice.
Not only are these vegan BBQ beans an excellent source of protein and fiber, but these legumes are also a fantastic way to add more flavor and texture to your dish. This recipe is so good, you won’t even miss the bacon!
Besides, you can add veggie bacon for the same bacon flavor or add a bit of liquid smoke for a smoky flavor.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Adding green bell peppers creates pops of color and flavor to this bean dish
- Molasses adds a rich flavor that enhances the smoky-sweet sauce
- Veggie bacon is an optional ingredient, but it adds delicious flavor and a meaty mouthfeel throughout this dish
Are vegetarian baked beans vegan?
Vegetarian baked beans are typically vegan. That’s because vegetarian baked beans are made without pork which is an ingredient vegans and vegetarians alike avoid.
Can you cook baked beans on the stove?
To cook baked beans on the stove, simply simmer in a pot until the beans thicken, roughly 30 to 45 minutes.
Are baked beans vegan?
Most baked beans, whether from a can or from a restaurant, are not vegan (or vegetarian) because they’re cooked with some sort of animal fat. Most standard baked beans are made with pork or bacon. However, it is completely unnecessary and you can enjoy delicious vegetarian baked beans!
Cover with a lid or wrap the entire dish tightly with plastic wrap or foil and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can freeze this recipe in appropriate freezer containers or bags for up to 2 or 3 months. To thaw, transfer it to the fridge overnight. Then sit out at room temperature and either heat it in the microwave or saucepan. You may need to add some extra BBQ sauce.
Vegan Grilling Recipes
Ready for your next outdoor party? This easy vegan baked beans recipe is a great side dish to serve along with any of the following:
Vegetarian Baked Beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped bell pepper, Green, Red, or Orange
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup molasses
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup bbq sauce
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 60 ounces canned navy beans, drained
- 6 strips veggie bacon
- Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
- Add olive oil to a large pot over medium heat and cook until the oil is shimmering. Stir in chopped onions and bell peppers. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds to a minute.
- Add the drained beans and stir until combined.
- Stir in the molasses, brown sugar, bbq sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, and mustard.
- Pour this mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish, lay veggie bacon strips on top, and bake for 1 hour.
- To serve, remove the beans from the oven and set them aside to cool slightly.
- To store, allow the beans to come to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days. They can be frozen in freezer-safe containers for up to 2 months.
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- BBQ Sauce — You can substitute ketchup or tomato paste. If you want the same smoky flavor as BBQ sauce, add a teaspoon or two smoked paprika or up to a tablespoon of liquid smoke.
- Soy Sauce — For gluten-free, tamari (a gluten-free soy sauce) or coconut aminos are great.
- Molasses — You can substitute maple syrup.
- Reduced Sweetness — Reduce the molasses and brown sugar to 1/4 cup to reduce the sweetness.
- Heat — Increase the heat in these beans by adding up to a tablespoon of Sriracha or hot sauce. You can also add chopped jalapenos with the onions.
- Tanginess — You can increase the vinegar up to 3 tablespoons to create a more tangy dish.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.