Baked beans are versatile. Normally packaged in a can with tomato sauce, you can find baked beans in places like grocery stores and supermarkets. You can eat them straight from the can since they are already cooked. But if you can’t stand the cold taste, baked beans can be heated in a pan for a while before serving. Other than enjoying them just like that, here are 6 Different Ways You Can Enjoy Baked Beans.
1) Baked Beans On Toast
Let’s start off with the simplest recipe of them all: baked beans on toast. It’s best enjoyed during breakfast or any time of the day if you want a light and quick bite. All you have to do is butter each side of the bread and toast them in a pan or toaster. While you are at it, heat up a can of baked beans. Once the toast is ready, transfer them to a serving plate and pour the warm baked beans on top of it.
Now, the good thing about baked beans on toast is the versatility of this otherwise simple dish. For instance, you can grate some cheese on top of it and even sprinkle a handful of chopped chives as a garnish.
2) Baked Beans Shakshuka
Here’s a hearty Mediterranean dish you can enjoy regardless of breakfast, lunch or even dinner. Simply heat up a pan and add some olive oil or vegetable oil and 1/2 thinly-sliced onion over low heat for 5 minutes. Or until the onion becomes soft and translucent. Then, pour in a can of baked beans and cook them for 2 minutes. Remember to keep stirring them. Next up, use a wooden spoon or spatula to make little holes and gently crack 3 eggs into each of them. Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for 5 minutes until the egg whites are set but the yolks remain runny. Once complete, remove the lid and sprinkle some grated cheese and chopped chives (both are optional). Serve hot.
3) Slow Cooker Bourbon Baked Beans
Give your baked beans an alcoholic twist with this Slow Cooker Bourbon Baked Beans (Alternatively, you can omit the bourbon if you prefer a non-alcoholic version). First, you need to cook 6 pieces of bacon (pork, beef or chicken) in a pan. Transfer them to a plate lined with a paper towel to remove excess oil. Continue cooking by sautéing a cup of chopped onion using the bacon fat left on the pan earlier for 3-4 minutes. Now, except for the bacon, place the sautéed onion along with other ingredients (2 cans of baked beans, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of molasses, 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard, 1 tablespoon of Lea & Perrins sauce and 1/4 cup of bourbon) into a slow cooker and season them with salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Stir the ingredients well, cover the lid and let it cook on low for 4 hours. Once done, remove the lid and turn the heat to a high temperature and cook for another 20 minutes for thickening purposes. Finally, stir in the bacon and start serving.
4) Baked Beans Salad
There are different ways you can whip up a bowl of salad and one of them happens to be adding in some baked beans. Best served as a side dish, you’ll need a can of baked beans in a large bowl. Mix in 1 small chopped red onion, 1 diced tomato, 2 finely-chopped green/red chillies as well as a handful of mint and chopped coriander leaves. Stir them together before adding in 2 tablespoons of chilli sauce and squeeze half a lemon. Mix well and season with salt. You can choose to serve warm or cold.
5) Baked Beans Pasta
When comes to a tomato-based pasta recipe, bolognese isn’t the only sauce you can pair with. Try baked beans for a change by pouring a can of baked beans and one can of diced tomatoes in a pan over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil (Alternatively, you can toss in some minced meat to the baked beans sauce as well). Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer. Stir the sauce occasionally for 10-12 minutes or at least until it becomes somewhat thickened. Then, cook your favourite pasta as usual according to the package’s instruction. You can use any pasta like spaghetti, fettuccine, spirals or macaroni. Remember to save some pasta water for later use and drain the rest. Transfer the pasta into the same pan and add some of the pasta water. Combine everything. Season with salt and pepper and if you want a more robust flavour, sprinkle some grated cheese all over the baked beans pasta.
6) Baked Beans Soup
Make this wholesome, yet easy-to-prepare soup by incorporating it with baked beans. Start by chopping up 1 onion, 125g of celery sticks, 1 diced carrot and 1 medium tomato. Add all the ingredients except the tomato in a deep bottomed pan or a pot greased with vegetable oil. Toss in some dried mixed herbs and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Then, add the chopped tomatoes along with one can of baked beans and 600ml of vegetable stock. Bring everything to a boil before covering the pan/pot with a lid and reduce to simmer for 25 minutes. Serve hot or warm in a bowl. You can choose to top your baked beans soup with a drizzle of sour cream. Best enjoyed with a buttered or garlic toast. (Optional: For added protein, try adding in some smoked sausages.)