Beans on Toast

beans on toast on a white plate

 The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 6 toasts

There is no real replacement for Heinz beans when it comes to the ever comforting beans on toast. But we did our best to come up with a recipe that closely mimics the taste for those of us across the pond that can’t get our hands on Heinz beans easily.

Traditionally beans on toast is served on your run-of-the mill sliced bread. It’s not a good idea to use a super crusty, thick slice of bread. It will be too hard to cut, eat, and sop up the delicious sauce. Homemade bread is great as long as it has a bit of a soft texture and isn’t full of tons of grains and seeds.

These beans are tangy, sweet, saucy, and are perfect served on top of buttered toast. Grate some long shreds of cheddar on top and serve with a few fried eggs on the side for a complete breakfast. Or enjoy it late night, with tea, or for lunch. Really any time of day is a good time for this comforting, satisfying meal. 


  • 2 (16-ounce) cans navy beans
  • 6 to 8 slices white bread
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (16-ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon paste
  • For garnish: shredded cheddar, fried egg

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to broil or 550 F.

    beans on toast ingredients
      The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  2. Drain and rinse the two cans of navy beans and set aside. 

    Slather the bread slices with equal amounts of butter and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

    bread coated in butter on a baking sheet
      The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  3. Add the vegetables oil, onion, garlic, and salt to a cast iron or non-stick skillet and heat on medium high heat. Stir occasionally until the onions are softened.

    onions sauteed in a cast iron skillet
      The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  4. Add brown sugar, molasses, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, tomato paste, tomato puree, chicken bouillon and 3 cups of water. Stir until combined and heat on medium heat for 5 minutes. Allow to simmer and stir frequently to combine the ingredients.

    sauce for beans in a cast iron skillet
      The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  5. Add the ingredients to a blender and blend on high speed until the sauce is smooth and no chunks remain.

    sauce blended in a blender
      The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  6. Add the sauce back to the pan and stir in the drained beans. Heat for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the beans are just heated through. Don't stir too much, you don't want to create smashed beans. The sauce should be smooth, not thick and chunky.

    beans in sauce in a cast iron skillet
      The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  7. While the beans are heating, place the buttered bread under the broiler until toasted, just a few minutes.

    toasted bread on a sheet pan
      The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  8. Top the toast with the heated beans and the shredded cheddar. Serve immediately.

    beans on toast
      The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.

Recipe Variations

  • We like to toast the butter with the bread but you can always just toast bread and then butter it. 
  • Use whatever kind of bread you like, however, soft white breads work the best. 
  • You can use dried navy beans, you will need to soak them overnight and cook them for at least 40 minutes in the sauce.