If you thought beans were a healthy choice, think again! Well, they can be, of course, but not baked beans, usually. Store-bought baked beans are usually prepared with a shocking amount of sugar (don't believe me? Read the label!).
Homemade baked beans recipes are usually prepared with maple sugar or molasses (or both), and so have little refined sugar in them. Despite their name, baked beans don't always need to be baked in the oven. They can be cooked stove top, baked on a hot covered grill, and, vegetarian and vegan baked beans work particularly well in a crockpot or slow cooker. And, of course, beans are a great source of protein for vegetarians.
Read on for some of the best ways to prepare homemade meatless baked beans. All of these recipes are vegetarian and vegan, and if you use a gluten-free vegetable broth when you cook, they should be gluten-free as well.
01 of 05
Vegetarian baked beans are best slow-cooked, and what better way to do it than in the ole' crock pot? So, take it out, dust it off if needed, and make a double batch of these delicious and simple homemade baked beans. The recipe calls for dried beans, onion, ketchup and tomato sauce, and, because everything is made fresh, this is a vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free recipe.
02 of 05
For a classic homecooked meatless baked beans recipe, start here. This version is cooked the traditional way in the oven in a flavorful sauce of tomato paste, molasses, a bit of garlic and mustard. If you wanted to try adding a "secret ingredient", try adding in a few drops of liquid smoke for extra flavor. Chef Don left a review, saying he loved this "excellent" recipe and perked it up with a bit of smoked paprika.
03 of 05
Baked beans and barley are the perfect combination. The chewiness of barley offsets the melt-in-your-mouth sweetness of the baked beans. And, of course, you get to stretch your dollar with some heart-healthy and dirt-cheap whole grains. With less than one gram per serving, this is also a nearly fat-free and vegan recipe.
See also: More healthy high-fiber barley recipes
04 of 05
Beans, pineapple, barbecue sauce and maple syrup are combined in the crockpot in what turns out to be an easy and delicious way to prepare vegetarian baked beans. The kids will especially love the addition of pineapple, since it makes it extra familiar and sweet. Delicious! This recipe is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free, as long as you check to use gluten-free barbecue sauce and soy sauce.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
What to Do With Your Homemade Baked Beans
Now that you've got a huge pot of vegetarian baked beans, or perhaps you've just got some leftovers to use up, here are a few ideas. Baked beans add plenty of healthy fiber and protein to just about any vegetarian or vegan meal.