Homemade Vegan Baked Beans

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These savory vegan Baked Beans are the perfect blend of sweet and smoky flavors. They make for a delicious side dish and are great for taking to outdoor barbecues.

casserole dish full of vegan baked beans being scooped out with bright blue spoon

If you need something to take to a cookout, these homemade baked beans are sure to be a hit. Only 1 gram of fat and a whopping 22 grams of protein per serving!

We love these vegan baked beans because they’re…

  • Smokey
  • Full of flavor
  • Loaded with protein
  • Perfect for a crockpot
  • Great picnic food
  • Delicious
white bowls filled with baked beans and casserole dish in background

Making baked beans healthy

I used to love baked beans before I switched to a healthy plant-based diet in 2013. The problem was that the traditional recipe I used required artery-clogging bacon and lots of it.

I remember using nearly a pound of bacon in one large recipe when I was taking it to family cookouts. Now I shudder to think of it!

With this new-and-improved healthier version, I’ve removed all the greasy bacon to make it much more heart-healthy. And it still has all of the flavors with beans, onions, relish, molasses, and liquid smoke.

round cast iron pan of vegan baked beans with green old rustic teapot

How to make vegan baked beans

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

This is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make and requires only about 10 minutes to prep before cooking.

Begin by preheating the oven to 375°F. While it’s heating up, go ahead and dice up your onion.

onions diced with knife on cutting board

I am often asked which knives I use personally, and I have to say that it is Victorinox. They are the same company that makes Swiss Army Knives and the quality is excellent.

If you are using canned beans, pour them into a colander and run water over them to rinse.

white collander with white beans

Place the beans, diced onion, relish, and sweetener in a 9″x13″ casserole dish. This recipe can also be made in a crockpot if desired.

Set the casserole dish to the side while you make the sauce.

casserole dish with beans, onion, relish, and brown sugar

Crockpot baked beans

A great thing about this recipe is that it can even be made in a slow cooker. Simply set the temperature to low and let them cook while you work or play for about 4-5 hours.

Making the BBQ sauce

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients–molasses, ketchup, water, tomato paste, liquid smoke, and apple cider vinegar.

tomato paste in bowl with molasses and ketchup in measuring spoons

If you would like to make your own ketchup for this recipe, check out my 10-Minute Vegan Ketchup recipe.

Pour sauce over the beans mixture that is in the casserole dish and stir until thoroughly mixed.

casserole dish with uncooked baked beans

Bake in the oven at 375°F for one hour. For the slow cooker method, place in crockpot and cook on low for 4-5 hours.

Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving.

casserole dish of baked beans with wooden spoon

*Originally published April 2015.

Can I use dry beans instead of canned?

Yes, you can! It will just take longer. Use one pound of dried navy beans and cook according to the package instructions.

To speed up the process tremendously, cook the beans in an Instant Pot. Cook on MANUAL HIGH for 25 minutes and do a slow release.

What to serve with vegan baked beans:

Your Questions Answered:

  • Q: Are baked beans vegan? Traditionally, baked beans are not vegan because they usually include lots of bacon. However, this recipe is completely vegan.
  • Q: Can I leave out the sugar? Yes. Simply substitute maple syrup for the brown sugar.
  • Q: Can baked beans be frozen? They sure can! Any leftovers can be frozen once they reach room temperature. They reheat well.

If you’re a fan of white beans like the ones used in this recipe, check out this list of 16 Amazing White Bean Recipes.

Other great picnic recipes

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

If you try this recipe, please let us know how you like it by rating it and leaving a comment. We love to hear from you!

casserole dish full of vegan baked beans being scooped out with bright blue spoon
4.60 from 32 votes

Homemade Vegan Baked Beans

These savory vegan Baked Beans are the perfect blend of sweet and smoky flavors. They make for a delicious side dish and are great for taking to outdoor barbecues.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 3 15 oz cans great Northern beans or 4.5-5 cups cooked
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/3 cup relish
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons black strap molasses
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • Begin by preheating the oven to 375°F. While it’s heating up, go ahead and dice up your onion.
  • If you are using canned beans, go ahead and pour them into a colander and run water over them to rinse off.
  • Place the beans, diced onion, relish, and sweetener in a 9″x13″ casserole dish. These can also be made in a crockpot if desired. Set to the side while you make the sauce.
  • A great thing about this recipe is that it can even be made in a slow cooker. Simply set the temperature to low and let them cook while you work or play for about 4-5 hours.
  • In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients–molasses, ketchup, water, tomato paste, liquid smoke, and apple cider vinegar.
  • Pour wet mixture over beans mixture that is in the casserole dish and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  • Bake in the oven at 375°F for one hour. For the slow cook method, place in crockpot and cook on low for 4-5 hours.

Video

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.
Your Questions Answered:
  • Q: Are baked beans vegan? Traditionally, baked beans are not vegan because they usually include lots of bacon. However, this recipe is completely vegan.
  • Q: Can I leave out the sugar? Yes. Simply substitute maple syrup for the brown sugar.
  • Q: Can baked beans be frozen? They sure can! Any leftovers can be frozen once they reach room temperature. They reheat well.
If you’re a fan of white beans like the ones used in this recipe, check out this list of 16 Amazing White Bean Recipes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 25g

Disclaimer

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

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18 Comments

  1. I made these last night. So yummy! Even without the relish, which I had to omit since I didn’t have any on hand (though i added a touch of pickle juice). I also used bulk white beans I had previously batch-cooked from dry and frozen in one-and-one-half cup quantities (bringing the already low cost of these even lower 🙂 ). I’ll definitely be making these again (will keep these in mind for potlucks especially) — so tasty….!

  2. How much black pepper did you add in? I don’t see it in the ingredients, but do see it in the first photo. Thanks 🙂

    1. What great eyes you have! The amount of black pepper would really be to your preference and taste, but I think good starting point would be about 1/2 tsp.

      1. Thank you! Oh boy, the sauce tastes deeeeeeeelicious! Will assemble with the beans in the morning. What a great recipe! Looking forward to trying more of your recipes. Thanks again 🙂

        1. The sauce really is tasty! So glad you like it and hope the whole recipe knocks your socks off! 🙂

          1. This recipe is a KEEPER!!!! Made it in two 2 1/2 quart casseroles. Served one for a vegetarian brunch…they LOVED it! Served the other for a non-vegetarian family…they LOVED it!!! I love how the sauce thickens up and is not runny at all once it is finished cooking. 1 hour was perfect. I made the sauce the day before. Ended up using 3 cans white kidney beans, 1 can white northern beans and it tasted perfectly fine (they taste similar anyways, just liked the smallness of the northern beans so will do those next time). Thank you for the recipe, it’s my new family picnic contribution 🙂 Happy New Year!!!

          2. That’s terrific to hear! Thank you so much for letting us know that it’s a new family favorite!

  3. When you oven bake these, are they covered or uncovered? Also, if I double the recipe in a large casserole dish for big family or church gatherings, how long should I oven bake & at what temperature? Thanks so much. Can’t wait to try these.

    1. Steve, I bake them uncovered in the oven and 375 degrees for one hour should be good, even for a double recipe batch. I hope your family and church enjoy them!

  4. Can I use maple syrup and coconut nectar and date syrup instead of sugar and molasses thankyou kindly

  5. I can’t find black strap molasses at my local grocery stores. What would be an appropriate substitute? Regular molasses?

  6. I made the crockpot version of the recipe. It was easy to assemble the ingredients. I used a bit less water, since there wouldn’t be the same evaporation as baking in the oven. Aside from that, I used a combination of half maple syrup and half brown sugar. The rest of the recipe I followed, aside from using just a sprinkle of Himalayan salt rather than the type and amount in the recipe, The result was very tasty. I will try the oven method next time though, as I’d prefer a drier and thicker sauce. I’m thinking the beans will be even tastier reheated tomorrow!

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