Homemade Vegan Baked Beans

Trying to fing the best homemade vegan baked beans

Having a full vegan English breakfast is the perfect addition to a cosy Sunday morning. Especially now with the temperatures getting colder. I’m not the biggest fan of canned baked beans though, since they contain a lot of sugar and produce a lot of waste. So I was looking for the best homemade vegan baked beans recipe. 

I tried three different recipes and found a clear winner for my tastebuds. Here you can read all about it. Prefer to watch a video? Hop over to YouTube where I made a video about it as well. 


The three contestants are: 

Click the links above to get the original recipes. Both Bosh and Tasty have their recipe on their homepage. Max La Manna doesn’t have his recipe on his homepage (I got it from his cookbook), but you can use the link to visit a page where the recipe was posted online.

Baking Baked Beans?

They’re called baked beans, right? So I thought I’d be baking some beans but turns out most homemade baked beans are not baked. Out of the three recipes I tried, only one recipe, the Tasty recipe, bakes the beans. Okay, to be fair, Bosh doesn’t call them “baked” beans, but when you look at their picture I’m pretty sure that’s what they’re supposed to be. 

Are Homemade Vegan Baked Beans Zero Waste Friendly?

It’s not possible to answer this question straight away with yes or no. It depends on the ingredients the recipe calls for. The main source of waste are the cans of beans and containers of tomato sauce.

Neither the Bosh nor the Tasty recipe claim to be zero waste friendly. However, Max La Manna’s recipe was published in his cookbook “More Plants Less Waste“. Even more surprising is that he uses three cans of products, two cans of beans and one can of tomatoes (the recipe says you can opt for fresh tomatoes instead, though). His book gives tips on how to up-cycle cans to plant pots or pen holders, but it’s not much use if one single recipe calls for three cans. I mean… how many tiny plant pots do you need? So for the Max La Manna recipe, I opted for fresh tomatoes.  

I also used dried beans for all three recipes to reduce waste. You get about double the amount of beans after soaking and cooking them. I would recommend cooking more beans whilst you’re already at it, you can store the excess beans in the fridge for about a week and use them for different recipes.

use dry beans to make your homemade vegan baked beans more eco friendly
A dried and cooked bean


Baked beans always come with tomato sauce. But these three recipes all have a different approach to getting it. Bosh uses passata, Tasty uses tomato paste, and for the Max La Manna recipe, I used fresh tomatoes.

Bosh and Max La Manna use otherwise very basic ingredients, for the Tasty ingredients you might need to go to a special store. But all the special ingredients, like liquid smoke or molasses, have a long shelf life. So you buy them once and they keep for a long time.

One important note to the Tasty recipe on their website: it’s not clear how many beans to use. I cooked it after watching their YouTube video, where it says 3 x 15 oz (425 g) cans. But on their webpage, it says “15 oz great northern beans (425 g), 3 cans” which sounds like 3 cans contain 425g. So I ended up with over a kilo of baked beans. Freezing it portion-wise worked very well though.

Let’s Start Cooking

The beginning is pretty similar for all three recipes. Chop stuff, fry it, and add spices. 

I said before that they use different things for the tomato sauce. Not all work equally well. Turns out that when you blend fresh tomatoes the result looks nothing like passata. The blended tomatoes turned weirdly pink and watery. I don’t know if that happens for all kinds of tomatoes, but it happened to the ones I used.

The Bosh and Max La Manna beans are done after everything is mixed together and cooks for a few minutes. The Tasty beans need to go into the oven afterwards, so they are the most time-consuming to make. 

Which Homemade Vegan Baked Beans Are The Best?

None of the recipes tastes like the canned beans you know. But I think I like Tasty’s Best Ever Vegetarian Baked Beans even better than the canned ones. They’ve got such a rich flavour and I love the hint of smokiness from the liquid smoke. Like I said before, I used a lot of beans for that video and really liked the results. I saw a few negative comments on the Tasty site for that recipe, maybe the flavour’s a bit too intense if you only use one can instead of three cans of beans.

The Smoky BBQ Beans by Bosh don’t taste smoky at all, in comparison, but they’re still a good option if you want a recipe that’s quick and you don’t have the ingredients for the Tasty recipe. 

Do It Yourself Baked Beans by Max La Manna was unfortunately the least successful recipe, and I can’t recommend it. Perhaps it would’ve worked better if I used canned instead of fresh tomatoes. But then it wouldn’t have been zero waste.

Do you have a different favourite baked beans recipe? Let me know in the comments and I’ll give it a try. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.