Homemade un-baked beans with hidden vegetables


If you'd like to make your own homemade baked beans but don't have time to make a traditional baked beans recipe which needs several hours in the oven then this is for you. It's a really easy, one pan recipe that doesn't take long to cook, but can equally be made in advance, or frozen. Usually baked beans are simply haricot beans and tomato sauce baked with spices. I've added in some butternut squash and some yellow pepper - partly to make the sauce more orange, and therefore a bit closer to what comes out of a tin, and also to help my kids along the way to eating five portions of fruit and veg a day - something we are still seriously struggling with.

So how did they go down? Well, they certainly weren't fooled that this was the same thing that comes in a tin. R, 6, immediately said "are these homemade?" - which unfortunately to him means not as good. But two out of three kids ate them which in my book counts as a success! And I'm much happier knowing that Baby S in particular has had these homemade beans, with some extra veggies and no added salt or refined sugar, than beans from a tin.

These homemade un-baked beans make a great weekend brunch or lunch served with toast but they're also lovely served as part of a more substantial meal, such as alongside sausages.


The recipe below makes quite a large quantity of beans, so depending on your family's size you can freeze a portion, or two, or perhaps even more. Alternatively you could halve these quantities.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
150g piece of butternut squash, roasted or steamed
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
3 x 400g tins of haricot beans, drained and rinsed.

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion over a medium heat until soft. Stir through the garlic, cook for a further minute then add the diced pepper.
2. Cook for 10 minutes or until the pepper has softened, before adding the mustard powder, oregano and maple syrup.
3. Stir well then add the cooked butternut squash and the chopped tomatoes. Blend until you have a smooth sauce - I find a hand held stick blender is ideal for this.
4. Stir through the haricot beans and warm through.

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Homemade un-baked beans with hidden vegetables