Recipe: Beans on toast

Beans and toast

By Morwenna Kearns

Beans, beans, good for your heart, the more you eat them… the more sugar you're consuming, most likely. Like many Brits beans on toast is part of my staple diet, and baked beans provide plenty of good stuff like protein and fibre. But that tangy, viscous tomato sauce can contain a lot of sugar, salt and preservatives you might not be keen on.

This recipe for DIY baked beans uses carrots for sweetness and lots of garlic and spices for a savoury flavour, plus actual tomatoes for chunky goodness. In all, this makes the equivalent of two tins of baked beans with none of the added sugar. It's worthy of a #HappyFoodDance!

Serves four to six


One 400g tin of haricot beans, drained
One 400g tin of chopped tomatoes or plum tomatoes, chopped
One medium carrot, diced
Handful of red lentils
Half a white onion, chopped
Two garlic cloves, chopped
Dollop of tomato puree.
Half a teaspoon of paprika
Half a teaspoon of smoked paprika
Half a teaspoon of chilli powder
Salt and pepper
Splash of vegetable oil
Toasted bread, to serve


In a saucepan, fry the onions and carrot in the oil on a low heat until soft.

Add the chopped garlic, spices, salt and pepper.

Add the tin of drained beans, add a lid to the saucepan and leave on the lowest heat for a couple of minutes.

Add the tin of tomatoes, the lentils and a big dollop of tomato puree and give it all a big stir. Add some hot water if it's quite thick, and turn the heat up to boiling point.

Reduce the heat again and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.

Add more seasoning to taste.

Serve with – or on, to be traditional – toast. Instead of butter, add a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and fresh black pepper on hot rye toast.

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