The convenience of canned baked beans can take a backseat after you’ve discovered just how easy, simple and delicious these homemade chilli beans are. With a spicy kick, this vegetarian dish really hits the spot whether it’s for a hearty homemade breakfast or a simple weeknight meal – we list a few recipes you might find yourself returning to again.
- 400 g dried white beans
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 2 medium onions (300 g), chopped finely
- 8 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 2 fresh long red chillies, sliced thinly
- 2 x 400 g cans tomatoes
- 3 cups (750 ml) vegetable stock
- Toasted sourdough slices, to serve
Place beans in a large bowl with enough cold water to cover; stand overnight. Drain; rinse well. Place beans in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover; bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low-medium; simmer for 30 mins or until almost tender.
Drain. Heat oil in same dried pan over medium heat; cook onion, garlic and chilli, stirring, for 7 mins or until onion is soft. Add tomatoes and stock; bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, covered, for 10 mins or until thickened slightly.
Add beans; simmer, covered, for 10 mins, stirring occasionally. Remove lid; simmer for 10 mins or until beans are tender and sauce has thickened slightly. Season to taste.
Make chilli beans, adding 1½ tsps smoked paprika, 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsps barbecue sauce and 1 tbsp dijon mustard to the onion with the garlic and chilli. Cook onion mixture for a further 2 mins before continuing as directed in the recipe.
BEANS & BAKED EGGS
Make chilli beans. Preheat oven to 200 C. Place hot beans in a shallow 2 litre (8 cups) ovenproof dish. With the back of a spoon, make six indents in the beans, crack eggs into hollows. Bake for 10 mins or until eggs are set. Serve topped with ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves.
BEANS & GARLIC BREAD
Make chilli beans. Preheat oven to 220 C. Place hot beans in a shallow 2 litre (8 cups) ovenproof dish. Cut a 520 g day-old garlic sourdough bread into thin slices. Generously spray slices with garlic-infused olive oil spray. Arrange slices on beans, slightly overlapping. Bake on top oven shelf for 15 mins or until bread is golden.
PUMPKIN & CHEESE
Make chilli beans. Preheat oven to 220 C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Cut 500 g kent pumpkin into wedges, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. Bake for 20 mins or until softened. Place hot beans, then pumpkin in a shallow 2 litre (8 cups) ovenproof dish; top with ¾ cup grated vegetarian cheddar. Bake for 20 mins or until cheese melts.
TIP Serve with toasted sourdough or cornbread. While we’ve used cannellini beans here, you can use any canned white beans you like, such as great northern, navy or haricot. Use a plain (unflavoured) tomato-based sauce suitable for serving over pasta. These sauces can be bought in cans and jars and are often labelled “sugo” or “passata”. to freeze Complete the recipe to the end of step 1. Pack into freezer-proof containers, leaving a 2.5 cm space to allow for expansion. Seal, label and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat in a saucepan or microwave on medium power (50 per cent) until heated through.