Blog Nutrition Recipes Healthy Baked Beans: A Versatile Snack To Excite Your Taste Buds

Healthy Baked Beans: A Versatile Snack To Excite Your Taste Buds

Beans rank as one of the highest when it comes to fat-free foods. That said, the readily-available canned baked beans aren’t always all that healthy because they can be loaded with unhealthy sugars and other additives. In their original form, beans are a good source of lean protein. They have a low glycemic index, meaning they won’t rapidly increase blood sugar levels. This makes them a perfect choice for people with diabetes and those following a weight-loss regimen. Canned baked beans, however, could create a reverse impact. In fact, you might end up consuming as much sugar as a candy bar! Any benefits your body may enjoy due to the nutritional content of the beans are negated by that added sugar. A half cup of typical canned beans has 160 calories and over 15% of the daily recommended sugar. Plus, there is often a small amount of pork fat, making it a no-go area for vegetarians. This is one of the main reasons why people are now looking for ways to cook healthy baked beans. There are several ways to prepare a health-oriented version of baked beans. Once you taste a bite of a healthy baked beans recipe, it may be hard to swallow those others from a can.


Can Baked Beans Be Healthy?


All you need is a healthy baked beans recipe to achieve optimal benefits from these legumes.

When prepared the right way, its aroma will excite your taste buds. It is a sweet, warm, and comforting dish that could quickly become a family favorite.

A good baked beans recipe is what you need to avail of its nutritious value. The difference between the nutritional value of canned and baked beans healthy recipes may take you by surprise!

Healthy Vegan Baked Beans Recipe

Instead of relying on bacon, this light version of baked beans can be prepared from scratch using a few healthy swaps. It may actually become a finger-licking side dish at all your meals. One that you can actually feel good about making and eating!

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Check out the two most popular methods of preparing healthy baked beans:

Method 1


Serving: ½ cup, Calories: 136, Cholesterol: 0mg, Fat: 4g, Sugar: 11g, Sodium: 296mg, fiber: 4g, Protein:4g


  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 15-ounce cans of great northern beans, washed and dried
  • 1 diced green pepper
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • ½ cup filter water
  • ¾ cup tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Put a large saucepan on medium flame. Then, add olive oil, green pepper and onions when heated. Cook the ingredients until the onion turns translucent, around 5 minutes. Keep stirring the contents during this time. Add all the other ingredients except coconut sugar. Stir to combine until it simmers. Now, remove from the heat.
  • Pour the beans into a baking dish already coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle some coconut sugar on the beans. Next, bake in the oven covered for 20 minutes. After that, remove the covering and bake for 30 more minutes until the beans are thick and bubbly.

Read More: Black Beans And Corn Salsa: The Ultimate Powerhouse Of Flavors

healthy baked beans

Method 2


Serving: 1 cup, Calories: 392, Fat: 4g, Sugar: 13g, Carbs: 58g, Fibre: 21g, Protein: 21g


  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  • 2 finely grated garlic cloves
  • 1 finely chopped large onion
  • 3 roughly chopped, pitted dates
  • 2 tablespoon bouillon powder
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500g passata
  • 4 medium-cooked jacket potatoes
  • 3x400g drained haricot beans
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  • Heat oil in a non-stick saucepan for 5 minutes and fry the onion until they turn golden. Add a drop of water if you fear it will burn.
  • Stir the garlic, then add passata, vinegar, bouillon, dates, and bay leaf. Stir the contents after adding black pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Put beans and 400ml water. Let it simmer for 10 minutes and keep stirring until the mixture is thick.
  • You can choose to freeze it by dividing it into freezer bags after it cools. You can defrost the beans overnight when you plan to cook them. Reheat them in a pan and serve piping hot. Toss them over jacked potatoes while serving.

What Canned Beans Are The Healthiest?

Canned beans are a versatile food product with a solid nutritional profile.

When we discuss canned beans in this article, we refer to cooked plain beans preserved in cans without additives. They are not flavored; no extra ingredients are added to enhance their taste.

Beans are an important source of protein and a suitable replacement for meat in diet plans. They are rich in dietary fiber, which makes them a perfect addition to health-oriented meal charts.

You can use the following canned beans to make your baked beans recipe healthy and rich:

Kidney Beans

Kidney beans don’t contain cholesterol or fat. They have a low caloric and high fiber composition. A half cup of kidney beans provides 9g of fiber to the consumers. A can of kidney beans is typically high in sodium, but many companies are not offering a low-sodium alternative. You can also rinse them to remove some of the salt. You can use kidney or red beans to create a healthy baked beans recipe or add them to stews and soups.

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healthy baked beans

Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are available in dry and canned forms. These can be used to cook dishes like tacos and burritos. The best part is they have close to no sodium or cholesterol. A cup of these beans contains 18.8 grams of fiber. Also, they have a high iron and protein content which is good for your overall health.

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Black Beans

Black beans are another variant of canned beans known for their health benefits. A single cup of black beans contains 9g of fiber. Besides a high percentage of iron and protein, these beans also contain potassium and folate. Canned black beans often contain a high sodium content. If you are looking for a healthy option, look for a low-sodium can. If you can only find the regular ones, just make sure to rinse them well. You can use these beans in soup or stew or enjoy them as a side dish with rice.

Are Baked Beans Good For Weight Loss?

If you wonder whether baked beans fit your weight loss plan, know that this classic comfort food may help you shed some extra pounds.

A meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2016 found that consuming beans and other pulses might help a person lose weight without necessarily restricting caloric intake (1). The researchers studied previous clinical trials that studied the impact of eating pulses. They found that people who included beans in their daily meals reduced significant weight over six weeks than the diets with no pulses.

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The nutritional profile of baked beans supports weight loss. Here is how:

They Are A Great Source Of Plant-Based Protein

Beans are an apt replacement for meat in the diet. They help you to meet your average protein requirements. For instance, one cup of canned pinto beans contains 15.4g of protein (2). Protein is an essential nutrient for managing and reducing weight.

They Are A Rich Source Of Complex Carbohydrates

If you are thinking about adding baked beans to your breakfast, go for it. They contain highly complex carbohydrates which digest at a slower pace. This means they won’t increase your blood sugar level yet retain your energy levels.

Carbohydrates keep you energetic, and you may feel fatigue and poor mental functioning when your body doesn’t get enough carbs.

Your body gets complex carbohydrates for weight loss from fiber-rich foods. They provide vital nutrients to the body and make you feel fuller for a long time.

healthy baked beans

They Support Gut Health

Beans are a prebiotic food which works as a source of nutrition for the beneficial bacteria in the gut (3). Whether you consume plain or canned baked beans, they provide prebiotic fiber which helps to support your population of friendly gut microbes (4). Gut microbes may play a significant role in managing weight and improving overall health.

You don’t want baked beans to drain all your weight loss efforts. Watch out for the added sugar content when consuming canned baked beans. Sugar content in cans may vary according to the brands. Check the nutritional information on the label when opting for canned baked beans. Some brands may also add pork or meat-free sausages, which elevates fats and calories.

Another option is to find ways to prepare a healthy baked beans recipe. Making your own baked beans means that you can control their sugar and salt amounts. Find out how you can make your baked beans recipe healthy, and you will be all set to lose those extra pounds.

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healthy baked beans

What Is Healthy To Eat With Baked Beans?

Baked beans have a diverse nutritional composition. They are versatile and can be served with several foods as a side dish.

Try these ideas for a delicious change:

  • Scramble some eggs with baked beans for breakfast to keep you full all-day
  • Add baked beans to the vegetable or tomato soup to make it more flavorful
  • Add heated baked beans in tomato sauce to already-prepared spaghetti and use parmesan cheese for topping
  • Prepare loaded potatoes and use baked beans to enhance the taste
  • Deviled eggs also work as a suitable side dish with the baked beans
  • Make a vegetable salad with your favorite veggies and bake them along with beans to create a healthy baked beans recipe

Besides these, there is a broad spectrum of choices to add as a side dish with baked beans. Whichever option you choose, you will feel delighted and receive plenty of nutrients from your meal.


Baked beans are low in calories and the strong nutritional profile of beans make them one of the healthiest foods to snack on. You can prepare vegan baked beans from scratch or use plain canned beans to work as a scrumptious side dish. Just watch out for the added sugar in store-bought baked beans.

Try to include more pulses and legumes like healthy baked beans for a few weeks, and you may gradually improve your overall health.



This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Effects of dietary pulse consumption on body weight: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (2016,
  2. Beans, pinto, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, with salt (2019,
  3. The BE GONE trial study protocol: a randomized crossover dietary intervention of dry beans targeting the gut microbiome of overweight and obese patients with a history of colorectal polyps or cancer (2019,
  4. Dietary fibre as prebiotics in nutrition (2019,