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Easy Vegan Brown Sugar Baked Beans

Quick and easy vegan brown sugar baked beans that are made on the stove top or in a slow cooker! Full of flavor and with tons of customization, this is the ultimate summer side dish!

Closeup of a wooden spoon serving the finished baked beans over the cooking pot.

This perfect BBQ side dish is made with super simple ingredients like beans, brown sugar, and spices. But it comes together to make the best beans – way better than anything from a can!

Ingredients

Ingredients for bakes beans in various bowls and a plate on a wood table. Black and white labels have been added to name each ingredient.
  • Beans: You can use any type of white bean here. Some of my favorite are cannellini beans, great northern beans, navy beans, or even pinto beans.
  • Brown Sugar: Can’t have brown sugar beans without this! You can make this with coconut sugar, but I think the brown sugar blends better since it already has some molasses in it.
  • Tomato Paste: A bit of tomato paste adds depth of flavor to this dish. Try to use the kind from a tube and not from a can for the best flavor.
  • Molasses: This adds that sweet and umami flavor to the beans.
  • Soy Sauce: This is one of my secret ingredients to really oomph up the flavor.
  • Spices: Mustard powder, garlic and onion powder, paprika, salt, and chili powder

Variations

  • Spicy: Add some kick with the addition of peppers. Start with a red bell pepper for texture and then add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper or chipotle pepper for that rich, smoky spice.
  • Smoky: Add about a 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke to the recipe. Use smoked paprika in place of sweet paprika.
  • Need to make this gluten free? No problem! Use your favorite tamari or coconut amino acids in place of the soy sauce in this recipe for a perfect gluten free and vegan side dish.

Instructions

Make sure to check out the recipe card below for the full recipe and ingredient list.

Step One: Prep the Beans

Drain and rinse the beans. Make sure to really rinse them well.

Step Two: Add to the Pot

A blue ceramic cooking pot filled with the beans before cooking on a wood tabletop.

Add all the sauce ingredients to the pot first: the water, spices, molasses, soy sauce, tomato paste, and brown sugar. Give it a whisk to combine. Next, add the beans. Give it a stir.

Step Three: Cook

Place this on the stove over a medium heat and cook for about 60 minutes to 75 minutes. Make sure you give them a little stir every 5 minutes or so to keep from burning the sugar on the bottom of the pan. Yes, this takes a bit of time to cook and thicken up, so just be patient! The beans are worth it.

To make in a slow cooker

The recipe is almost exactly the same! Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and cover. Heat on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for 3 to 4 hours.

If the beans are too thin after that time, remove the lid and continue cooking on high until the sauce has thickened.

How to Store

Fridge: Store any cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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Closeup of a wooden spoon serving the finished baked beans over the cooking pot.

Stovetop Brown Sugar Baked Beans

Quick + easy brown sugar baked beans that you make on the stove top or in a slow cooker! Full of flavor and so adaptable, this is the ultimate summer side dish.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: side dishes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 100kcal

Equipment

  • Large cooking pot
  • measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • mixing spoon

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cannellini beans or swap for white beans of your choice, this is 3 15oz cans
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

  • Cook the beans on the stove. Add all the ingredients to a large cooking pot on the stove and mix well. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and let simmer for about 60 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
  • Store leftover beans in a container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • Substitutions 
    • If avoiding wheat and gluten, make sure that you use a tamari in place of the soy sauce. 
    • If you are avoiding soy, you can use coconut amino acids in an equal amount. 
    • If you are allergic to mustard, omit the mustard powder and add half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to give these beans a little tang. 
  • Variations 
    • Spicy: Add some more kick to your beans with  the addition of peppers! Start with chopping a red and green bell pepper to add to the beans in the last half hour of cooking. Add a good spoonful of cayenne pepper or chipotle pepper powder for a rich spice. Add those to taste. 
    • Smoky: Add about a ½ a teaspoon of liquid smoke and use smoked paprika.

Nutrition

Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 441mg | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 177IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg
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