Baked beans are nutritious, easy to eat, cheap to buy and one of the tastiest things to buy on a shelf. Here are ideas to jazz them up so you are never stuck for a quick snack, an early tea, or even a budget dinner. It’s also a way of getting your kids to eat fibre without them noticing.
Mexican Breakfast Egg and Bean Burrito
1. Heat the baked beans in the microwave or a saucepan with a splash of Tabasco or chilli sauce.
2. Warm a few flour tortillas in a dry pan. In another pan, fry eggs and strips of pancetta.
3. Chop a spring onion and grate some Cheddar or Emmenthal cheese.
4. Put the warm tortillas on a plate, pile on the hot baked beans, add the pancetta, top with the fried egg, spring onion and cheddar cheese, fold and cut in half on the diagonal. If you are serving this to young children, omit the Tabasco or chilli sauce.
Toasties with baked beans, chorizo, fromage frais and sweet chilli jam
1. Toast thick slices of crusty bread on both sides. Top with hot baked beans, fried slices of chorizo or Italian sausage, a generous dollop of fromage frais and a good splash of sweet chilli jam.
Mustard and Red Onion Baked Beans
1. Heat the baked beans in the microwave or a saucepan. Add a spoon of Dijon or German mustard. Grill, toast or griddle some good bread, butter it and spoon on the baked beans. Top with golden fried red onions and chopped coriander.
Tomato and Bean Crostini
1. Fry some halved cherry tomatoes in olive oil in a pan until crinkled. Add halved black olives and a spoon of balsamic vinegar and stir to make a dressing with the oil in the pan. Heat the baked beans in the microwave or a saucepan. Spoon the beans onto the toasted bread (or a warm baked potato) and top with the cherry tomato and olive mixture, pouring any leftover sauce on top. Add any grated cheese that melts well – Fontina, Comté, any veiny blue cheese or even good old Cheddar. Grill until bubbling.
Bean and sour cream pasta bake
1. Mix a tin of baked beans with a drained tin of tomatoes (chop the tomatoes first). Add chopped fresh basil and fried strips of red pepper. Add a finely chopped red chilli (or a tablespoon of sweet chilli jam) and 50ml of sour cream and stir. Cook some penne or macaroni pasta. Layer an oiled dish with the cooked pasta, top with the baked bean and sour cream mixture, grate Parmesan cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes in a hot oven or until golden and bubbling. You can substitute a jar of your favourite quality tomato sauce for the tin of tomatoes if you wish.