• Slow-cooked baked beans (Chris Middleton)Source: Chris Middleton

Save the tin and discover how good a real, homemade baked bean actually is. Savour the rich tomato sauce and say goodbye to boring brekkie!






Skill level

Average: 2.9 (17 votes)


  • 400 g (14 oz) dried haricot, cannellini or borlotti (cranberry) beans
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 400 g (14 oz) tinned crushed tomatoes
  • 190 ml (6½ fl oz/¾ cup) tomato passata
  • 1½ tsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) cider vinegar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time: overnight

This recipe needs to be started one day in advance.

1. Put the beans in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Cover with plenty of cold water and leave to soak for 8 hours, or overnight.

2. The next day, preheat the oven to 140°C/275°F (fan-forced).

3. Drain the beans, place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.

4. Heat the olive oil in a large flameproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes. Add the drained beans, bay leaf and paprika, mixing well.

5. Stir in the tomatoes, passata, salt flakes, sugar and vinegar. Add 2 litres (68 fl oz/8 cups) water, or enough to generously cover the beans to a depth of 10 cm (4 inches).

6. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then cover the pan with a sheet of baking paper. Put the lid on and carefully transfer to the oven. Bake for 2 hours.

7. Check the beans and give them a stir. The sauce should be a little runny, but starting to thicken; if it is looking dry, add a little water.

8. Return to the oven and bake for a further 1 hour, or until the beans are tender, in a rich, thick, glossy sauce.

9. Serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner, alongside eggs on sourdough toast, or with salad.


This recipe is from Low & Slow (Smith Street Books).