Side Dishes/ Vegetables

Vegetarian Baked Beans

vegetarian baked beans in a white ceramic baking dish

I’m not set in my ways, but I do love traditions. Boston baked beans are a traditional summer picnic favorite in our house. When one of my children became a vegetarian, I had to alter my tried and true recipe for baked beans, which requires bacon for fat and flavor.

To my surprise, the vegetarian version is nearly as good, possibly even better, than my original Boston baked bean recipe. I changed the recipe very little, adding onion and sweet red pepper as a substitute for the bacon, and using canned instead of dried beans. My family didn’t notice the difference.

I’ve always made baked beans with dried beans, but canned beans are much easier, as they cook in two hours, instead of four or more. Purists will scoff, but canned beans make sense, especially in the summertime when keeping the oven on for hours can be onerous.

I use some molasses for flavor, but the rest of the sweetness in this baked bean recipe comes from stevia, the natural sugars in the onions and sweet peppers, and from a little vanilla. You don’t taste the vanilla, but it enhances the overall sweetness of the dish.

Springhouse Turtle Eats

Vegetarian Baked Beans

By Springhouse Turtle Serves: 10
Prep Time: 1 hour Cooking Time: 2 hours Total Time: 3 hours

Soft and sweet vegetarian baked beans are delicious and full of flavor.


  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon stevia liquid
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 15-ounce cans of organic great northern beans, drained (reserve 1/2 cup bean liquid, and save the rest for soup if you wish)



Preheat oven to 300 degrees F


In a medium saucepan, heat the coconut and olive oils until they shimmer.


Add the onions, dust with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes.


Add the red peppers, dust with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring, for 5 more minutes.


Stir in all remaining ingredients except the beans. Mix thoroughly.


Add the beans, and stir until completely coated.


Pour the beans into a baking dish with a lid.


Cover and bake at 300 degrees F for 2 hours.


Check the beans after 1 hour. If they look dry, stir in the reserved 1/2 cup bean liquid, cover and continue baking for another hour.


Baked beans can be served hot or cold. They keep well in the fridge in a covered container for 2-3 days.

Chop a large red onion into medium dice.

chopped red onions on a wood cutting board

Sauté the onion in olive and coconut oils.

red onions sautéd in stainless steel pan with wooden spoon

Add chopped red pepper and cook until wilted.

red onions and red peppers cooking in stainless steel pain with wood spoon

Stir in canned white northern beans, and transfer beans into a covered baking dish. Bake, covered, at 300 degrees F for 2 hours.

canned white beans added to stainless steel saucepan of onions and peppers with wooden spoon

Check beans after 1 hour, and add reserved bean water if they look too dry. They should be soft and syrupy when done.

vegetarian baked beans in white ceramic baking dish

Springhouse Turtle Eats


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