Breakfast Beans: the simple recipe for a protein-rich breakfast

Total time: 1h40 + soaking time
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist
great northern, navy, or haricot beans, rinsed
2 cups
Vegetable Oil
1 tbsp
yellow onion, finely chopped
10 ounces
carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup
celery, finely chopped
1 stalk
Garlic, minced
2 cloves
Crushed tomatoes
14-ounce can
2 1/2 tbsp
Granulated sugar
1 tsp
Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 tsp
salt to taste

For a lightly sweet, slightly savory breakfast that's both nutritious and filling, you'll love these tasty breakfast beans. This classic breakfast dish is a favorite in the UK where it's often served on toast. Easy to make and far more delicious than anything you can find in a supermarket, British breakfast beans are a great way to start your day. Beans are packed with protein, which will keep you satiated and full of energy for hours. To make breakfast beans, you'll need to soak the beans overnight, then boil them in water to soften them up. While the beans are cooking, you'll make the sauce – a rich, savory-sweet sauce with tomato, vegetables, and various tasty seasonings. Let the sauce simmer, then add the beans and bake them in the oven. That's it! This simple recipe is perfect for making ahead and enjoying through the week for a mouthwatering, hearty breakfast that hits the spot every time.

What are the Best Beans to Use for Breakfast Beans?

Dried beans are the way to go when making breakfast beans. They have a much better texture compared to canned beans. Don't use canned beans – they'll turn into mush by the time you've finished cooking. In terms of the type of bean, navy beans, northern beans, and haricot beans are all amazing options to try.

Tips for Making the Best Breakfast Beans

– If you find your beans are hard and aren't cooking properly, you may not have soaked them long enough. For best results, let them soak overnight. Make sure the beans haven't expired, and if you live in an area with hard water, use bottled water to soak the beans.

– You can also make your beans in a slow cooker, which is a little easier than cooking them on a stovetop. The low, slow cooking also helps the beans to soften, which makes this cooking method an excellent once if you've struggled with hard beans in the past. Cook the beans on high for 6 to 8 hours, or until softened.

– This recipe is vegetarian-friendly, but to make it appropriate for vegans, simply leave out the Worcestershire sauce and use a vegan substitute.

What to Serve with British Beans?

Breakfast beans are usually served on toast, but can also be enjoyed as a side as part of a traditional English breakfast which features eggs, bacon, sausages, and toast. Add them to omelets, serve them with huevos rancheros, add them to a breakfast burrito, or over an English muffin.


How to Store Breakfast Beans

Leftover or make-ahead breakfast beans should be transferred to an airtight container once cooled and stored in the fridge. Enjoy them within 3 to 4 days. When frozen, they'll last for 2 to 3 months.

How to Make Breakfast Beans

Pour the beans into a large bowl, then add 4 cups of water. Let them soak at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours. After 8 to 12 hours, drain off the water and rinse the beans clean.

Bring 6 cups of water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Add the beans and simmer for 1 hour, stirring regularly.

Preheat your oven to 320°F.

During the last 15 minutes of the hour that the beans are boiling, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add in the onion, celery, and carrot and saute until they soften about 5 minutes.

Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Stir in the tomatoes, ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Pour in ¼ cup of water, stir to combine, and allow the sauce to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour in 1 cup of water, stirring to combine. Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until smooth. Stir in ¾ cup of water.

Drain and rinse the beans. Pour the beans into the sauce. Stir, then place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.


Whichever beans you choose, make sure to rinse them before cooking them.

Every dish has a story
Find out more on Cookist social networks