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best-ever 15-minute baked beans (vegan and non-vegan versions)

May 20, 2015

really easy, fast, delicious way to switch up your bean game. you can take the finished beans and bake them in a low oven for an hour, but i think they’re just fine like this for a quick lunch. don’t let society pressure you into adding bacon and sugar. caramelized onions add plenty of sweetness.

TIPS FOR THE PERFECT BAKED BEANS:
– a long, slow cook, if you have the time. i make these for a quick 15-minute dinner and leave them simmering for an extra hour afterwards so they’ll be perfect the next day for lunch. they’re great when they have been cooking for ten minutes, but nothing can compare to how they taste a half-hour later.
– go a little heavier with the molasses than you think you should. it’s a big part of the flavor you associate with baked beans.
– don’t be scared to experiment. leftovers, like roasted bell peppers, chicken, sausages, and even bits of stale bread, can work in baked beans just like in chili.
– even if you don’t like it hot, don’t leave out the smoked paprika or cayenne – even just 2 pinches can help balance out the flavors.
– don’t forget to undersalt if you use processed meats like sausage or bacon, and oversalt if you’re leaving them out. beans like salt.

VEGAN
– saute onion in coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
– when caramelized, add cooked (or canned) pinto beans, tomato sauce, molasses, vegetable stock, and minced roasted garlic cloves.
– season with mustard, garlic and onion powder, clove, thyme, and smoked paprika or smoked salt if you have it. add veg worcestershire sauce if you like it.
– simmer on low for 15 minutes.
– add brown sugar, maple syrup, or hickory syrup if you like it sweet, or just serve as is.

NON-VEGAN
– if you like your beans bacony, start by frying a few strips of bacon, then remove the bacon, crumble it onto a plate, and set it aside. fry onions in the bacon grease.
– otherwise (this is my favorite,) just start by sauteeing onion in chicken schmaltz (or oil of your choice)
– when caramelized, add cooked (or canned) pinto beans, tomato sauce, molasses, a little vegetable or chicken stock, and minced roasted garlic cloves.
– season with mustard, garlic and onion powder, clove, a pinch of thyme, and smoked paprika or smoked salt if you have it. add worcestershire sauce if you like it. don’t forget salt and black pepper.
– simmer on low for 15 minutes.
– add brown sugar or maple syrup if you like it sweet, or just serve as is.

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edited 2016 & added to “favorites” since i make these all the time

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