BBQ Baked Beans

BBQ Baked Beans from Carrie on Vegan |

Hi there and happy Friday to you! After a super rough couple of days in terms of my energy levels, I woke up this morning feeling much better (yay!). I think this change is partly due to me taking a break from cacao in my morning smoothies and as a hot beverage. I am one of those people who is really sensitive to the theobromine in cacao which makes it so effective as a stimulant when I’m not feeling good, but quickly becomes addictive for me as well. Anywho, I’m happy to be through the worst of my withdrawal from cacao and I’ve vowed to use it much more sparingly in the future. It’s back to herbal tea in the mornings for me.

Even though I felt crappy all day yesterday, I took some time in the afternoon to make some baked beans for Alan that he has been requesting pretty much since we started our whole foods, vegan diet over two years ago. Prior to that, canned baked beans used to be one of his favorite side dishes. It’s also one of his childhood faves, he tells me that his mom used to buy the can from the store and then “doctor” them up by adding heaps of brown sugar to them. This is also the woman who served her child coffee and honey buns for breakfast, but that’s a different story…

I started with about four cups of cooked pinto beans. I also addd some chopped onion for texture:

BBQ Baked Beans from Carrie on Vegan |

Then, I gathered up the following ingredients: vegetable broth, molasses, dates, tomato paste, reduced-sodium tamari, mustard powder, garlic, more onion, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, and balsamic vinegar (not all ingredients are pictured):

BBQ Baked Beans from Carrie on Vegan |

Everything but the beans went into the Vitamix to make a luscious, sweet, rich sauce that I stirred into the beans. I poured the entire mixture into a lightly oiled glass baking dish:

BBQ Baked Beans from Carrie on Vegan |

An hour later at 350 degrees:

BBQ Baked Beans from Carrie on Vegan |

I think these would be fantastic for a party. Alan thought the sauce could have been a little less thick, so I’m increasing the amount of vegetable broth in the recipe. Here it is:

BBQ Baked Beans
This recipe could also be made in the slow-cooker, just cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 8-10
  • 4 cups cooked pinto beans
  • ½ large red onion
  • 1½ cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup blackstrap molasses
  • 7 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium tamari
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 8 medjool dates, pitted
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and lightly coat a 9" x 9" baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Chop ¼ of a large red onion and place in a large bowl with the beans. Stir to combine.
  3. Combine the vegetable broth, onion (the remaining ¼), molasses, tomato paste, tamari, garlic, dates, balsamic vinegar, mustard powder, cumin and cayenne pepper into a high-speed blender and process until smooth.
  4. Stir the sauce into the beans and pour into the baking dish. Bake for one hour or until the mixture is bubbling and the top is lightly browned.


At some point, I’d like to try these in the slow-cooker, too. But, for now, this recipe is fantastic and I’ll be submitting it to this week’s recipe link-up party, Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Last week’s most clicked-up recipes for HVF included these:

1. spanish chickpeas and spinach with roasted garlic from janet @ the taste space:

Spanish Chickpeas and Spinach with Roasted Garlic from the taste space

2.caramel apple trifle from heather @ sweetly raw:

Caramel Apple Trifle from Sweetly Raw

3.raw cinnamon roll bites from vicky @ sweet & healthy living:

Raw Cinnamon Roll Bites from Sweet & Healthy Living

Wow, talk about lots of amazing vegan food options.

Speaking of Healthy Vegan Fridays, I noted in Wednesday’s post that I have some exciting news about the future of this project. The big news is that my co-host, Gabby of The Veggie Nook and I are now looking for a third co-host! Shelby from Everyday Vegan Girl was the third founder and co-host, but she is taking a break from blogging and pursuing other opportunities (we will miss her, but wish her well).

We love that so many bloggers participate each week and we’re excited to take it to the next level. If you’re interested in applying to be our third co-host, this is a great opportunity to get exposure for your blog and develop your marketing skills. Requirements include a commitment to writing whole food vegan recipes, posting the link-up code on your blog every Friday and helping us spread the word through social networking. The time commitment is between 1-2 hours a week. If you are interested, please fill out the short survey by following the link below. We will begin reviewing applications on Monday, January 21st. Good luck and we can’t wait to move forward with this. [Editor’s note: this position has been filled].

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at carrieonvegan @ gmail .com (one word).

Lastly, before I go, I have to share a link with you because my beautiful cat, Xena, is featured as “This Animal On This Day” on the Our Hen House website. My baby is famous, check her out here.

I hope you have a happy, healthy weekend and I’ll see you back here on Monday.

Want more of Carrie on Vegan? Connect with me on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, or Google+.

And, if you have an iPhone or iPad, be sure to download my recipe app, Vegan Delish, featuring healthy, whole food recipes made using minimal oil, salt, or added sugars.

Note: this post has been submitted to Wellness Weekends and Healthy Vegan Fridays.


  1. Robyn :) says

    I am planning to make pinto beans in the crockpot this weekend and this would be perfect to use a bunch of them in!

    I have cut back on caffeine again and have not had any in a week or two. I realized today this is probably most of the cause of the depression I was feeling last week. I am trying to avoid energy drinks altogether and only have a Coke maybe once a month. I am cutting back on sugary sodas as well. Trying to get back to healthy eating.

    I hope you continue to feel better!

  2. Lfletche says

    Made the BBQ baked beans this evening. Served with a large salad. Word from my husband: delicious. He even said I could make the beans again and he would be happy. We have left overs so he will be happy for a couple of days. Plan on making a batch for a pot luck next week–maybe I will convince a few people that plant based food is pretty good.

    • says

      Yay!!!!! I am so happy to hear that you (and your hubby) liked them! It made a lot of leftovers, right? We’re going to be eating ours all weekend. 🙂 Let me know how the potluck goes, too, I would love to hear the comments from others.

  3. says

    Hi Carrie. I’m exactly the same with cacao. The same thing happened to me too recently. I am more than half way through my pregnancy and had been expecting to feel a lot less tired but I was still waking up drained and exhausted all day. I suddenly realised it may have been the homemade chocolates I had been making for the last few weeks over Christmas. Although I made them with mostly carob powder I did throw in a tablespoon of cacao per portion of chocolates but I think this is too much even for me to handle. The very day I gave them up, the next day I woke up feeling great and energised, so I’m going to have to try very hard to stay away from it. I’m glad you’re feeling better too.

    • says

      Thanks for the note, Katherine, it’s great to hear from you. It’s interesting how some people are affected by cacao and some are not. My husband could have it at night and not feel anything, where I can’t have even more than a tablespoon and I would be up all night. Hugs to you!

  4. says

    Oh those baked beans look amazeballs!!!!! YUM, I cannot wait to try them (tomorrow maybe?).
    I have the same issue with cacao… I love the taste, but am super sensitive and I find it highly addictive. I’m actually on a cacao cleanse this month ;p
    That is super exciting news about Healthy Vegan Fridays – I have applied =)

  5. says

    I Love this recipe!! I’m a Southern girl and growing up, baked beans were served at nearly every get-together! Now though, I only eat dried beans that I cook myself.
    I was wondering–I’m doing a round-up of my favorite bloggers and recipes, would you mind if I use one of these photos and provide a link back to your recipe on A & A?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *