To bean or not to bean, that is the question! Let’s be honest, beans are a staple for not only students, but everyone. We’ve all succumbed to the call of that juicy tomato sauce for tea in a hurry, but did you know there are plenty of ways to use the humble baked bean? From the traditional to the unusual, don’t be afraid to try out some of our tasty baked bean recipes and up the dinnertime ante with ease.
1. Jacket Potato with Beans
It may seem obvious, but no list would be complete without a few classics – which is why we’re opening with one of the most simple recipes for baked beans (but also one of the most filling). The best thing about jacket potatoes is, much like beans, they’re adaptable to everyone’s tastes. The ability to be spruced up in countless different ways means jackets can serve you well more than once a week. When it comes to beans, you’ll want a simple knob of butter, baked beans, and a pinch of pepper to taste. If you’re feeling really extravagant, why not finish with a sprinkle of grated cheese and a few bacon lardons on the side?
2. Beans on Toast
Another of our go-to baked bean recipes that is even kinder to the bank balance – beans on toast also leads the pack when it comes to versatility. Are you going for brown, white or seeded bread? Or better yet, best of both? Choosing your base is the best place to start, and once you’ve added your beans – you have the challenge of deciding how to top it off. Worcestershire sauce is a subtle yet distinctive finish – but to really make the meal go further, a portion of fluffy scrambled egg is the way to go.
3. Baked Bean Chilli
We can probably all agree that meals with baked beans are superior to those without. At least, when you’re in a hurry and you’ve not got much in the cupboard. So for those with (a little) more cooking prowess, baked bean chilli is one of the best student recipes on a budget that will not only fill you up, but will also provide you with a nutritious, simple meal that doesn’t take long to prepare. Save on the kidney beans and tomato puree to really squeeze the pennies, and simply combine baked beans, mincemeat and chilli powder (or even a splash of chilli sauce) for the student edition of Chilli Con Carne.
4. Sausage and Bean Casserole
Ever wondered how to make baked beans more interesting? When quirky baked bean recipes get really serious, you end up with sausage and bean casserole. No, really. Simply delicious, fry your sausages and add to onions, carrots and celery in an oven dish before throwing in your tomato puree, vegetable stock and your baked beans. Once done, it should last you for a fair few servings.
5. Cheese and Bean Pasty Bake
Looking for vegetarian recipes with baked beans? You’re in the right place. While you might not receive the blessing from Mary Berry herself, this baked bean recipe presents itself as a strong contender for easy meal of the year. Grab a pack of pre-rolled pastry, empty out a tin of beans and some grated cheese, then fold up and bake for crispy, melty, oozy goodness.
6. Baked Bean Pie
If you’re looking for things to add to baked beans for dinner on a budget, cooking in bulk saves the most pennies. If you live with a few other bean lovers (or if not, all the more for you for the rest of the week), baked bean pie is a good way to make ingredients go further and serve up a dish that doesn’t skimp on portions. Add ketchup, chilli sauce and water to your bean mixture and let it simmer before adding to an ovenproof dish and topping with mashed potato and grated cheese.
7. Cheese, Bean and Ham Toastie
Finally, we come on to the ultimate of all baked bean recipes. The toastie. When it comes to budget meals, it’s up there as one of the best value – while also super easy to make and tasty as anything. If no one has a toasty maker to hand, the grill is a good enough substitute. Add your beans, grated cheese and sliced ham to your choice of bread – and grill away for a perfect budget meal morning, noon or night.
Find your local SPAR