How can a dish be so heartwarming, comforting, and yet so easy to make? Of course, I’m talking about this baked bean casserole recipe. It’s the one type of meal you must have as an ace up your sleeve.
Casseroles are excellent weeknight dinners, crowd-pleasers for family reunions, and when done right, delectable choices for date night.
Quoting the one nightstand book I can’t live without, the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (Volume I), “Casserole cookery has been around since prehistoric times, when it was discovered that cooking food slowly in a tightly covered clay vessel softened fibrous meats and blended succulent juices…”
There are a few keywords here, “cooking food slowly” and “succulent.” This combination of words does it for me and makes me a total casserole fan.
The problem is, most casseroles involve meat — according to the Oxford Encyclopedia, it’s an essential element for a casserole to be complete, and here’s where this recipe differs.
Because there are plant-based proteins
More than ever before, both professional chefs and home cooking enthusiasts are exploring vegetarian alternatives to make animal-friendly versions of old classics, and today the time has come for the casserole.
Beans are an exceptional source for proteins, and in this casserole, they substitute meat beautifully, keeping the essence of the hearty dish intact. The kidney-shaped legumes are more than protein, they’re healthy for you in more ways than you can imagine:
- Beans are inexpensive, and that’s always a good start, right?
- One cup of beans adds 15 grams of high quality protein to your diet.
- Beans have carbs too, making them a well rounded superfood.
- There’s plenty of dietary fiber in beans to aid and regulate digestion.
- Beans have lots of vitamins, including vitamin B1, B6, B9, E, and K, and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
- Beans are delicious! And delicious food gets you in a good mood.
Let’s get cooking!
Now that I’ve got your attention, I’m sure you’re ready to make this delicious baked bean casserole, and you want to know the best part? You only need a casserole dish and an oven. No pile of dirty pots and pans today.
I know time shouldn’t matter when you’re making a tasty, healthy dish for the ones you love, but we don’t have unlimited time, so I’m usually keen for recipes that get me back to my family. This recipe takes 25 minutes to make, including prep time, so if you’re in a rush, this is exactly what you were looking for.
Recipes as tasty and easy as this one are hard to come by, so make the most out of it. How? By getting the whole family involved.
This is the perfect opportunity to involve your kids; teach them how easy cooking healthy options can be, and create bonding memories in the process. Also, learning that there’s more out there than meat is also a valuable lesson – in terms of our health, our environment, and our finances.
This baked bean casserole will be one of your favorite vegetarian dishes, but everyone will enjoy it. Your family will enjoy helping, too, so let’s get started!
If you are not looking for a vegetarian dish, give this chicken san choy bow recipe a try, it is really amazing.
Baked Bean Casserole Recipe
- Casserole dish
- 28 ounces baked beans This is 2 cans of the typical 14 oz / 390 gram cans.
- 1 stalk celery, sliced finely
- 3 spring onions, chopped
- 1 can corn kernels Approximately 15 ounces or 125 grams per can
- 1 dash Tabasco sauce to taste
- 1 cup wholemeal self raising flour
- 2 tablespoon parmesan cheese Add an extra tablespoon if desired
- ½ cup low fat milk
- Mix baked beans with vegetables and a few drops of tabasco sauce (more for hotter flavour) in a casserole dish
- Place in a hot oven (400° F / 200°C) while preparing topping
- Stir flour and cheese together thoroughly
- Add milk, mix until it is a soft dough
- Knead lightly on a floured board and roll out to cover casserole dish
- Cover bean mixture with dough
- Lightly brush with extra milk
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown
- Serve Immediately
As you know, I love to try to squeeze in some extra vegetables whenever I can, so I have some suggestions you could try:
- add a cup of frozen peas to the baked bean and vegetables
- grate a carrot and mix in with the baked beans
- add grated zucchini to the baked bean mixture
- finely dice and add 1 small red, yellow, or green pepper (capsicum)
- try adding some small florets of frozen or raw broccoli and/ or cauliflower to the baked bean mixture before putting it in the oven
- if you like extra spice, finely chop and add 1 large chilli to the mixture
What you choose to add will depend entirely on what you and your family will most enjoy, and also what you have available in your refrigerator/ pantry.
This is one of the recipes that my kids and I tend to make on ‘Meat-Free Mondays’ – it’s a quick, fun, and easy start to our busy week.