Baked beans are a classic summer side dish. Perfect for potlucks and parties! These easy Vegan Maple Baked Beans can be made in the Instant Pot, slow cooker, or oven.
I love bacon as much as the next girl. In fact, I might enjoy it more. But I don't always have it. I don't always have "a few slices" available to put in a pot of beans. Or I've got guests who don't eat meat (the irony is not lost on me, with the name of my blog...).
So my challenge was to come up with a recipe for baked beans that were reminiscent of the ones that come out of a can, without fancy steps or ingredients, and no bacon.
Why You Need This Recipe
- Reduced sugar from the canned version.
- It's difficult to find vegan beans at the store without paying a premium, and I promise this version will taste just as good as if it had bacon!
- Uses affordable dried beans for the ultimate crowd-pleasing dish.
Beans - Navy beans are the bean you think of when buying a can of baked beans. They might just be called "white beans" as well.
Vinegar - This helps break down the beans and adds a perfect tang to the finished dish.
Maple syrup - Baked beans definitely need to have a sweetness to them, and using syrup keeps them vegan.
How to Make Vegan Baked Beans
Step 1: Soak the beans using your preferred method.
Step 2: Drain the beans, and decide how you're going to cook!
Step 3: Add all ingredients to your cooking vessel of choice and cook per the recipe card below.
Step 4: Stir things up and give them a taste to see if anything is missing. Enjoy!
Tips and Tricks
- You can cook without pre-soaking, especially if using the Instant Pot, but I just think it works better to soak ahead. Plus that removes some of the phytic acid that can cause -ahem- issues.
- Pre-soaking also allows the beans to cook evenly, to be perfectly tender. They also are less likely to burst open if soaked.
If you aren't vegan, then honey works well in place of the syrup, though the flavor will be slightly altered.
Got leftovers? My Valdeans Beans recipe needs 3 cups and it will change them into leftovers that taste nothing like the original!
Serve these vegan baked beans when you're bringing hot dogs to a potluck or grill up some venison steaks and stir the beans into your potatoes. I also eat a big bowl with bread that's got butter and homemade cheese!
The classic flavor comes from bacon. Rather than always having bacon on hand, or having a dish not everyone can enjoy, I selected spices and combined them with maple syrup to give the same sort of taste as if you used bacon, but we don't! And then I used maple syrup to sweeten so these baked beans are perfectly vegan.
Cover the beans with water by a few inches, and let soak for 4-12 hours. Keep in mind they will expand quite a bit before the time is up, so make sure and select a large enough bowl. When ready to cook, drain the water and you are ready to proceed with the recipe as written.
More Side Dish Recipes
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Vegan Maple Baked Beans
- 1 lb white navy beans can be unsoaked if using the instant pot
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds sub for half amount ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon chile powder
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 onion chopped (sub ¼ cup dried onion flakes)
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 can tomato paste
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 4-6 cup water This is going to somewhat depend on whether you soaked them, the beans you have, etc
Instant Pot Method
- Measure all ingredients into the Instant Pot. If unsoaked, use more like 6 cups water, if soaked, more like 4-5 cups.
- Make sure everything is covered with liquid and stirred well.
- Set to Manual Pressure for 20 minutes. (30 minutes if unsoaked)
- Make sure your beans are soaked.
- Measure all ingredients into an oven safe pot with lid, such as a dutch oven, and stir well.
- Bake at 350F for 1 ½ hours, stirring once or twice.
Slow Cooker Method
- Make sure beans are soaked, measure all ingredients into 4 qt or bigger slow cooker and stir well.
- Cook 4 hrs on high or 8 hrs on low, stirring once or twice.