Recipes with Julie Van Rosendaal: Baked beans

With food prices skyrocketing, it’s a good time to embrace one of those pantry staples so many of us grew up with.

Here are 2 recipes that rely on a pantry staple many of us grew up with

Why make plain beans on toast when you can make Chef Aman Dosanj’s Tadka Beans, on toast. (Julie Van Rosendaal)

With food prices skyrocketing, it's a good time to embrace one of those pantry staples so many of us grew up with that just happens to be convenient and inexpensive: canned baked beans.

Baked beans are more than just a breakfast side or something to heat up and spoon over toast (not that there's anything wrong with that).

We talked about them on the Calgary Eyeopener this week. Here's our conversation and the recipes that we talked about and host David Gray enjoyed in the studio. 

LISTEN | Food guide Julie Van Rosendaal on the delights of baked beans in a can:

Chef Aman Dosanj's Tadka Beans

I was making plain old beans on toast when my friend Aman messaged me with general instructions for the tadka beans that fed her through her university days. I'm keeping the ingredient measurements flexible. Some things you measure with your heart. 

Serve these baked beans over buttered toast or a split jacket potato. (Julie Van Rosendaal)


  • oil, ghee or coconut oil
  • cumin seeds
  • chopped onion
  • chopped chilies
  • turmeric 
  • garam masala
  • 1 can baked beans in tomato sauce
  • salt, to taste

Heat a generous drizzle of oil or a chunk of ghee or coconut oil in a large skillet. Warm a big pinch of cumin seeds until they sizzle — but be careful not to burn them.

Add some chopped onion and chilies. Cook for a minute or two (or even longer if you want more caramelized onion bits). Then add turmeric and garam masala (if you're not sure how much, go for a couple teaspoons of each) and a pinch of salt.

Cook for another minute, then stir in the beans to warm them through. If they get too thick, add a splash of water to loosen them up.

Season with salt, if it needs it.

Baked beans are more than just a breakfast side or something to heat up and spoon over toast. (Julie Van Rosendaal)

Serve over buttered toast or a split jacket potato with plenty of butter and cheese, if you like. (I like mine with a few cilantro leaves on top, too.)

One can serves two.

Baked Bean Muffins

Yes, these muffins get a fibre and protein boost from pureed baked beans!

I use maple-style, which are sweeter than most, with a maple flavour, but you could also use beans in tomato sauce. Sometimes you come across small (227 ml) cans of maple beans, which is slightly less than a cup but still works perfectly here. 

These muffins get a fibre and protein boost from pureed baked beans. (Julie Van Rosendaal)


  • 1 cup maple-style baked beans
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree or 1 overripe banana
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1/3 cup canola or other mild vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
  • ½ tsp ginger (optional)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp fine salt (or 1 tsp kosher salt)
  • a handful of raisins (½-1 cup optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Put the beans (and the sauce they're packed in), pumpkin puree or banana, brown sugar, milk, oil, eggs and vanilla into a blender or food processor and pulse or blend until smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary.

Add the oats, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pulse until the oats are fairly finely ground. Let the batter sit for about 10 minutes (the oats will soften a bit) and blend again.

Take off the lid and, if you like, stir in some raisins before scooping or pouring into the muffin tins.

Pour or scoop into greased or paper-lined muffin tins, filling them all the way to the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until raised, golden and springy to the touch.

Makes 12 muffins or about 24 mini muffins.


Julie Van Rosendaal

Calgary Eyeopener's food guide

Julie Van Rosendaal talks about food trends, recipes and cooking tips on the Calgary Eyeopener every Tuesday at 8:20 a.m. MT. The best-selling cookbook author is a contributing food editor for the Globe and Mail, and writes for other publications across Canada.


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