Recipes » Side Dish Recipes » British Style Beans on Toast

British Style Beans on Toast

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British Style Beans on Toast takes ordinary canned beans to the next level. Serve over toasted bread and top with a jalapeno-rosemary oil and Cheddar cheese.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
A serving of beans on toast on a white plate.

My British Style Beans on Toast pays homage to a classic comfort food enjoyed every day throughout the UK. Ordinary canned beans are taken to the next level when served over toasty whole grain bread and topped with a jalapeno-rosemary oil and plenty of Cheddar cheese.

A while back, a good friend emailed me and said that she’d ordered a cookbook that turned out to be not quite her style and she wondered if I might want it? It was called Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food.

A serving of beans on toast on a white plate.

I certainly did want it! I’d been looking at it on Amazon and had almost ordered it a few days earlier. 

When the book arrived, I sat down just to browse for a few minutes, and the next thing I knew it was two hours later and I’d been completely absorbed in this lovely volume that presents all the best comfort foods from around the world.

Determined to cook my way through the entire book, I started by putting my own twists on a recipe for Beans on Toast, a perennial favorite in English homes.

This is essentially just good old baked beans served over toasty whole grain bread and topped with cheddar cheese and a wonderful jalapeno and rosemary oil. It reminded me so much of all the wonderful breakfasts we’ve enjoyed when traveling in Ireland and Scotland. 


  • It’s an opportunity to try something a little different.
  • A change from the usual way of serving baked beans.
  • Can be as spicy or as mild as you like.
  • Great on its own as a light lunch.
  • Budget friendly.

Ingredient Notes

  • Jalapeno (The jalapeno-rosemary oil is completely optional. If you don’t want to make it or don’t like that kind of heat, simply use plain canola or vegetable oil in its place.)
  • Rosemary (One teaspoon of dried, crushed rosemary can be substituted for fresh.)
  • Smoked Paprika (This lends a very nice, smoky background flavor to the overall dish.)
  • Cannellini Beans (Substitute navy beans if you like.)
  • Bread (I used whole grain bread for the recipe, but white bread, sourdough bread, even rye bread are all good.)

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

How to Make Britsh Style Beans on Toast

Let’s Go Step-by-Step

I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.

Make the Jalapeno Rosemary Oil

Thinly slice the jalapeno removing the seeds if desired for a mild result. Remove the rosemary leaves from the stalks.

COOK’S TIP 
Be sure to wear gloves when prepping jalapenos. The oils can remain on your hands even after washing and can irritate sensitive skin.

A collage showing jalapenos sliced (left) and cooking in oil (right).

Put the jalapeno slices and rosemary in a small saucepan or skillet with just enough olive oil to cover. Place over very low heat for about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse. Remove from the heat and set aside. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

COOK’S TIP 
The flavored oil is optional for this recipe, but I highly recommend it.

Cook the Onions and Garlic

Cooking onions, garlic, and brown sugar in a skillet.

Place an oven-proof skillet over medium-low heat. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the jalapeno-rosemary oil (or plain oil) along with the garlic, onion, paprika, and brown sugar.

Cook, stirring frequently until the garlic and onion have softened (about 10-15 minutes).

Add Seasonings

Adding balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce to the skillet.

Add the balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and cook for another couple of minutes.

Add Tomatoes and Beans

Tomatoes and beans added to the skillet.

In a medium bowl, crush or chop the tomatoes keeping all their juices. Add the tomatoes with the juice and the cannellini beans to the skillet. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Cover and Bake

A skillet covered with parchment paper.

Cover the skillet (or cut a circle of parchment paper to fit). Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for approximately 1 hour or until quite thick.

A serving of beans on toast on a white plate.

How to Serve

When ready to serve, toast the bread. Place a piece of toast on a small plate or in a bowl and spoon the beans over. Top with finely grated cheddar cheese and a drizzle of the jalapeno-rosemary oil (if using).

FAQs

Can I use regular old pork and beans for this recipe?

You could definitely use pork and beans for this recipe, but I really urge you to try making the beans from scratch with the garlic, onion, tomatoes creating a luscious sauce. You might never go back to canned baked beans again.

How is this recipe different from authentic beans on toast?

If I understand correctly, authentic British beans on toast is not nearly as complicated as this recipe. For the traditional preparation, you would simply heat a can of Heinz Beans with Tomato Sauce (yes, it must be exactly that brand and variety), pour that over toasted bread, and top it with cheese. Very simple.

What can I serve with this?

Beans on toast are great all on their own, but you could always add a fried or poached egg on top.

Have you tried this recipe? I’d really appreciate you giving it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card or in the comments section.
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Recipe

A serving of beans on toast on a white plate.

British Style Beans on Toast

British Style Beans on Toast takes ordinary canned beans to the next level. Serve over toasted bread and top with a jalapeno-rosemary oil and Cheddar cheese.
5 from 1 vote
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 346kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

For the jalapeno-rosemary oil (optional):

  • 1 medium jalapeno
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Olive oil

For the beans:

  • 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 28 ounces canned cannellini beans lightly drained (two cans)
  • 14 ounces canned plum tomatoes with their juice

To serve:

  • 4 slices toasted whole grain bread
  • Grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Start by making the optional jalapeno-rosemary oil.
  • Thinly slice the jalapeno removing the seeds if desired for a mild result. Remove the rosemary leaves from the stalks.
  • Put the jalapeno slices and rosemary in a small saucepan or skillet with just enough olive oil to cover. Place over a very low heat for about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Place an oven-proof skillet over medium low heat. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the jalapeno-rosemary oil (or plain oil) along with the garlic, onion, paprika, and brown sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic and onion have softened (about 10-15 minutes).
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and cook for another couple of minutes.
  • Add the cannellini beans and tomatoes (which you will need to crush or chop) along with their juice. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the skillet and place it on top of the beans. Transfer to skillet to oven and bake for approximately 1 hour or until quite thick.
  • When ready to serve, toast the bread. Place a piece of toast on a small plate or in a bowl and spoon the beans over. Top with finely grated cheddar cheese and a drizzle of the jalapeno-rosemary oil (if using).

Notes

Ingredients —
  • The jalapeno-rosemary oil is completely optional. If you don’t want to make it or don’t like that kind of heat, simply use plain canola or vegetable oil in its place.
  • One teaspoon of dried, crushed rosemary can be substituted for fresh.
  • Smoked paprika lends a very nice, smoky background flavor to the overall dish.
  • Navy beans may be substituted for cannellini if you like.
  • I used whole grain bread for the recipe, but white bread, sourdough bread, even rye bread are all good.
Tips –
Be sure to wear gloves when prepping jalapenos. The oils can remain on your hands even after washing and can irritate sensitive skin.
You could use canned pork and beans for this recipe, but I really urge you to try making the beans from scratch with the garlic, onion, tomatoes creating a luscious sauce. You might never go back to canned baked beans again.
Beans on toast are great all on their own, but you could always add a fried or poached egg on top.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 1085mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 253IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 200mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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24 Comments

  1. Perhaps this is a good time for a technique lesson. You could expound on the various uses of parchment paper. I use it nearly daily. What other uses do you find helpful?

    1. Yes, it acts something like a lid but keeps it even more moist since it’s in contact with the surface of the beans.

  2. How can comfort food not be anyone’s style?! ;) And this looks great. Cookbook sounds good, too!

    1. It’s a very good cookbook, Erin, with comfort food dishes from all around the world. I’m sure you’d enjoy it!

  3. Sounds like a great cookbook! I’m going to look into it. I find this bean dish so comforting. And that kick of jalapeño rosemary oil must be amazing.

    1. I really think the jalapeno-rosemary oil puts it over the top. It’s still good without it, but excellent with it!

  4. Beans on toast is one of my favorite high-protein/high-fiber meal that can be whipped up quickly. And you can never go wrong with a Jamie Oliver recipe.

    1. Right, Dara! Quick, easy, delicious and good for you to boot. And I agree about Jamie Oliver’s recipe. Always dependable.

  5. This has our name on it. Love everything about it – okay the family cannot take the spice kick, but beans and toast. So lovely.

    1. Bea – the jalapeno is totally optional. If your family wouldn’t like the spice, just use plain oil and skip the jalapeno.

  6. My husband and I laughed when we saw this recipe. We are both from England and wondered what our parents would have thought about the recipe. It sure is a long way from opening a can of Heinz beans. I just love your recipes, anything from the South I seem to like even though we have lived in Canada for the past 56 years.

    1. Thank you…I think? Yes, it’s a bit more complicated than opening a can, but not much and it is so, so good!