Smoky Baked Beans


Natural Hickory Smoke. I bought it at The Essential Ingredient at Prahran Market in Melbourne. I have always loved a good smoky flavour and have previously seen the likes of liquid smoke and other smoky flavours. I loved that this was a natural smoke flavour from wood. I often buy new ingredients intrigued by the product itself but with no idea what I'm going to make. The ingredient sits in the cupboard for maybe weeks, before I am inspired to make something with it. I am getting used to it now. I know the right thing will pop into my head eventually. And so it happened with these beans.


We couldn't decide what to have for dinner but felt like something relatively "easy" and comforting. Baked beans was thrown out there. I buy organic baked beans but the cupboard was bare of them. BUT! Not of organic chick peas or organic cannellini beans! And so the recipe came alive. A couple more makings and it became what it is today. For those of you who eat meat, the meatballs below are a delicious addition. I chose to keep meat recipes separate to respect those who don't eat meat, so in this photo it is entirely meat free. However the recipe for the meatballs are below should you wish to make these. 


If it truly grabs you, buy it. It will speak to you eventually, you will work out a recipe or a way to use it.  


1 onion finely diced
3-4 garlic cloves crushed*
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tin organic chick peas
1 tin organic cannellini beans
2 cups water or stock
1 cup organic passata
Splash of tamari
1 heaped tsp cumin
3/4 tsp smoked paprika
3/4 tsp hickory smoke (optional)
1/2 tsp chipotle (optional)
1/2 tsp turmeric
Pinch Celtic salt
Fresh black pepper
Large sprig of lemon thyme


Saute the onion and garlic in coconut oil until translucent
Add the spices and stir to release the flavours
Stir through the passata and water (or stock if using)
Gently stir in the rinsed beans so as not to break them.
Add the lemon thyme and tamari, salt and pepper.
Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Remove stalks from the thyme.
Serve in bowls scattered with fresh baby spinach leaves and a dollop of coconut yoghurt or sour cream if dairy tolerant.


  • The hickory smoke and chipotle add a delicious smokiness but if you don't have these items and won't use them, please don't worry. You could add an extra pinch of the smoked paprika instead.
  • This dish is also delicious with small meatballs or pieces of sausage mixed through if you eat meat. I don't eat pork so I tend to avoid sausages as most sausages use pork casings, so I prefer skinless chevaps or making my own meatballs from an Organic beef mince. If you are adding meatballs to the beans, add for the last 15 minutes of the simmer. If you are using sausages or chorizo I would suggest browning them in the saucepan first and removing before cooking the beans so the flavour adds to the dish from the beginning. Then towards the end you can add the sliced sausage back to the pot.


Black beans in lieu of either or both bean. Yum!!! You could add grilled corn to complete the Mexican feel to these beans, and mash some avocado through the coconut yoghurt. 



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