Breakfast Light Bites & Snacks Main Meals Recipes Sides

Smokey Baked Beans

Making your own baked beans can be so satisfying and give you greater control over what goes into them. A quick investigation into baked beans sold in UK supermarkets shows that the average 200g portion of standard baked beans will contain 1g of salt (ranging up to a staggering 1.6g).

It’s Salt Awareness Week (8th-14th March 2021), which aims to highlight the reduction of salt intakes. The UK recommendation is a maximum of 6g salt per day. However, the National Diet & Nutrition Survey showed that the average person was eating 8.4g salt in 2018-2019.

The greatest contributors to salt in our diet comes from processed foods and includes bread, cheese, and meat products such as bacon. Around 8% of our salt intakes comes from pre-prepared vegetables such as frozen chips, mashed potatoes and tinned produce. Watch out for tinned beans, pulses and vegetable is water with added salt. Additionally, watch out for tinned tomato products which add salt in. While salt is a preservative, it is not really needed in these products.

If you are looking to reduce your salt intake, you might find things taste a little bland at first. After a few weeks your tastebuds will become more sensitive to salt. You can always add other flavours to food to help in this transition period; try adding herbs, spices, lemon/lime juice or pepper to your meal.

These homemade baked beans contain a fraction of the salt content of their tinned counterparts, containing just 0.14g per 200g serving. Not only that, but you’ll also benefit from 8.7g of fibre and 11 different plant foods for fibre diversity. In addition, my baked beans are naturally sweetened using a carrot and smoked paprika, meaning there’s no added sugar to these beans either.

Store any leftover beans in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days, or alternatively freeze in handy portions ready for a quick and easy meal.

Makes 7 portions


  • 2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot (100g), grated
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 500g passata
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tin of haricot beans in water
  • 2 tins of mixed pulses in water


  • Add the garlic, carrots and oil to a large pan and cook over a gentile heat for 5 minutes till softened.
  • Add the passata, herbs and spices, vinegar, tomato puree and 100ml water. Cook for a further 15-20 minutes over a low heat till the carrots become soft.
  • Blend to a smooth sauce and add the beans.
  • Cook over a low heat with the lid on for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Per 200g serving 163kcal/ 3.4g fat/ 0.6g saturated fat/ 19.9g carbohydrates/ 8.7g fibre/ 9.5g protein/ 0.14g salt

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