If you’re looking for a healthier baked beans recipe that doesn’t involve an overnight soak, or hours in the oven, my Quicker Baked Beans is for you!
In this recipe, I opted for lentils. I love using lentils because they cook up from dry, without soaking, in just about 30 minutes.
I made this much healthier than your typical canned baked beans, too. I’m using pureed dates instead of brown sugar or molasses. Head over to my Heart Healthy Date Sauce recipe to read about the awesomeness of dates!
Another swap I made is replacing bacon with liquid smoke. This allowed me to keep the smokey deliciousness of bacon without all the saturated fat, cholesterol, and other preservatives. Real talk here: bacon is delicious, but putting it on and in literally everything is very likely to harm your health – or at least contribute to problems. A slice on your burger once in a while is probably fine, but daily bacon isn’t such a good idea.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t have flavor! Another option here is smoked paprika if you can’t find liquid smoke.
I love using my homemade vegetable broth from kitchen scraps in this recipe. If you don’t have any (or don’t want to make it), use a low- or no-sodium vegetable broth of your choice.
Quicker Baked Beans can pull double duty, too! Since they’re so healthy, you can use the leftovers (if there even are any!), to pile on top of toast for a quick dinner, or eat right out of a bowl! They even go great on a big green salad – no dressing required!
Quicker Baked Beans is bound to be a hit at your next picnic! Let me know in the comments if you make them. I love hearing from you!
Quicker Baked Beans (using lentils!)
Using lentils makes this version of baked beans a snap. No soaking required! These are smoky and sweet, and go perfect with your summer BBQ, without undoing all your healthy goals!
- 1 pound Dry, green (or brown) lentils
- 1 Bay leaf
- 5 cups Homemade vegetable broth, or low/no sodium vegetable broth
- 1 1/4 cup Water
- 1/2 cup whole, pitted Dates
- 1 Tbsp Low sodium Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Dry Mustard Powder
- 1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke
- 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/2 Large Onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup Low Sugar Ketchup
In a Dutch oven, or other large, ovenproof pot, combine lentils, bay leaf, and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
In the meantime, in a small pot, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add dates.
When lentils are done, add the date/water mixture to a high-speed blender, and add soy sauce, dry mustard, liquid smoke, and ginger. Process on high speed until smooth.
Add date mixture, chopped onion, and ketchup to lentils, and stir. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.
Note that the lentils will absorb liquid as they sit. If you like your baked beans saucier, add 1-2 cups of vegetable broth or water, stirring to combine.
Use this homemade Vegetable Broth from scraps recipe!