Spicy Baked Beans

Spicy Baked Beans with a kick of chipotle powder!

spicy baked beans on toast

There are lots of things that make me homesick for Australia. As much as I love the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland, I miss the feel of the warm beach sand between my toes.

I miss Friday takeaway dinners from the local fish and chips shop where our food would be wrapped in yesterday’s newspaper. I miss catching up with my girlfriends over chai tea lattés with a shared bowl of potato wedges drizzled with sour cream and sweet chilli sauce.

And although I love layering up in the European winter with my coat, scarves and cashmere wraps, I miss being able to wear a t-shirt. Just a t-shirt, with no cardigan or coat in sight.

cannellini beans in colander

To soften the melancholy, I frequently make dishes which remind me of Australia; food which I grew up eating and which I also want my children to know and hopefully love.

Sausage rolls and meat pies make a frequent appearance at parties and large gatherings, as do lamingtons and friands for afternoon tea, and you will often find me serving pavlovas for dessert.

spicy baked beans in saucepan

When Rachel Khoo recently asked me to contribute an Aussie-inspired breakfast dish to celebrate the Australian-themed week at Khoollect, the first thing that came to my mind was baked beans on toast.

When I first moved to Switzerland, the familiar blue tin of Heinz baked beans was nowhere to be found on the supermarket shelves here, so I set about making my own version at home.

While it won’t have the same nursery taste as the tinned stuff, it certainly tastes fresher and more vibrant. I love to add a bit of heat with some chipotle chile powder, a popular spice in the US made from roasted red jalopeño peppers (I also deeply miss our time spent living in Chicago, but that’s a story for another time!).

spicy baked beans on plate

I’ve made this dish using both dried beans which had been soaked overnight in water, and with tinned cannellini or haricot beans. If I had to be honest, the end results are pretty much the same. You can adjust the heat to your liking, or leave it out entirely if you are serving small guests.

The Aussie-themed week at Khoollect coincides with Rachel Khoo’s appearance as a guest judge on the popular reality cooking show in Australia, My Kitchen Rules. I can’t express how much I enjoy this show – I’m fascinated by what other people cook at home and get so much inspiration and cooking ideas from seeing some of the dishes which the contestants create.

And oddly enough, I love the scenes where they go shopping for ingredients at the local supermarket. That’s when I start to feel really homesick again …

spicy baked beans with blue napkin

You can find my recipe below or over at Khoollect, plus many more interesting articles which might inspire you to book your next holiday Down Under. I’m already planning my trip ✈

spicy baked beans on marble table


Spicy Baked Beans

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: eatlittlebird.com
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-4

Spicy Baked Beans with a kick of chipotle powder!


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g (3.5oz) pancetta, rind removed and diced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g (14oz) tins of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp barbeque sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder (or to taste)
  • 2 x 400g (14oz) tins of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Large handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Thickly sliced fresh bread, toasted


  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until it’s golden and crispy.
  2. Turn the heat down and add the onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until the onion is transparent.
  3. Stir in the tinned cherry tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, barbeque sauce, Dijon mustard and chipotle chile powder. Simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Taste for seasoning and add some sea salt and/or freshly ground black pepper. If you like more heat, you could add more chipotle chile powder.
  5. Stir in the tinned cannellini beans and cook for a further 5-10 minutes.
  6. Stir through some of the chopped parsley.
  7. Serve the baked beans with some toasted and thickly sliced fresh bread, and sprinkle some more parsley on top to garnish.

Kitchen Notes

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.


  • Serving Size: Serves 3 to 4
  • Calories: 283
  • Sugar: 8.2g
  • Sodium: 284.3mg
  • Fat: 14.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 28.2g
  • Fiber: 6.5g
  • Protein: 10.3g
  • Cholesterol: 16.5mg

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  1. Angela 22 February 2016

    This looks so delicious! I love Heinz beans on toast as well as the homemade kind!

    I am desperate to go to Australia and my best friend is in New Zealand!

    Money and commitments always make it seem so difficult though!

    • Eat, Little Bird 23 February 2016

      Yes, it’s a long way to fly and the flight itself costs a lot of money. But the exchange rate is favourable at the moment 😉 I’d love to visit New Zealand one of these days – I hear the landscape is very similar to Switzerland!

  2. Nadine Ralph 24 February 2016

    Where did you get chipotle in Zurich? I haven’t been able to find it!

    • Eat, Little Bird 24 February 2016

      Hi Nadine,
      I actually bought my chipotle on a recent trip to Stockholm – several jars, in fact! Before that, I had some from when we lived in the US. So I’ve never actually looked for them in Zurich but will keep a lookout for them for you. Have you tried Jelmoli or Globus?

  3. Dani | salt sugar and i 24 February 2016

    These beans on toast look amazing! I love homemade baked beans, I don’t think anything beats them…ok maybe adding an egg on top 🙂

    So surprised you can’t get heinz baked beans over there but I guess it’s a product I take for granted thinking everyone eats canned baked beans (or spaghetti) on toast growing up 🙂 should have sent my swiss cousins with a suitcase full home last time they were here!

    • Eat, Little Bird 25 February 2016

      Some supermarkets have started to stock Heinz baked beans, but it’s not available everywhere. With more and more expats here, I’ve noticed an increase in British and American foods in the supermarkets in the past few years. But it’s all very expensive! Tinned baked beans might have been a cheap meal for me when I lived in Australia, but that’s not the case in Switzerland 😉 In fact, this homemade version is much cheaper 🙂

  4. Rushi 2 March 2016

    Thanh, I think your recipe is a winner. I’ve never had homemade baked beans and I’m hoping to give this a try over the weekend when I get my grocery shopping done. I reckon these taste so much better than the tinned version 🙂

    • Eat, Little Bird 4 March 2016

      I hope you will enjoy this recipe 🙂 And I hope you will be able to find chipotle chile powder somewhere in Paris!

  5. Thanh, what an honour to be featured over at Khoollect!! I’m so excited for you. I just love her and her approach to food.

    Baked beans are such a fantastic comfort food. Definitely something I’ll be making once the weather cools down here! Honestly, you’d never know we’re now into Autumn. It’s still meltingly hot!

    • Eat, Little Bird 6 March 2016

      Ah yes, I’ve heard it’s been scorching in Brisbane! I hope the weather will cool down soon. Everyone has been complaining about the cold weather over here and wishing that spring was on its way already, but I’m rather enjoying it 🙂

  6. I really love the fresh flavours of home made baked beans, especially with a touch of chilli heat! I would love to go to Australia, maybe one day fingers crossed… 🙂

    • Eat, Little Bird 6 March 2016

      I’ll cross my fingers for you too! It’s a long journey from the UK, but so worth it 🙂

  7. Rose 19 March 2018

    A great recipe – so easy and delicious! Also a great way to use up some chipotle powder. I have a jar which is never used!

  8. Julia 13 April 2018

    What a delicious this recipe! I simply cannot wait to try it! Very interesting combination of ingredients. I am saving this recipe for later.