The Classic British Meal That'll Please Cheese Lovers Everywhere

Cheesy beans on toast is a perfectly simple, homemade comfort food option that's just oozing with nostalgia. It's a favorite, classic British food, just as mac and cheese and PB&J sandwiches are here in the U.S. And while it's not quite as easy to prepare as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (open up the jars, spread, and enjoy), it's still deceptively simple to make.

Recipe developer Jennine Bryant of The Marshside Pantry grew up enjoying beans on toast, so it's no surprise that she knows all of the secrets behind this delicious British dish. (And what's more, she's willing to share them all with you!) "My mum used to make it for lunch for us all when I was a kid," she says, adding, "and now my partner and I make it for a quick and easy lunch or brunch meal."

Cheesy beans on toast is ultra quick, super easy, and quite possibly has one of the world's shortest list of ingredients. So, what are you waiting for? It's time to cook and then dig in!

Gather the ingredients to make this cheesy beans on toast recipe

To make this cheesy beans on toast recipe, you'll of course need to make toast. Bryant likes sourdough rye bread for this, which stands up well to the sweet sauce in the beans. Speaking of which, you'll also need beans. A standard can of baked beans in the UK is 415 grams or about 14 ½ ounces.

To top the bread, you'll need a bit of butter, and as a finishing touch, a generous amount of grated cheddar cheese. "Mature cheddar is definitely better as you get more flavor," says Bryant, "though it does come down to personal preference somewhat. You could definitely try [this recipe] with different cheese, [however] cheddar is the classic and matches beans well."

Prepare the bread

To make this classic cheesy beans on toast, you'll start with the base: the toast. Slice the bread, if you're not working with a pre-sliced loaf, and toast it to your desired doneness. Next, spread each slice generously with butter — the amount you use will depend a bit on the size of the slice and your personal butter preferences, according to Bryant, but she estimates that about an ounce per person (about 2 tablespoons) should do nicely. Keeping your butter at room temperature will make it even easier to slather it on the warm toast.

Heat the beans for your cheesy toast

While the bread is toasting, it's time to heat up those beans! Pour them into a saucepan set over a medium heat, and cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.

"In England, people can be pretty fierce about the brand of baked beans that they consider to be the best," says Bryant, who notes that Heinz Baked Beans and Branston Baked Beans are probably the best-known brands. However, the type of beans you use in this recipe can be up to you. One thing Bryant suggests is to give whatever beans you choose a bit of extra pizzazz by adding a splash of Worcestershire sauce to the pan while you are heating them up.

Top the toast with warmed beans

You're nearly there! It's time to preheat the broiler to medium-high. Meanwhile, divide the toast between two plates, and top each with the warmed beans.

When assembling your cheesy beans on toast, you can either opt for a pretty plating like Bryant, overlapping the slices slightly, or arrange the toast side-by-side so that the beans hit all parts of the toast evenly. Either way, when the broiler is hot, top liberally with grated cheese. Get excited, because it's almost time to dig in!

Broil the beans on toast

The last step in putting together this cheesy beans on toast recipe? Broiling the toast to melt all that lovely cheese, of course. Bryant does this directly on a dinner plate, so make sure that if you do the same, make sure the plate you use is oven-safe. Even more, you should let the plate to warm up while the oven preheats (via Little Upgrades).

"Normally, the cheese melts before the plate becomes too hot," Bryant says, but beware: According to Little Upgrades, a non-oven-safe plate could crack, break, or even melt in the oven. (It should go without saying, but no plastic plates allowed, please!) Of course, broiling directly on the serving plate has one added benefit: It means that the moment the cheese is melted, you can dig right in!

Once you've mastered this basic recipe, it's easy to jazz it up any which way you like.

"Hot sauces like Tabasco are a good addition," says Bryant. "Mustard or marmite also sometimes get mixed in. Curry powder would be quite adventurous. You can also add things like bacon or chopped-up sausages to bulk it out a little more. [There are a lot] of different ways to [enjoy] it!"

The Classic British Meal That'll Please Cheese Lovers Everywhere
4.9 from 9 ratings
Cheesy beans on toast is a perfectly simple, homemade comfort food option that's just oozing with nostalgia.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
10
minutes
Servings
2
servings
beans on toast
Total time: 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 4 slices sourdough rye bread
  • 1 (14 ½-ounce) tin beans
  • 2 ounces butter for bread
  • 2 ½ ounces grated cheddar cheese
Optional Ingredients
  • Worcestershire sauce to season the beans
Directions
  1. Slice the bread, toast, and butter it.
  2. Open the tin of baked beans, and pour into a saucepan. Heat on the stove for five minutes. If you want to make your beans even better, add a splash of Worcestershire sauce to the saucepan while you are heating them up!
  3. Preheat the broiler to medium-high. Meanwhile, put the toast on two plates, two slices on each, then divide the warmed beans evenly over the toast on each plate.
  4. Top with the grated cheddar cheese and broil until melted.
  5. Eat straight away!
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 618
Total Fat 36.0 g
Saturated Fat 21.7 g
Trans Fat 1.3 g
Cholesterol 97.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 50.8 g
Dietary Fiber 10.7 g
Total Sugars 1.3 g
Sodium 326.0 mg
Protein 24.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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