Beans on toast is a classic British comfort food recipe that’s quick and easy to make at home. If you’re looking for breakfast beans this is the recipe. This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you shop through them. 

A slice of British beans on toast on a small plate on a marble kitchen countertop. The beans are garnished with parsley and a small teacup sits in the background.

There are variations on beans on toast all over the world. One of my favorites is Cannellini Bean Bruschetta, which I first enjoyed in Tuscany and is featured in my cookbook, Vegan in an Instant. And then there’s my favorite Hummus Crostini, which has completely different yet tasty Middle Eastern flavors.

But today we’re talking about how to make British beans on toast. These breakfast beans are quick and easy to make. I’ll show you the traditional British way. This is probably the simplest “recipe” on this site – if you’d like a more complex British recipe, try our Vegetable Wellington. If you are in the mood for food from the UK, don’t miss this list of the top Traditional British Foods

Two cans of British Heinz beans with tomato sauce on a marble countertop. These beans have turquoise wrappers and are the type used as breakfast beans in the uk and for beans on toast.

What is Beans on Toast: Breaking Down the Components 

British beans on toast is a popular and very simple comfort food recipe that really only requires two ingredients. You can think of it as the U.K. equivalent of Avocado Toast

1. Toast 

Simple white sandwich bread toasted in a toaster or broiler is the classic way to make it. However, it’s much tastier if you use thicker country-style bread. Sourdough, French, ciabatta, and even baguette slices will do. 

You can toast your sliced bread in a toaster, under a broiler, or even on a grill. 

2. Beans

The beans used are usually baked beans, but you can use other beans as well. While you can cook beans from dry and then simmer in sauce, or use my recipe for Vegetarian Baked Beans, most people use a very specific type of beans for British beans on toast. 

The trick to classic British beans on toast is to use Heinz Beans (in the turquoise can). These are navy beans in a tomato sauce, and very similar to American baked beans. Thankfully you can find them fairly easily outside the U.K. I find them at my local Cost Plus World Market, but they can also be found on Amazon. 

This Heinz 57 variety of baked beans is made with white beans (navy beans) and a mildly sweet and tangy tomato sauce. It’s naturally vegetarian and vegan, so no need to worry about bacon. Heinz also sells no-sugar-added and organic versions of their baked beans. 

A small saucepan filled with homemade baked beans sits on a blue and white striped kitchen towel.

Homemade Baked Beans

How to Make Beans on Toast 

There are many fun variations on this classic. From Savoury French Toast Topped with Beans to topped with a fried egg or some halved cherry tomatoes, herbs and pepper. 

To make this simple British comfort food recipe, simply make a piece of toast and gently warm the beans in a small saucepan on the stove or in the microwave. According to Heinz directions, they should not be diluted with water or brought to a boil, or the flavor could be affected. 

An overhead photo of a full English breakfast including beans, toast, eggs, tomatoes, and sausage served in a skillet.

Full English Breakfast. Image: Shutterstock.

How is this Dish Served? 

Although beans on toast is a common breakfast dish, it’s also common to have beans on toast for lunch, or even as a side for dinner. Try it with a cup of English breakfast tea and a Scottish Shortbread Cookie

When beans on toast is eaten as part of a weekend breakfast, it’s usually accompanied by fried eggs. In fact, beans are a common component of a Full English Breakfast. In this case, the beans are usually served in a separate dish rather than assembled on toast. 

While usually served plain, you can make your beans on toast extra posh with a sprinkle of fresh herbs, which I highly recommend. 

Yield: Serves 3

Beans on Toast (British Style)

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes

Beans on toast is a very common and popular British breakfast or side dish for lunch or dinner. This is a very simple yet satisfying recipe that's naturally vegetarian and vegan. Serve it alone or as part of a full English breakfast.

A thick slice of rustic toast topped with baked beans sits on a small plate in a white kitchen. This is classic British beans on toast recipe.


  • 3 Slices thickly sliced rustic bread (I use sourdough)
  • 1 (13 oz.) can Heinz British Beans with tomato sauce*
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro, for ganish (optional)


  1. Place your sliced bread into a toaster, toaster oven, or onto a grill and cook until toasty. Sliced rustic sourdough on a cutting board in a white kitchen.
  2. Pour the beans and sauce into a small saucepan. Bring to a low simmer over low heat. Do not bring to a boil or add any water as this will affect the flavor. Stir gently until hot. Alternatively, pour the beans and sauce into a microwave-safe container and cover with a paper towel. Microwave for about 2 minutes until hot. Heinz British beans simmer gently in a small saucepan on the stove.
  3. Spoon the warmed beans onto the slices of toast. Garnish with herbs if desired. Enjoy warm. Heinz beans in tomato sauce is spooned onto a slice of toast with a wooden spoon.


You can top your beans on toast with a fried egg, herbs, pepper, or tomatoes, or even add it to a Full English Breakfast.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 118Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 536mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.