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Baked potatoes with smoky beans

4 servings


20 minutes

active time

1 hour 20 minutes

total time


4 tbsp / 60 ml olive oil, divided

4 large baking potatoes (approx. 350 g / 12½ oz each)

coarse salt

1 medium onion, very finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped (plus one extra* for potatoes)

2 small bay leaves

1 tsp cumin powder

2-3 tsp smoked paprika (I like them smoky so I use 3)

salt and pepper, to taste

2 x 400 g / 14 oz canned tomatoes (I like plum tomatoes best)

30 ml / 2 tbsp maple syrup* or light and dark muscovado sugar, adjust to taste

5 ml / 1 tsp backstrap molasses

20 ml / 4 tsp apple cider vinegar, adjust to taste

20 ml / 4 tsp Dijon mustard, adjust to taste

15 ml / 1 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari if GF)

10 ml / 2 tsp vegan Worcester sauce

1 dried ancho chilli* (optional SEE NOTES)

2 x 400 g canned white kidney beans or homecooked*

chopped fresh coriander (or parsley) to garnish

vegan cream to garnish, shop-bought or homemade


Heat up the oven to 200° C / 390° F. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil on a deep baking tray. Clean potatoes and dry them really well, next pierce all over with a skewer or a small sharp knife and roll them in the olive oil, sprinkle with coarse salt and place on a baking tray.

Bake for about 45 minutes, after 45 minutes, whack the oven temperature to 220° C / 425° F and carry on baking for another 15 minutes, until the skin is taut and crispy and the potatoes are dark brown (but not burnt).

Immediately after you take the potatoes out of the oven, cut through the skin (I found that wearing an oven mitt on my non dominant hand helps) so that the steam can escape, otherwise the skin will start to go soggy. Because time is of the essence here, I take the potatoes out of the oven one by one, quickly make a long cut across the length and then make another cut perpendicular to it in a second pass. I open the potato just a little so that the steam doesn't get trapped inside.

Gently prise each potato open and using a fork, fluff the inside up by adding a bit of olive oil (or vegan butter), followed by salt and pepper.

Heat up oil in a pan, once hot add diced onion and fry off on a low-medium heat until soft and translucent (about 10 minutes). Next add in garlic and bay leaves - fry for a few minutes stirring frequently as garlic burns easily.

Next, add cumin powder, smoked paprika, some black pepper and a generous pinch of salt. Fry them off for a few seconds, stirring frequently.

Add canned tomatoes. If using plum tomatoes, add one can at a time, squashing the whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Add a can's worth (about 500 ml / 2 cups) of water to the pan. Stir everything well and allow it to simmer gently for about 20 minutes.

Give everything a good stir every 20 minutes (I find that the sauce takes about 60 minutes of simmering time) and squash down any stubborn tomato pieces you see. As soon as the pan is starting to look dry but the tomatoes are still quite chunky, add more water (I add about 1 litre / 4 cups in total).

Once all the tomatoes have broken down nicely (see photo) and the sauce is thick and uniform, season with maple syrup, molasses, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, soy sauce, vegan Worcester sauce and blitzed ancho chilli (if using). You will probably need to add quite a bit more salt too - go by your palate. Finally, add cooked beans and allow the entire pot to simmer for 10 more minutes or so.


Serving Size




Total Fat

12.49 g

Saturated Fat

1.64 g

Unsaturated Fat

10.85 g

Trans Fat

0 g


0 mg


583.15 mg

Total Carbohydrate

70.69 g

Dietary Fiber

12.9 g

Total Sugars

11.8 g


11.73 g

4 servings


20 minutes

active time

1 hour 20 minutes

total time
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