Vegan Barbecue Tips and Spicy Baked Beans Recipe (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Spicy Baked Beans

Barbecues and other types of gatherings centered on food can pose as quite the challenge for vegans. What can you eat? What can’t you eat? As a flexi-vegan, I do tend to be a little more relaxed when it comes to parties and going out to restaurants. I will eat vegan if there are vegan-friendly dishes available. If not, I opt for at least vegetarian. I may have a taste or two of non-vegan dishes just to see what it tastes like. You may be stricter than I, but this happens to be the type of philosophy that fits best for my individual situation at the moment.

One really great thing about parties though is that they are often potlucks, meaning that you can bring a vegan dish to share! If nothing else at the table is vegan, you can at least count on having your dish to fill you up! Luckily, fruit salads, vegetable trays with hummus, chips, and salad greens are all vegan and very popular go-to choices for potlucks. However, for some, these might not be filling enough for a meal.

If you are attending an outdoor barbecue this summer, or any other event where burgers will be grilled, remember to bring your own veggie patty. I like Boca burgers, which cost about $4.00 for a pack of four. With vegetarianism becoming more popular, you will likely not be the only one to BYOB (bring your own burger).

Avocado Potato SaladIf you aren’t into burgers, there are plenty of other vegan side dishes you could eat for protein. This Mexican Quinoa Salad from Minimalist Baker is a tasty choice! Or, fill up on a few potatoes, which contain 4 grams of protein each, with this Creamy Avocado Potato Salad from the Detoxinista (pictured left). Lastly, you could also check out this baked beans recipe that I made for my cooking club at the local senior center this month.

This recipe is very easy, but takes some time to cook. However, after putting it in the oven, you don’t have to check on it very often. Simply add more water if the bean mixture becomes too dry. Alternatively, the beans can be “baked” in a slow cooker or rice cooker. I cooked my beans in my ricer cooker and use the steam to cook my potatoes for the avocado potato salad recipe I mentioned above. Multi-tasking at its best!

Baked beans

Recipe: Baked Beans (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Serves 8

Adapted from Dizzy Busy Hungry


  • 2 cups navy beans (soak them in water overnight and then rinse thoroughly), or canned beans
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce
  • ¾ cup finely chopped yellow onion


  1. Place the beans in a pot over medium-high heat and cover them with about an inch of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender, about an hour (I used a rice cooker for this). Skip this step if using canned beans.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C).
  3. Combine the molasses, salt, pepper, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and chili sauce in a bowl.
  4. Drain the beans and place in a casserole dish with the onion. Pour the molasses mixture over the beans and then add water so that the beans are just covered with liquid.
  5. Cover the casserole dish and bake about 3 hours, checking periodically to make sure the beans aren’t drying out. Bake additional 15 minutes for a thicker liquid. You could also use a slow cooker (6-8 hours on low), or a rice cooker (my rice cooker will stop after most liquid is boiled out, but yours may be different).

Coming up next: I’ve been experimenting with cornbread and also want to make some vegan corn dogs for a coworker of mine. I made my first batch today with molasses. We’ll see how the next few experiments turn out.

Molasses Cornbread


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