Frugal Recipe: Vegetarian Pork and Beans

A few weeks ago I published a recipe for pork and baked beans. It’s a brilliant recipe, really frugal and tasty but not suitable for vegetarians, obviously. The clue is in the word “pork”. Anyhow, as a vegetarian I was a bit jealous of this homely dish and decided to make a version I could enjoy. I made a few changes and I was so pleased with how it turned out, I’ve decided to share my recipe for vegetarian pork and beans.

The basic recipe is much the same, but having considered my options, I swapped out the diced pork for Quorn cocktail sausages and the smoked bacon for Quorn bacon. If I’m honest, I didn’t love the Quorn bacon in the dish. It didn’t add any flavour, the texture was a bit meh and next time I make it I’ll probably leave it out entirely, or cook it separately and drape it artistically over the top. If you’re missing a bit of the smoky flavour, you could add a bit of barbecue sauce to the mix.

This recipe for Vegetarian Pork and Beans is so simple, it’s the kind of thing you can throw together and leave to bubble away gently in an oven for a few hours. Once it’s cooked, you can eat it straight away or divide it up into portions and freeze it.

Frugal Recipe: Vegetarian Pork and Beans

It makes a great lunch on thick toast, or would be great with a pile of buttery mash. I’m looking forward to having it later with a crispy fried egg on top!

This recipe is easy to make vegan, just swap out the Quorn cocktail sausages for your favourite vegan sausage and enjoy!

Vegetarian Pork and Beans


500g dried haricot beans, soaked for 24 hours
1 tablespoon oil, I used vegetable, but use what you have
2 packets of Quorn cocktail sausages
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1/2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons of dried mixed herbs
Salt and pepper
1 pint of stock, made with a stock cube
4 rashers of Quorn bacon, chopped (optional)

How to make your Vegetarian Pork and Beans:

The day before you want to cook your Vegetarian Pork and Beans, soak your dried haricot beans in plenty of water, following the instructions on the back of the packet. Once they’ve soaked for 24 hours, change the water and boil them for half an hour, or until they’re not chalky inside. Drain and set aside.

Put all of the ingredients into a lidded casserole dish, don’t add the salt at this stage, the economy stock cubes I used were pretty salty, so it’s worth waiting until near the end to taste and see if you need to add more salt. Stir the pot gently and put into an oven at 160° for 2-3 hours. Make sure you give it a stir every half hour or so.

Ideally the sauce should be thick and it should look, smell and taste good. It might only take two hours for your beans to get to the right consistency, it might take nearer 3 hours. Just keep an eye on it and use your judgement. The beans should be tender and creamy inside. If the sauce gets too thick, you can always add a splash of water to loosen it.

Taste the sauce. Add more of whatever you think it needs, now is the time to add the salt if you think it needs it. Serve it however you like, it’s great on toast for lunch or piled on top of mashed potato. It’s a hearty dish, perfect for a winter warm up and ideal if you’re feeling frugal.

If you enjoyed this, you might like to try these vegetarian recipes:

Frugal Recipe: Vegetarian Pork and Beans

Our Mexican Feast – food from Old El Paso

As a family one of our favourite quick and easy evening meals is fajitas. Usually our fajita evenings consist of an Old El Paso fajita kit, some potato wedges, and as much salad, avocado and guacamole we can lay our hands on. I’m a veggie so we usually load the fajitas up with really well cooked vegetables and some sliced up soya burgers for a bit of protein. It’s a popular, sociable meal which we will all happily eat, it feels like a bit of a treat, but with all those veggies it’s a pretty healthy one.

I was sent a box of things to try from Old El Paso, and with Mexican food being a casual, social affair, we invited some friends around to join us for a fiesta feast!

Old El Paso

I’d never seen the “Stand ‘N’ Stuff” soft taco kit before, it contains boat shaped soft tortila shells which you fill up with whatever you want. It also contains a packet of salsa style sauce and a sachet of flavour powder. All you do is brown some mince (I used Quorn), add a drop of water and stir through the flavour powder, it is ridiculously quick and really tasty. It had a really lovely smoky BBQ flavour which would I imagine work even better with minced beef. I really, really liked these and would definitely have these again instead of our usual fajitas.

The pack also included a packet of chilli flavour mix. We are big chilli fans and I’ve been eating chilli since my fairly exotic Nan started giving it to us for our tea in the early 1980s. I love chilli and know a good one from a bad one,  this was lovely. I followed the instructions on the packet to the letter, but again used Quorn instead of minced beef. I would use this flavour packet again, maybe next time I’d add more chopped tomatoes for a slightly wetter chilli and cook it for longer to allow the flavours to develop further. 

Old El Paso

We also tried a jar of salsa – a store cupboard staple for us, and this was a lovely accompaniment to our tacos, likewise the guacamole, it’s nice to have an ambient one for the times when you just can’t make your own. Hubs who likes  a bit of heat enjoyed most of the jar of jalapeños. I wasn’t brave enough to try them and I don’t think the small boy is ready for chillies just yet. 

Old El Paso

It was a fine feast, we all ate and ate well. The shape of the soft tacos was a bit of a game changer for me, it worked really well for the small boy too, there was less food down his top than usual which is always a good sign. Old El Paso seem to have really expanded their range recently, with more taco and flavour options, I’ll be keeping an eye out for new things to try from them. 

As a family we can’t really go wrong with Mexican food, it’s so easy to eat and secretly healthy and a great way to get veg into the boys without any fuss. All that was missing were the margaritas! 

Note: We were sent a selection of Old El Paso products to try for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.