Butter bean bake with cous cous.

Butter bean in tomato sauce bake is cheap, healthy, and practical.

Who says vegetarian food cant be exciting?

This butter bean in a tomato sauce recipe has been one of my favourite dishes to cook for years. Its high in protein, has several of your 5 a day, and is incredibly cheap. Better yet, its so versatile that you can make it your own by making it spicy or adding other ingredients such as mushrooms.

This dish comes in two parts, the butter beans in a tomato sauce and the cous cous. As the butter bean dish has to be baked, it is always better to start there, so you can prepare the cous cous while it is cooking.

Ingredients – Butter bean bake in a tomato sauce

2 onions finely chopped.

1 pepper finely chopped.

A few cloves of garlic finely chopped.

2 cans of butter beans.

2 cans of chopped tomatoes.



Mixed herbs.

Chicken stock also works well in the cous cous, if you aren’t looking to keep the dish purely vegetarian.

I know what some of you are thinking…CANNED BUTTER BEANS? You are more than welcome to buy fresh, though I have found that soaking them for 12-24 hours can be impractical.

One of the best things about this dish is that the ingredients keep for a long period of time (especially the canned items) so it is something you can always heave ready to cook when you need it.


Finely chop the onions, pepper, and garlic and fry in a pan with olive oil for several minutes.

Drain the butter beans and add to the pan. Be careful not to fry for too long as butter beans can lose their structure and disintegrate. 

Once the beans have fried for a few minutes you will want to add the tinned tomatoes to the pan. I always try and buy high quality tinned tomatoes as they don’t contain as much water.

I will usually add some mixed herbs, pepper, and a sprinkle of paprika, though this is down to personal preference.

Let the beans cook for 5-10 minutes on a medium heat and simmer for a while.

Add to a baking tray and sprinkle a layer of cheese.

Put in the oven for 30 minutes on the centre tray to avoid the cheese getting burned.

The oven should be on around 180 degrees.

While the beans are cooking it is time to do the cous cous.

Cous Cous ingredients.

1 mug of cous cous.

2 onions finely chopped.

1 pepper finely chopped.

A few cloves of garlic finely chopped.

Chicken stock with some boiling water (or vegetable stock if you are looking to keep it purely vegetarian)



Mixed Herbs.

Fry the onions, pepper, and garlic in the pan for several minutes.

Add the cous cous and fry for a little longer.

As the cous cous mixes and cooks with the onions and garlic, add some chicken stock to a jug of boiling water. Cous cous doesn’t need much water and the less water you use in the jug the more flavour you will get with the chicken stock.

Pour the chicken stock in with the cous cous a little bit at a time until the texture feels right. Remember, too much water will cause the cous cous to go soggy.

Fry while stirring for several minutes.

Sprinkle a pinch of paprika, mixed herbs, and some pepper into the cous cous and stir then you are finished. I will sometimes pour over a small amount of olive oil too.
Once the butter beans are finished in the oven, take them out and let it sit on the side with some foil on top.

This is a dish which keeps in the fridge really well for a few days. It is great to reheat and is something I use for lunches at work. Being 6’4 and 230 lbs I often have trouble with finding a healthy lunch which sustains me throughout the day but my butter bean recipe will always keep me full until dinner time without fail.

This is a versatile dish which can be changed to stay fresh too. I occasionally add chickpeas, spices, chillies, or have it with rice or pasta instead of cous cous.

Sometimes I like to change it up. Here is an example of my butter beans with some chickpeas and rice.

I hope you enjoy my recipe. Please let me know how you get on cooking it in The Cambridge Foodies group.

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