Let Caramelized Onions Transform Beans On Toast Into A Totally New Dish

Beans on toast is a hearty, satisfying dish that attracts a lot of fans. If you are from the United States, you may not have had the meal. A simple combination of saucy baked beans from a can poured over toasted bread that has been slathered in butter, beans on toast is extremely popular in England, where it is lauded for its affordability and nutrient-dense ingredients. If traditional beans on toast does not entice you, however, we recommend transforming it into something a bit more approachable by adding caramelized onions.

Caramelized onions pair well with beans on toast for two reasons: complementary flavor and contrasting texture. While raw onions have a sharp, almost bitter taste, they become sweet and tangy when they are caramelized. This flavor works well with the similar ones found in the tomato sauce that coats the beans as well as the mild and creamy flavor of the beans themselves. Meanwhile, the soft, almost jammy strings of onion provide a welcome juxtaposition to the starchy texture of the beans, making each bite more complex and nuanced. What you end up getting from this combination is a balanced and unique toast that you can't help but keep eating.

How to add caramelized onions to beans

Making proper beans on toast with this twist begins by picking the perfect onions for the job. The best type of onion for caramelizing is the Spanish onion thanks to its natural sweetness and low sulfur content. Slice the onions thin and take your time gently sauteeing them until they are golden brown and tender. Then, add your beans to the pan so that they can warm up and begin to meld with the onions. Once heated through, slather the mixture onto a slice of your favorite buttered toast.

Experimenting with unique takes on such a timeless meal opens the door for you to continue making creative iterations. Since this recipe contains quite tame flavors overall, you can always add more seasonings to take it in a brand-new direction. For example, you can add Italian herbs and aromatics like rosemary and garlic for a ribollita-inspired gourmet beans on toast. Alternatively, add some red pepper flakes or Calabrian chiles to give the dish an enticing kick. If you want a heavier meal, you can also add a sprinkling of cheese or stir in a bit of bacon or ham in the style of American baked beans. Don't be afraid to play around and find the recipe that works best for you and your palate.