Barbecue Bean and Cornbread Bake

  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 6 cups

With a cornbread crust, this surprisingly easy vegan bean casserole is comfort food at its most nourishing. Serve it with a crunchy slaw whenever you’re in the mood for a little barbecue flavor.


  • 2 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 15-oz. cans no-salt-added cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz. can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup low-sugar barbecue sauce
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pure cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened plant milk, such as almond, soy, cashew, or rice
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large nonstick skillet cook the first five ingredients (through garlic) over medium 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally and adding water, 1 to 2 Tbsp. at a time, as needed to prevent sticking.
  2. In a 2-qt. baking dish combine cooked vegetables, beans, tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, and 3 tsp. of the vinegar. Bake, covered, 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, for topping, in a small bowl stir together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another small bowl combine milk, applesauce, and the remaining 1 tsp. vinegar. Add milk mixture all at once to cornmeal mixture; stir just until combined. Spoon batter into four mounds on top of hot bean mixture.
  4. Bake 20 minutes more or until filling is bubbly and a toothpick inserted in topping comes out clean. Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with green onions.

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about the author

Carla Christian

Carla Christian, RD, LD, received her associate’s degree in culinary arts from The Culinary Institute of America in 2006 and her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Michigan State University in 2009. She finished her dietetic internship from The University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2010 and is a former chef in the Better Homes and Gardens® Test Kitchen. Photo by Jason Donnelly

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