Vegan Calico Beans

To me, beans are a staple at summer picnics and social gatherings.  They were always a favorite of mine growing up, and I admit I enjoyed them more than the hot dogs.  Most of them contain some form of meat, but I have created an equally delicious version that doesn’t.  I even add in some tempeh for extra protein and texture in place of the meat along with the beans and some liquid smoke so you do not miss the bacon.  Instead of loads of sugar, I add just a little molasses and maple syrup, and it is plenty sweet without being sugary.  Serve this heart healthy version of calico beans at your next gathering along with the other classics, and everyone will be happy since this is vegan, gluten free and dairy free as well as being delicious!

Author: Amy

Amy currently works in our deli contributing to the variety of healthful foods we offer. She graduated with a degree in studio art from Bethel University in 2007, but in her senior year of college, found that her passion was with the art of food. She later used her photography and culinary skills to create a vegan dessert and food blog, Fragrant Vanilla Cake. She is also a cookbook author, of the books Just Vegan Cakes, Fragrant Vanilla Cake: Sweet and Savory and Rawlicious Desserts. She specializes in raw, vegan and vegetarian recipes. Local,fresh and organic food has always been her focus in whatever she creates.



Add the onion and tempeh to a large stockpot with the olive oil, and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until softened and starting to brown stirring often. Add the garlic, tomatoes, mustard, liquid smoke, tamari, vinegar, syrup, molasses, and sea salt and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes until slightly reduced, then add the beans, and cook for another 15 -20 until the beans have absorbed the flavor. Serve warm.

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Recipe Type

  • Allergen Friendly
  • Dairy-Free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Heart Healthy
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian

Course Type

  • Side Dish

Skill Level

  • Beginner
  • Easy