How to Thicken Beans: 4 Easy Ways You Can Do (A Guide)

Published Categorized as Guide, Ingredients

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Baked beans are a brilliantly hearty dish that you can buy in cans or make from scratch. They are delicious while also being very healthy and high in fiber. The only issue is, whether you are making them yourself or are buying canned baked beans, they can sometimes be too watery. No one wants runny beans, so the best thing to do is thicken them. You can thicken baked beans at home with a few different methods.

How to Thicken Beans: 3 Easy Ways You Can Do (A Guide)

Table of Contents

How Do You Thicken Baked Beans?

If you have made the mistake of adding too much water into your baked beans, or maybe the can you bought was just too watery, you may be wondering if you can save them or if you might have to throw them? Thankfully, you can quite easily salvage baked beans and revive them back to being how good they should be. Thickening baked beans is easy if you know what you are doing.

Add Cornstarch

No one likes watery beans, and cooking baked beans is so easy that you may be tempted to throw them away and make some more with hopefully less excess liquid. No matter how bad your thin baked beans are, if you have any cornstarch available, you will be able to fix them.

To revive your watery beans, you will want to make a cornstarch slurry out of 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and a cup of water. Mix these together until you are left with a full dissolved cup of cornstarch slurry. It is important to be thorough as any lumps in your cornstarch are going to go straight into the baked beans.

Once the two ingredients are properly mixed together, slowly pour the slurry into your baked beans and continuously mix. Once the baked beans are at your desired thickness, you can stop pouring. Thicker beans are good, but overly thick beans are not.

Other alternatives you have for this are;

  • Potato starch
  • Tapioca flour
  • Arrowroot starch
  • Xanthan gum
  • Tapioca starch
How to Thicken Beans: 3 Easy Ways You Can Do (A Guide)

Use Flour and Butter

If you are all out of any starch ingredients, you can use either flour or butter as a thickening agent instead. The best type of flour for this will be instant flour or plain flour. There is no noticeable flavor that will be left in your baked beans, and it will result in a similar texture to golden syrup if you use the right amount.

Soft butter can also be used if added in small amounts to slightly thicken your baked beans. It is best to use unsalted instead of salted butter as we are trying to thicken beans, not change the flavor.

Let The Pot Simmer

The main reason your beans are not at your desired thickness is that they are too watery. A great way to remove excess moisture content from a dish such as baked beans is to simmer them overheat. It is best for you to use a low and slow simmer as this will not burn or ruin your beans.

Give the beans a slow simmer, uncovered, while all the excess liquid simmers away and leaves you the best-baked beans with a sauce thicker than it initially was. While the beans simmer, all the liquid will go; it is simple and easy. A surefire way to revive your watery and gross beans.

Mash the Beans

As long as you have a potato masher and a can-do attitude, mashed beans are achievable for you. While it is a lot different from adding instant flour or letting the beans simmer, mashing the beans with a potato masher will open them up, allowing them to thicken the liquid naturally. It takes some work, but if done properly, there should be a noticeable difference in texture and consistency.

What Are Baked Beans?

Baked beans are a dish that is very quick to make and can be bought in cans almost anywhere. The beans used are mostly haricot beans and are served in a thick tomato sauce or tomato paste. Initially, the beans are parboiled and then baked and simmered.

This dish goes great as a side dish and is very popular to pair with breakfast food such as scrambled eggs and toast. While this may not sound too appealing, baked beans can also be purchased in a barbecue sauce that adds a brilliant flavor to them. They are not the most complex dish, but they are reliable, hearty, and easy to make. As mentioned, if they are too watery when you make them, you can use any thickening agents to help correct their consistency.

How To Avoid Watery Baked Beans

While it may sound obvious, the best way to thicken baked beans is to not make them watery at all. This can be done while you make them, as you will have to ensure that not too much liquid is added to them.

Go Slow with the Liquid

When adding liquid to your baked beans, even if a recipe you are following says to use a certain amount of water, add it gently. You may find that you do not need that much. Carelessly adding water without going slowly can lead to an excess of water that is going to affect the final result of all your effort.

Strain Any Excess Liquid

While it may sound unappealing, if you are really worried that your beans are too watery, you can strain some of the liquid into a sieve. It is best to have a bowl underneath to catch all of the liquid so that you can add it back to your beans slowly and only add the right amount.

How to Thicken Beans: 3 Easy Ways You Can Do (A Guide)

Should You Thicken Baked Beans?

While cooking is not always simple, baked beans typically are. With that being said, mistakes can happen, and it can be easy for you to accidentally make your baked beans too watery. After you have spent this much time and effort making the beans, thickening them should be seen more as an additional step instead of a chore. There is no point throwing them out, so keep trying to perfect the consistency, and you will eventually get there.

FAQs On Baked Beans

How do you fix runny baked beans?

Fixing runny baked beans is insanely easy and can be done by anyone. The main fix for this is using a thickening agent such as cornstarch. Mix it with water first, and then slowly add this mixture to your beans. It is important not to add too much; otherwise, they will be too thick.

How can I thicken beans without cornstarch?

Without cornstarch, you will want to add flour or butter to your baked beans. Xanthan gum and other starches also work without changing the flavor of your beans. Finally, you can simmer beans at low heat to remove excess liquid.

How do you thicken watery pinto beans?

Thickening watery pinto beans only require a thickening agent such as cornstarch. It is best to mix this with water thoroughly to avoid any lumps making their way into the beans.

How do I make my bean broth thicker?

Any thickening agent such as cornstarch or flour can be used to thicken a broth. It is best to use something flavorless to ensure that only the texture changes and not the entirety of the dish.