Beans on Toast

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These beans on toast are amazingly satisfying, easy to make, and versatile. The combination of crispy garlic bread and fluffy smoky beans makes a wonderful light supper, lunch, snack, or appetizer.

Published Feb 2020/updated Nov 28, 2023

Close-up of four serving of beans on toast over a total white background.

Beans on toast? I’m sharing this recipe as I make these scrumptious beans with toast multiple times a week. It’s a no-brainer, economical, and, most importantly, incredibly delicious! 

But let me start by saying this is not your typical British beans on toast recipe. You may not expect to use fresh garlic, smoked paprika, and olive oil as ingredients. This is a Mediterranean-style beans on toast recipe similar to an Italian bruschetta.

And it tastes SO good.

You’ll have crunchy bread + fresh garlic + white beans + thyme. All drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Simple ingredients and big flavors, and it’s ready on the table in less than 20 minutes!

The white beans are cooked with aromatic, smoked paprika, thyme, and chili flakes for a touch of heat. The bread is toasted and rubbed with fresh garlic to maximize its amazing flavor. Finally, smash the beans, drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil, and spoon them over the still-warm toasted bread.

Serve it as a light meal for a quick lunch or dinner or a delightful vegan appetizer for your gatherings. You’re going to love it, seriously.

If you love to jazz up your ordinary beans on toast, this easy recipe is for you!

List of the ingredients

  • White beans
  • Rustic bread
  • Smoked paprika
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Thyme
  • Extra virgin olive oil & salt
  • Chili flakes (optional)
The ingredients to make beans on toast are arranged over a white background.

How to make beans on toast

(Note: this is a quick description; the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)

  • In a skillet, saute’ onion until soft.
  • Stir in the paprika, beans, chili flakes, thyme, and salt.
  • Cook for about 8 minutes, taste, and adjust the seasoning.
Close-up of a blue plate full of fluffy beans.
  • Toast the slices of bread until golden and crispy.
  • Rub the toasted bread with fresh garlic (don’t skip this step!).
  • Spoon the beans over the toast.
  • Drizzle with more oil and scatter over thyme and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
Close-up of some beans on toast and a baguette with garlic cloves oil the background.

Recipe Notes

Beans on toast ingredients & substitutions

Beans: I love cannellini beans with their fluffy texture, but navy beans, baked beans, haricot beans, and heinz beans work, too, if it’s all you have. I used canned beans for convenience here, but you can use dried/soaked/cooked beans instead of canned. 

Bread: Crusty artisanal bread such as sourdough or ciabatta makes a huge difference, but sliced toasted bread works, too. Whatever bread you choose, you‘ll want it crusty and crispy.

Onion or shallot: to add extra flavor.

Paprika: It lends a lovely smoky flavor.

Garlic: Fresh garlic rubbed on toast makes the garlic flavor bloom! Feel free to adjust the quantity to your liking.

Extra virgin olive oil: This is the best vegetable oil that Italians use for just about everything. But feel free to use butter or vegan butter to cook the beans if it’s all you have on hand.

Herbs: I love fresh thyme here, but any fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or cilantro (aka coriander) work well with white beans. You want fresh, big flavors.

Chili flakes (aka red pepper flakes): For a delicious touch of heat, it’s optional.

Sea salt & pepper: make sure the flavor pops, and adjust the seasoning to your taste.

Close-up of some beans on toast over a black background.

Tips for the best beans on toast

  • I recommend using good-quality bread such as artisanal or sourdough bread. I used a seeded whole-grain baguette and I used a bread knife to slice it. Regular sliced white bread is fine if it’s all you have on hand, but it’s not as good as its rustic counterpart.
  • Toast your bread in the oven or in a frying pan with just a few drops of olive oil for a lovely nutty flavor.
  • Make sure you taste the cooked beans and adjust the flavor with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, more chilli flakes or freshly ground black pepper if you like.
  • Smashing half of the cooked beans makes a nicer topping and keeps the beans together when you bite your toast, and they don’t fall all over!

Storage tips

Leftover beans keep well in the fridge, stored in airtight container, for up to 3 days. The are also freezable. Just make sure to bring them to room temperature before serving.

Beans on toast over a black background.

More bean recipes you’ll love!

And if you make this beans on toast recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it or tag a photo #theclevermeal on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!

Delicious smoky beans on toast.
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Beans on toast

These beans on toast are amazingly satisfying, easy to make, and versatile. The combination of crispy garlic bread and fluffy smoky beans makes a wonderful side dish, snack, or appetizer.
Recipe yields about 6 regular toasted bread slices or 8 smaller ciabatta/baguette slices.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian
Keyword: beans on toast
Servings: 6
Calories: 120kcal
Author: Katia


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 can (15oz-420 grams) cannellini beans, drained
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes, or more to taste (optional) (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves
  • 2 garlic, cloves
  • 6 or 8 slices rustic bread, toasted or grilled (or 6 slices of toasted bread)


  • Toast the bread: Using your oven or toaster, toast the slices of bread until crispy and golden. Alternatively, you can toast them in a skillet with a little of olive oil.
  • Cook the beans: Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion cook for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. 
  • Add smoked paprika and give a good stir, then add the drained beans, thyme, chili, and salt, stir well and cook for a further 8 minutes stirring every now and then.
  • Turn the heat off, smash the beans partially using the back of a fork or a wooden spoon, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. This is when I drizzle over a bit of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Assemble beans on toast: Right before serving, rub the toasted bread with fresh garlic, top with a spoon of smoky beans a pinch of chili (optional). Enjoy it!


Nutrition facts: Please note that the nutrition values are based on an online nutrition calculator.  It’s an estimate only and it should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. The nutrition values are for 1 serving.


Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 0.2mg | Sodium: 179mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 59IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2mg


  1. 5 stars
    This was so good! My family loved it. We had it on full size pieces of homemade bread with a salad for dinner. I used a smoked olive oil to give it an extra smoky flavor. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. That sounds delicious! Thanks so much for sharing your lovely feedback. x

  2. This recipe looks amazing. IS this best served warm or cold?

    1. Glad you like the recipe, Mario! Warm is best. Cheers!

  3. 5 stars
    Used dried bean and threw it all in the instantpot. Delicious. Put on top of some naan and topped with parmesean. A new favorite.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that! That’s one of my fav lunches, super easy.
      Thanks for sharing your lovely feedback. x

  4. 4 stars
    I made this yesterday for some vegan friends and they really enjoyed it – even the non-vegans! I used gluten free bread which I couldn’t get to crisp but it was still delicious. Mashing the beans helped them stay on the toast. Thank you for the recipe.

    1. You’re so welcome, Annella! I’m so glad your friends enjoyed it, thank you for the feedback x

  5. 5 stars
    Super yummy! Thank you so much for the recipe!!

    1. I’m glad you liked it! Thanks for your comment 😊

    2. 5 stars
      Delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

    3. Thanks for your feedback, I’m so glad you liked it! 😊

    1. Thank you, please let me know if you make them! 🙂

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