Bloody Mary Beans

Now I love a Bloody Mary as much as the next (hungover) person. Rich, savoury and just the right side of spicy; it quenches your thirst, replenishes your sodium levels and gets you very slightly drunk again if you have 2 and are a total lightweight like me. But the one thing a Bloody Mary doesn’t do is fill the aching void of your hungry tummy. This is where the beans come in.

I’ve had a lot of homemade baked beans recently, they’ve been popping up at all kinds of trendy looking cafe’s and although some are pretty good I’m yet to be blown away by any. Some have big chunks of chopped tinned tomato in (not a fan – in beans or Bloody Mary’s) and some and just plain bland. But not these beans.

These Bloody Mary Beans retain all the great qualities of the drink but with the bonus addition of also being a healthy and satisfying food. They are so quick and easy to knock up too, I tend to have the ingredients in my cupboard so can make them on demand. They’re additionally an excellent way to use up any slightly old looking spring onions and celery that may be languishing in your veg drawer. Just remove any papery outer layers of spring onion and trim the celery and it’s goodbye to waste and hello to yummy breakfast.

I must admit I was skeptical about the addition of vodka to a tomato sauce. Why waste good alcohol in a pot of beans? It’s not like vodka actually tastes of anything – what’s the point? Well I did some research and apparently the point is that the vodka “brings out some flavours from the tomatoes that can’t be released with just water or fat”. So there you go – it does make it taste better because: science. Good enough for me. If you’re in any doubt, or if you’re out of vodka ’cause you drank it all the night before – no fear they still taste great without it.

I like them served on hot toast rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil, maybe with some Garlic Cashew Sauce (recipe here) spooned on the side. But maybe that’s just because I’ve been hanging around trendy cafe’s too long. They taste equally good spooned straight from the pan.



Bloody Mary Beans

Serves: 4, or 2 very hungry/hungover people

Cooking time: 25 minutes


  • 5-6 spring onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed or other light oil
  • 400g tin of butter beans (235g drained weight)
  • 400g passata
  • 1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
  • a good dash of vegan Worcester sauce
  • tabasco – to taste
  • 1 shot of vodka (optional)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Finely chop the spring onions, garlic and celery. Put the oil into a medium saucepan over a low heat.
  2. Cook for 5-10 minutes until softened but not coloured.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan (starting off conservatively with the tabasco – you can always add more!) Adjust the seasoning as needed.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes, turning the heat up initially so that the sauce bubbles and then reducing it to a simmer. You want the passata to reduce down slightly.
  5. If you have other elements of your breakfast or brunch to prepare the beans will happily simmer away over a low heat until needed. Equally they taste great when reheated as leftovers.


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