Vegan baked beans do not contain any animal products, such as pork fat or pieces of bacon, which are both frequently used to flavor traditional baked beans. This is a dish frequently eaten on the side at barbecues or when camping because it is flavorful, filling, and relatively easy to make. In general, anything labeled as "vegetarian" baked beans can also be considered vegan baked beans, because dairy is not a usual ingredient in baked beans unless cheese is added for some reason, which is not particularly common. This dish can be purchased pre-made in a can and simply heated up, or it may be homemade to adjust the seasonings.
In general, vegan baked beans are made with navy beans or pinto beans. Purchased dry, these will need to be pre-soaked and then cooked before being made into baked beans. If they are purchased in a can, they will just need to be heated, which is slightly easier but generally a bit more expensive. Anyone making large batches of baked beans, such as for a picnic, will probably want to purchase dry beans in bulk. The rest of the ingredients added to the baked beans are largely related to personal preference, but they usually include a mixture of spicy and sweet flavors for a nice balance.
Onion and garlic powder, as well as dry mustard, can be easy ways to season the beans; fresh ingredients can work as well, but they should be chopped very small. Ingredients such as tomato paste or tomato sauce, molasses, and soy sauce are often used to make the sauce. Some people will also add olive oil, or cider vinegar, for different flavors. To sweeten it, brown sugar can also be added; in a pinch, ketchup can even be used for a little additional flavor. There are a number of different recipes for vegan baked beans to be found simply by searching online, but this is a dish that is easy to experiment with.
Generally, once the actual beans are cooked through, making vegan baked beans is as simple as mixing all of the seasonings and sauce ingredients together in a pot, and heating it up. These can be reheated as well, which is part of what makes them a good choice for camping. This dish is also a great source of protein as well as fiber, which is important for anyone following a vegan or vegetarian diet, since eating enough protein can be more of a challenge.