Baked Beans Are The Unexpected Pizza Topping You've Been Missing Out On

Pizza and baked beans
Pizza and baked beans - Static Media / Shutterstock

Piled high on a fully loaded baked potato or scattered generously over a slice of buttered toast, baked beans are a British pantry staple. These fork-tender navy beans, which are cooked in a tomato sauce with seasonings before canning, have a multitude of scrumptious uses. However, one of the most unexpected ones is to employ them as a pizza topping.

Commercially produced baked beans are cooked in a steamer (rather than baked as their name would suggest), which lends them a comfortingly soft texture. This yielding characteristic is dreamy when combined with the gooey cheese pull of a freshly baked pizza. Baked beans also contain heaps of protein (a whopping 10 grams per 200-gram serving), which makes them a great alternative to meaty toppings, such as pepperoni, that have a high-fat content and can leave a pizza tasting greasy and heavy.

These vegetarian-friendly beans are steamed with a touch of sugar, which imbues a subtle sweetness into their accompanying sauce. When scattered over the flavorful, charred crust of a pizza that features chewy air pockets, this tomato-based sauce provides just enough moisture to bring the melty cheese and toppings together without creating a soggy base. Concerned about the levels of added salt and sugar in canned beans? A simple fix is to make your own baked beans and play around with flavorings and sweeteners that suit your palate.

Read more: 30 Popular Frozen Pizzas, Ranked Worst To Best

Add A Florentine-Style Fried Egg To Your Baked Bean Pizza

Baked beans in a bowl
Baked beans in a bowl - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

A fried egg baked in the center of a baked bean pizza may sound unusual, but it's a winning combination that makes good sense. In the U.K., where more than 2 million cans of baked beans are consumed a day, these saucy legumes are often served in the morning alongside eggs, sausage, and bacon as a part of a full English breakfast. What's more, cracking an egg in the middle of a pie and baking it until it's just set is a tried and tested Italian technique that has top billing in a classic Florentine pizza.

Simple veggie toppings with a little bite to them, such as red onions and green jalapeños, are also perfect for pairing with baked beans, eliciting a spicy Mexican vibe. Similarly, the crisp texture of bell peppers works fantastically with beans because the juicy crunch of the capsicum complements the creamy consistency of the soft legumes. Having said that, protein-rich toppings, such as pepperoni and sausage, are awesome for doubling up on the uber-satisfying quality of a bean pie. Plus, their super-savory flavor balances out the sweetness of the tomato sauce that baked beans are canned in. Drizzle over a fruity olive oil and scatter over some chili flakes, and you'll have a gourmet pizza on your hands. Any leftover canned beans can be used creatively in soups, burgers, and gratins.

Read the original article on Tasting Table