Food & Nutrition

The best alternatives to baking beans you can use (top 5)

Published by Finn Hayden

Following a recipe to suddenly find that you don't have a required ingredient is really frustrating, and it seems to be a problem especially for people here in the UK. This is probably because lots of these recipes emerge from the USA, where certain common ingredients are not easily found here. We've previously written about buying Cool Whip in the UK, a product which is often listed in American recipes.

But it's even more frustrating when you're lacking a utensil or tool to complete the recipe, and one such example of this is baking beans. Although they sound like they could be a product from Heinz, baking beans are actually useful little weights which are used to keep pastry flat and prevent it from going soggy during blind-baking.

Luckily, if you don't have baking beans to hand then there are lots of excellent alternatives, many of which you may well have in the cupboard at home. Let's take a look at some popular baking bean alternatives.

Red Lentils

Red lentils are perfect as an alternative to baking beans because not only do they weigh quite a lot, but they also don't clump together, so once they've done their job in the oven they're really easy to scoop up and reuse for cooking or for use as baking beans in the future.

Red Lentils

Uncooked Rice

Rice is perfect for use as a baking bean alternative as it's heavy and easy to scatter across an entire pastry. You won't really be able to reuse it after you've had it in the oven during the blind baking process, but it's worth keeping the rice in case you want to reuse it for this purpose in the future. Rice is also excellent at absorbing moisture, so it's doubly effective for use during blind-baking.

Basmati rice

Cous Cous

Similar to rice, cous cous is heavy and can be scattered across the pastry to ensure it is evenly flat and to prevent moisture, making it a perfect alternative to baking beans.

Cous cous

Popcorn kernels

Popcorn kernels actually have a similar weight and size to baking beans, so they're really good to use as an alternative if you have them to hand. Plus, the popcorn might actually pop in the oven, so you could end up with some nice popcorn as well as a nice and flat pastry!

Popcorn kernels

Sugar

Sugar is great in place of baking beans because it's really heavy, but you'll want to make sure that you've lined your pastry with something like parchment paper as you don't want the sugar to absorb into the pastry, particularly if you're making a savoury dish using the pastry.

IMG_6826

Hopefully, this guide helps you to find a great alternative to baking beans. Let us know if you have any other suggestions!

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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