How To Give Canned Baked Beans A Fancy Au Gratin Twist

You have plenty of options when it comes to stocking up on tasty brands of canned beans and packing your pantry with an easy starting point to create quality, satisfying meals. If you've already tried adding Sriracha to baked beans for a flavorful kick, consider making an au gratin recipe to boost the flavor of the canned beans sitting in your cupboard. Cheese, milk, and butter make almost any recipe taste better — including cabbage and cauliflower – and canned baked beans are no exception. 

Just because you're cooking up beans out of a can doesn't mean your meal can't be transformed into a culinary work of art. Get ready to convert a basic can of baked beans into something more elegant and rich using similar ingredients for a traditional au gratin recipe. The result? A decadent, creamy dish that could be listed on the menu at any fancy restaurant.

A quick, easy path to decadence

Gratin recipes result in satisfying oven-baked dishes that offer crumbly toppings of browned breadcrumbs and cheese that have been broiled into crunchy, cheesy crowns of gold. Whether you're scalloping potatoes or using beans to make the cheesy dish, this French style of cooking is your ticket to creamy decadence.

To give canned beans the au gratin treatment, chop fresh herbs and add them to breadcrumbs to create an easy mixture that can be sprinkled on top of beans, layered with your choice of cheese, then set to bake in the oven. Experiment with the cheeses you use to make the recipe — cheddar and Gruyere will impart different flavors into your beans dish — and add spices like paprika or cinnamon to enhance the tastes that will complement the other dishes you intend to serve. If you're wanting to double down and serve baked beans along with potatoes au gratin, mix milk, cream, grated Gruyere, and sliced potatoes to create a worthy companion to those hearty servings of gooey beans.

Presented on their own, however, beans au gratin hold their own. Served with warm toast, beans made au gratin can give the fan-favorite beans and toast some seriously stiff competition.