Pumpkin Maple Baked Bean Cornbread Casserole

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on October 7, 2011

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I always say the best recipes follow the worst disasters. And that’s just what happened yesterday. Because if one more thing went wrong, I was debating putting up a ‘Closed, please come again’ sign on the blog all Thanksgiving weekend.

The first step was admitting that I’m all baked out at the moment, which probably means I won’t bake for 3 long days before I’m desperate to bake something again. Cooking tends to be less risky when creating new recipes anyways. It’s not an exact science and I get to be careless and wild.

Add an extra tablespoon of milk by mistake? There are bigger problems. Dump an extra 3/4 cup of vegetables into the pot? I encourage it. Spill the container of salt in the pot? Ok, that’s bad. You know I’ve been there. And scooping off the salt on top…it doesn’t help one bit.

The more I think about it, the more I really love to cook. Salt spills and all.

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Pumpkin Maple Baked Bean Cornbread Casserole

Maple baked beans with a pumpkin twist all topped with a lightly sweetened cornbread. The result is a casserole that kept us coming back for more and more. See my tips & suggestions below on making-ahead, substitutions, and Thanksgiving potluck options.

Adapted from Maple Baked Beans and Food.com vegan cornbread

Yield: 6 servings

Pumpkin Maple Baked Beans:

  • 3 (15oz) cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped finely
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 4-5 tbsp pure maple syrup, to taste
  • 1.5-2 tbsp regular mustard
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste

 

1. Preheat oven to 400F. In a pot, add a splash of oil along with the chopped onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

2. Now add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Cook over low heat until thick, about 10-15 mins. You can make this the night before and leave it in the fridge like I did.

Vegan Cornbread (I don’t suggest making this on its own as cornbread, it works as a topping only)

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour (I used 1/2 cup oat flour and 1/2 cup almond flour successfully, but other flours should work)
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp light-tasting extra virgin olive oil (or canola)

 

3. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Add wet to dry and stir until combined.

4. Grease a casserole dish (I used 2.3 L), spread in the maple beans, and spoon the cornbread mixture over top. Bake at 400F for about 35 minutes until golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Serve immediately with a bit of Earth Balance on top if desired.

Note: Does not keep well for leftovers (it dries out a bit). I suggest serving immediately or halving the recipe if needed.

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This casserole is inspired by Jessica’s Chili cornbread pasta bake as well as Ashley’s version.

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I decided to play around with my Maple Baked Beans recipe and it turned out fantastic. The old version is a slow cooker version, but I wanted to create one that could come together in just 15 minutes. I also added some pumpkin and a touch of cinnamon for a seasonal kick!

Boy, was I glad I did. And I saved my pumpkin from growing hair over the weekend.

As I tasted and cooked, I kept saying something was missing. I tried adding just 1 tablespoon of ketchup and it all came together perfectly. Surprisingly, this was not Eric’s idea but I think he’s rubbing off on me!

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The cornbread comes together in just a few minutes.

I spread the bean mixture into a 2.3L greased casserole dish.

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The cornbread layer went on top!

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Then I baked it for about 35-40 minutes until golden. Cook time will vary based on the size of dish you use.

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Sweet, Sweet casserole we have a winner.

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Comfort food to the max.

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Some things to note:

1) I suggest serving this immediately for best results. I tried reheating it in the microwave and it was still good, but keep in mind that the beans soften the cornbread with time. It’s best served immediately.

2) If you plan on bringing this somewhere for Thanksgiving, here’s what I would do: Prepare the bean mixture on the stove top at home and scoop it into your casserole dish. Add your DRY cornbread ingredients into a large zip-lock bag. In a jar or leak-proof container, add your milk and oil (unless of course you can get these two ingredients where you are going!). Once you arrive, all you have to do is mix the wet and dry cornbread ingredients, spread on top of beans, and bake. Just an idea!

3) Can I bake the cornbread on its own? Updates: I baked the oat flour and almond flour version on its own and it was quite crumbly, so I will need to work on the GF version more. I also tried using spelt flour and it held together quite well, but it wasn’t the best tasting version. More testing required! I also plan on making a pumpkin cornbread too.

4) I made the bean mixture the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight. It saved time and also helped the flavours develop a bit more.

5) The cornbread is quite thick- about twice the size of the bean mixture when baked. We didn’t mind it one bit (I actually preferred lots of cornbread), but I thought I would mention it in case you have different expectations.

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For my Canadian readers celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, have a great one! If you’re looking for last minute Thanksgiving recipes, check out my post from last year for lots of ideas. If you’re not celebrating, I still encourage you to make this casserole!

We’re off to my in laws tomorrow, with vegan food in tow. It’s a good thing they already know I’m crazy.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

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Brooke W September 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Angela, I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now. I finally got around to making this recipe tonight for my husband and I for dinner. I have to say it was AMAZING! Thank you for such a healthy and comforting recipe!

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Rachel October 18, 2012 at 8:35 pm

I have made this recipe twice now– once with great northern beans (delicious!) and once with pinto beans (still good, but I wouldn’t recommend them as the ideal choice for this dish). Both times I used whole wheat flour for the cornbread and substituted 2.5 tbsp brown sugar and an additional 1 tbsp maple syrup for the molasses. All the flavors really come through, and I love the cranberries for a little extra tartness. Using the whole wheat flour for the cornbread makes it thick and a little drier, but that means that my leftovers have been amazing– not too soggy at all.

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Liz October 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I made this last night for dinner. It IS amazing!! Yum! I’ll definitely make it again!

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Nigelle November 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Do you think coconut oil could be subbed for the olive oil?

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Emma December 16, 2012 at 4:22 am

So pleased I made this for supper last night- it was really really good :) Me and my omni Mum and boyfriend all devoured it. Paired with a green salad it actually came together really quickly, especially since I halved it so cooking time was reduced.

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Jen January 9, 2013 at 6:52 pm

So far I only have the baked beans done… But this recipe can’t go wrong from here! These are phenomenal!!! Thank you, thank you for all of your site’s deliciousness!!!

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Hannah April 8, 2013 at 5:44 am

As an Aussie the notion of sweet beans seems a little bit odd. I made this with half the syrup and molasses and 2/3rds of the sugar in the cornbread. I would use even less next time. That said, this was so easy and flavoursome! I’ve never had cornbread before, loved it!

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Laurin September 22, 2013 at 6:28 pm

So I made this and it turned out super yummy! Just some notes: I had trouble spooning the cornbread onto the mix and my cornbread came out uneven and not super fluffy. Not pretty or intended, but it tasted great and I am sure this was due to a user error ;)

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Rachel October 3, 2013 at 11:07 am

It’s been a while since you posted this but I made this last night as it is very chilly and gloomy right now in Alberta… as soon as I stirred all the ingredients up in the pot the smell was incredible and it tasted delicious! My daughter really like it too because of the sweetness. Yum yum yum… :))))

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Arwen December 3, 2013 at 9:07 pm

This is one of my new ALL-TIME FAVORITE comfort foods. Amazing. So good. Thank you!!

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Trina December 28, 2013 at 11:12 pm

I tried this and it was delicious but how would you go about making it not as sweet???

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Roxy April 22, 2014 at 4:53 am

Yummmm! I made this tonight and loved it. The cornbread topping has a great texture and really partners well with the beans. Easy to put together, hearty, a great meal for a cold rainy day. I highly recommend this!

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Amber Henry November 24, 2014 at 6:14 pm

I really love your recipes, they are all the flavours I absolutely adore. I made this with some substitutions simply because I did not have some of the ingredients. I made it as a 3 bean version (Kidney, Chickpea, and Black) along with half spelt and half reg. flour. It was very forgiving as I used coconut milk and I forgot 1/4 – 1/2 of it. Turned out as a biscuit topping rather than bread. Even with all my “What’s on Hand” subs it was amazing . The flavouring was bang on.

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Robin March 23, 2015 at 8:10 am

I just cooked up a huge batch of great northern beans and this sounds like a delicious way to use them! About how many cups do you think I’ll need?

Thanks!

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Jhon July 23, 2015 at 9:43 pm

Wow! Thank you!

Just made it and it’s beyond delicious. Truly. What a treat!

I added a little bit of baking powder and two flax eggs (2 tbsp ground/6 tbsp water, then set in freezer for about 10 mins), and used coconut sugar instead of molasses for the beans. Also used whole wheat and spelt flour. The cornbread fluffed up beautifully and has great consistency. We couldn’t stop eating.

Grateful for all that you share!

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Noreen October 15, 2015 at 11:09 am

I am eating the last of the leftovers for lunch as I write this. It was wonderful! and so easy to make. I really appreciate the tip about making it ahead – – it made all the difference and was so flavorful. Thank you for sharing!

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Morgan November 14, 2015 at 10:31 pm

This is excellent! It’s in the oven now and puffing nicely. The beans part is terrific – never thought to put pumpkin in with baked beans but it’s a nutritious, smooth, lovely something that tastes divine. Thanks for a great comfort food fall recipe!

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rachel November 16, 2015 at 7:59 pm

Hey thinking about making this amazingggg looking casserole for Thanksgiving this year! Do you think all purpose flour will work? and Im also thinking about subbing the oil for applesauce (we don’t eat oils in my house) do you think this will work?

Thanks angela :)

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Maria December 16, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Hi Rachel! Did the applesauce work when you tried it out? Thanks! :-)

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Maria December 16, 2015 at 1:07 pm

This recipe looks so delicious! Would it be alright to replace the oil in the corn bread portion of the recipe with apple sauce? Thanks!

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Ruth April 23, 2016 at 6:40 pm

Making this aging today. It is one of my favorites!! While I know this is more of fall dish, in my home spring is time to clear out the freezer, and I still have a ton of pumpkin in there from last year’s garden!!

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Sam September 22, 2016 at 6:13 pm

I just made this today, It is lovely! Such a perfect fall recipe! Thanks <3

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Angela Liddon September 23, 2016 at 3:53 pm

So glad it was a hit, Sam!

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Lauren November 19, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Wow this looks awesome! Do you think I could omit the molasses if I don’t have that? And any thoughts on using coconut flour for the cornbread since that is what I have in the house? Thanks :)!

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Jen @ Keto Recipes January 31, 2018 at 6:26 am

Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 31, 2018 at 7:54 am

Thank you Jen! :)

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