1943 Baked Bean Sandwich Recipe - A Delicious and Easy Meal for Any Occasion

1943 Baked Bean Sandwich

1943 Baked Bean Sandwich Recipe - A Delicious and Easy Meal for Any Occasion
Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 0 minutes | Servings: 2


1943 Baked Bean Sandwich
1943 Baked Bean Sandwich

The 1943 Baked Bean Sandwich recipe is a nostalgic nod to wartime culinary creativity. During a period when food rationing was common, inventive recipes that utilized pantry staples became essential. This sandwich is a testament to the ingenuity of home cooks who sought to provide nutritious, satisfying meals with limited resources. It combines the heartiness of baked beans with the crunch of celery and walnuts, creating a unique and flavorful experience.


The recipe dates back to World War II, a time when rationing forced cooks to be resourceful. Baked beans, being a canned good, were readily available and could be stored for long periods. This recipe was one of many that emerged to make the most of the ingredients people had on hand, reflecting the resilience and creativity of the era's home cooking.


How to prepare

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except for the bread, and mix thoroughly.
  2. Spread the mixture onto buttered whole wheat bread.


  • Consider adding a slice of cheese or swapping the ketchup for barbecue sauce for a different flavor profile. For a vegan version, use dairy-free butter and ensure the bread is vegan-friendly.
  • To vary the recipe, try adding different types of beans or using sweet potato as a base for the spread. For a spicier kick, include a dash of hot sauce or chili flakes in the mixture.
  • Consider adding a slice of cheese for extra flavor and protein or swap the ketchup for mustard for a tangier taste. For a vegan version, use dairy-free butter and ensure the baked beans are prepared without animal products.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To enhance the flavor, consider lightly toasting the walnuts before adding them to the mix. This will add a deeper nutty flavor and extra crunch. For a smoother texture, slightly mash the baked beans before combining them with the other ingredients. Ensure the bread is generously buttered and toasted to add a crisp contrast to the soft filling.

Serving Suggestions

For a complete meal, serve the sandwich with a side of mixed greens or a vegetable soup. This adds variety and ensures a balanced intake of nutrients.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in this recipe is the thorough mixing of the filling ingredients to ensure even distribution of flavors. Toasting the bread adds texture and enhances the overall eating experience.

Ingredient Substitutions

For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free bread. If walnuts are not available or preferred, substitute with pecans or almonds. For those avoiding nuts, sunflower seeds make a great alternative.

Make Ahead Tips

The filling can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. This allows the flavors to meld together, enhancing the taste. Simply assemble the sandwiches when ready to serve.

Presentation Ideas

Cut the sandwiches diagonally and garnish with a pickle spear or a sprig of parsley for a visually appealing presentation. Serve on a colorful plate to contrast the rich colors of the filling.

Pairing Recommendations

A light, crisp white wine or a cold glass of apple cider complements the flavors of the sandwich well. For a non-alcoholic option, consider a sparkling lemonade.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

If there are leftovers, store the filling separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat gently before spreading on freshly toasted bread.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of the 1943 Baked Bean Sandwich contains approximately 350 calories. This makes it a suitable option for a hearty snack or a light meal, providing energy without being overly calorific.


This sandwich is relatively high in carbohydrates, primarily due to the baked beans and whole wheat bread. A single serving contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates. The beans provide a good source of fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health.


The fats in this recipe come mainly from the walnuts and the butter used on the bread. Walnuts are a source of healthy, unsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids. A serving of this sandwich contains about 15 grams of fat, with a significant portion being heart-healthy fats.


Baked beans are a good source of plant-based protein, making this sandwich a satisfying option for vegetarians. Combined with the protein content of walnuts, a single serving provides approximately 10 grams of protein, contributing to muscle repair and growth.

Vitamins and minerals

This sandwich offers a variety of vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, and potassium from the beans and walnuts. It also provides a good amount of Vitamin B from the whole wheat bread, essential for energy production and brain health.


The primary allergens in this recipe include gluten (from the whole wheat bread) and tree nuts (walnuts). Those with sensitivities or allergies to these ingredients should consider suitable substitutions.


Overall, the 1943 Baked Bean Sandwich is a balanced meal option, providing carbohydrates for energy, proteins for muscle health, and healthy fats. It also offers a range of vitamins and minerals, making it a nutritious choice that reflects the resourcefulness of wartime cooking.


The 1943 Baked Bean Sandwich is more than just a recipe; it's a historical reflection of resilience and creativity in the kitchen. With its nutritious ingredients and satisfying flavors, it offers a unique taste of the past while still being relevant to today's dietary preferences. Whether enjoyed as a hearty lunch or a quick, nutritious snack, this sandwich is a testament to the enduring power of simple, wholesome cooking.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time brings a smile to my face. It was the summer of 1943, in the midst of World War II. Rations were tight, and every scrap of food was precious. I was just a young girl then, eager to help out in any way I could. My mother had been working long hours at the local factory, producing supplies for the war effort, so I took it upon myself to start preparing meals for our family.

One day, while rummaging through the pantry in search of something to make for lunch, I stumbled upon a can of baked beans. I remembered my mother mentioning that they were a good source of protein and could stretch a meal when times were tough. I decided to get creative and try to come up with a new dish using the baked beans as the main ingredient.

I started by heating up the baked beans on the stove, adding a pinch of salt and pepper for flavor. As they simmered away, I thought about what else I could add to make the dish more interesting. That's when I noticed a loaf of bread sitting on the counter. Inspiration struck, and I decided to make a sandwich using the baked beans as the filling.

I toasted the bread until it was golden brown, then spread a generous amount of the warm baked beans on one slice. I topped it off with a slice of cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of chopped onions. The aroma that filled the kitchen was heavenly, and I couldn't wait to take a bite.

As I sat down to enjoy my creation, I couldn't believe how delicious it was. The combination of the savory beans, gooey cheese, and crunchy onions was truly a match made in culinary heaven. I knew right then and there that this recipe would become a staple in our household.

I made the 1943 Baked Bean Sandwich for my family that night, and it was a hit. My mother was impressed with my creativity and resourcefulness in the kitchen. She praised me for finding a way to make a simple can of baked beans into a delicious and satisfying meal.

From that day on, the 1943 Baked Bean Sandwich became a regular feature on our dinner table. I would experiment with different ingredients, adding bacon, tomatoes, and even a fried egg on top. Each variation was met with rave reviews from my family, who always looked forward to seeing what new twist I would come up with next.

Over the years, I shared the recipe for the 1943 Baked Bean Sandwich with friends and neighbors, who were equally impressed by its simplicity and flavor. They would often ask me for the recipe, and I would happily write it down for them, knowing that it would bring joy to their own kitchens.

As I grew older, the 1943 Baked Bean Sandwich became a cherished memory of my youth, a reminder of a time when ingenuity and creativity in the kitchen were born out of necessity. It was a dish that brought my family together during difficult times, filling our bellies and our hearts with warmth and comfort.

Now, as I pass down this recipe to my grandchildren, I hope that they will appreciate the history and tradition behind it. I hope that they will see the value in making do with what you have, in finding joy in the simple things, and in creating something delicious out of the most humble of ingredients.

The 1943 Baked Bean Sandwich may have been born out of wartime scarcity, but to me, it will always be a symbol of resilience, resourcefulness, and the enduring power of a good meal shared with loved ones. And every time I take a bite of that savory, cheesy, oniony sandwich, I am transported back to that summer of 1943, when a young girl with a hunger for adventure and a flair for cooking discovered a recipe that would become a family favorite for generations to come.


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