Before very recently, I'd only heard tales of beans on toast. British TV shows will sometimes mention the unique food combo, and every so often, Twitter will erupt in a culture war between the U.S. and the U.K. over the meal. Beyond those instances, I'd never really given the dish much thought... until, as is usually the case, a drag queen changed everything. After becoming a full-on Tayce stan right off the bat in early 2021, I knew I had to try Tayce's beans on toast recipe that she raved about on Season 2 of Drag Race UK.
After sashaying into the Werk Room, Tayce quickly became known for loving beans on toast. When it came time for a stand-up comedy challenge, Tayce based her whole act around the British delicacy. "I've never been in love, unless we're talking about beans on toast. I tell you, there's something to be said about beans on toast," she said in the March 4 episode before orgasmically listing out the ingredients she uses in her recipe. "Oh, it just gets me going!"
Sadly, Tayce wasn't able to snatch the Drag Race crown in the end, but her love of beans on toast won her a much more personalized prize. Clearly sensing a brilliant marketing opportunity after her stand-up routine aired, Heinz sent Tayce her own personalized can of "Tayce's Beanz," which she excitedly opened on Instagram. After watching that utterly charming video, I knew what I had to do: For the first time in my life, I had to eat beans on toast.
That was easier said than done. The main reason there's such a divide between beans on toast in the U.K. and in the U.S. is due to the beans themselves. In the U.S., baked beans are sweeter, with a much thicker sauce and a barbecue taste. In the U.K., canned beans are cooked in a thinner tomato sauce. So, for me to have the authentic beans on toast experience, I had to order a tin from across the pond. After a few days of wondering what my delivery person must think of me for ordering a single can of beans, I finally got my British beans and was ready to go.
As part of her partnership with Heinz, Tayce uploaded a full tutorial for her beans on toast recipe on Instagram. The recipe sounded pretty simple, even if it did include much more than just two ingredients (beans and toast) like I was expecting. After a quick grocery run, I was ready to get my first Tayce-t of this British cuisine.
Tayce wasn’t specific about what measurements she used for her ingredients, so I just tried my best to include about as much of each ingredient as she did in her video. Here’s what I ended up using:
- Heinz Beanz (one 13.7-oz. can)
- White bread (two slices)
- Ketchup (about a tablespoon)
- Butter (about a tablespoon)
- Freeze-dried garlic (about a half tablespoon)
- Freeze-dried onion (about a half tablespoon)
- Paprika (about a teaspoon)
- Pepper (about a teaspoon)
- Shredded cheese (about a third of a cup)
The first step was to dump pretty much everything (except the bread and cheese) into a bowl, which is the exact level of cooking I can handle. Tayce added a ton of ketchup in her recipe, which activated my fight or flight response when I saw it because: 1. I'm not a big ketchup person and 2. The beans are already in a tomato sauce... so... like... why add more? I just gave the bottle a couple of squirts (significantly less than the "half a bottle" Tayce said she uses) and quickly moved on.
The real magic of this recipe is how well-timed it is. After I popped the beans into the microwave and set the timer for two and a half minutes, I dropped my bread into the toaster; they were both done at the exact same time.
TBH, I like my toast to be so dark it's almost burnt, but Tayce's looked to be more on the lighter side in her video, and after I bailed so hard on the ketchup step, I opted to follow her lead when it came to the carbs.
Pouring the beans onto the toast was absolutely anxiety-inducing to me (plus, the bowl was still really hot from the microwave), so I just used a spoon to scoop them out. After fully covering both pieces of toast, I still had half a bowl of beans left over, so I feel like Heinz either needs to adjust their can sizes or maybe I should've gotten bigger slices of bread.
Tayce's final step before digging in is to add shredded cheese. I couldn't really tell what type of cheese she was using in the video, but it looked more white than yellow, so I used a white cheese blend advertised as "pizza" and made up of mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, and romano.
My cheese choice felt all the more appropriate after I had my first bite, because the whole thing surprisingly tasted a bit like a tangy pizza. I guess it makes sense that combining toasted bread, tomato sauce, and cheese is going to wind up at least partially giving off a pizza vibe, but I was still happily surprised.
I was a bit confused about how beans on toast is meant to be eaten. Since it's basically toast with toppings, my natural instinct was to pick it up with my hands and chomp away, but that proved incredibly messy. I wound up eating it with a fork and knife, which really fancied up the dining experience. My only real complaint was that the toast got soggy pretty quickly from soaking up all the bean sauce. I kind of wish I'd stuck to my guns and toasted the bread up a bit more.
Overall, I understand why Tayce loves beans on toast so much. It was so quick and easy to make, invited experimentation into my limited cooking repertoire, and I could see it being a great meal for any time of day. Unfortunately for me, Heinz's tomato-based beans are only available in the U.K., so it'll take another pricey Amazon order and potentially judgmental delivery person for me to try beans on toast again. And I have just one thing to say about that: The cheek, the nerve, the gall, the audacity, and the gumption!