Haricot Bean Croquettes – Recipe No 121


Here is another wartime recipe that tastes pretty good but for some reason, when I make it, looks like dog poo on my plate. I do apologize!

There wasn’t much meat around during the war for civilians, it was rationed and the meat that wasn’t, could sometimes be hard to get hold of or expensive using the points system. The Ministry of Food made sure to promote recipes that used beans and pulses and oatmeal which all contain high levels of protein and did indeed ‘Keep Britain Healthy’.

Haricot Bean Croquettes

  • 1 cup mashed up cooked haricot beans (or similar)
  • Ground sage and/or thyme
  • ½oz margarine/fat
  • Milk and oatmeal
  • Celery salt

Soak haricot beans in cold water several hours and cook until they will mash easily. Drain and mash thoroughly. Heat fat in a pan, add beans, season with celery salt and a little powdered sage and thyme if liked. Shape mixture like small sausages, dip in milk (or beaten egg if available) and oatmeal. Put in well greased baking tin and bake in quick oven, or fry in fat until golden brown.

From the Daily Telegraph’s ‘Good fare’ wartime recipe book

7 thoughts on “Haricot Bean Croquettes – Recipe No 121

  1. Beans and pulses were never on my culinary radar before I read your blog and developed an interest in wartime cooking!…the faff of soaking and long cooking times put me off ..but I have discovered than you can cook up big batches and freeze them…it makes life so much easier!…drop in frozen for stews etc or defrost for making sausages and burgers as in your lovely recipe above.

    • Sorry to dive in Carolyn …but I use anything that comes to hand, kidney beans, haricot, pinto, cannelloni, chick peas, lentils..or a mix of bits left over in my precooked freezer bags…or used tinned…..flatten into burgers for a change, add spices…cumin and turmeric and chilli all work well…..the worlds your veggie sausage really!…Im getting a real pulses/beans bore now Ive discovered how good they are…all thanks to Carolyn of course!

      • Kate is spot on. Beans and pulses (such as kidney, black beans, haricot beans, lentils etc ) are high in protein and fibre and iron and just a brilliant fat free and cheaper alternative to meat so no wonder the use of these were encouraged during the war..any beans could be sued for the croquettes. Haricot beans were the most commonly used during the war and lentils were the most common pulse.

        Although beans can seem a little bland (although I love them bland too!) they readily absorb flavours, spices and seasonings, especially when they are mashed.

        PS I love kidney beans and all beans actually 🙂


        They are one of the cheapest healthiest foods!!!

        C xxxx

  2. I’d never heard of haricot beans, but Wikipedia tells me that in the US they are called navy beans, pea beans, or Great Northern beans.

  3. I would also use any bean or legume available but my favourite ones are black beans. I like thenm bland myself. Just a touch of salt.

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