Recipes for a baked bean sandwich can be traced from as early as 1909. One book entitled "Cooking For Two" by Janet McKenzie Hill suggests such a recipe as a "substitute for meatless cooking", and is a much more elaborate sandwich compared to its most common manifestation today.
Many early recipes describe essentially the same product that has become popular today, however in addition they incite elaborate additions of garnish and dressing. Janet McKenzie Hill suggests:
Baked bean sandwiches have probably become popular because they are very cheap to produce, are reasonably filling, and are extremely quick to prepare. Baked beans are also being more widely regarded – and marketed – as being "healthy" (although this fact is disputed) increasing their popularity.