30 Ways to Turn Beans, Chickpeas, and Lentils Into Dinner
Legumes are great meat substitutes: They're packed with protein, sustainable, affordable, easy to cook, and delicious. Can you tell that we love them?
Legumes such as beans (think: cannellini, kidney, navy, or black) and lentils are heart-healthy forms of protein and are packed with folate, antioxidants, and fiber. If you want to incorporate more beans and lentils into your diet, you're in luck. Here, we're sharing 30 recipes that transform beans, chickpeas, lentils, and other legumes into light vegetarian dinners that you can make any day of the week.
You'll love our recipe for Grilled Vegetables and White-Bean Fattoush—the colorful spread of cannellini beans, bell peppers, escarole, red onions, crumbled feta, and pita chips that you see right here comes together in less than an hour. It's a hearty salad that you can absolutely serve as a main course salad. We also have several soup recipes in this collection that will soothe your soul and satisfy your appetite. Some come together in under an hour, but others cook at a low heat for a long period of time in a crock pot, slowly marrying the flavors of the legumes, vegetables, and herbs together. No matter which path you choose, we guarantee you'll scoop up every last drop.
The beauty of beans is that they're so versatile. You can cook them and serve them with rice or crusty bread, sprinkled over a salad, or tucked into pitas. We have a simple recipe that will teach you how to cook dried black beans in a flash and another recipe that features a preparation to upgrade a can of beans. Whichever method you decide to take or recipe you choose to whip up, you're guaranteed a delicious vegetarian dinner when you make legumes the star of the meal.
Warm Lentil-and-Cauliflower Salad
Brothy Beans and Greens on Toast
Vegetable and Black-Bean Fried Rice
Slow-Cooker White-Bean Soup
Vegan Lentil Soup
Cumin and coriander bring warmth to this hearty soup recipe that calls for French lentils, crushed tomatoes, and broccoli rabe. It serves four and is perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Black Bean, Cucumber, and Feta Salad
Whether you serve this salad as the main course or as a side, this healthy recipe delivers fresh, crisp flavor from cucumbers, scallions, and lime juice alongside tangy feta cheese and meaty black beans.
Pressure-Cooker Black Beans
Rice-and-Bean Salad Bowl with Tahini Sauce
For a quick dinner recipe that comes together in just 35 minutes, you can't beat this super healthy bowl topped with three kinds of canned legumes: chickpeas, black beans, and red kidney beans.
Cannellini-Bean and Greens Stew
Cauliflower-and-Chickpea Pitas with Creamy Yogurt Sauce
A flavorful combination of cauliflower florets and chickpeas are sprinkled with cumin and roasted until golden and crisp, then tucked into soft pitas for serving. They're topped with a dressing made from strained yogurt, lime juice, cilantro, and jalapeño peppers.
Lentil Soup with Crispy Kale
This is no ordinary lentil soup. Our recipe is loaded with meatiness from shiitake mushrooms and brown lentils, and it's completely vegan. We like to serve it with our version of crunchy kale chips and even more of the shiitake mushrooms on top.
Black-Bean and Sweet-Potato Stew
Stews often require hours of simmering on the stovetop, but this vegan one comes together in just 55 minutes. That's because it features a magical combination of flavors from black beans, sweet potatoes, quinoa, poblano peppers, and minced chipotle in adobo.
Caramelized Beet-Lentil Pilaf
Nutritious and flavorful, what's not to love about this vegetarian preparation of a white rice bowl topped with brown lentils, golden beets, and yogurt?
Curry Chickpea Handpies
Mediterranean Three-Bean Salad
Kale, White Bean, and Farro Soup
Warm Lentil Salad with Poached Eggs
French green lentils form a base for this main course dinner salad. You'll also enjoy Swiss chard, fresh goat cheese, roasted almonds, creamy eggs, and plenty of parsley in every bite.
Herbed Spaghetti with Tomatoes and White Beans
Creamy cannellini beans and fresh cherry-tomatoes make an easy sauce for a summer-ready dinner.
Polenta with White-Bean and Roasted-Pepper Ragout
Stuffed Collard Greens
Roasted Cauliflower with Flageolets, Turnips, and Pistachios
Start this dish in advance by cooking dried flageolet beans in chicken broth up to a week in advance. Toss with roasted purple cauliflower, thinly sliced raw turnips, and pistachios for a colorful dish that's as balanced as it is beautiful.
Sauté zucchini and black beans with ground cumin and coriander, then wrap them in charred corn tortillas for a scrumptious quick meal.
Black Beans with Rice and Avocado
Spice up beans and rice with smoky cumin, fiery jalapeño, and poblano chiles. Temper the heat with cooling avocado and creamy queso fresco, then finish with plenty of fresh cilantro.
One-Pan Orecchiette with Chickpeas and Olives
Marinated Chickpeas with Quinoa and Dandelion Greens
Freekeh with Caramelized Shallots, Chickpeas, and Yogurt
Kale and Lentil Bowl with Avocado Dressing
We love the combination of kale and lentils with cheddar cheese, roasted almonds, and sprouts in this protein bowl. Tossing everything in a creamy avocado dressing takes it to the next level.