These Recipes All Start with a Can of Beans
If you are looking for hearty, tasty meal ideas, try these recipes that start with something you probably already have on hand: a can of beans. Whether black beans (pictured here in a delicious stew with sweet potatoes), cannellini beans, chickpeas, or kidney beans, the humble canned bean has always been a staple. And it's become quite the star in recent years. That's not just because beans are fiber-rich nutrient powerhouses, they are also delicious, endlessly versatile, and very budget friendly. A can or two in the pantry means a speedy protein-rich dinner is just a few other ingredients away.
The recipes here reveal that this plant-based protein has the potential to be the highlight of any meal. Of course, we've included a few dips, the creamy texture of beans lends so well to dipping. Try a guacamole-hummus mashup or a Greek white bean dip topped with Greek salad that is a perfect starter or lunch. Unless you are talking Texas chili, you can't argue that beans belong in chili, and our version is made in the Instant Pot to build extra flavor in less time.
Another match made in heaven is rice and beans, and we're sharing a Cuban take on this classic that cooks up in one skillet, We also have a freezer burrito that's perfect for stocking up on quick dinners, plus a fun spin that swaps the rice out with a nuttier grain, farro.
Have you thought about combining two pantry staples—namely, beans and pasta—into one meal? We have, and to great success. A delectable one-pan pasta made with orecchiette, chickpeas, and olives is the perfect weeknight dinner. Because beans are also snackable, we've included a crispy roasted chickpea recipe.
Browse through for recipes that prove that canned beans are the ultimate pantry essential.
Pinto Bean Burgers
No bean recipe roundup would be complete without a veggie burger. In this patty, pinto beans are smashed with flavorful ingredients like almonds, roasted red pepper, and feta to create an irresistible meal. Enjoy them California-style with greens and avocado or sandwich them in a bun, cheese optional. Don't have pinto on hand? These burgers can be made with other beans with a creamy center like cannellini or black beans.
This recipe can be made entirely from items you have on hand like spices, onions, garlic, and canned tomatoes. A finish of fresh herbs and jalapeño takes it to the next level, but don't worry if you don't have these garnishes—the meal will still be delicious without them. Serve these spiced chickpeas over rice with a dollop of chutney and a spoonful of yogurt for dinner.
Here's a smart meal prep recipe that takes a pantry staple, a can of beans, and turns it into a freezer hero. These burritos can be enjoyed anytime—just defrost them in the microwave. They're perfect for a quick dinner, snack, or just to know loved ones have a meal ready-to-go when you are not there.
Cannellini Beans and Greens Stew
A can of beans transforms any soup or stew into a hearty and satisfying meal. This recipe uses a smart trick that works in any soup: Smash half of the beans into the broth to thicken the soup and add texture.
One-Pan Orecchiette with Chickpeas and Olives
One Pan Cuban Chicken Rice and Beans
There couldn't be a more iconic and comforting pairing than rice and beans. It's the staple of cultures all over the world. This one pan recipe brings together black beans and rice with chicken and bacon for a super delicious and easy dinner.
Combine two of the most crowd-pleasing dips, guacamole and hummus and you have a total winner for snack time. Making hummus with canned beans is super simple. All that's required is a few pulses in the food processor and it's ready to eat.
Marinated Chickpeas with Quinoa and Dandelion Greens
One of the best things about beans is that they soak up dressing and marinades and become so flavorful. That's why marinating beans is such a smart thing to do. Add fresh greens and vegetables for a satisfying Mediterranean-style salad.
Instant Pot Turkey Chili
Greek Layer Dip
Kale White Bean and Farro Soup
Crispy Chickpea Snack
For a crunchy afternoon snack, roast a can of chickpeas until they are crisp and then season them with your favorite herb or spice. They're also delicious sprinkled on salads or over soups as a crouton replacement.