Consider this a formal petition to make 2020 The Year of The Bean. Beans are versatile! Beans are high in protein! Beans have playground rhymes about their benefits and flatulent side effects! And, most importantly, beans are convenient. Almost everyone has a can of beans in their pantry at any moment, which makes these canned bean recipes must-know information for quick and healthy weeknight dinners.
Whether you’re feeling motivated to go meat-free this year or are just looking for some simple bean recipes to make when you’re in a cooking rut, welcome. Beans are here to feed your heart, mind, soul, and stomach. They are the flavor-neutral canvas upon which you can create delicious, spice-laden masterpieces.
Here are 17 delicious, simple, and healthy recipes you can make with a can of beans.
If you thought you could make it through a list about beans without seeing at least one chili recipe, you were fooling yourself. However, not all chilis are created equally. Some are made with pumpkin and mole sauce and, in turn, are superior.
Get our recipe for Pinto Bean and Pumpkin Mole Chili.
Stop snacking on naked tortilla chips. Starting now, we’re counting dipping your chips as a form of self-care. Mix a can of drained black beans with frozen corn, cilantro, white onion, and lime juice. Throw in some salt, pepper, chili powder, and chipotle peppers if you like spice. And ta-da! You have a delicious dip to grace your otherwise bland tortilla chip.
Garbanzo beans are magical in that, with a little bit of effort and a few other ingredients, they can become tuna. Or, rather, a plant-based tuna replacement. Next time you want a quick sandwich, sub out your can of tuna for a can of garbanzo beans in your favorite tuna salad recipe.
Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.
If you’ve yet to try the long-fabled black bean brownie, the time is now. All you need to do is swap out one cup of flour for one cup of black beans in your brownies. They’re perfect for when you want to sneak some protein into your dessert or trick your friends into eating beans when they least expect it.
Get the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.
Have more chickpeas than you know what to do with? This is exactly what hummus was made for. Plus, you’ll have yet another dip in which to bathe your bland chips or crunchy veggies.
Get our recipe for Creamiest Homemade Hummus.
No matter how hard I try, there always seems to be a can of refried beans lingering in my pantry. If you find yourself in a similar situation, combine a can of refried beans with some cayenne, garlic powder, and chili powder. Heat it up and top it with your shredded cheese of choice and some sliced jalapenos. It’s a simple addition to your nachos, your Tex Mex dish, your fried eggs, or just something to dip your chips into.
In need of a simple side dish to accompany your main meal? Combine a can of rinsed cannellini beans (Great Northern or white kidney beans will also work) with some lemon juice and rosemary. Voila! A quick, easy, and delicious addition to any dish.
Get our recipe for Roast Pork Loin and Lemony White Beans.
While you’re draining your chickpeas, don’t forget to reserve that bean water for another recipe. Aquafaba, which is quite literally “bean water”, can be used as a plant-based replacement for eggs in everything from meringue to mayo.
Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.
Beans will take on pretty much whatever flavor you choose to douse them in. So, when you’re in the mood for Indian, that can of chickpeas you’ve got lying around will come in handy. Put your garbanzo beans to task with chana masala, which combines a can of coconut milk with fragrant spices like garam masala, ground coriander, and ground turmeric.
Get the recipe from Cookie and Kate.
Did you accidentally buy pinto beans instead of baked beans? Were you tasked with providing a BBQ side dish but your pantry is lacking? Homemade baked beans to the rescue! Chances are good you’ve already got all the necessary ingredients in your kitchen: onion, garlic, ketchup, brown sugar, and, of course, a couple cans of pinto beans.
Get our recipe for Homemade Baked Beans.
Next time you need a quick snack and are craving nachos, throw a can of black beans on that bad boy for additional protein. They’ll help fill you up and assuage any guilt about having nachos for dinner.
Get our recipe for Black Bean and Chicken Nachos.
Not sure what to do with that can of green beans that didn’t make it into your holiday casserole? Toss it will some butter, chopped walnuts, salt and pepper, and a bit of bacon if that’s your thing. There is very little that chopped, crispy bacon can’t improve.
Get our recipe for Roast Chicken and Green Beans.
Morning beans are the best beans! Add a can of beans to your scrambled eggs and sauteed veggies for an even better breakfast burrito.
Get our recipe for Black Bean Breakfast Burritos.
Whether your craving something savory or sweet, roasted chickpeas will hit the spot. Toss a can of drained and dried chickpeas with some olive oil and add whatever seasonings you want. Some good combos are cinnamon and sugar, garlic and dill, or cayenne and honey. Roast them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and in 25ish minutes, you’ll have a crunchy, delicious snack!
Time to put your food processor to good use. Turn a can of black beans into a smoky chipotle burger patty with just a few spices, like cumin and smoked paprika, and a little bit of patience.
Get the recipe from Feasting At Home.
If you have a can of kidney beans you’ve been dreading, let them fulfill their delicious destiny with a copycat Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli soup. It’s the perfect dish when you need to use up a couple cans of kidney beans and white beans as well some near-expiration veggies. Bonus points if you make your own breadsticks.
Get our recipe for copycat Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli.
Pretty much any can of beans—navy beans, black beans, garbanzo beans—make for a delicious toast topping. Just smash your beans of choice atop a slice of toast, add a little olive oil, maybe some garlic, and whatever other spices and toppings your heart desires and your kitchen could stand to get rid of. Or do it like the Brits do and top your toast with some Heinz baked beans in tomato sauce.