“Beans, beans, they’re good…” OK, we all know how that ends. But cheeky rhymes aside, it’s true that beans are some of the best foods you could be eating, not only for their high protein count—15 grams per cup—but also for all the other nutrients they supply, including fiber, potassium, and cholesterol-lowering antioxidants. Best of all, their versatility means there are plenty of delicious ways to enjoy them.
Moral of the story: Whether you’re staying away from meat entirely or simply looking to switch up your weekly meals, beans are the answer. To get you started, here are 35 bean recipes you’re gonna love.
While tostadas usually mean deep-fried tortillas and lots of cheese, this recipe makes a few simple switches to give them a nutritional stamp of approval: The pitas are baked for a similar crunch, butternut squash and yogurt lend creaminess, and black beans add heft.
There’s no hint of actual meat in these baked balls, but they’re still incredibly hearty thanks to the protein-rich quinoa and black beans at their base. Served on a pile of herb-coated sweet potato chunks instead of spaghetti, the dish is also a great way to up your gluten-free cooking game.
This lower-carb answer to a burrito bowl replaces the rice with strands of spaghetti squash but hangs on to the black beans for the fiber and protein. Serve right in the squash shells for minimal cleanup, and plop on a generous helping of the simplified guacamole.
Cauliflower rice is usually served as a side, but add black beans and a sprinkle of red peppers, and it’s both wholesome and colorful enough to eat as a main. For an even more filling meal, wrap in inside a tortilla for a homemade burrito.
While stuffing black beans into sweet potatoes is a pretty popular idea by now, this recipe includes red onions, plenty of chipotle spices, cool avocado cubes, and a generous squeeze of lime for an especially lip-smacking result.
We’re not going to lie: On their own, black beans can be a bit lacking in flavor. But they’re also so easy to jazz up. Here, all it takes is some chunks of feta to add a savory flavor and creamy texture to the bean and quinoa mixture. You don’t even need extra salt or spices.
Conventional wisdom suggests loading up on protein and carbs after exercising. Why not do it in the most delicious way possible, with these bite-size chocolaty treats? Crammed with black beans, protein powder, and nut butter, they’re so easy to transport, and just a couple will go a long way as post-workout fuel.
A rich kidney bean curry, often found at Indian restaurants, gets lightened up and slow-cooked in this home-style version, which nixes the heavy cream and goes easy on the oil. It also uses curry and cumin powders, both easily found at any grocery store, so that you’re not stuck hunting for exotic spices.
Just because you’re short on time to make lunch doesn’t mean you need to deprive yourself of taste or nutrition. These tacos, tucked with kidney beans, Brie cheese, and lots of veggies, take only 15 minutes to make… and five minutes to devour.
Vegan pastas often suffer in the protein department given that there’s no meat or dairy in the picture. But this one aims to fill that void, using a whole can of kidney beans in the sauce for a Bolognese-like result.
Whether you’re looking for comfort food or just a really easy yet nourishing (and inexpensive!) meal, this one-pot dish fits the bill. The combination of beans and rice makes for a complete protein, and this recipe goes a step further by using brown rice to up the fiber count.
Koftas are usually beef- or lamb-based, but these use kidney beans and mushrooms to get that meaty texture while staying entirely vegan. Baked and drizzled with a simple homemade pesto, they make for one of those impressive-looking dishes that are secretly really easy to make.
Meatless and dairy free, these stuffed peppers stay protein packed with a kidney bean and cashew filling. They also take all of five minutes to prep before going in the oven, so tuck this one away for those days where heavy-duty cooking is the last thing you want to do.
If black bean brownies can be a thing, why not stick kidney beans into a chocolaty batter too? This recipe goes a step further in the unconventional ingredient department, adding cashews for extra crunch and white chocolate chips for an extra-sweet touch.
While shakshuka is usually made with eggs, in this recipe, it’s chickpeas swimming in a richly spiced tomato sauce. Sop up savory gravy with crusty bread, serve it on top of rice, or simply eat it on its own—it’s perfect any way you like it.
Just about anything covered in peanut butter is bound to be pretty good. But this savory mix of roasted broccoli, chickpeas, and brown rice lends itself especially well to the slightly sweet nut butter sauce. Simple and satisfying, it’s one of the easiest and tastiest ways to get a well-balanced meal into your system.
Take fajitas to the next level by baking instead of skillet-cooking them. Not only do the veggies get that fantastic oven-roasted char on them, but the chickpeas, standing in here for the meat, become crispy and totally addictive. In fact, we’d recommend making an extra batch of them just to have on hand for a snack.
If making curry sounds intimidating to you, start with this recipe. No exotic spices needed: Just simple, store-bought curry and cumin powders, and coconut milk are all it takes to get chickpeas tasting like haute cuisine.
Drenched in a spiced tomato sauce, stirred with spinach, sprinkled with feta, and baked until bubbly, this chickpea casserole is practically the Mediterranean (and gluten-free) version of lasagna. This blogger uses dried garbanzos for an even better texture, but if you’re in a time crunch, canned beans will do just fine.
Putting to rest any lingering perceptions that salads are puny, this recipe packs in complex carbs with potatoes, protein from the chickpeas, and healthy fats from the almonds. There’s no way you’ll still be hungry after a hearty plate of this.
Who needs chicken when you’ve got chickpeas? In this healthified take on a flavor combination usually reserved for wings, the beans get the Buffalo treatment with the addition of blue cheese, Greek yogurt, and hot sauce. The results are just as addictive as the original but with a fraction of the saturated fat.
You read that right—dessert hummus. A sweet, smooth blend that contains chickpeas but tastes like peanut butter and chocolate, one bite will have you forgetting there are beans in here at all. Think of it as unbaked cookie dough that’s actually safe to eat.
Want a lower-carb meal but don’t want to give up those starches entirely? Go with this recipe, which replaces half the pasta with spiralized zucchini, and throws in white beans for added protein. An olive oil drizzle, cherry tomatoes, and chopped basil keeps the dish light and refreshing but still satisfying.
Curry powder gives this heart-healthy blend of kale, sweet potatoes, and white beans a kick, while coconut milk offsets the spice with its mild sweetness. Eat this as a breakfast hash to wake up on a dragging morning, or a quick, convenient one-pan lunch or dinner.
Golden beets, white beans, and orange segments piled on top of leafy greens—talk about eating the rainbow! This colorful salad isn’t just fun to look at—simply dressed with white balsamic vinegar and topped with pistachios, it’s freakin’ delicious too.
Give an avocado sandwich even more oomph by mashing the green fruit with white beans and a spritz of lemon. You’ll be amazed at how far the simple addition goes in terms of making the dish more filling.
Swapping out chickpeas for white beans and adding in Parmesan for a salty, nutty flavor, this hummus is off-the-charts tasty. Scoop it up with veggies, slather it on to bread, or eat it with a spoon—no judgments here.
Cannellinis and ground walnuts stand in for the flour to make these blondies gluten-free, while an extra egg yolk keeps them as chewy as ever. With each serving packing in five grams of fiber and nine grams of protein, this may become your new favorite way to eat beans.
Edamame and soba noodles are a natural fit—but when you add sautéed mushrooms and onions, then toss everything in a lemony soy dressing, it’s a combination made in heaven.
Beans are a fantastic addition to grain-based salads, adding more volume, protein, and fiber to the bowl. Here, robust kernels of edamame hold up especially well to the chewy, antioxidant-rich farro.
Need to switch it up from endless servings of mashed avocado on bread? Try this updated version of beans on toast, where pesto-coated edamame and feta get tumbled onto a thick slice of whole-grain, and topped with a runny egg. It’s the perfect single-serving brunch.
We’re all about lettuce-free salads over here, and this corn, edamame, and cherry tomato one is a kaleidoscope of colors, flavors, and nutritional benefits. Lightly tossed in a balsamic dressing, it works great as an easy side or even a portable lunch.
This variation on scrambled tofu goes for Indian-inspired spices to pack a serious flavor punch. The crumbled tofu actually does take on the texture of scrambled eggs, while the soybeans (or edamame beans) throughout add a crunchy bite.
A far cry from veggie burgers made with processed soy, this one uses whole edamame, cooked rice, and spinach for added color. Flaxseeds instead of eggs act as the binding agent, making these light green protein patties 100 percent vegan.
In just 15 minutes, whip up this speedy green appetizer. Edamame adds lots of body to the peppery arugula pesto and thickens it up just enough so it can be slathered onto crispy slices of baguette. (We think it’ll work great on just about anything else though, from eggs to grain bowls to spoons.)