Cheeky rhymes aside, beans are some of the best foods you could be eating for fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Even better, their mild flavor and soft texture allow them to assume many guises.
You’ll find plenty of delicious ways to enjoy beans in these 29 recipes from around the web. Whether you’re ditching meat entirely or looking to switch up your weekly meals, beans are there for you.
Keep a couple of cans or bags in your pantry, and you’ll be ready for anything.
1. Pita tostadas with butternut squash, black beans, and avocado
Tostadas usually mean deep-fried tortillas and lots of cheese, but this recipe makes a few simple switches to give them a nutritional stamp of approval.
Baked pitas are the crunchy base, topped with maple syrup-sweetened butternut squash, black beans, avocado, and pepitas. Instead of regular yogurt, drizzle on some Greek yogurt.
2. Black bean “meatballs” with coriander sweet potato salad
Protein-rich quinoa and black beans replace meat in these vegan black bean balls, which are served atop herb-coated sweet potato chunks instead of spaghetti. This dish is a great way to up your gluten-free cooking game.
3. Spaghetti squash black bean bowls
This lower carb answer to a burrito bowl replaces the rice with strands of spaghetti squash but hangs on to the black beans for fiber and protein.
Serve right in the squash shells for minimal cleanup and plop on a generous helping of the simplified guacamole.
4. Black beans and cauliflower rice
Cauliflower rice is usually served as a side, but add black beans cooked with garlic, onion, red bell pepper, and spices and it becomes a main. You can also wrap this goodness in a tortilla to make a burrito.
5. Black bean stuffed sweet potatoes
Stuffed roasted sweet potatoes are an idea with staying power. Here, they’re topped with black beans cooked with onions, cumin, and chili powder. Top with avocado and cilantro.
6. Black bean feta quinoa salad
Black beans, on their own, have a bland flavor. That means they’re great foils for highly seasoned foods like feta cheese. This recipe is super simple: Just add beans, red bell pepper, and feta to a bowl of quinoa.
7. Black bean chocolate protein balls
These bite-size chocolaty treats are filled with black beans and flavored with chocolate protein powder, cocoa, and nut butter. Even better, they’re no-bake and will keep in the fridge for a week.
They’re easy to transport, and just a couple will go a long way as post-workout fuel.
8. Creamy curry slow-cooker beans
Your slow cooker does the work on this curry, simmering kidney beans and tomatoes with ginger, garlic, cumin, and curry powder. That’s something great to come home to.
9. Kidney bean and garlic spinach tacos
Tacos are the ultimate quick lunch at home. Here, tortillas are filled with sautéed spinach, kidney beans, and avocado.
And talk about gilding the lily: The blogger uses brie cheese. Feel free to sub cheddar or pepper jack, or make it vegan by nixing the cheese.
10. Red beans and rice
This vegan red beans and rice dish swaps in brown rice for the usual white. All the classic seasonings remain in this one-pot meal that’ll serve a crowd (inexpensively).
A bonus is beans and rice make a complete protein, when in combination.
11. Mushroom kidney bean koftas
Koftas are usually beef- or lamb-based, but these use kidney beans and mushrooms to keep it vegan. Baked and drizzled with a simple homemade pesto, it’s an impressive-looking dish that’s secretly easy to make.
12. Vegan stuffed peppers with kidney beans, sweet corn, and cashews
Meatless and dairy-free, these vegan stuffed peppers are packed with protein from kidney beans and cashews. They also take all of 5 minutes to prep before you put them in the oven.
Tuck this one away for those days when you need a quick, filling, healthy dinner.
13. One-pot chickpea shakshuka
While shakshuka is usually made with eggs, here it’s chickpeas swimming in a richly spiced tomato sauce. Sop up the savory sauce with crusty whole-grain bread, serve the dish on top of rice, or simply eat it on its own.
14. Chickpea broccoli Buddha bowl
Anything coated in peanut butter is 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 an easy and tasty way to get a balanced meal into your system.
15. Sheet pan chickpea fajitas with cumin-lime crema
Take fajitas to the next level by baking them instead of cooking them in a skillet. The veggies get that fantastic oven-roasted char, and the chickpeas, standing in for meat, become crispy and totally awesome.
16. Coconut chickpea curry
Making curry is easy actually pretty easy. Just stock up on curry powder, garam masala, and a can of coconut milk. This chickpea curry will fill your home with enticing aromas.
17. Mediterranean chickpea casserole with spinach and feta
We love casseroles. Here, chickpeas and spinach join a tomato sauce spiced up with oregano, cloves, and cayenne. Sprinkle with feta and bake until bubbly. How good does that sound?
18. Roasted chickpea, almond, and potato salad
Putting to rest any lingering perceptions that salads are puny, this recipe packs in complex, fibrous carbs from the 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.
19. Buffalo chickpea salad sandwich
Who needs chicken when you’ve got chickpeas? In this healthified take on a flavor combo usually paired with wings, beans get the Buffalo treatment with blue cheese, Greek yogurt, and hot sauce. And celery, of course.
20. Peanut butter chocolate chip dessert hummus
You read that right: dessert hummus. A sweet, smooth blend that tastes like peanut butter and chocolate. One bite will make you forget there are beans in here at all. Think of it as cookie dough that’s safe to eat.
21. Zucchini noodles with white beans and tomatoes
This is one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” recipes. If you’re not ready to go full zoodle, why not replace half the pasta with spiralized zucchini?
The white beans add plant-based protein, and olive oil, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil give the dish a Mediterranean note.
22. Kale, sweet potato, and white bean skillet
Curry powder gives this heart-healthy blend of kale, sweet potatoes, and white beans a kick, and coconut milk offsets the spice with its mild sweetness.
Eat this as a breakfast hash to wake up on a dragging morning or as a quick, convenient one-pan lunch or dinner.
23. Golden beet, white bean, and orange salad
Golden beets, white beans, orange segments, and pistachios piled on top of leafy greens — talk about eating the rainbow. This colorful salad isn’t just good-looking, it’s freakin’ delicious too.
We like to make an olive oil-based dressing for this salad, adding any juice from the orange to the white balsamic vinegar.
24. Smashed white bean, basil, and avocado sandwich
Give an avocado sandwich even more oomph by mashing the green fruit with white beans and a squirt of lemon. You’ll be amazed at how this simple addition makes it more filling.
25. Garlic-Parmesan white bean hummus
Trade chickpeas for white beans and add Parmesan for a salty, nutty flavor in this off-the-charts tasty hummus. Scoop it up with veggies, slather it on bread, or eat it with a spoon — no judgment here.
26. Edamame soba noodle salad
Edamame and soba noodles are a natural fit, but when you add sautéed mushrooms and onions and toss everything in a lemony soy dressing, it’s a combination made in heaven (otherwise known as your kitchen).
If you prefer soy-free, opt for fish sauce or coconut aminos as a replacement for the dressing.
27. Spicy farro salad with edamame and carrots
Beans are a fantastic addition to grain-based salads, adding more volume, protein, and fiber. Here, robust edamame hold up especially well to the chewy, fiber-rich farro.
28. Edamame rice burgers
A far cry from veggie burgers made with processed soy, these use whole edamame, cooked rice, and spinach. Flaxseeds, instead of eggs, act as a binder, making these green beauties 100 percent vegan.
29. Crostini with arugula and edamame pesto
In just 15 minutes, you can whip up this green appetizer. Edamame adds lots of body to the peppery arugula pesto with just enough Parm to slather onto crispy slices of whole-grain or sourdough baguette.
We think it tastes ridiculously good on just about anything else — eggs, grain bowls, or a spoon.
Beans are an essential source of protein for plant-based eating. They’re also a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Keep a few cans or bags of beans on hand, and you’ll be ready to make these tasty recipes in no time.