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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Call for Recipes: Beans!

As I’ve reduced the amount of meat in our diet, I’ve discovered a new found appreciation for beans. They truly are a wonder food. High in fiber, protein, complex carbs, folate and iron, they offer a serious nutritional punch. I’ve tried adding beans to our food where I think it makes sense, but I still feel like a bean novice. In fact, I have a few bags of dried beans that have been waiting very patiently in my pantry for, well, months now. Every time I ignore the dried beans and grab a can instead, I can hear Mark Bittman in my head telling me I should have gone with dried. Yup, I hear voices in my head when I’m cooking. Don’t you?

Today’s Call for Recipes is all about beans. Dried, canned or otherwise! Please share your best recipes and tips that involve beans. Whether it’s a simple, “This is how I cook dried black beans” tip or a deliciously complex recipe where beans are just a player in the game. You get it. If you’re talkin’ beans (canned or dried), then I’m happy. Feel free to share recipes with our without meat!

Since I should probably be the one to get this party started, here is one of my bean recipe favorite finds this year, Pasta with Arugula and White Beans. I do have more recipes on my site with beans, but this isn’t about me. I want YOUR recipes! Ready, set, GO!


  1. All of our recipes with beans have meat in them! How about this soup? You could leave out the ham bone?

  2. 2
    Lindsey Barttels

    oo! Easy, cheap, and delish 30-second “throw together” side dish:
    Spicy Pintos

    1 Large can pinto beans,
    one white onion sliced
    chile powder
    teeny bit of olive oil

    teeny bit of oil to heat onions til al dente
    add beans & heat through add generous amount of chili pepper
    salt & pepper to taste.


    We eat with pretty much anything.:)

  3. 3

    A real simple one I fall back on is a quick sun-dried tomato garbanzo bean salad. I don’t remember where I got this from but I don’t think I have modified it from it’s simplicity.

    Take 4 or 5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil and 2-3 garlic cloves. Chop in a food processor. Stir with a can (yes I use them in a can more often than not) of Garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)

    This is sweet, tart, garlicky and creamy and perfect for a last minute addition to a meal.

  4. here is one of my recipes plus the red beans and rice recipe i gave you awhile ago.

    tonight we are having homemade bean burritos! 🙂

  5. I stopped eating meat for the most part about a year ago. I’ve become a bean lover too. 🙂

    Here are 2 of my favorites!

  6. 6

    i made a black bean & corn skillet that can be eaten on top of rice, in burritos, in enchiladas, on nachos … its very versatile & it freezes well!

    check it out:

    i have yet to venture into dried bean cooking … but i hope too soon 🙂

  7. 7
    Leah Parker

    You must try the recipe for butternut squash, white bean and chard soup from The Earthbound Cook. I really love this dish the flavors are amazing and the soup was hearty.

  8. My favorite technique to make cooking dried beans faster is to quick soak them:

    As for recipes, we are vegetarian, so I have so many! A couple of our family favorites are:
    Cuban Black Beans, authentic and richly flavored-

    Taco Frittata, a definite kid pleaser-

    and Trinidadian Chick Pea and Potato Curry-

    Can’t wait to check out all the other recipes in the comments!

  9. 9

    I slow cook a large batch of beans in my slow cooker all day and then use what I need for dinner and freeze the rest in ziploc baggies. Just take your beans, cover with water and cook. I do this with pinto, red and black beans. Then when I need beans to cook with, I pull them out of the freezer in the morning and let them defrost in the fridge until dinner. No sodium or goo to rinse off like we do with canned.

    Refried Beans

    Slow cook or quick cook pinto beans in large pot of water. Simmer for hours if doing it on stovetop. Add a few slices of bacon if that flavor is wanted.

    When beans are soft, mash a large spoonful at a time in a skillet heated with a little shortening, lard or bacon grease. While mashing, add more beans and a bit of bean broth. Cook while stirring and mashing with fork or potato masher. For runnier beans add more broth.

    When skillet is almost full, pour into a large bowl. Salt a little, add a handful of jack cheese. Repeat process until you use up all your beans and broth. Very simple.

    And no soaking of the beans, soaking is a waste of time to me. Never found a difference in soaking or not.

  10. 10

    My almost 2 year old daughter is very anti-vegetables right now…except in this recipe!

    black beans
    zucchini (sliced or quartered, depending on size)
    tomatoes (sliced or quartered, depending on size)

    The amount of each ingredient that you use is totally up to you, depending on what you like more of.

    Saute the zucchini in a mix of olive oil and a teeny bit of butter. Or more if you want 😉 Once it is getting tender, add the corn and beans. When the corn “feels” ready, pop the tomatoes in just long enough to get them warm. And serve! Very easy, really yummy, and a great way to get veggies into my girl!

  11. Here’s a recipe I stumbled upon a couple years ago, originally from Cooking Light. It’s a winner!

  12. Also, I second the idea of cooking dried beans in large batches using your slow-cooker. Definitely the easiest way to go.

  13. 13
    Jane Maynard

    I just fixed a sentence in the post to make it more clear – please share any bean recipes – meat OR no meat, all are welcome! 🙂

  14. 14
    Jane Maynard

    Nina Moore Kelley posted this on facebook, wanted to make sure it was with all the other great suggestions!

    We eat a lot of beans around here, especially in Mexican food.
    Here are a few…some Mexican recipes…some not.

  15. 15
    Jane Maynard

    and, by the way, SO excited I did this call for recipes!!!! I think we’re going to get a lot of comments on here, and I can’t wait to read through all of them – thank you everyone! keep it coming!!!

  16. Here’s another! Beans are not really the focus of this dish. But anyway…

  17. 17

    These are my top two faves right now:
    1) Simmer in TJ’s Indian simmer or masala sauce. Serve with naan or rice and veggie.
    2) Shred zucchini. Cook with a little oil with garlic and onion. Add black beans. Mash lightly. Add salt, cumin, epazote, cilantro, (basically whatever you’re in the mood for) to taste. Use as quesadilla filling with grated cheese. My 16 month old loves this with avocado on the side.

  18. Try this Festive Black Bean Chili – it’s great (and really good as leftovers).

  19. You’ve probably already heard this recipe but I love it because it cuts down on the fat and adds so much fiber. I’m trying to lose baby weight right now and it’s nice to have a yummy treat I don’t have to feel as bad about. – Black Bean Brownies. Take a fudge brownie or dark chocolate brownie mix, a can of black beans, and some water. Empty and rinse the black beans and then put them back in the can and fill it to the top (so the beans and the water are both in there). Puree the beans and then mix into the brownie mix. Cook as directed on the box. I measured it out if you want to use dry beans. It’s 2 cups of beans and 1 1/2 cups of water. So moist and yummy!

  20. 21

    Can of beans rinsed, can of corn drained, some diced shallot, basalmic vinegar, some olive oil and some sugar for a corn/bean salad.

    We make Chipotle style burritos with beef and black beans, sour cream, cheese, salsa.

    I cook the ham bone in the crockpot with northern beans, onion, salt and pepper.

  21. 22

    We use a method for cooking beans that we got from Smitten Kitchen ( We place the amount of beans we need in our crockpot and cover with 2-3 inches of water. Put them on high and 2-3 hours later (depending on type of bean) they’re done. If we remember, we add water in the last hour of cooking. We usually do it the night before while we’re cooking dinner.

    The recipe I linked to above is excellent, especially over rice. But this one is a favorite go-to of ours, too. We usually use dried beans and shred our own cabbage since it’s only the two of us.

  22. 23

    While not a recipe, my biggest tip for cooking with beans is to cook them ahead in bulk, and freeze them in can sized servings.

    I get the packet of dried beans and put them in a ginormous pot with plenty of water and let them soak overnight. Next day sometime I drain off the water, rinse the beans thoroughly (this step helps a LOT to reduce the gassy effect beans can have – don’t skip it) and refill the pot with the beans and plenty of clean water. Then I put the lid on the pot and put the pot on the stove on the lowest heat and walk away. I leave it going for several hours until I remember I’ve got beans cooking and then switch the heat off. Then I drain & rinse the beans again and divide them up into lots of around 260g (about the size of a can of beans), put them in plastic bags or containers, and freeze them.

    This is so easy to do, and frozen beans really don’t take very long to defrost. Having can sized servings makes this super convenient, and is really cheap too.

  23. 24

    We tried the vegetarian route a year or so ago–it didn’t stick, but we have been trying to incorporate loads of vegetables into our diet. I also have a few bags of dried beans…just waiting…. But anyway, one of our favorite, easy recipes is (apparently) an old crock pot classic.

    You take a jar of great northern beans, an 8 oz jar of salsa (we like medium) and 4-8 oz of sharp cheddar cheese. I just drain the beans (reserve about a tablespoon of liquid) and throw them in a sauce pot with the salsa and cheese (and liquid). Heat over medium heat until cheese is melted and everything is hot. We like it over whole wheat pasta or wild rice. It’s not gourmet, but it is quick, easy and filling! I tweak the proportions based on whatever I have around, and sometimes add other vegetables. (And I’m sure you can use dried beans too!)

    Good luck!

  24. 25

    Take pinto beans (my tip to make them less gassy is to put a whole onion while cooking them and a few whole cloves of garlic. you can keep it in or discard after cooking)
    When cooked- take some beans and a little bit of the “bean broth” and mash with a potato masher (what you use to make mashed potatoes) Add broth as necessary. Use as a side dish or make bean burritos with them. We dont add lard (pig fat- gross) or ham/bacon.
    We use these beans at least every other day in our meals 🙂 But then again- we eat alot of mexican food 🙂

  25. 26

    Two bean side dishes that we love are:
    Chipotle Lime Quinoa and White Bean Salad

    Black Bean Fruit Salsa

    For a main course I love this Shredded Chicken and Black Bean Chili; you could leave out the chicken and add in a variety of different beans

    I can dry beans in quart jars in my pressure canner:
    To each quart jar add 1 tsp salt and 1 cup dry beans. Add hot tap water to the neckline of the jar (1″ headspace). Add lids and rings. Process in a pressure canner at 15 lb pressure for 60 minutes.

  26. 27

    I love dried beans. They are so nutritious and inexpensive.

    Pinto beans:

    Soak overnight in plenty of water. Drain and rinse. Put the beans back in the pot with a chopped onion and a smoked ham hock or turkey wing. Add water to cover. Add bay leaves, cumin, salt, pepper, whatever else floats your boat. Cook slowly, adding water if needed until tender. So easy and so good!

  27. 28

    I first have to say that I’m clueless when it comes to beans. However, my neighbor bottles her beans in a pressure cooker. It’s fast and easy and she always has beans ready to go (no need to have freezer space and you don’t have to soak them first). It’s also significantly cheaper to buy a big bag of beans and then bottle them (she mainly bottles them in pint bottles). For what it’s worth, they also taste better than the cans of beans from the store.

  28. 29
    Jane B

    Ooh, I love cooking with beans! I buy mine dried and cook them in the slow cooker, the ratio is about 1:3, so 1 cup of dried beans to 3 cups warm water. I cook chickpeas in four to five hours on HIGH and I add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon sugar per 1 cup of beans halfway through the cooking. It helps to soften them, I read somewhere.
    Below are two of my favourite recipes. I also make a lot of dips with beans, mmm hummus, or garlic cannellini bean dip.

  29. Black beans are my favorite….can you tell?

    Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
    Black Bean Breakfast Burritos
    Quinoa Taco Salad
    Crispy Black Bean Tacos
    Chicken, Black Bean, and Spinach Enchiladas – sub mushrooms for chicken and use extra spinach and beans
    Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
    White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe – maybe add some other vegetables or extra beans instead of the chicken.


  30. 32

    It’s called trader joe’s Cuban Black Beans (in a can). So delish and easy 🙂

  31. 35

    Refried Beans

    10 c water
    5 c or 1 lb dried pinto beans
    1 large onion, chopped
    2 T chopped garlic
    2 cans (4 oz) whole green chilies, drained and chopped ( I never buy the cans of chopped green chilies because of the skin)
    1 1/2 T salt
    Spray crock pot. Water, beans, and onion in crock pot. High for 4-6 hours. Add garlic, chilies, and salt. Let sit about 20 minutes–lid on for runnier beans, lid off for thicker beans. Beat in 2-3 batches in a Kitchen Aid or Bosch. I freeze in small ziplocs for meal-sized portions.

    Rapunzel Bean Salad (Garbanzo, but my youngest daughter loves this salad and always called garbanzo beans rapunzel beans. It stuck.)
    4 cans garbanzo beans rinsed and skinned
    chopped tomatoes
    LOTS of chopped fresh parsley
    green onions, sliced
    grated or cubed cheddar cheese
    sliced black olives
    zest of one lemon
    1/3 c oil, canola or olive
    1 1/3 c lemon juice (can use less, I like lots)
    1 t black pepper
    2 t salt
    2 t cumin
    Combine and chill.

  32. 36

    Oh, and with the Trader Joe’s Cuban style Black beans–
    slice onions and peppers, saute in olive oil
    corn (preferrably fresh cut off cob…)
    chopped fresh cilantro
    smokey chipotle tabasco sauce
    Salsa (preferrably Trader Joe’s Garlic Chipotle Salsa)
    2 cans Trader Joe’s Cuban Style Black Beans
    Heat through and serve with cooked short grain brown rice. Top with sour cream, salsa, cheese, and any other desired toppings.

  33. Best bean dip, great for lunch!

    1 can fat-free refried beans(may use spicy, but those are way too hot for me!)
    1 can rotel tomatoes
    1 can mild/medium chili beans

    Mix together in a large bowl and put portion in a smaller bowl, add cheese, microwave til hot, and VOILA!


  34. I cook up enough beans at one time to fill up the crockpot. I use whatever I need for one recipe, then freeze the rest of the cooked beans in 2 cup portions. I find that when I have these nice little 2 cup containers of already-cooked beans available, I use beans more in my cooking, and I don’t go through my canned beans as quickly.

    As of late, my favorite way to use beans is NOT meatless. It’s very meaty, in fact. I’m cheap, so I tend to buy very inexpensive cuts of meat. My favorite way to cook a cheapo beef roast is to cover it with chili in the crock pot and cook it all day long.

    My chili recipe is approximately:
    1 small beef roast
    2 cups of beans (pintos, kidney beans)
    1 chopped onion
    2 tablespoons of minced garlic
    1 chopped bell pepper
    2 chopped Anaheim (mild-ish) peppers
    1 chopped jalapeno
    1 quart home canned tomato sauce
    2 tablespoons chili powder (we mix up our own chili powder)
    2 teaspoons cumin
    1 tablespoon cocoa powder
    Sometimes I throw in some home canned salsa

    The Secret Ingredient: Wheat
    I add 1/2 cup of uncooked wheat to the chili. Uncooked barley works great too! The grain is a wonderful addition to the chili. But watch out–you need to leave it in the crockpot for a while. This is not usually a problem, since I make up a crockpot in the morning and let it cook all day. I have tried adding wheat to a chili batch later in the afternoon and it didn’t work. I think it’s a great way to make the chili even more filling, without feeling like you have to add a ton of meat. What meat you do have in this recipe from the beef roast will end up super tender.

    When I make this recipe, my kids (ages 9, 7, 5 and 1) clap their hands! The older kids know why they’re clapping their hands… the baby just claps whenever the other kids clap!

  35. P.S. I used beans I’ve already cooked in my chili. Cook the chili in a crockpot on low all day long.

  36. 40
    Nikki CB

    I’m so happy that you posted this call for recipes!! I can’t wait to read through all of these and start trying them. Here is a favorite of mine. I cook it a lot, and I love it because it uses dried black beans but you don’t have to soak them before putting them in the slow cooker. It is awesome.

    Also, I love the photos with this post! I want to make a huge print of one of them and put it up in my apartment. Yes, I love beans.

  37. This recipe is one of my super easy go-to recipes. It’s rigatoni with white beans and tomatoes. Usually I’m not a fan of tomatoes on their own, but the simmering step in this recipe makes the tomatoes to die for! An added benefit- no meat!

  38. I’ll share another while I’m at it- this recipe is for “white chili”- no red sauce, no tomatoes, super healthy! It doesn’t have the traditional beef, instead it calls for turkey. It also features any sort of white bean and tons of swiss chard, although spinach would work too. It’s super satisfying on a cool fall night like regular chili- but a great twist!

  39. 43
    Jane Maynard

    how in the world am I going to get through all these recipes? what a WONDERFUL resource, thank you everyone!!!! and of course, feel free to keep sharing! 🙂

  40. 44

    First I copied down a ton of the recipes posted and now I will share one of my favorites!

    Black Bean and Rice Salad

    Yield: Makes 6 cups
    Active Time: 10 min
    Total Time: 40 min

    1 cup long grain brown rice
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (use less)
    1 medium red onion, finely chopped
    3 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and minced
    2 cups freshly cut white corn kernels (from 2 ears) or 1 box (10 ounces) frozen corn, thawed
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed well and drained
    1 tablespoon Balsamic white vinegar
    Freshly ground black pepper

    Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, just until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water until cool. Transfer to a large bowl.
    Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the same saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add the chile, onion and garlic and stir until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the corn and salt and cook, stirring, just until heated through, about 1 minute. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the rice and toss to mix.

    Add the beans, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the vinegar and toss well. Season with plenty of pepper and toss again.

  41. I mentioned this recipe to you when we last saw each other.
    It’s not dry beans like you might be thinking of, but the pre-cooked lentils from TJs. It’s sweet and nutritious and perfect for fall.

  42. 46

    I’m glad you remembered to post this so I remember it!!! 🙂

  43. I love beans, in any form — but especially in chili. Here’s my very own chili recipe that I created about 12 years ago in a dutch oven at family reunion. It’s been a family favorite ever since:

    1 lb ground beef (you can substitute TVP and a couple tablespoons oil, or just leave it out altogether)
    1 large sweet onion, diced
    1 green bell pepper, diced
    1 yellow bell pepper, diced
    1 red bell pepper, diced
    1 jalepeno pepper, minced (optional — it’s got plenty of heat without it)
    1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
    1 can tomato paste
    2 cans pinto beans
    2 cans black beans
    2 cans kidney beans
    1 Tbsp Chili Pwd
    1 Tbsp Garlic Salt
    2 Tbsp Taco Seasoning
    1 Tbsp Cumin
    2 tsp liquid smoke

    In 12″ deep dutch oven or large kettle, brown hamburger. Throw in onions and peppers, and saute until tender. Add spices, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Simmer for about 5 minutes to give peppers a chance to soften up. Add beans and heat till bubbly and serve. Even better the next day! May need to adjust salt to your personal preferences. This makes a lot of chili — two meals for my family of 7 — so you need a big pot.

    • I forgot to mention, you can find more chili recipes at my website which is devoted entirely to my favorite food — chili! lol –> Chili Recipes With Beef

      This site contains a collection of my fav chili recipes, of which I have a practically endless supply. I’m just getting started, though, and I have a lot of organization to do yet. But in all honesty, my very most favorite chili recipe is the one I just posted. It just dawned on me that I haven’t even put it on my own website yet! Duh. Better go fix that.

      Thanks for the great Blog, Jane. I’ve bookmarked it, and will be back!

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