25 Best Bean Recipes

Not sure how to use that can of beans? You're in the right place. These easy bean recipes include something for everyone - chilis, tacos, and more!

Bean Recipes

If the grocery store shelves are any indication, we’re all on the hunt for good bean recipes right now. I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but in Chicago, it’s hard to find canned or dried beans anywhere. Jack and I may have had to visit a few extra grocery stores as a result, but at the same time, I’ve been happy to see that people are buying beans. They’re a fantastic source of plant-based protein, fiber, and other nutrients, they keep for weeks, and they’re delicious!

What’s more, they’re incredibly versatile. Heat them on the stove with salt and pepper and serve them as a side dish, puree them into a creamy dip or pasta sauce, stuff them into tacos, or bake them into a hearty vegetarian pot pie. Your options are endless, but these 25 easy bean recipes are a great place to start.

Bean Dip Recipes

White bean dip

White Bean Dip
If you have white beans, olive oil, and lemons, you can whizz together this zesty dip in no time! I like to add rosemary and basil to make it extra fresh, but if you don’t have any on hand, swap in whatever herbs you do have, or skip them. It’ll be creamy and bright either way.

Hummus Recipe

Hummus
7 ingredients. 5 minutes. 1 big bowl of smooth, creamy dip! In terms of taste, texture, and simplicity, hummus is hard to beat.

Bean Soups and Stews

Vegetarian chili

Easy Vegetarian Chili
No list of bean recipes is complete without a classic chili made with kidney beans and tomatoes. I spice mine up with adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo. It’s smoky, savory, and so. darn. good!

Soup bean recipes

Creamy Potato Soup
There’s no cream or dairy in this plant-based potato soup. Instead, it gets its comforting creamy texture from blended potatoes and white beans!

Roasted red bell pepper and white bean soup recipe

Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Roasted red bell peppers, carrots, and fennel give this vibrant soup its bold color and flavor, while a handful of blended white beans perfects its creamy texture. This recipe is also on page 203 of The Love & Lemons Cookbook.

Creamy cannellini bean soup

Creamy Wild Rice Soup
I use white beans 2 ways in this nourishing soup! I leave some whole for hearty texture and blend the rest with cashews, miso paste, and Dijon mustard to make the soup’s lightly creamy, savory base.

White bean soup

Curried Parsnip & White Bean Soup, page 223 of The Love and Lemons Cookbook,
Can you guess how this soup gets its velvety texture? Blended white beans, of course! Curried spices and apples highlight the sweet, nutty flavor of the parsnips in this simple, comforting soup.

White bean chili

Tomatillo Zucchini White Bean Chili, page 99 of Love and Lemons Every Day
This tangy tomatillo chili is one of my all-time favorite bean recipes! It’s the ultimate white bean chili, featuring a creamy, veggie-packed broth that’s bright with lime juice.

Minestrone soup

Spiralized Vegetable Noodle Soup
I swap spiralized zucchini and sweet potatoes for pasta in this fun riff on classic minestrone soup. If you don’t have a spiralizer, go ahead and dice the veggies. It’ll still taste delicious!

Tuscan white bean soup

Ribollita (Tuscan White Bean Soup)
Don’t toss that hunk of stale bread on your counter! Instead, stir it into a pot of brothy white bean soup to make ribollita, a flexible, nourishing Italian classic.

Pasta & Bean Recipes

Pasta Bean Recipes

Creamy Vegan Pasta
Move over, mac and cheese! A can of white beans blends into a bright, nutty sauce that’s every bit as luscious and creamy as one made with cheese, cream, or butter.

Creamy Vegan Pasta Salad

Vegan Pasta Salad
Little navy beans make this bright and briny pasta salad hearty enough to be a meal on its own!

Vegetarian Spaghetti and meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs
Sometimes, nothing but a homey bowl of spaghetti and meatballs will do. I make hearty, smoky veggie balls out of black beans and mushrooms and pile them onto pasta with a big scoop of homemade tomato sauce. Trust me, you won’t miss the meat!

Tagliatelle with white beans

Tagliatelle with Tomatoes and Greens
This tagliatelle uses a handful of pantry ingredients – canned tomatoes, pasta, carrots, shallots, and cannellini beans – but it’s tangy, rich, and satisfying all the same. It’s also on page 95 of The Love & Lemons Cookbook.

Bowl Bean Recipes

Black beans and rice bowl

Mango Ginger Rice Bowl
In this recipe, I take the classic combination of beans and rice in a totally new direction. I dress them up with crisp veggies, creamy avocado, diced mango, and a tangy tamari-lime sauce. A scoop of pickled ginger takes it all over the top.

Mung bean bowl recipe

Buddha Bowl
I make this vibrant bowl with mung beans, but in a pinch, French green lentils work just as well. They add heft to this mix of veggies and brown rice, while a turmeric tahini sauce fills it all with bold flavor.

Brown Rice and Adzuki Bean Bowls

Brown Rice and Adzuki Bean Bowl
Adzuki beans are small red beans with a rich, nutty, and slightly sweet flavor. They make this nourishing combination of crisp veggies, red beans, and rice unique and delicious, but if you can’t find them, feel free to use black beans instead.

Burrito Bowl

Portobello Burrito Bowl
Mix black or pinto beans with chopped chipotles from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and you have the tastiest burrito bowl fixing around. I love to accent their smoky flavor with a scoop of sweet and spicy pineapple salsa.

Bowl Bean Recipes

Simple Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl
As long as you have a grain, a veggie, and canned or dried beans in your pantry, a tasty grain bowl is never far away. Here, I combine quinoa, chickpeas, and roasted sweet potatoes to make a simple weeknight dinner, but almost any mix of grains, legumes, or vegetables would work here. Just add a big squeeze of lemon, and enjoy!

Main Dish Bean Recipes

Cozy Vegan Mushroom & White Bean Potpie

Cozy Vegan Mushroom & White Bean Pot Pie, page 141 of Love and Lemons Every Day
Thyme, mushrooms, and cannellini beans are the star ingredients in this homey, savory pot pie filling. It’s delicious under the crumbly, flaky crust, but I love this filling so much that I’d happily devour a bowl of it on its own!

Quinoa & White Bean Risotto

Quinoa White Bean Risotto
Who says you need cheese or cream to make a creamy, comforting risotto? This vegan version, from The First Mess Cookbook, swaps quinoa for the traditional rice and gets its rich, creamy texture from – you guessed it – blended white beans.

Spinach Artichoke Pizza with white bean sauce

Spinach Artichoke Pizza
This spinach artichoke pizza embodies everything you love about the classic dip (creamy! delicious!), but it’s so much lighter! Its creamy sauce is a zingy blend of artichokes, lemon, and white beans.

Black bean tacos

Vegetarian Tacos
Roast whatever veggies you have on hand, toss them with black beans, and stuff them into tortillas for an easy, healthy weeknight dinner. This recipe includes a tangy avocado sauce, but if you don’t have any avocados on hand, my creamy chipotle sauce would be equally delicious.

Sweet Potato Chili Fries

Sweet Potato Chili Fries
What’s more comforting than hot veggie chili? Hot veggie chili over sweet potato home fries! This is an A+ combination on its own, but tangy yogurt sauce, crisp cabbage slaw, and/or pickled red onions really take it to the next level.

Vegetarian black bean enchiladas

Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas
Black beans, scallions, and roasted butternut squash are one of the simplest – and tastiest – enchilada fillings out there. Roll them in tortillas and top them in smoky enchilada sauce, and you won’t be able to get enough! This recipe is also on page 259 of The Love & Lemons Cookbook.

More Pantry Basics

If you love these bean recipes, check out these pantry-friendly recipe roundups next:

Bean Recipes: Pinto Bean Chili

rate this recipe:
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Serves 6 to 8
This easy chili recipe is one of our favorite bean recipes! It's quick to make and it freezes well.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup water or broth
  • 3 chipotle peppers from canned chipotles in adobo, diced, plus 3 tablespoons sauce*
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, plus wedges for serving

serving suggestions:

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, a few pinches of salt and pepper, and stir. Cook until the onion is translucent, 5 minutes, then add the garlic and red pepper. Stir and cook until soft, 5 to 8 minutes, turning the heat down as needed.
  • Add the tomatoes, beans, water, chipotles, adobo sauce, corn, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chili has thickened.
  • Stir in the lime juice and season to taste. Serve with desired toppings.

Notes

*Chipotle peppers vary in spice level, so if you’re sensitive to spice, start with less. If you love spice, add more to taste. If your chili is too spicy, add more lime juice and a bit of olive oil to tone it down.

9 comments

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  1. Shirley Tucker
    03.25.2020

    I can’t seem to find most of these ingredients anymore. No potatoes, no red peppers, no fennel, to tomatoes…
    It’s scary.

    • Samantha
      03.25.2020

      I agree…I think lots of people are buying beans, but are they actually eating them? We were lucky to find a few potatoes the other day, but I wonder what people are doing with all this food they’re hoarding…pretty soon we’ll be hearing about rat infestations ;).

      However, these recipes do look great – I’ll be trying the mushroom & white bean pot pie as soon as I find some white beans!

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        03.25.2020

        I’ve seen more dried beans lately even though canned beans have been gone. I only had 2 cans of beans left in my pantry before this all started, so I’m obsessed with dried ones now!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.25.2020

      Hi Shirley, let me know what you have and I can try to offer some suggestions. I’ve seen broccoli, canned artichokes, kale, mushrooms, and carrots recently which are in some of the recipes above.

  2. Pam O.
    03.25.2020

    I just wanted to say thank you for the timely, relevant, and inspiring posts during the last several days. Every recipe of yours that we’ve made has always been a hit, so I’m excited to see even more. Your posts are a bright spot in my day. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.29.2020

      Thanks Pam! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the posts!

  3. Sabrina from newkitchenlife.com
    03.30.2020

    love all of these bean recipes especially since legumes are a part of my slow carb thing and I’m sick of my “go to” pintos, so thank you!

  4. Kathryn
    04.01.2020

    Thanks for posting this! I love beans and I’m always looking for new ways to use them. We made your vegan white cheddar mac and cheese a few months ago and it was delicious!

  5. Mama Jada
    08.15.2020

    5 stars
    thank y’all for da bean recipes, my chile loved em beans, he even had seconds!!!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.