Let's get right into it. Making a meal out of canned beans is incredibly useful, especially when we're doing a lot of cooking out of the pantry. So in honor of the occasion, below you'll find 35 recipes to make with a can of beans!! We're got all sorts of flavors going on but a few things you should know up front!
Table of Contents
Canned Beans 101
- Rinse the beans! You always want to remove the beans from the can, drain the liquid, and then rinse them until the water runs clear and there are no suds! That liquid is extra starchy and can be full of sodium so make sure it ditch it!
- Get creative! Each recipe below calls for a certain kind of bean, but in reality, any bean works! Black beans, kidney beans, white beans, you name it!
- Give them time: When adding canned beans to soups and stews, simmer them for at least 15 minutes to let them absorb all the flavors.
- Substitutions: If you're using a recipe that calls for dried beans, you can substitute two (15-ounce) cans of beans for every cup of dried beans that's called for in your recipe.
- Storage: if might be tempting to store leftover beans back in the can, BUT DON'T! Store them in a covered glass or plastic container in the fridge for up to one week.
35 Ways to Use Canned Beans
Smoky Chipotle Chicken Chili - What do you make for a hungry crowd of people? Smoky Chipotle Chicken Chili… obviously!! It’s the perfect one pot wonder that feeds a ton of people. Plus it’s even better for leftovers as the flavors continue to develop!
Loaded Minestrone Soup - This classic Italian version of a vegetable soup is loaded with just about every vegetable under the sun, a handful or so of pasta, a tomato broth and parmesan cheese to make the perfect Minestrone!
Italian Wedding Soup - This meatball loaded soup is light, bright and delicious and perfect for those fall and winter months.
Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili - This smoky Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili is going to rock your world! Honestly, it’s the best vegetarian chili to ever grace my kitchen. 100% a game changer.
Chicken Tortilla Soup - This Tucson inspired Chicken Tortilla Soup is piled high with all the toppings! It's loaded with shredded chicken, canned beans, cheese, plenty of cilantro, crispy tortilla strips and of course, avocado.
Skillet Cheesy Chickpeas - Need a quick recipe to use canned chickpeas, these Skillet Cheesy Chickpeas are incredible and super easy!
Black Bean Nachos - These Fully Loaded Black Beans Nachos are a vegetarians dream. It’s all about these homemade re-fried black beans that get tossed with some chips and doused with cheese and salsa plus a few other odds and ends.
Homemade Chicken Taquitos - Remember those frozen Chicken Taquitos you'd buy as a kid – well these are homemade and they are INCREDIBLE!! You'll be obsessed.
Tex Mex Enchilada Queso - This cheesy Tex Mex Enchilada Queso is basically everything you’d throw into a batch of enchiladas….but in dip form. It’s brilliant if you ask me.
Calabrian Chili Hummus - It’s the perfect snack. Smooth, creamy, a hint of spice and served with those epic homemade pita chips that you guys all love!
White Bean Panzanella - These white beans mixed with the arugula pesto and some garlic croutons is EVERYTHING. Truly – I could eat it all day long.
Deconstructed Falafel Salad - This Deconstructed Falafel Salad is loaded with all my favorite things from a Falafel Wrap! Chickpeas, Cucumbers, Radishes, Herbs, and a Lemon Vinaigrette to make it all shine!
Mexican Cobb Salad - Loaded with shredded romaine lettuce, freshly grated cheese, black beans, corn, guacamole, pico and spicy shrimp – it’s one of those complete meal salads that you’ll absolutely adore!
California Cobb Salad - A Californian twist on the classic. It’s loaded with roasted sweet potatoes and beets, some chickpeas for that extra protein, plenty of creamy avocado, a dressing that you’ll absolutely adore, and some flaked salmon on top to make it into a main!
McCarthy Chopped Salad - If you've ever been to the Beverly Hills Hotel, you know it's all about the McCarthy Cobb. Cubes of cheddar, chicken, beets, chickpeas, avocado, lettuce… you name it. It's incredible. But if you're not really wanting to drop $40 on a salad… here's how to make it at home.
Curried Salmon Rice Bowl - Quick and easy salmon that’s cooked in the oven with a curry olive oil paste, creamy coconut chickpeas, steamed white rice and some naan to soak up anything leftover!! All of that gets topped with plenty of fresh herbs to give everything that bright finish that we all know and love and voila…. dinner!!
Veggie Fajita Bowls - Rajas Veggie Fajita Bowl with Instant Pot Beans are legit the most perfect lunch or dinner and GREAT for meal prep!
Avocado Shrimp Quinoa Bowl - A superfood loaded bowl with shrimp, quinoa black beans, veggies and the best cilantro vinaigrette! Perfect for lunch or dinner.
Carnitas Burrito Bowl - My all time fav Carnitas Burrito Bowl! All of the toppings, black beans, yummy rice, and the best carnitas you'll ever make!
Southwestern Brown Rice Bowl - It’s one of those perfect meals that you can make and then take for lunches throughout the week or eat over and over and over again for dinner! As it stands it’s vegetarian, but you could easily add some cooked salmon or shredded rotisserie chicken if that’s more your speed.
Cauliflower Rice Bowls - Cauliflower Rice Veggie Bowls with Instant Pot Black Beans, perfectly roasted sweet potatoes and all the guacamole on top! It's the perfect lunch or dinner.
Bean and Cheese Enchiladas - The most perfect recipe for Bean and Cheese Enchiladas!! Say hello to your new fav weeknight meal!
White Fish with Tomato Basil Beans - This super easy and rustic mediterranean style fish is legit the perfect meal. It comes together in under 30 minutes, is loaded with all sorts of incredibly flavors from the beans, basil, tomato sauce etc and has a perfect flaky piece of fish on top! I’m honestly obsessed and it’s going in the regular weekly rotation from here on out!
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - There’s a quinoa risotto type situation on the inside along with some corn and black beans, cheese on top because why not, and some guacamole on the side to round out the meal. It’s perfection!
Poblano Skillet Enchiladas - Shredded enchilada chicken layered with tortillas, canned beans, cheese, corn and some green chiles and game over. You probably have almost everything in your fridge already. And feel free to get creative. Sky’s the limit.
Healthy Loaded Sweet Potatoes - In our house we stock sweet potatoes like onions, garlic and cheese. So basically, we’re never without a few on hand. I’m particularly obsessed with stuffing them. Especially when it involves corn, black beans, salsa and cheese (just a handful of my favorite ingredients!)
Vegetarian Quinoa Bake - This super easy Vegetarian Quinoa Bake is a one pot wonder. It’s prepped and baked in a skillet, loaded with black beans, various ad-ins, and topped it with cheese! Get ready for your new favorite dinner.
Black Bean Enchiladas - Sweet Potatoes, Kale and Black Beans. They all just work so well together, and I thought why not stuff them into some enchiladas, smother them with enchilada sauce, cheese and a chipotle crema. Match made in heaven.
Cheesy Chicken Taco Pasta - This Cheesy Chicken Taco Chili Pasta has taco flavors, tons of salsa, some beans, and all the cheese. It’s my ideal meal for many reasons including the fact that it’s all made in 1 pot.
Southwestern Taco Pizza - Leave it to me to find a way to turn a taco into just about anything. Instead of a pizza sauce base, I use Chipotle Salsa, top it with with tons of cheese, poblano peppers, corn, black beans, green onions, jalapeños and then a sprinkling of cotija cheese to give it a nice salty kick. See… taco pizza!! Get into it!
Black Bean Veggie Burger - Get ready for the best veggie burger ever – a Black Bean Veggie Burger loaded with quinoa, black beans, zucchini, onions and a few secret ingredients like pulverized tortilla chips and tons of spices! I can promise you that it won’t disappoint!
Sausage Kale and Bean Pasta - I know what you might be thinking, beans in pasta? Gaby are you ok? Yup. Sure am. The flavors work perfectly together, the textures make it exciting and if you happen to have leftovers, you’re in luck!! The longer these flavors hang out together (a few days in the fridge) the better everything tastes!
Chicken Rice and Cheese Casserole - If you’re looking for the most comforting and easy dinner – look no further! This Chicken Rice and Cheese Casserole is truly perfection!
Skillet Cheesy Chickpeas
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
- ¼ cup water
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella
- basil and bread to garnish / serve
- Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and saute for 3-5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chickpeas and stir to combine, followed by the marinara sauce, boiling water to thin it out and season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the shredded cheese on top and transfer to the broiler to melt the cheese until bubbly and golden. Season with salt and pepper and basil and serve with chunky bread on the side. Also excellent served over roasted chicken!