31 Bean Recipes Every Homestead Should Know

We’ve all seen a few cowboy movies and one of the staples of the cowboy film is the food for the trip.

red beans and rice
red beans and rice on a plate

It’s usually beans and coffee or something else with coffee or some type of alcohol – usually whisky. That’s great and all, but have you ever noticed that there’s very seldom anything with the beans?

That’s a little far-fetched because beans are one of the best friends that hikers, outdoorsmen, and preppers can have.

They have a ridiculously long shelf life (provided they’re stored correctly) and are easy to store for long periods. The fact that they’re very easy to prepare is an added bonus.

So, what can you eat with beans? Well, here are a few bean recipes for you to enjoy!

1. Beans and Instant Noodles

Okay, okay, not really a recipe but I had to include it because it’s such a common hiker’s dish! It’s very easy to make and you’ll have a tasty, filling meal within 2 – 3 minutes.

Simply prepare the beans and noodles and toss them together in a bowl. You mix them together and chow time!

2. Vegetarian Chili

I’m not the biggest fan of chili, I tried it when I was a kid, and let’s just say it didn’t go so well.

Now, while I’m not the biggest fan of chili, I know several people who love the stuff because it’s filling and warms you up.

Being a vegetarian dish, there is obviously a ton of veggies in it which makes it an easy and nutritious meal. If this is something that you’d like to try, then here’s the recipe for you.

3. White Bean Dip

What’s a common thing that you’ll find on a table at a barbeque? I’ll give you a hint, you’ll find it on the snack table with the chips.

That’s right, dip! Now, you probably won’t be dipping your Doritos into this particular dip – it’s bean dip, after all – but you can still dip carrot sticks into it.

Alternatively, if you’re feeling adventurous, why not put it on a sandwich? Yes, you can really do that. Here’s the recipe.

4. Potato Soup

I know what you’re thinking: “potatoes? I thought this was a list of bean recipes”.

This is a list of bean recipes, don’t get me wrong; the soup is a mixture of blended potatoes and white beans.

The blend of potato and beans makes this a creamy, nutritious dish that’s perfect for that chilly winter weather! Here’s the recipe in case you want to try it yourself.

5. Wild Rice Soup

Another soup recipe with white beans in it. This one has a creamy texture with a nice savory flavor to it. If that sounds good to you, here’s the recipe.

6. Ribollita (Tuscan White Bean Soup)

I’ll try to lay off the soup recipes, I promise but this one had to be shared! It’s a creamy white bean soup that’s been thickened with cubes of bread.

Now, I’m not vegetarian myself but I like a bit of soup every now and then and if I’d known about this when I went to Italy a few years back, I’d have definitely given it a try! Here’s the recipe for you.

7. Vegan Pasta Salad

A pasta salad with a creamy sauce and veggies and noodles makes for a perfect meal if you want something light to eat. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself, here’s the recipe.

8. Spaghetti and Meatballs

Okay, so I love spaghetti and meatballs and this recipe puts a bit of a twist on an old classic. Instead of proper meatballs, you use veggie balls – balls made of mushrooms and black beans.

Put them on top of your noodles and top everything off with a homemade tomato or marinara sauce. Here’s the recipe for you!

9. Mango and Ginger Rice Bowl

Rice is commonly combined with beans because it’s both convenient and tasty.

This dish takes avocado, vegetables, rice, and beans and tops it all off with slices of mango and topped off with a bit of ginger. Sound good? Here’s the recipe for you!

10. Buddha Bowl

Vibrant and tasty, this one is typically made with mung beans, brown rice, and vegetables. As if this mixture wasn’t tasty enough as is, the whole thing is topped off with a tahini sauce for added flavor! You can get a good recipe here.

11. Brown Rice and Adzuki Bean Bowl

Brown rice combined with crisp veggies and red, nut-flavored beans? Sounds pretty good to me, where can I get a recipe? Well…here, of course!

All jokes aside, this meal is filling, delicious, and will leave you wanting more.

12. Vegan Burrito

If you like burritos but you want something a bit less…meaty, then this is for you. This vegan burrito has a nice flavor courtesy of the black beans and sauces that it uses and ultimately, you’ll love this one. Here’s the recipe for you.

13. Kale Minestrone with Pistou

Yes, another soup but it’s not my fault soup is so popular! Anyways, this is, as the name suggests a minestrone soup with kale, cannellini beans, and pistou sauce.

I’m not a huge fan of minestrone myself, but this is something that I’d be willing to try – if only to see what it tastes like. If you want to make this one yourself, here’s the recipe.

14. Escarole with Cannellini Beans

Okay so first off; what’s escarole? Well, it’s a leafy green veggie with a bitter taste. So, escarole with cannellini beans is obviously a dish of beans and veggies – right?

This is a simple, but the filling dish that leaves plenty of leftovers (unless you’re in my family) to be frozen and eaten later. Here’s the recipe for you to try yourself.

15. Caramelized Leek and Fava Bean Toast

Okay, leeks have a bit of a…funny taste, but you caramelize them and you can add to the flavor.

Fava beans are probably best known from Silence of the Lambs – that’s where I learned about them – and toast is…well…toast.

This is a nice, easy meal to make, and the soft leeks and fava beans give it a nice texture and flavor. Here’s a recipe for you to try yourself.

16. Greens and Beans Sandwich

Sandwiches are a common lunchtime meal – unless you’re in my house where we eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner sometimes.

I’ll bet you’ve never considered putting beans on a sandwich though. I’ve heard of and tried avocado sandwiches, a sandwich with green salad stuff and beans in it is…interesting, and if you want to try this yourself, here’s a recipe for you.

17. Stir-Fried Pork with Chile, and Runner Beans

Stir fry is a popular dish in my family and while I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be ‘chilli’ there’s no denying that adding runner beans (or any kind of beans) to it isn’t going to hurt the dish. Try it yourself and see what you think.

18. Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic

If you like Asian cuisine, then this is a recipe for you. It’s simple and the flavor is enhanced with a touch of garlic.

It’s not as rich as typical Asian cuisine but it’s got a nice taste to it – even if you’re not a fan of garlic. Here’s the recipe if you want to try it.

19. White Bean Ragout

This ragout has a very, very nice meal; it’s got a strong flavor which is great for the main course. Now, it’s best served with toasted garlic bread. If you’d like to try this yourself, here’s the recipe.

20. Black Bean Burgers

I like a good burger from time to time, as far as a bean burger goes; it’s something that I’d be willing to try.

It’s a popular and flavorful meal that you will enjoy. Don’t take my word for it, though, try it yourself and see what you think. Here’s the recipe.

21. Spicy 3-Bean Chili Salad

Another chili recipe, this one has a very bold flavor – and I’m not kidding about that. There are three different types of beans that are mixed into a tomato paste vinaigrette.

It’s a very spicy dish which can be a little…harsh for those who aren’t used to it.

Thankfully you can take the edge off with a bit of sour cream. If you want to try this one, here’s the recipe.

22. Navy Bean Soup

I know, I know, another soup recipe. This particular soup is derived from white beans and ham (yes, really).

The result is a creamy texture and slightly smoky flavor which is enhanced by the parsley, onions and other bits and bobs.  Here’s the recipe for you!

23. Beef and Bean Burritos

Not much to say on this one. It’s exactly what it sounds like; a burrito with beef and beans in it.

If you’re a fan of Mexican food, then this is a recipe to try; it’s got a nice spicy flavor and will leave you wanting more.

24. Cauliflower and Bean Chili

It seems like there are a lot of chili and soup recipes on this list already so I may as well just roll with it!

This is a bean chili that has a touch of cauliflower added into it during the last ten minutes of prep – roughly. Here’s the recipe.

25. Three-Bean Salad

A nice little side dish for any occasion, this salad has three types of beans which gives it a vibrant color and great taste. It’s also super easy to make, here’s the recipe.

26. Pasta with Creamy White Beans

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…I can’t do a good Italian accent, but I can do a pretty good Italian meal.

I can’t say I’m surprised to see another Italian dish on the list, but then again, I’m not easily surprised by food nowadays.

You can add pretty much anything to pasta and get something good so here’s the recipe for you to try.

27. Black Bean Soup

This one is quick to make and tastes great! The use of a pressure/multi-cooker makes things so much easier, shortening the prep/cooking time while sealing in all the flavor.

You can experiment with this one a bit and see what you like putting with it. Here’s the recipe for you.

28. Baked Beans on Toast

Okay, this is a genuine two-minute meal. Heat a portion of tinned baked beans and prep a slice or two of toast. When the toast is ready, put the beans on it and chow down!

29. Braised Beans

Another pasta and beans combo, this one is easy to make, requiring only a handful of ingredients.

It has a rich, flavor and a creamy texture which makes it a popular family dish. Here’s the recipe, try it yourself.

30. Pinto Bean Salsa Salad

This one is a nice side dish or, if you’re a vegetarian, it also makes a great main course. The beans are mixed with bell peppers, tomato, and corn and then given a quick coating of salsa.

What you end up with is a spicy treat that’s hot but not too hot. Try it yourself and see how you like it.

31. Black Bean Brownies

Yes, this is actually a thing, and it was just so weird that I had to put it somewhere.

The only real difference between these and traditional brownies is that these ones have blended/pureed black beans mixed into them.

It doesn’t really affect the flavor and it adds a lot of nutrition to the brownies. Try them out yourself with this recipe and see what you think.

There are Many, Many More

This is just a small handful of recipes that use beans as an ingredient. There are many, many more from which to choose.

I could probably sit and catalog all the bean recipes on the net, and I’d never get it done.

Apart from the numerous recipes that are already available online, people are always experimenting and coming up with something new.

Of course, they then share their experience and recipe, and the game just continues.

So, we come to the end, but before I go, I want to say I hope you all enjoyed the article and found it informative. As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the next one!

Take care!

bean recipes pinterest

59 thoughts on “31 Bean Recipes Every Homestead Should Know”

  1. We love beans, almost any beans, except LIMAs! It’s called both a pea or a bean, but we really like black eyed peas. We make hopping john and cowboy caviar using them. Recipes can be found online, and um-um, delicious. I have also cooked black eyed peas with onion, garlic, a bay leaf, paprika, smoked sausage (beef) and just a small spoon of sugar. We like this with either cornbread or rice.

  2. Just a FYI on beans. You can use a rice cooker to cook your beans! Less time. Soak or the speed method. Drain, rinse and add to cooker. Cover beans with water plus about 2 cups of water. Set to cook. You may want to surround the bottom with paper towel when doing a whole bag. I do a bag at a time, separate in zip locks, and freeze. Works with any beans!

  3. I so know how you feel! I hate beans but they are so cheap and good for you! One way I like to make them is to soak them and cook them then add in some salsa and taco seasoning then use a hand blender to mix it all up. I LOVE beans this way. So do all 4 of my children. Serve spread on tortillas, with chips, or just in a bowl with yummy toppings!

  4. Kendra,

    I do not know if someone mentioned this or not, but if you soak your beans with lemon juice on the counter overnight then drain, they will not “repeat” and also the flavor seems more… mellow or palatable or something. Also, I choose to cook my beans in broth that I save from roasts or boiled chicken. Those flavors soak in and they are very good that way. I also add garlic, salt, and thyme (if I’m in the mood) which adds more flavor.

  5. Totally different recipe from my old neighbor: After cooking your pinto beans until they are done add salt, margerine or butter and regular or powdered milk just before serving. The milk cuts the beany flavor.

  6. I made some awesome refried beans with pinto beans, bacon fat drippings, and onions. They were really good 😀

    Beans have a fairly neutral taste so I like to spice it up 😀

  7. We eat Black beans and rice as an entire meal. The secret is to add a little chili powder to the black beans and serve them with lots of shredded cheese and sour cream…… and salsa. I know, SO healthy, right??

  8. boy have I got a recipe for you! what a flavor, my kids ate it up

    I got this out of a Cuban cookbook and its out of this world!!!

    2 and a half lbs black beans
    1 and a half lbs peppers
    1 and a half lbs onions
    2 can red peppers
    2 cups olive oil
    one third cup vinegar
    2 tsp sugar
    salt and pepper to season

    cook beans the day before in just enough water to cover.
    Mince the onion and green pepper, saving any liquid they may leave and cook until the liquid is consumed. Crush the contents of one can of red peppers and add to the onion and green pepper misture, together with half the oil. Fry well and add to the beans. Season with salt,pepper and sugar and cook over a very low heat for 3 hours. During this time, add the remaining oil, vinegar and the other can of red peppers cut into pieces and their liquid. serves 10-15. Once cooked the beans may be kept in the fridge.

  9. At around 11am put 2C beans and 5-6Cwater in a crockpot. Add 1 or 2 cans diced tomatoes with peppers or Jalapenos. Add cut up onion, bellpepper, garlic, and some taco seasoning mix. Some fried hamburger if you want (optional). Set on high and will be ready by dinner. Before serving add some salt (and believe it or not a small spoon of sugar if you want – cuts the bitterness of the beans). We put this over rice.

  10. I’ve come across some recipes that use white beans or black beans (in dark foods like chocolate cake) pureed with some of the cooking water in place of some or all of the oil. It uses up some beans, provides extra fiber and lessens the fat content. I made a cake with white beans instead of oil. It was good, but dried out faster than normal.

    My favorite way to eat black beans is with brown rice and salsa. If I’ve got sour cream or cheese, they make great additions, as well as red peppers, avocado, and olives.

    I also use jamaican jerk seasoning (I like the one Pampered Chef makes) along with red peppers, green onions and pineapple for something different. You can put it on rice or lettuce.

    I am a vegetarian (and my family doesn’t eat pork) so I’m always trying to substitute beans for meat. I picked my favorite casseroles and tossed in some beans instead of meat for myself, or half beans half meat for my family to get them used to it.

    Hummus, or other bean dips are super tasty too. The easiest way I’ve found to make hummus is to blend up 1/2 pound cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) with a can of black olives or roasted red peppers. You can add a couple tablespoons of lemon juice (or maybe lime if you want a black bean dip), salt, garlic and a little olive oil or water if it’s too thick. Dip crackers, chips or pitas in it. You can also make bean spreads to put on meat sandwiches (or just veggies).

    I’ve heard that beans after a year of storage won’t get soft (and I’ve experienced this problem). I’ve found that if you put in a little baking soda (maybe 1/2 teaspoon in a pound of beans), they finally do soften up. This is important to know if you’re storing beans for a long time.

  11. Mmmmmm- beans. I usually use chopped onion, some garlic, and powdered ham bouillon (I get it at an Amish store). I have seen ham bouillon at other stores as well. If I have ham I will add – but not necessary with the bouillon.

    As other have mentioned, they are good for lots of uses. I also like to make burgers from them. Cook your beans as usual, drain and mash quite a bit. Then add egg and cracker /bread crumbs as you would with meatloaf. Fry on each side till they have a golden tent. Oh these are soooooo good and good for you. Eat with whatever toppings you would put on a burger.

  12. I generally cook pinto beans, and I agree that beans on their own are so blah & boring. But that also makes them so easy to spice up a bit! One of my favorites is to cook my pinto beans in the slow cooker, with a ham roast (you could also use chopped ham, smoked sausage or even a ham hock just for flavor – basically whatever you have available) and 1 or 2 sliced yellow onions. Then I just add some garlic powder & chili powder and let them cook all day, and serve with cornbread.

    I also like to do chili style pintos or red/kidney beans. Cook them with some chili powder, cumin, garlic & onion, then add a can of diced tomatoes (after the beans are tender) and let it simmer. You can also add some cooked ground beef or other meat to this and let it simmer for a really hearty chili. You can even add additional veggies like chopped bell peppers or corn. It is so versatile.

    As someone above mentioned, do NOT add salt or tomatoes (or anything overly acidic) to the cooking beans until they are already softened, or else they will never get tender.

  13. Are you salting the beans after cooking them? The suggestions above are great for using the beans, but it seems that your question is making them taste good after the initial cooking up.

    I do not add salt while the beans are cooking because they won’t cook all the way. Once they are done and I pull them off the stove, I add 1/2 tablespoon of sea salt to the hot beans. I let them cook overnight, then rinse the next day to use. They have a good flavor and are not salty.

    Also, if you are not liking the flavor of the beans, try a different one. I have a general preference for dark beans (red, black, pinto) and do not usually eat white (navy, lima, black-eyed peas).

  14. I’d store white beans and/or chick peas. Both (in my opinion) are wildly more flavorful than black or red beans and much more appetizing. Toss white beans in veggie soup, with some vegggies and pasta, puree them to add (start in small quantities) to smoothies, baked goods, etc. Chickpeas added to salads…mmmm….roast chickpeas with salt or garlic powder…mmmm….

    A bowl of black beans, not so much my style-I don’t think I would eat them either!

  15. I am learning how to prepare beans too. I am lucky my husband served for two years in Brazil and is more than willing to eat anything made from rice and beans. Many third world countries, including Brazil, still include beans as a main part of their diet and you can find a lot of good, hearty, traditional, recipes from them. Below are two of our favorites from Brazil:

    I know your feelings about pork. Some of these recipes call for various sausages. While they are traditionally pork any other sausage meat can be substituted.

  16. Last year I pressure cooked several quarts of dried beans after soaking them. They come out just like store bought and save time since they have already been soaked and cooked. Just use in your favorite recipe. You also could do sort of a dilly bean thing with the beans too. Just add your vinegar and sugar and a little bit of salt to the beans and that would make a really nice cold side dish.

  17. I love beans! I am a southern girl so I was raised on beans. Mainly pinto beans. I have so many memories of my Grandma cooking beans all day in her green “bean pot”. That is what I used to call it because beans were the only thing I saw her cook in it, even though I know she probably cooked a lot of other things in it besides beans. I now own the bean pot & it is my favorite piece of cookware. I use it for everything!

    I cook beans for my family about once a week. We usually have pinto beans, white beans, & black eyed peas. I use my crockpot when I cook beans. I just love walking in the house to the smell of beans cooking! I know you don’t eat pork but I add ham to mine while cooking. I also add salt, pepper, onion powder & sometimes a little garlic powder. Sometimes I make cowboy beans which is pinto beans with ground beef, potatoes, onions, & onion soup mix. I always cook a pan of cornbread in one of my cast iron skillets & fry some potatoes to go along with it.

    I have never cooked black beans but we do make black bean burgers sometimes & they are yummy!

  18. As a vegan, I eat the things all the time. I usually dont cook up a batch of just beans though and expect it to be good. I put them in other things. Like when I make tacos or burritos, i substitue black or pinto beans for ground beef. When I make pasta, some beans get tossed in. Hummus is great on sandwiches and is super simple to make with a food processor. Just add them to soups and stuff you already make. Ease into it. Any dietary change is about gradually adding what you want to include. I’d be happy to send you some recipes if you like. I’m assuming the blog owner has access to commenters emails.

  19. Kendra, do you buy bulk beans? If so, from where? I can’t seem to find a co-op in this crappy state I live in (CT) and I don’t have the money to buy a bunch from “Whole Paycheck” ya know – Whole Foods…..

  20. One of my favorite soups. Hearty & very tasty

    Black bean Soup

    2 28 ounce cans black beans or equivalent homemade
    1 medium white onion, chopped
    1 large stalk celery, chopped
    1 large carrot, chopped
    1/2 canned chile chipotle, chopped
    4 to 6 sprigs oregano, chopped
    3 tablespoons oil, bacon fat or lard
    1 cup chopped green onions
    1/2 cup crema agria or half & half

    Add oil to a large pot and heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and a sprinkle of sea salt. Saute mixture for 5 minutes. Add chile chipotle. Add beans with liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

    Turn off heat and cool enough to handle. Place beans into food processor and process until smooth. Return processed beans pot and simmer, stirring often, for 15 minutes.

    Ladle soup into bowls and serve with chopped green onions and “creme agree” as optional toppings.

  21. I usually cook large pots of mixed beans like Pinto, Northern, and kidney. After soaking them overnight, I rinse them and put in large pots, cover with water, add onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. When they are tender I bag and freeze them. I use them in taco soup, stir fry, beans and rice, etc., but my kids favorite way to eat them is to blend them with my stick blender until thick and mushy, add cheese and top with sour cream. This is great with tortilla chips.

  22. We’re not a bean family, either. I have really tried, time and time again. Same with lentils, and I grew up in the lentil capital of the country/world.
    We just do the occasional chili, random navy bean soup, and minestrone. I’ve come across a brownie recipe that uses pinto beans, but since I still have two cases of boxed brownie mix I haven’t done the pinto brownies yet. 🙂

  23. I make a bean soup that my family can’t get enough of.

    Fry 6-8 slices of bacon (chopped) in a dutch oven or any deep heavy pot. Remove the pieces when they are crispy.
    In the bacon fat, brown: 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped bell pepper, and 1 chopped jalapeno pepper. See the jal. if you want to keep any heat out. When the veg. are tender, add two chopped cloves garlic. Continue cooking on med for 2-3 minutes.
    Add 1 lb. of rinsed beans. Black or pinto are our favorites. Add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Simmer on med-low, no lid. Keep an eye on the water level.
    When tender, add 3 chicken bouillon cubes or the equivalent of powder and 1/2 a bunch of chopped fresh cilantro- about 1/4 c., and cooked bacon. Simmer 45 minutes longer.

    I like to mash some of the beans against the side of the pot to thicken it.

    It’s so very good! Full of flavor.

  24. I found this recipe online some time ago. It couldn’t be easier and it’s so tasty. A good way to incorporate more beans into your diet.

    Slow Cooker Chicken With Black Beans and Cream Cheese…Yum!!

    4-5 frozen boneless chicken breasts
    1 (15 1/2 ounce) can black beans
    1 (15 ounce) can corn
    1 (15 ounce) jar salsa, any kind
    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

    Put frozen (yes frozen) chicken breasts into slow cooker. Add drained beans, salsa, and drained corn. Cook on high for 4-5 hours until chicken is cooked. For about the last hour, add cream cheese (just throw it on top). Cream cheese will be softened and warmed by serving time–since slow cookers vary, you may need to spread it around by hand before serving, depending on how much your slow cooker has softened it. I like to use forks and pull apart the chicken at the end and mix everything together. Leftovers are good wrapped in tortillas, too.

    I also like use black beans in bean, rice, and corn tortillas. Use those three cooked ingredients in whatever proportions you like along with shredded cheese and salsa. Also put some cheese and salsa on top, cover with foil, and bake until heated through.

  25. Not sure if this will be of any help, but I often use Bay leaves also in my beans along with the garlic, onions,and other seasonings. Bay leaves are essential to good split pea soup. And I agree that cumin is also very important. If you are going to use them in Mexican dishes I might also consider cilantro. When we ate at Don Pablos years ago, they served black beans that seemed to be mixed with pico de gallo and heated. It wasn’t too bad. Like many of you, I am not exactly a big fan of just plain beans either. But we do make Black bean soup. If you are missing the pork taste for beans, have you considered using turkey bacon or turkey smoked sausage instead? I use them, because I do not like pork either.Still have issues with Nitrates but it adds flavor.

  26. I like to season mine in a similar fashion to taco meat — equal parts (starting with 1 tsp and building as needed) cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder. Add about 1/4 water and allow to simmer out as the seasonings blend in. Really helps stretch out the taco meat or you can make them veggie tacos by not using any meat at all. I season my meat this way, too, but I use a full tablespoon of seasonings when I use blander meat like turkey or chicken.

    I like bean soups, too. Especially those have 3 types of beans in them — kidney, white, and black. Add chicken broth, seasoning, a can or two of tomatoes, and a good crusty bread.

    Chili is also good. My chili recipe calls for 2lbs of ground beef and I always substitute 3C of drained black beans for 1lb of my ground beef. This makes a really full slow-cooker full of chili and it’s not spicy (just put some Tabasco sauce on the side for those who like it spicier). My family of 3 (2 adults and 1 child) often get 2 dinners of chili with cornbread, 1 dinner of chili over baked potatoes (this uses a smaller amount of chili), and a few leftover lunches.

    Hope this helps!

  27. oops, i forgot- someone mentioned tomatoes- i add a can of diced tomatoes to the roast in the crockpot and maybe 1/2 can to the black beans (make sure they are diced small for the beans though) . in the meat- theyll cook down but if theyre big in the beans my kids tend to want to pick them out 🙂 .

  28. I usually add a homemade taco seasoning while cooking the beans. We like black beans best and usually add them to other dishes. My kids aren’t big on eating just beans, either.
    Make sure you add salt towards the end of cooking. It can cause beans to be a little tough if added too soon.

  29. I don’t like beans much either, but I have a few go-to recipes I work them into. My favorites are “Mexican Beans and Rice” from the “Kitchen Stewardship” blog, and “Black Bean Salsa Soup” and “Beaker’s Vegetable Barley Soup” on AllRecipes.com. I like to hide the beans in other recipes!

  30. Beans are so yummy. Though my husband like them just plain, I add stuff. My favorite beans are either kidney, or jacob cattle. We grow the jacob cattle so they are what we usually have, but the kidney beans we’ve been picking up at the dollar store. You can usually find beans at “dented can” stores or bulk too. Pinto beans are a good sub for the bigger beans. OK here’s what I do to beans.

    I love beans that are NOT sweet. I know that’s not typical for a New Englander. Most folks around here eat baked beans that have molasses and salt pork etc, etc. and are cooked for hours in the oven. My beans do not have any sweet. I add salt, pepper, onions or onion powder and a little garlic if you like. You can also add a little grated carrot if you like a bit of sweet. You can also add celery if you like that. My suggestions… add flavors you like as a family.

    I cover them over with water to 2x amount in pan… follow pressure cooker direction (they take a lot less water if you have soaked them overnight). If soak my beans overnight usually or put them to soak in the morning before work. Presoaked beans cook in a lot less time and are not so “gassy” (throw out the water they have soaked in and rinse thoroughly before cooking. In the pressure cooker they take about 20-45 minutes to cook depending on the size of the beans. Make sure they are nice and soft. Don’t drain off the cooking liquid. I eat beans with a dollop of whole milk yogurt or grated cheddar on top. You could also add salsa or fresh chopped tomatoes and onions. Cold beans… or even warm beans done this way are great on salads too. I also like beets on salads so guess you need a taste for this. Warm beans and salsa and corn chips on a salad MMMMMMMMM taco salad 🙂

    Hope this gives you some ideas. We eat beans about twice a week and when the meat supply gets low in the late spring/summer we eat them a lot more. They make a great summer meal ’cause they don’t heat up the kitchen too much.

    My kids grew up on beans, so they are acclimated and now that they are adults they still enjoy eating them. When I have the girls to dinner they would consider it a great meal if we had “taco beans” – beans with all the taco fixings on top… especially chopped black olives 🙂

    Happy eating!

  31. i make a recipe that i got from my pastors wife that uses black beans but ive usually bought canned unflavored . start with a beef roast in a crockpot ,add 2 sliced onions and maybe 2 tbl fresh garlic. i use a southwest marinade thats pretty natural but it might have some sugar in it just from the grocery store-follow packet per pounds of meat) . one side has a liquid packet and one a dry powder-mix the two,pour over the roast-cook for 8 hrs or so .
    take canned black beans ,heat up and add LIME juice and FRESH chopped cilantro (about 1/2 bunch for a big pot) and cumin (dont e afraid of this yummky spice 🙂 to taste.
    make some white rice and when its done add olive oil ( maybe 1/2 cup for a big pot (were 8 here so we make a big pot of rice) more lime juice aND fresh chopped cilantro .its usually sold by the bunch an i use one bunch between the beans and the rice. ( they come rubberbanded -just twist that whole stemmy bottom off and throw away and your left w/ the tops to wash and chop (if you have a food processor that helps).
    youll now want to layer this feast -rice on the bottom,then beans,then the roast on top (that youve shredded when it was done) . add some cheddar cheese,sour cream and fresh made salsa and its just to die for 🙂 and it goes a long way feeding a large family .
    youd think all that lime and cilantro would be overpowering but its not at all – its just VERY flavorful ! (we dont eat pork either so finding bean recipes can be challenging!)

  32. I’m not taking the time to read through the comments (I would never have time to leave a comment of my own), so maybe I’m repeating something already said, but you do need salt… and not just a little! I usually add approximately a teaspoon of salt per cup of dry beans.

    We use pinto mainly like the others, but we’ve used black and white beans also. I try to avoid kidney beans as I don’t care for them much and there are so many other tasty ones! I have changed the chili recipe from the link above a bit to be my own “3 Bean Chili” using her basic recipe but using 1 cup of each pinto, great northern (or navy) and black beans. YUM!

    We use beans a lot when I’m on top of things! Eventually they aren’t so gassy either… your bodies just need to get used to them.


  33. I add jalapenos, diced tomatoes, lots of cilantro and sometimes even sausage or bacon. Then I add lots of seasoning and water in the crockpot. Seasonings I use are lots of salt, garlic, pepper, really whatever seasonings you want. These beans really are fantastic. My neighbor taught me how to make them. If you try them you will be hooked. 🙂 I use red beans or pinto beans to make these.

  34. Bacon! I’m sure you could try turkey bacon too. The flavor and salt content add a richness to the beans unachievable any other way. We only do this occassionally though. Oherwise I just salt then well and cook them all day. Also we only eat pinto beans.

  35. Thanks everybody!! That’s helpful. What’s been hard is NOT using pork to flavor my beans… that’s what I used to do. I’ll have to find a good substitute, maybe soaking in chicken or beef stock as some of you suggested. I do have some recipes which use beans, but I was trying to make them as more of a side dish. Guess it’s better to keep them mixed in with other stuff 🙂 Thanks for all of your help, I’ll be checking out the links!

  36. Yummy, black beans are one of our favorites. I normally just season with salt and pepper while cooking, then add fresh cilantro and chopped tomatoes right before I serve. Just let those flavors marry for a bit.

    They are great as a soup, just add veggie broth to above and serve with a dallop of sour cream on top.

    Or great in a burrito, either with eggs and jalepenos for breakfast,
    or with beans, and fresh veggies sauteed like onions, bell peppers for dinner.

  37. I am not a huge fan of beans either, but I make myself eat them because they are so inexpensive and nutritious.

    One of my favorite ways to eat black beans is to serve them on a baked potato with salsa. You can top it with some sour cream and shredded cheddar if you like. You don’t really notice them that way.

    We also like Mexican pizzas. We take a homemade tortilla and spread it with homemade refried beans and a little bit of cheddar cheese. Bake for a few minutes at 400 degrees until the cheese is melted and serve with sour cream and salsa.

    Of course there is always chili, which is warming on cold winter nights. And the old stand-by of beans, rice, and salsa. Wow, we eat salsa with beans a lot now that I think about it!

  38. Kendra,
    We are bean-freaks at our house. For us, if we are eating beans, either as a side (with tacos/burritos) or a main dish (beans & rice), I always start with the same basics. Onion, celery, bell pepper (the trinity in New Orleans cooking!), and garlic. Sweat the veggies out. Add your soaked beans. Now you could either use water or stock. Depends on the beans for us: red beans, & pinto-water, black beans & white beans-usually chicken stock (or whatever I have on hand – turkey stock after the holidays!). Add a bay leaf or 2 (or 3 or 4 if you really like the flavor!). Cook forever…or until done, stirring occasionally. For black beans, I add cilantro at the end of cooking time. Salt & pepper AFTER beans are cooked.

    I’ve been known to make borracho beans pintos with beer instead of water and add cilantro at the end.

    Now, I always use either bacon, ham hocks, or sausage to flavor my beans as well. If you have nonpork alternatives that you like, use them. Sautee them down either before the veggies for raw meats or after the veggies but before the beans for cooked meats.

    Hope you enjoy.


  39. There is a great book that I am just diving into called Country Beans by Rita Bingham. She also wrote Passport to Survival. She is great at giving MANY bean recipes and teaching how to GRIND beans (like in your Nutramill). She teaches how to cook from your food stock.

    Grinding beans into flour allows you to sneak them into other familiar foods. For example: You can put some bean flour into your wheat flour when you bake bread. She explains the ratio of bean flour to wheat flour, explains amino acids and what combinations make a complete protein. She is all about how to combine wheat/rice/beans to make a complete protein (good to know if hard times come and there is no longer meat available). She teaches how to cook beans, how to pressure can beans so that they will be ready to heat and serve in minutes, etc. You can’t go wrong with these two books.

    Thanks for your blog post on beans. Both you and I seem to be exploring the same subject at the same time.

  40. My family is not real crazy about beans but I do like to add them to our dishes because they are cheap and nutritious. First I think cooking them in homemade beef or chicken broth gives them more flavor.
    I add black beans to our taco salads and make black bean brownies. Try smashing cooked beans and adding them to your soups. It will thickening the soup and the kids will not know they are there.

  41. Here are a few of our favorites:

    With canned beans-

    Refried beans-

    Spicy Bean Soup using red beans

    Soaking beans in water overnight or all morning shortens the cooking time. I salt to taste AFTER cooking the beans.

    Hope this helps!

    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  42. With black beans – garlic, onion, CUMIN. And salt.

    I have some bean recipes on my blog, too:

    Pintos, red beans, and black beans are “heartier”- think of them like beef in dishes and spice accordingly.

    Navy, cannellini, and light colored beans are more like chicken – they do well in recipes that chicken would work in.

    And lentils and rice (half and half) is an excellent ground beef substitute in tacos, sloppy joes, enchiladas… the key to lentils is spicing them up.


  43. I cook them with a ham bone…and add onion, carrot, celery and a clove of garlic. And yes..a good amount of salt. I think they’re delicious. Lentils can be made the same way…they have a different taste and they cook faster. But they’re pretty good, too… Pinto are my favorite though… Oh, and canary beans are delicious, too if you can find them. Split peas with an onion, a hamhock and salt and pepper are delicious, too…

  44. Kendra, I like my black beans to have a bit of “south of the border” taste to them, so I usually put in some diced onion, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, maybe a touch or oregano, and even a little chili powder. But I think the cumin is what really does the trick. Frontier Herbs also makes a Mexican Fiesta seasoning that you could add, but I prefer to just make my own blend right in the pot.

    I also like the bean broth, so when they are tender, I remove the lid and let them cook down just a bit. For those new to making beans – DON’T ADD SALT UNTIL THE BEANS ARE TENDER or else you’ll cause them to be tough.

    I’m really trying to make more beans this year and would love to discuss more with others on recipes and uses – in fact, I have some pintos simmering on the stove as I type. They’re an inexpensive food source and when combined with rice, they make a complete protein – although perhaps not the best of amino acids.

  45. My mother has been telling me for years to cook with beans because they are so cheap but I feel the same way you do. Every time I would make them yuck yuck and yuck *Not exactly something you want to sit down to at the end of the day I mean they just aren’t very appetizing*

    There is one recipe she gave me that is very good that uses beans.

    Senate Bean Soup
    (but it’s ham and bean and if I remember correctly you do not eat ham)

    Did you ever make bean burritos with homemade tortillas? talk about yum! a good mexican dish.You can also incorporate them with rice on the side with your burrito.

    You could also make a homemade vegetable minestrone soup with beans in the soup that is very tasty.

    I think with beans they are very good when added into other things.
    but not so good left alone.

    Cheddar bean dip mixed with beans and cheeses that is a good snack or treat to dip with.


  46. We eat a lot of beans because they are such a cheap, healthy food and easy to grow. I cook them with a ham bone most often then crumble corn bread on top, not that sweet yankee cornbread either. There is another soup called Pasta e Fagioli, my recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated or I’d share it. It has fennel and orange peel, tomatoes, very yummy. Then there is black bean soup that sometimes I add ham sometimes not, all the add-on toppings make it really fun. And my newest favorite is refried beans. I hope to post this recipe soon so stay tuned. Try to just add them to any soup you are making. And as others have mentioned always salt after you cook them and always salt heavily.

    Oh and how could I forget black-eyed peas. We eat those just boiled on New Years day.

  47. Like Mona, I also usually use pinto beans- but they can be really yummy- and this is coming from a person who use to DESPISE beans!

    I like to season mine with lots of salt, pepper, garlic, and onions. I have heard many people say not to salt them until they are done cooking, though. I think salting them too soon can cause them not to cook as well or something.

    Another great way to use beans is making homemade refried beans– YUM!
    There are lots of online recipes for those- and they are awesome as a dip, with tacos, tostadas, nachos, etc!

  48. I don’t have much experience with black beans but I cook pinto beans all the time. I haven’t been eating much pork lately but I usually cook the beans with a ham hock for a southern taste or salt pork for a Mexican taste. I also cook them with onions, garlic powder and then at salt and pepper at the end. You can also use bell peppers or mild chili peppers. Most of the seasoning is done during cooking but if you have already cooked them I would try garlic powder, salt and pepper. Freshly ground salt and pepper are the best tasting in my opinion.
    Another idea is to cook the beans in vegetable or chicken stock.
    Hope that helps 🙂


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