You do not need to be a vegeterian to appreciate how wonderful and versatile beans ca be. They're healthy, easy to cook with, readily available, cheap, and make really easy and satisfying dinners.

Beans and legumes are fiber-rich nutrient powerhouses and an excellent source of protein. One serving (1/2 cup cooked) of beans provides about 7 grams of protein, the same as 1 ounce of meat. Beans and legumes also keep your fuller, longer because they are so rich in fiber. With grocery prices skyrocketing, people are looking for ways to eat healthy AND cheaply.


Penne with Veggies and Black Beans


3/4 cup uncooked penne pasta 

1/3 cup sliced zucchini

1/3 cup sliced fresh carrot 

4 medium fresh mushrooms, sliced 

1/2 small green pepper, thinly sliced 

1/2 small onion, thinly sliced 

1 small garlic clove, minced 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

1/8 teaspoon pepper 

2 teaspoons olive oil, divided 

1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup chopped seeded tomato

2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, saute the zucchini, carrot, mushrooms, green pepper, onion, garlic and seasonings in 1 teaspoon oil until crisp-tender. Stir in the beans.

Drain pasta; add to vegetable mixture. Add tomato and remaining olive oil; toss gently. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Southwest Vegetarian Bake


3/4 cup uncooked brown rice 

1-1/2 cups water 

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained 

1 can (11 ounces) Mexicorn, drained 

1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chiles 

1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese 

1 cup salsa 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream 

1/4 teaspoon pepper 

1/2 cup chopped red onion 

1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained 

1 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend


In a small saucepan, bring rice and water to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until rice is tender, 35-40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°. Place beans, corn, tomatoes, cheddar cheese and rice in a large bowl; stir in salsa, sour cream and pepper. Transfer to a shallow 2-1/2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with onion and olives. 

Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes. Sprinkle with Mexican cheese; bake, uncovered, until heated through and cheese is melted, 5-10 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Hearty Vegetarian Chili

1-3/4 cups chopped baby portobello mushrooms 

1 medium onion, finely chopped 

1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil) 

2 tablespoons olive oil 

2 garlic cloves, minced 

1 package (12 ounces) frozen vegetarian meat crumbles 

2 cans (16 ounces each) chili beans, undrained 

2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) no-salt-added diced tomatoes 

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable broth 

4-1/2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons brown sugar 

1/2 teaspoon celery salt 

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 

1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and finely chopped 

Reduced-fat sour cream, optional


In a Dutch oven, saute the mushrooms, onion and sun-dried tomatoes in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add meat crumbles; heat through. 

Stir in the chili beans, tomatoes, water, broth, chili powder, brown sugar, celery salt and cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Ladle chili into bowls. Top each with avocado and, if desired, sour cream.

Tuscan Portobello Stew


2 large portobello mushrooms, coarsely chopped 

1 medium onion, chopped 

3 garlic cloves, minced 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup white wine or vegetable broth 

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained 

2 cups chopped fresh kale 

1 bay leaf 

1 teaspoon dried thyme 

1/2 teaspoon dried basil 

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed 

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper 

2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained


In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms, onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the wine or broth. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the tomatoes, kale and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes. 

Add beans; heat through. Discard bay leaf.

Tuscan Portobello Stew Recipe: How to Make It ( 

Slow Cooker Pinto Beans

1 pound pinto beans

48 ounces low sodium chicken broth 

1 8 ounce jar mild diced pickled jalopenos 

2 Tablsespoons dried oregano 

1 tablspoon ground cumin 

3 cloves garlic 

2 dried bay leaves 

¼ cup cilantro 

¾ cup sharp cheddar or crumbled Cotija or queso fresco 

1 lime wedge 

Kosher Salt 

Put the beans, chicken broth, pickled jalapeños and brine from the jar in a 4-to-7-quart slow cooker. Stir in the oregano, cumin, garlic, bay leaves, cilantro stems if using and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook on high until the beans are tender but still hold their shape, 8 to 10 hours. 

Remove and discard the bay leaves. Use the back of a spoon to smash the garlic cloves, then stir them into the beans. Serve topped with the cheese, cilantro leaves and lime wedges.

Black Bean Burgers

2 cups canned seasoned black beans, drained

1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs 

¼ cup grated onion 

½ teaspoon chili powder 

1 large egg 

Salt an pepper 

Canola oil, for the pan 

Using a fork, mash the beans in a medium bowl until they are mushy but still have some whole bean pieces throughout. 

Mix the breadcrumbs, grated onion, chili powder, egg and some salt and pepper into the beans. Add a splash of water if the mixture looks dry. Set aside for 5 minutes. Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add a few tablespoons of canola oil. Divide the bean mixture into 4 equal balls and form into 4 nice, neat patties. Black bean burgers don't shrink when they cook, so whatever size you make them when they go into the skillet will be the size they are when they come out. 

Cook the burgers until browned, 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Add a slice of Swiss cheese to the top of each burger. Invert a second skillet on top of the first skillet and continue cooking, 2 minutes, until the cheese is melted.




Mince the garlic and slice the tomatoes in half. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add the garlic and sauté for about one minute, or just until the garlic becomes very fragrant. 

Add the tomatoes to the skillet and stir to combine. 

Add the drained canned white beans to the skillet (do not rinse the beans, the residual starchy liquid helps create the sauce), along with the water, oregano, and pepper. Stir to combine. Allow the beans to come up to a simmer. Simmer the beans, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down and the liquid reduces to a light sauce (about 5 minutes). 

Add the Parmesan cheese to the skillet and stir until it has melted into the sauce. If the sauce becomes too thick or dry, you can add a splash of water to loosen it up. 

Add the fresh spinach to the skillet and stir to combine. Allow the spinach to wilt. 

Taste the beans and adjust the salt, pepper, or other seasonings to your liking. Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping!

Saucy White Beans with Spinach - Budget Bytes