There is no shortage of incredible bean recipes on the internet. You’ve got plenty of dishes that celebrate the tasty and nutrition-packed little legume in its own right—plus tons of clever bean recipes that creatively use the ingredient as a vegetarian-friendly substitute in traditionally meat-centric dishes, like burgers, meat sauces, meatballs, and tacos.
And it’s no wonder why: Dense and chewy, beans have a certain heartiness and heft to them that makes things like chilis and veggie burgers feel substantial and comforting. Beyond their ability to take on a meaty quality, beans can be great shape-shifters in the kitchen for other reasons, too. For instance, white beans can transform into a creamy dream when puréed with a little fat and liquid. Beans are also great at soaking up the flavors of whatever sauces, spices, herbs, and aromatics they’re being cooked with. And they play nice with other ingredients, like veggies, cheese, or grains.
What’s more, beans are extremely nutritious and filling—especially if you’re a vegetarian, or just looking to swap out some of the meat in your diet for more plant-based protein sources. While the nutritional content depends on the variety of bean you’re looking at, beans are generally high in protein and fiber, two nutrients that are important for satiety. Speaking of different types of beans, that’s another strength of this powerhouse ingredient: from kidney to fava and navy to pinto, you’ll never run out of new beans to try. The varieties lend themselves well to different kinds of dishes, too.
And not to go on and on about the many wonderful properties of beans here, but beans are a very convenient ingredient for the home chef. Cooking beans often involves little more than popping open a can, rinsing the beans, and adding them to the mix. (No need to worry about getting a properly seared skin!)
We’ve got the full spectrum of beans covered in these 26 recipes: black bean recipes, garbanzo bean recipes, white bean recipes, and more. Most of them call for canned beans, but if you’re wondering how to make beans from scratch, a number also include instructions on soaking and cooking dried beans. (For more recipes that specifically call for dried beans, check out these Instant Pot recipes.) And while some call for specific bean varieties, you’ve usually got some wiggle room in subbing in different types of beans.
So the next time you want to go meatless but still want something comforting and filling, make one of these satisfying bean dishes. There’s a recipe for everything from bolognese to burgers to un-chicken salad, so every taste and craving is covered.