Black beans are inexpensive, accessible, delicious, and nutritious. They are packed with protein and fiber, and are rich with vitamins and minerals. They’re also versatile — starring in soups, stews, salads, and other main meals. Employ the superfood and take your healthy eating to the next level the inexpensive way. Whether you buy your beans dried or in a can, they won’t rob your wallet but they will amp up the nutrition and taste profile of your meals. Check out these seven recipes that prove black beans should be a part of everyone’s diet.
1. Black Bean Soup
Black bean soup is first, and if you’ve never tried the fiber-rich soup, you’re in for a treat. Once Upon a Chef has a recipe that yields the perfectly flavored dish, and it serves 4, making it the perfect meal to serve for dinner, or eat yourself and save leftovers. If you want to keep your soup vegetarian-friendly, use vegetable broth instead of chicken.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
- ¾ teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1¾ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- Handful chopped fresh cilantro
Get full recipe directions at Once Upon a Chef.
2. Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili
Another great dish starring black beans is this black bean sweet potato chili from What’s Gaby Cooking. There’s nothing guilt-inducing about this dish that contains two superfoods: black beans and sweet potatoes. Alongside those two nutrition-rich foods are chili peppers, cumin, diced tomatoes, and quinoa, and Gaby suggests that you serve your smoky chili with avocado, cilantro, and cheese.
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 ½ cups vegetable stock
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- ½ cup dried quinoa
- 4 teaspoons lime juice
- Serving suggestions: Avocado, cilantro, crema, cheese
Get full recipe directions at What’s Gaby Cooking.
3. Smoky Corn and Black Bean Pizza
Black beans don’t only perform well with sweet potatoes, they also complement corn, especially when the two are paired together on a bed of carbs. Check out this corn and black bean pizza from Eating Well and see how you can eat your pie the healthier way. This vegetarian pizza boasts a smoky flavor thanks to barbecue sauce, black beans, corn, and tomatoes, and it can easily be made in 30 minutes if you enlist prepared pizza dough.
- 1 plum tomato, diced
- 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels, (about 2 ears)
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- 1 pound prepared whole-wheat pizza dough
- 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella, preferably smoked mozzarella
Get full recipe directions at Eating Well.
4. Black Bean Quinoa Salad
For a healthy yet hearty salad to serve alongside your main meal, try this black bean quinoa salad from Damn Delicious. This salad is green-free and it’s satiating, thanks to fiber and protein-rich black beans and quinoa. The grain and the beans will fill you up without filling you out, and this salad boasts a tangy and refreshing flavor on account of the orange vinaigrette that dresses it.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 large navel oranges, cut into segments
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup canned corn kernels, drained
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
For the orange vinaigrette:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Get full recipe directions at Damn Delicious.
5. Black Bean Tacos
Black beans can also serve as the “meat” in your tacos, taking them up a healthy notch. Here’s a recipe for black bean tacos from Hapa Nom Nom. The tacos are bursting with flavor thanks to beans, pico de gallo, and the right spices, and you even get to layer yellow rice, avocado, and queso fresco on your carby tortillas. This spicy dish will make you think twice about enlisting meat in your Mexican and Latin-inspired tacos, especially when vegetarian tacos are much cheaper.
- 10 ounces yellow rice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans (undrained)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 small tortillas
- 2 avocados
- Pickled radishes
- Prepared pico de gallo
- 4 ounces queso fresco
- 2 limes, quartered
- Hot sauce
Get full recipe directions at Hapa Nom Nom.
6. Slow Cooker Black Bean Enchiladas
Make a Mexican-inspired meal in the morning and enjoy it for dinner via this recipe for slow cooker black bean enchiladas from The Kitchn. Your slow cooker will do all the work for you and will churn out a meat-free dish that is full of protein, fiber, and flavor. Packed into the enchiladas are onions, corn, black beans, bell peppers, and cheese, and you can also throw in any other veggies of your choice. The recipe serves 6 to 8 and takes 4 to 8 hours to make, depending on how high you turn on your slow-cooker. Serve your enchiladas with salsa and toast to a satisfying and satiating meat-less Mexican meal.
- 1 small yellow onion, diced small
- 1 sweet bell pepper, diced small
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups Monterey jack, colby, or other melting cheese, shredded and divided
- 2 (16-ounce) jars salsa, any kind
- 12 to 15 medium (6-inch or so) flour tortillas
- Optional: 1 cup leftover meat or extra veggies — chicken, pork, hamburger, beef, baked tofu, or roasted vegetables
Get full recipe directions at The Kitchn.
7. Vegetarian Black Bean Pasta
Last but not least: vegetarian black bean pasta from Taste of Home. With this dish, you get your carbs, your greens, and your beans. It’ll also take you only 25 minutes to make. For the pasta, you’ll cook your fettuccine first and then stir in your mushrooms, black beans, tomatoes, rosemary, oregano, and spinach. This dinner will appeal to vegetarians and meat-lovers alike, as it’ll fill everyone up the healthy, wholesome way. Serve this to yourself and 5 other diners or enjoy it solo for dinner and then lunch the next day.
- 9 ounces uncooked whole wheat fettuccine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1-¾ cups sliced baby portobello mushrooms
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
Get full recipe directions at Taste of Home.