Easy Canned Beans Recipes for Hearty Meals

When it comes to pantry staples, canned beans can really work. We’re talking black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, and more—if you have a few cans in your cupboards, you can use them to supplement any dish, from beef chili to a quick cassoulet. Read on for some of our favorite dishes with convenient canned beans.

Smoky Beans and Greens in Tomato Juice

Photography by Jennifer Causey / Food Design by Rishon Hanners / Prop Design by Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland


This soul-satisfying bowl of beans and greens finds its place on a night when you’re short on time and energy and the fridge seems a little empty. Smoked paprika adds a pleasant smokiness, while the combination of tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes delivers an aromatic broth in record time. Feel free to use your favorite canned or homemade beans.

Tuna and White Bean Salad

© Sarah Bolla

This simple salad has less than 10 ingredients, with canned white beans (cannellini preferred) and canned tuna as the star.

Rajma (Coconut Curry) Tacos

Photo: Rachel Vanni / Food Design: Judy Haubert

This creamy, richly spiced vegetarian kidney bean curry is often served with roti or naan over rice, but it also makes a surprisingly delicious filling for cornbread. You can assemble the tacos before serving, or make a giant taco plate with rajma, toast, and all the toppings and let your guests make their own to their liking.

Spring Minestrone with Shredded Egg Pasta

Food Design by Victor Protasio / Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Design by Claire Spollen

The many ingredients in this bountiful spring vegetable soup give it a deep and satisfying flavor. Curly leaf spinach retains a fresh, herbal flavor you don’t get from baby spinach, while Parmigiano-Reggiano rind and vegetable umami add to a delicious, savory richness.

Warm Spinach Salad with Cannellini Beans and Shrimp

© Antonis Achilleos

The combination of sweet shrimp and succulent little cannellini beans turns into a simple warm spinach salad here.

Mushroom-Chickpea Pozole

Caitlin Bensel

Celebrity chef Marcela Valladolid’s quick, vegetable-packed version of pozole features portobello and shiitake mushrooms. It uses canned chickpeas instead of dried hominy.

Cacio e Pepe Broccolini with Crispy White Beans and Burrata

Victor Protasius

This dish captures the rich, elegant, simple flavors of classic Italian pasta and complements them with charred Broccoli and crispy, creamy, quick-fried white beans. No Burrata? Fresh mozzarella will also work here.

“Steak Bomb” Rice and Beans

© Fredrika Stjärne

Jamie Bissonnette, chef at Toro in Boston, describes the steak bomb as a sub sandwich topped with a delicious hash of shaved beef, onions, peppers, and cheese: “This is New England’s answer to Philly cheesesteak.” It elevates this pizza parlor staple by simmering thicker strips of beef with black beans and fresh tomatoes to serve over rice.

White Bean and Ham Soup

Diana Chistruga

When former F&W editor Grace Parisi was growing up, her mother made white bean and escarole soup every Friday. To turn the soup into the main course, Parisi replaces the greens with ham and spicy croutons.

Classic Beef Pepper


This chili recipe uses two different types of canned beans—dark red kidney and black (be sure to drain and rinse them). A hearty party is ready in less than an hour.

Blackened Fried Pork Chops with Beans and Spinach

Victor Protasius

Cannellini beans are simmered with chicken stock, shallots, and spinach for a flavorful side to accompany pork chops.

Kidney Bean Soup

Justin Chapple

Warm, hearty and extremely comforting, this pinto soup gets a nice flavor from crushed red pepper and a bit of shine from mustard.

Lazy Chicken and Sausage Cassoulet

Alison Miksch

You can use canned or homemade white beans in this quick version of cassoulet, a hearty French stew with beans, a variety of meats, sausages, and poultry.

Crispy Cheese Burrito with Chorizo ​​and Egg

Photograph: Victor Protasio / Food Design: Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Design: Prissy Lee

When Richard Chang was the chef and owner of the Tacos La Tehuanita truck in Los Angeles, he wowed the crowd with his burnt cheese roll taco, which is made by grilling cheese until crispy and wrapping it around a variety of fillings. This version pairs chorizo-spiked black beans and scrambled eggs with creamy avocado for richness.


Jen Causey

This delicious and warm Tuscan soup is cooked with a sofrito stewed in olive oil with pepper; earthy, rustic bread; and small, thin-skinned white beans.

Marinated Chickpea Salad with Radish, Cucumber and Queso de Freir

Farrah Skeiky

This quick chickpea salad from pastry chef Paola Velez is packed with veggies and tossed with a simple, flavorful lemon-garlic and cumin dressing. Get the crispy, melted strips of fried queso de freir, Velez’s favorite cheese since childhood, on top of the dish. Salad comes together in 30 minutes, perfect for busy nights.

Gina Mae’s Beans

Photograph: Caitlin Bensel / Food Design: Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Design: Lydia Pursell

For this perfect summer side, scholar Regina Bradley makes canned beans with store-bought barbecue sauce and extra brown sugar; apple cider vinegar cuts out the smoky sweetness.

Bean and Cheese Vegetarian Enchiladas

© Molly Yeh

Sweet bell peppers and two kinds of beans are the stars of this meatless dish. They are held together by melted Monterey Jack cheese.

Cabbage and White Bean Stew

Diana Chistruga

Combining two Portuguese favorites—cabbage sausage soup and bean, sausage, and tomato stew—makes a simple, sensational one-pot meal. We used very little fresh sausage to keep the focus on vegetables; You can add more if you want or replace it with dried chorizo ​​or pepperoni.

Roasted Leek and White Bean Gratin

© Snow Roy

Leeks, tinned cannellini beans, garlic, chicken stock, and Gruyère cheese come together in this comforting gratin. If you have leftovers, you can mash them and serve them as a sauce or a spread for toast.

Black Bean Tlacoyos

Victor Protasius

These tlacoyos are stuffed with seasoned black beans and topped with nopales, cheese, cilantro, salsa, and chopped onions. Don’t have nopales on hand? Don’t worry.

Mustard Salmon with Cannellini Bean Ragù

© Con Poulos

Cannellini beans don’t cook for very long in this recipe, but because they’re boiled with prosciutto and escarole, they have a rich, rustic flavor.

Skirt Steak with Pinto Beans and Pasilla Chile Vinaigrette

© Christina Holmes

Instead of serving juicy skirt steak with steak sauce, Chef Hugh Acheson makes a delicious vinaigrette with pasilla chile and adds it to pinto beans as a delicious, hearty accompaniment to the meat.

Crushed Cucumber Salad with Butter Beans and Tarragon

Jennifer Causey

For this salad, lightly mashing the cucumbers releases their flavor and creates corners and crevices to absorb the sauce. They hold plenty of crunch, which contrasts greatly with the rich, creamy butter beans.

Beans and Bacon on Butter Toast

© Christina Holmes

This hearty fork and knife dish from chef Hugh Acheson with navy beans is perfect for a quick and easy dinner for two.

Chickpeas and Kale with Spicy Pomodoro Sauce

Photograph: Greg DuPree / Food Design: Chelsea Zimmer / Object Design: Thom Driver

This recipe from Brooklyn’s Lilia’s chef, Missy Robbins, was named one of Food & Wine’s best in 2018. Here, Robbins replaces cabbage and chickpea balls with pasta in a spicy pomodoro riff. She finishes her meal with a rain of fresh herbs and salty pecorino cheese.

White Bean Huevos Rancheros

© John Kernick

Chef Neal Fraser’s take on huevos rancheros uses boiled whole white beans; where the beans are mashed with ham to form the base of the dish, then stacked with cornbread, scrambled eggs and queso fresco before grilling. A warm tomato salsa completes it all.