18 Easy Recipes to Make With Canned Beans

You have canned beans in the pantry just waiting to be lunch or dinner. Use them up in these 18 recipes for salads, soups, casseroles, and more.

Three recipes made with canned beans

Simply Recipes

Ready to use the moment you open the can, canned beans are a lifesaver for easy, budget-minded meals. They're also nutritional comfort food, full of protein, fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate, and iron while being very low in fat. I keep my pantry stocked with canned beans so that I can whip up salads, soups, vegetarian Mexican-inspired dishes, and more. Enjoy these 18 recipes that call for canned beans that you can whip up for lunch or dinner any day of the week.

Canned Beans Fast Facts

  • A standard can of beans is 15 ounces,
  • Drained and rinsed, it's about the equivalent of 1 3/4 cups.
  • Rinsing the beans lowers the sodium content somewhat.
  • Chili Beans With Rice

    Chili Beans and Rice on plate
    Elise Bauer

    Four cans of pinto beans and a can of crushed tomatoes plus a pound of ground beef or turkey make up the bulk of this satisfying lightly-spicy meal that comes together in 45 minutes. Serve on top of rice or, if you'd prefer, mashed potatoes.

  • Kale with White Beans and Sausage

    kale, sausage and white beans in a bowl
    Elise Bauer

    If you have half an hour, you can make this quick and easy meal with sautéed kale, white beans (try navy, cannellini, or great northern), and sweet or spicy Italian sausage. Chard, turnip greens, beet greens, or collards substitute well for kale if that's what you have on hand.

  • Black Bean Burrito Bowl

    black beans, avocado on rice in a bowl
    Elise Bauer

    Season canned black beans with cumin and garlic, then add them with beans, red cabbage, avocado, salsa, cheese, and sour cream on top of rice. The combination of flavors and textures makes a pleasing, flavorful dish.

  • Ground Turkey Chili With Black Beans

    black bean and turkey chili
    Elise Bauer

    It takes just 15 minutes to get this chili going. Start with canned black beans and ground turkey. Throw in some fresh carrots, onions, and red bell peppers plus pantry staples like chicken stock and spices, then let it all simmer for 75 minutes. Leftovers freeze well.

    Continue to 5 of 18 below.
  • Three Bean Salad

    3 bean salad recipe
    Elise Bauer

    A hearty lunch or a side for dinner or cookout, this salad has cannellini, kidney, and garbanzo beans. Toss the beans with celery, onion, parsley, and rosemary then drizzle with an easy-to-make vinaigrette. It takes just about 10 minutes to make, then it chills in the fridge for the flavors to meld.

  • Lemony Broccoli Rabe with White Beans

    lemon, broccoli rabe, and white beans in a bowl
    Sheryl Julian

    This bright, bitter, and creamy dish works as a vegetarian main dish or a side for roast chicken. Broccoli rabe sautéed with lemon slices combine with cannellini beans and some crushed red pepper for a little heat. Delish!

  • Breakfast Quesadilla with Black Beans and Eggs

    scrambled egg and black bean quesadilla
    Sally Vargas

    Quick, easy, and nutritious, scrambled eggs, cheese, and black beans fill a tortilla. Give it a quick pan fry and serve with salsa. Make a batch and freeze some for quick breakfasts all week.

  • Easy Tuscan Bean Soup

    Tuscan Bean Soup
    Sheryl Julian

    There's a chance you have all the ingredients for this quick soup in your pantry and refrigerator vegetable crisper. The classic soup trio of carrots, onion, and celery joins white beans and spinach or kale in a chicken stock-based soup. Parmesan-topped toast on the side is great for dipping.

    Continue to 9 of 18 below.
  • Quinoa Bowls With Sweet Potatoes, Black Beans, and Spinach

    Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl - Bowl with sweet potatoes, black beans, quinoa, and spinach
    Alison Bickle

    Want lunch for a week? Cook up the ingredients for these quinoa bowls loaded with creamy black beans, sweet potatoes, wilted spinach, and crunchy pepitas on the weekend. Build a bowl each day before work to top with a citrus sour cream sauce and skip the expensive, unhealthy takeout.

  • White Chicken Chili

    White bean chicken chili in a serving bowl with chips

    Elise Bauer

    This calmer, nicer cousin of a Texas chili has chicken and white beans instead of beef and kidney beans. It's savory and warming. To make the dish extra easy, use rotisserie chicken.

  • Southwestern Three Bean Salad

    Mexican Three Bean Salad in blue serving dish
    Elise Bauer

    South-of-the-border ingredients such as crumbly Cotija cheese, black beans, pinto beans, jalapeño peppers, and cilantro join green beans for a southwestern twist on the classic three bean salad. A sweet lime dressing tops it all off.

  • Coconut Rice and Beans

    Jamaican rice and beans
    Elise Bauer

    This is a riff on the beans and rice dishes you'll find throughout the Caribbean. Here, we're using canned kidney beans as a shortcut. Simmer the rice with with coconut milk for extra richness. Scotch bonnet chili brings some heat. Serve for lunch or as a side for jerk chicken.

    Continue to 13 of 18 below.
  • Creamy Polenta with White Beans and Roasted Broccoli

    Vegan Polenta with Broccoli
    Erin Alderson

    Polenta and beans add plant protein to this creamy bowl full of yum. Nutritional yeast adds a nutty flavor and roasted broccoli brings the veg. Feel free to sub roasted cauliflower or Brussels sprouts.

  • Southwest Skillet Chicken with Beans and Corn

    southwestern skillet chicken with black beans
    Alison Bickle

    Make this skillet meal with marinated chicken, black beans, and southwestern flavors for dinner. Then use the leftovers for shredded tacos tomorrow night. Brilliant.

  • White Bean Tuna Salad

    White Bean Tuna Salad
    Elise Bauer

    This salad is full of pantry staples—canned beans, canned tuna, onions, and lemon (or lime). Arugula adds some color and a barely bitter bite to this easy salad. It keeps in the fridge for 3 days, so make extra and bring it to work for lunch.

  • Southwestern Vegetarian Casserole

    Overhead view of a baking dish of vegetarian pot pie topped with cheddar drop biscuits.

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

    Casseroles and comfort food go hand in hand. Canned beans, canned tomatoes, canned salsa verde, southwestern spices, plus lots of fresh veggies make a delicious casserole. Topped with cheddar cheese biscuits, it's a comforting meal all in one dish.

    Continue to 17 of 18 below.
  • Stovetop Taco Soup

    Stovetop Taco Soup in a Bowl Topped with Avocado Slices, Cotija Cheese, and Cilantro and Surrounded by Bowls of Toppings

    Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera Diaz

    If you love beef tacos, you'll love this soup. Take canned beans out of your pantry along with fire-roasted diced tomatoes, diced green chilis, and corn for this soup full of pantry staples. It makes great use of your dried spices, too, for the ground beef seasoning. Add your favorite toppings to this thick, hearty soup.

  • Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

    Quick and easy Mediterranean chickpea salad in a glass serving bowl.
    Alison Bickel

    Chickpeas add protein to this salad that's full of artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and scallions. Top with feta cheese and a tangy vinaigrette. It's customizable with what you have on hand, too. Don't have olives? Try capers. No chickpeas? Use white beans. Goat cheese works as well as feta.