If you’re looking for a dinner solution to your busy evenings, try these bean recipes that make quick, affordable, and healthy meals.

With their rich flavors and plantbased protein content, kidney, black, white, garbanzo, mung, and pinto beans will become your new weeknight dinner heroes.

From wholesome salads to hearty stews and soups, these legumes offer a world of possibilities to cater to your taste buds and nourish your body.

Easy Bean Recipes

These recipes fit a meal-planning lifestyle and cater to vegan, vegetarian, and dairyfree diets.

1. Black bean salad

black bean salad with quinoa and sweet potatoes

Black beans add a hearty and savory depth to roasted sweet potato and avocado in this colorful bean salad.

The rich earthiness of the beans pairs well with the sweetness of the potatoes and corn, resulting in a tasty and mealplanning perfect recipe.

2. White bean pasta aglio e olio

Aglio olio with beans and fork

How do you make white beans tasty? With this white bean aglio e olio, you will get an Italian-inspired pasta dish with a creamy sauce.

The addition of cannellini beans enhances the parsley and garlic sauce and provides a proteinpacked and fiberrich element.

3. Black bean soup

Black bean soup with parsley and lime juice

You will get a comforting, creamy, and nutritious soup when you simmer black beans with aromatic spices and vegetables.

Black beans are rich in dietary fiber, protein, and essential nutrients like folate, iron, and magnesium, making them a fantastic choice for supporting overall well-being.

4. Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli with a silver spoon and garlic cloves

Kidney and pinto beans lend a hearty texture to this onepot Pasta e Fagioli. They simmer in a rich and creamy tomato sauce and create a satisfying dish that captures the essence of Italian comfort cuisine.

This dish is familyfriendly as the mix of pasta, beans, and velvety tomato sauce is crowd-pleasing.

5. Bean stew

Italian bean stew on couscous

Pinto bean stew with a hearty tomato sauce is a rich and healthy dish that pairs well with couscous, rice, focaccia, and polenta.

The creamy beans melded with Italian herbs create an autumn- and winter-friendly bean recipe we like serving as a weeknight dinner.

6. Mango quinoa salad

Mango Quinoa Salad with black beans

Try this black bean mango salad, where ripe and juicy mangoes underline the richness of black beans and nutrient-packed quinoa.

It’s a healthy and refreshing summer grain bowl with a tropical twist.

7. White bean dip

White bean dip and pita bread

This 5minute bean recipe is a creamy appetizer and sandwich spread.

White beans are great as they are nutrientrich in dietary fiber and provide around 8 grams per half-cup serving. You will get a healthy and velvety smooth dip when the beans are blended with lemon juice and tahini.

8. Tuscan soup

Tuscan white bean soup with silver spoon and hand with red nail

How do you make a creamy soup with beans? In this Tuscan soup, we blend half a cup of cannellini beans to infuse the soup with a rich and velvety texture.

The white beans have a nutty undertone that adds depth and satisfying creaminess to every spoonful of this vegetarian soup.

9. Zucchini soup

Zucchini soup with beans and a spoon

Do you want to add extra protein to your meals? Zucchini soup can be topped with homemade croutons or cannellini beans tossed in olive oil and parsley.

Drain and rinse canned cannellini beans and sautée them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped parsley for a few minutes. Finally, add them to soup, bruschetta, or pasta for extra plantbased protein.

10. Sweet potato chili

Sweet potato chili with sour cream

Sweet potato chili with kidney beans is a creamy, comforting, and Mexicaninspired dish.

Kidney beans are a healthy addition to this vegetarian meal, as they are rich in plant-based protein, fiber, and essential nutrients like folate and iron.

11. Red cabbage salad

red cabbage and orange in a bowl

Crunchy red cabbage, juicy orange wedges, mixed greens, and nutty pinto beans make a colorful and vibrant salad.

Canned pinto beans are a fulfilling addition to salads, as they’re made more fulfilling and excellent as a main meal.

12. Easy vegan pasta salad

Vegan pasta salad with beans

Cannellini beans are an excellent choice for this vegan pasta salad recipe as they are tender, slightly nutty, creamy, and absorb the flavor of the dressing.

Thanks to the beans and the pasta, this salad packs a lot of protein – it’s a healthy and flavorful lunch and dinner idea.

13. Breakfast burrito

Vegan breakfast burrito with sour cream

Black beans are an excellent plant-based choice for breakfast recipes as they are smaller and have thinner skin than other beans.

We recommend using canned black beans, drained and rinsed from their liquid, for this breakfast burrito. If you use dried black beans, make sure they cook in lightly salted boiling water until tender (about 2 hours).

14. Creamy pasta salad

Creamy pasta salad with mayo and olives

Try this super creamy pasta salad with fresh veggies and white beans if you want an easy and budgetfriendly meal with beans.

The cannellini beans add creaminess and protein to this salad with mayonnaise dressing. However, you can substitute chickpeas, black beans, or other white beans.

15. Sweet potato hash

Sweet Potato Hash on tortilla

We are inspired by Mexican cuisine for this potato hash recipe, which makes black beans an excellent protein choice.

Combining black beanslimepeppers, and cilantro creates this colorful, nutritious, and delicious meal (which is excellent for breakfast and brunch!).

16. Kale soup

Kale soup in a bowl with spoon

Creamyaromatic, and healthy, this delicious kale soup is a 30-minute recipe filled with beans, veggies, and tomato flavor.

It’s perfect as a family meal, served with focaccia or crostini bread to sop up the creamy soup leftovers.

17. Mashed chickpea salad

vegan tuna sandwich

Vegan tuna is a quick and easy recipe made with mashed garbanzo beans (chickpeas).

It’s the perfect replacement for tuna in a sandwich, to fill a microwave sweet potato, as an appetizer.

18. Vegetable soup

Vegetable soup with silver spoon

White beans such as cannellini beansnavy beans, and great northern beans are excellent in this soup because of their mildly nutty flavor and creamy texture.

This vegetable soup is wholesome, tasty, rustic comfort food you can make with seasonal veggies in just over 30 minutes.

TIP: turn it into a family-friendly meal by adding pasta or your favorite tortellini.

19. Lentil chili

lentil chili in a white bowl with avocado and pickled red onions

This lentil chili is an easy onepot recipe with delicious warming flavors and is ready in about 40 minutes.

It’s excellent as a tasty and easy dinner or a make-ahead meal, as the beans and lentils become even more flavourful the day after.

20. Easy chickpea pasta salad

chickpea pasta salad with avocado

We finish this list with a quick pasta salad with garbanzo beans. You can make this chickpea pasta salad in about the time it takes to boil the pasta.

It’s packed with crunchy veggies, a delicious mustard dressing, and plenty of fiber and protein from beans to keep you nourished.

21. Mung bean soup (coming soon)

Mung bean soup with carrots and potatoes, and hand holding a silver spoon

Mung bean soup infused with aromatic curry and hearty chunks of potatoes creates a delightful fusion of flavors and textures.

This easy-to-make soup, ready in about 40 minutes, offers a comforting blend of earthy mung beans and curry’s warm, spicy notes.

22. Mung bean Dal (coming soon)

Mung dal with Basmati rice and a silver spoon

Mung bean Dal, a quick and nutritious 30-minute recipe, combines earthy split mung beans with aromatic spices for a flavorful and satisfying dish.

Simmered to perfection, this speedy recipe saves time and delivers a hearty and proteinpacked meal, making it an ideal choice for busy weeknight dinners.

How to store cooked beans

For these bean recipes, you can use canned beans or dry beans.

If you use dry beans, you must first soak them for 8 hours, then boil them in plenty of salted boiling water until tender.

drained black beans

A batch of cooked beans stores well for up to 4 days in the refrigerator, best if in an air-tight container.

You can freeze them for up to three months and thaw them in the microwave or stovetop at your convenience.

More plant-based protein inspiration

Take your pick from these healthy and easy high-protein ideas:

For many more dinner ideas, check out our mains category page.

Easy Bean Recipes for lunch and dinner

20 Easy Bean Recipes

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 4 votes
You can make these bean recipes with simple pantry staples. They are quick to make, tasty, and budget-friendly family dinners.
White bean aglio olio pasta is our take on classic spaghetti aglio olio. The beans add a wonderful flavor, superb nutrition, and a creamy texture to this delicious dish.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 5 people
Course: Main
Cuisine: American Italian


White bean aglio olio sauce

  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small red chili finely chopped, or 1 – 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes. Adjust to your liking.
  • 2 handfuls parsley finely chopped
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • ¾ gallon boiling water to cook the pasta
  • tablespoon salt for the pasta water


  • Finely chop 3 cloves garlic, 2 handfuls parsley, and 1 small red chili (if you use red pepper flakes, you don't have to chop them).
    Warm up ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet, add garlic and chili, and fry them on low heat for 30 seconds.
    oil and chili in a skillet
  • Add the chopped parsley, 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans (drained and rinsed), ¼ teaspoon salt, and cook them in the oil on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.
    Aglio olio and white beans in a skillet
  • In the meantime, cook 12 ounces spaghetti in a large pot with ¾ gallon boiling water salted with 1½ tablespoon salt. Cook as per package instructions minus 1 minute.
    cooking pasta in boiling water
  • When the pasta is ready, reserve one cup of pasta cooking water, drain the pasta, and add it to the pan with the sauce.
    Add one ladleful of reserve pasta water (or more if necessary), toss, and cook for a minute or until the pasta is al dente and thoroughly coated in the sauce.
    Aglio olio spaghetti with beans
  • Serve immediately with a couple of spoonfuls of white bean aglio olio sauce on top.
    Aglio olio with beans and fork


Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 serving of white bean aglio olio pasta out of 5 portions.
Make ahead: this is not the best recipe to make ahead or use for meal prep, as the pasta is best right after it is cooked.
Refrigerator: keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 36 hours. Reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes or in a pan with a dash of water.
Freezer: this recipe is not freezer-friendly.


Calories: 421kcal, Carbohydrates: 60g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Potassium: 197mg, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 221IU, Vitamin B6: 0.2mg, Vitamin C: 16mg, Vitamin E: 2mg, Vitamin K: 36µg, Calcium: 50mg, Folate: 17µg, Iron: 2mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 39mg, Zinc: 1mg
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If you liked these bean recipes, you might also enjoy:

Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

Easy right?

5 from 4 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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    1. Good point, Susan. We need to get over the heatwave and into the autumn season, and we will start cooking with more beans 🤗

      Thank you for your feedback. Kindest,