Weeknight Cooking

13 Wondrous Things to Do with Canned Beans

March 10, 2014

Yes, there's something beautiful in a pot of beans, simmering away: of spooning up its garlicky, brothy goodness, of stretching it all week, of feeling whole and useful and efficient. That's all wonderful. But when dinner needs to have happened five minutes ago, and you're looking for something to sustain you now this very second, it's time to whip out the handy can opener. Here are our 13 ways to transform canned beans into a proper dinner -- one that just might be as good as that pot of long-simmered beans could've been.

Coconut-Lime Pork Tacos with Black Beans and Avocado by EmilyC

Pork tacos from Food52

Shop the Story


Heidi Swanson's Chickpea Stew with Saffron, Yogurt, and Garlic by Genius Recipes

Chickpea stew from Food52


Vegan Kale and White Bean Korma by Alexandra Dawson 

Korma from FOod52


White Bean Dip with Fresh Herbs by Gena Hamshaw 

White bean dip from Food52


Tuxedo Chili by TheRunawaySpoon

Tuxedo chili from Food52 


Pearl Couscous with Roasty Roots, Chickpeas, and Pepitas by cristinasciarra

Pearl couscous from Food52


Moro's Warm Squash & Chickpea Salad with Tahini by Genius Recipes

Squash salad from Food52


Chickpea, Spinach, and Chorizo Frittata by Hadyourtea?

Frittat from Food52


Tempeh Chili by Gena Hamshaw

Tempeh chili from Food52


The Splendid Table's Refried Beans with Cinnamon and Clove by Genius Recipes

Refried Beans from Food52


 Red Quinoa Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette by Jillian Bernardini

Quinoa salad from Food52


Sweet Potato Chana Masala by MrsWheelbarrow

Chana masala from Food52 


Buffalo-Style Quinoa Chili by Stacy McCann

Quinoa chili from Food52


Order now

A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

Order now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Daniel Decline
    Daniel Decline
  • yjZuk
Brette Warshaw

Written by: Brette Warshaw

I'm a reader, eater, culinary thrill-seeker, and food nerd.


Daniel D. March 11, 2014
Second that - I always love the gas station challenges on food shows - you certainly don't need a big budget to make delicious, healthy food.
yjZuk March 10, 2014
I love the idea of using canned beans!!
saves time, and healthy.
for those who have a Sodium sensitivity, it is recommended to wash\rinse the beans in water in order to decrease the sodium content. Enjoy !