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Beans are cheap, healthy, and delicious: and there are so many ways to use them! Here are the best bean recipes for incorporating them in your everyday.

Bean recipes

Got a can of beans but not sure how to use them? We’re here to help! There are so many ways to use beans to make a meal. They’re cheap, healthy, and delicious (when prepared correctly). Just like lentils and chickpeas, beans are legumes and a great way to infuse plant based protein and fiber into your diet.

How can I use a can of beans? So many ways! The recipes below feature black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and white beans in just about every way you could imagine:

  • Soups & Stews
  • Main Dish Salads & Side Salads
  • Tacos & Wraps
  • Dips & Salsas
  • Pizzas
  • Chili
  • Pot Pies
  • Stuffed Sweet Potatoes & Squash
  • Nachos & Loaded Fries

Is 45 recipes too many? Because when we went digging, we unearthed a treasure trove of bean recipes for you.

Note: Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are considered beans, but we have a separate list of recipes for those! Go to 25 Favorite Chickpea Recipes.

And now..our best bean recipes!

How to cook dried beans

Is it better to use canned beans or dried beans? It doesn’t matter: you can use either in all of these recipes! The advantage to cooking dried beans at home is that they have a little firmer texture and enhanced flavor. But we often use canned beans in our recipes since they’re so quick and easy. You can find lots of brands that offer BPA free cans or cardboard cartons these days.

The best way we’ve found to cook dried beans is in an Instant Pot! It cooks SO fast: it only takes 1 hour. But if you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can use our stovetop or Dutch oven methods.

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How to make Cuban black beans | Cuban style black beans

Best Bean Recipes: Easy Black Beans & More!

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This easy black beans recipe uses canned beans as a shortcut: but they’re full of big flavor! Here’s how to make Cuban-style black beans and rice. 


  • 1 ½ cups minced sweet yellow onion (about 1 large onion)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 jalapeño pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter (substitute additional olive oil for vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans (or 3 cups cooked black beans)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • Fresh cilantro, for a garnish
  • 1 cup dry white or brown long grain rice, to serve*


  1. Start the rice, using our Instant Pot Rice method or How to Cook Rice on the Stove.
  2. Mince the onion and mince the pepper (chop them into a small dice). Mince the garlic.
  3. Remove the ribs and seeds from the jalapeño pepper and mince it.
  4. Use a strainer to drain the black beans over a glass measuring cup, reserving the can liquid. (No need to rinse.)
  5. In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Once melted, add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent and lightly browned. Add the beans, cumin, oregano, and kosher salt and stir to combine. Add ½ cup of the liquid from the black beans. Simmer 15 minutes until beans are tender.
  6. Chop the cilantro for the garnish. Serve the black beans warm with rice and garnish with chopped cilantro.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Cuban Inspired

Keywords: Bean Recipes

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. I am interested in making your sweet potato black bean enchiladas. I am trying to find low calorie meatless main dishes that both by husband and I might enjoy. However, I am a little confused about the calorie count and the number of servings mentioned in your recipe. The recipe says it serves 6, but calls for 8 tortillas or 10 tortillas. How many enchiladas does each person get in order to have each serving at 467 calories since 6 does not divide evenly into either 8 or 10.