Bean Recipes

Hearty Mexican Cranberry Beans
Photo: John Cullen

The endless versatility and staggering variety of beans makes them one of our favorite ingredients to work with—not to mention their affordability and healthfulness. Here, a collection of our favorite bean recipes, from black bean soup to baked beans with bacon.

01 of 16

Baked Beans with Maple-Glazed Bacon

Baked Beans with Maple-Glazed Bacon
© Fredrika Stjärne

For a zippy version of a New England classic, Laurence Jossel bakes buttery Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye beans in a tangy-hot mixture of apple cider vinegar, molasses, brown sugar and crushed red pepper. Regular Italian cannellini or Great Northern beans can replace the Yellow Eyes.

02 of 16

Stuffed Veal Breast with Gigante Beans

Stuffed Veal Breast with Gigante Beans


This succulent veal breast from Cormac Mahoney is a show-stopper at any gathering.

03 of 16

Turkey-and-Pinto Bean Chili

Turkey and Pinto Bean Chili
© Con Poulos

"The turkey chili is a big favorite of Oprah's" says Art Smith. "It's got some spice, which I think kids love just as much as adults do."

04 of 16

Bean-and-Leek Cassoulet

Bean-and-Leek Cassoulet
© Petrina Tinslay

In this luscious dish, chef Jerry Traunfeld combines the slow-cooked leeks with meaty porcini mushrooms and cranberry beans (aka borlotti or shell beans), which can be found fresh in early autumn and taste like chestnuts. The dish can easily be adapted for carnivores by adding bits of crispy bacon or that key cassoulet ingredient, duck confit.

05 of 16

Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean Burgers
© Cedric Angeles

Most veggie burgers are a pale imitation of the all-beef original, but even with ordinary black beans in place of Rancho Gordo Midnight beans, these robust patties with roasted red pepper spread are moist and delicious. The spread also doubles as a fantastic dipping sauce for French fries.

06 of 16

White Beans with Onion Confit

White Beans with Onion Confit
© Joseph de Leo

Jerry Traunfeld soaks dried white beans overnight before boiling them and stewing them with caramelized onions, garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and rosemary. To cut down on prep time, use ready-to-eat canned cannellini beans instead of soaking white beans.

07 of 16

White Bean and Ham Soup

White Bean and Ham Soup

When Grace Parisi was growing up, her mother made white bean and escarole soup every Friday. To transform the soup into a main course, Parisi substitutes ham and spiced croutons for the greens.

08 of 16

Butter Beans in Miso Bagna Cauda

Butter Beans in Miso Bagna Cauda.
© Quentin Bacon

Tender, creamy butter beans join with hearty potatoes in this light yet substantial salad. Red miso paste adds nuttiness.

09 of 16

Fresh Lima Bean Gratins

Fresh Lima Bean Gratins
© Con Poulos

Fresh lima beans are only available for about eight weeks a year. Here they appear in a buttery gratin.

10 of 16

Fresh Shell Bean Stew

Fresh Shell Bean Stew
© Lucy Schaeffer

This easy bean stew is light and fresh.

11 of 16

Grilled Fava Bean Pods with Chile and Lemon

Grilled Fava Bean Pods with Chile and Lemon

© John Kernick

"Trust me,"says chef Nate Appleman about this unorthodox recipe. He quickly grills whole fava beans, tosses them with a crushed red pepper dressing and serves them hot. They can be eaten whole — the tender pods develop a lovely charred flavor on the grill — but it's also easy to eat them in the traditional way by popping the beans out of their pods and outer skins.

12 of 16

Goat Chili with Eye of the Goat Beans

Goat Chili with Eye of the Goat Beans

Spiced with árbol and guajillo chiles, this mellow, satisfying chili contains both braised goat shoulder and Rancho Gordo's Ojo de Cabra (Eye of the Goat) beans. The recipe is also wonderful with pork shoulder in place of the goat and ordinary kidney beans instead of the heirloom kind.

13 of 16

Charro Beans

Charro Beans

"Most people prefer margaritas either frozen or on the rocks. In Texas, it's the same with refried beans versus charro," says chef Tim Love. Refried beans are made with mashed pintos; for charro — a Tex-Mex take on pork and beans — the beans are served whole in a spicy broth.

14 of 16

Kale and White-Bean Stew

Susan Spungen

Combining two Portuguese favorites — kale-and-sausage soup and a bean, sausage, and tomato stew — makes a simple, sensational one-pot meal. To keep the focus on the vegetables, we've used just a tiny amount of fresh sausage; you can add more, if you like, or substitute dried chorizo or pepperoni.

15 of 16

Szechuan Stir-Fried String Beans

Szechuan Stir Fried String Beans

Szechuan peppercorns bring tingly, cool-hot flavor to green beans and minced pork in this quick stir-fry.

16 of 16

Black Bean-and-Quinoa Salad

Black Bean–and–Quinoa Salad
© Keller & Keller

Chef Ken Oringer mixes protein-rich quinoa with black beans, onions and peppers to make a hearty and very satisfying side dish that's a fun variation on prosaic five-bean salad.

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