27 Canned Beans Recipes We Love

Lazy Cassoulet Recipe
Photo: Alison Miksch

As far as pantry staples go, canned beans can really come in handy. We're talking canned black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and more—if you have a few lying around in your cabinets, you can use them to bolster all kinds of meals, ranging from beef chili to a quick cassoulet. Read on for some of our favorite ways to use them.

01 of 27

Tuna-and-White-Bean Salad

Tuna-and-White-Bean-Salad

This simple salad has less than 10 ingredients, with canned white beans (cannellini is preferable) and canned tuna as the stars.

02 of 27

White-Bean and Prosciutto Bruschetta

White-Bean and Prosciutto Bruschetta

Strips of prosciutto top each toast and are topped in turn with a mound of creamy white beans and sprinkling of crisp red onion. If you like, serve these with the Bruschetta Duet to make a tantalizing trio.

03 of 27

Cannellini and Escarole Soup with Garlic Oil

Cannellini and Escarole Soup with Garlic Oil
© Karen Mordechai

A great pairing for this dish would be either a Long Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc or a Silverado Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc.

04 of 27

Warm Spinach Salad with Cannellini Beans and Shrimp

Warm Spinach Salad with Cannellini Beans and Shrimp
© Antonis Achilleos

The combination of sweet shrimp and meaty little cannellini beans here transforms a simple warm spinach salad.

05 of 27

White Bean Huevos Rancheros

White Bean Huevos Rancheros

Neal Fraser’s take on huevos rancheros uses simmered whole white beans; here, the beans are mashed with ham to form the base of the dish, then piled with corn tortillas, fried eggs and queso fresco before broiling. A warm tomato salsa tops it all off.

06 of 27

Black Bean Soup with Crispy Tortillas

Black Bean Soup with Crispy Tortillas

This ultra-simple soup requires little more than a couple of cans of black beans, some onion and a bit of cumin. A topping of fried tortillas (or store-bought chips) adds crunch.

07 of 27

Butter Bean, Tuna and Celery Salad

Butter Bean, Tuna and Celery Salad
© Antonis Achilleos

Big, creamy butter beans give a tuna and celery salad terrific heartiness. The salad would also be delicious spooned over slices of warm grilled country bread.

08 of 27

Minestrone with Black-Eyed Peas and Kidney Beans

Minestrone with Black-Eyed Peas and Kidney Beans

The fiber-rich beans in this soup make it satisfying enough to be a main course. This version gets an extra healthy boost from cabbage, a completely underrated vegetable that's loaded with fiber as well as vitamins A and C.

09 of 27

White Bean and Chicken Soup

White Bean and Chicken Soup
© Dana Gallagher

By using chicken thighs instead of breasts, Melissa Rubel Jacobson gives this hearty, jalapeño-spiked soup ultra-rich flavor.

10 of 27

Littleneck Clam Soup with Butter Beans and Saffron

Littleneck Clam Soup with Butter Beans and Saffron
© James Baigrie

If you prefer to add the clams without their shells and want to avoid the cumbersome process of shucking them raw, steam them in an inch of water or white wine. Remove the clams from their shells, and add them to the soup with their steaming liquid.

11 of 27

Grilled Squid Salad with Celery Leaf Pesto

Grilled Squid Salad with Celery Leaf Pesto
© John Kernick

Melissa Kelly's inspiration for this salad is a dish she ate in Santa Margherita, on the Ligurian Coast of Italy. It includes butter beans; they're a terrific source of potassium, iron, copper and manganese and rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol.

12 of 27

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.

13 of 27

Classic Beef Chili

classic beef chili

This chili recipe uses two different kinds of canned beans—dark red kidney and black (make sure you drain and rinse them). A hearty batch is ready in just under an hour.

14 of 27

Cacio e Pepe Broccolini with Crispy White Beans and Burrata

Cacio e Pepe Broccolini with Crispy White Beans and Burrata
Victor Protasio

This dish captures the rich, elegant, simple flavors of the classic Italian pasta and rounds them out with charred Broccolini and crispy, creamy, flash-fried white beans. No burrata? Fresh mozzarella will work here, too.

15 of 27

Blackened Skillet Pork Chops with Beans and Spinach

Blackened Skillet Pork Chops with Beans and Spinach
Victor Protasio

Cannellini beans are simmered with chicken stock, shallots, and spinach for a tasty side to accompany pork chops.

16 of 27

Kidney Bean Soup

kidney bean soup
Justin Chapple

Warm, hearty and deeply comforting, this kidney bean soup gets a nice kick from crushed red pepper and brightness from a bit of mustard.

17 of 27

Lazy Chicken-and-Sausage Cassoulet

Lazy Cassoulet Recipe
Alison Miksch

You can use canned or home-cooked white beans in this fast version of cassoulet, a hearty French casserole of beans, various meats, sausages, and poultry.

18 of 27

"Steak Bomb" Rice and Beans

steak bomb with rice and beans
© Fredrika Stjärne

Chef Jamie Bissonnette of Toro in Boston and New York City describes a steak bomb as a sub sandwich stuffed with a delicious mess of shaved beef, onions, peppers and cheese: “It’s New England’s answer to Philly cheesesteak.” He upgrades this pizza parlor staple by simmering thicker strips of beef with black beans and fresh tomatoes to serve over rice.

19 of 27

Bean and Cheese Vegetarian Enchiladas

Bean and Cheese Vegetarian Enchiladas
© Molly Yeh

Sweet bell peppers and two kinds of beans are the stars in this vegetarian dish. They're held together with melty Monterey jack cheese.

20 of 27

New Orleans Red Beans and Rice with Pickled Peppers

HD-201301-r-new-orleans-red-beans-and-rice-with-pickled-peppers.jpg

In New Orleans, red beans and rice are traditionally served on Mondays because the dish uses up leftover Sunday ham. Grace Parisi’s version swaps out the ham for smoky bacon.

21 of 27

Roasted Leek and White Bean Gratin

Roasted Leek and White Bean Gratin

Leeks, canned cannellini beans, garlic, chicken broth, and Gruyère cheese come together in this comforting gratin. If you have leftovers, you can mash them and serve them as a dip or spread for toasts.

22 of 27

Black Bean Tlacoyos

Black Bean Tlacoyos
Victor Protasio

These tlacoyos are filled with seasoned black bean and topped with nopales, cheese, cilantro, salsa, and chopped onion. No nopales on hand? No worries.

23 of 27

Mustard Salmon with Cannellini Bean Ragù

Mustard Salmon with Cannellini Bean Ragù

The cannellini beans don't cook for very long in this recipe, but they have a rich, rustic flavor since they're simmered with prosciutto and escarole.

24 of 27

Skirt Steak with Pinto Beans and Pasilla Chile Vinaigrette

Skirt Steak with Pinto Beans and Pasilla Chile Vinaigrette
© Christina Holmes

Instead of serving juicy skirt steak with steak sauce, Hugh Acheson makes a flavorful vinaigrette with pasilla chile and adds it to pinto beans as a very tasty, hearty accompaniment to the meat.

25 of 27

Smashed Cucumber Salad with Butter Beans and Tarragon

Smashed Cucumber Salad with Butter Beans and Tarragon
Jennifer Causey

Gently crushing the cucumbers for this salad releases their aroma and creates nooks and crannies for soaking up the dressing. They still retain plenty of crunch, a great contrast to the rich, creamy butter beans.

26 of 27

Three-Bean Dal

Three-Bean Dal
© Lucy Schaeffer

Vikram Sunderam’s three-bean dal can be sped up by using quick-cooking split yellow peas and canned beans.

27 of 27

Beans and Bacon on Buttered Toasts

beans and bacon on buttered toast
© Christina Holmes

This hearty fork-and-knife dish from Hugh Acheson, which features navy beans, is perfect for a quick, easy dinner for two.

Updated by
Bridget Hallinan
Headshot of Bridget Hallinan

As an Associate Food Editor, Bridget Hallinan primarily focuses on home cooking content for Food & Wine.com. She writes and edits recipe content, interviews chefs for helpful tips and tricks, and works on franchises such as our cookbook roundups and taste tests.

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