18 Bean Recipes Packed with Plant-Based Protein

By | September 16, 2020

Beans are so versatile and having a few go-to bean recipes on hand is a great way to incorporate these into your diet more often!

Beans are great as a side on their own, pureed into a bean dip, cooked in a soup, or mixed into your favorite veggie burger.

You’ll find several bean recipes for breakfast, soups, salads, and entrees!

Health Benefits Of Beans

Beans are a delicious source of plant-based protein. They’re also a notable source of healthy fiber, particularly soluble fiber. Soluble fiber has the ability to reduce “bad” cholesterol levels and keep you feeling full longer. Fiber is also great for your digestive system and GI motility.

Beans are also known for their antioxidant content. Polyphenols and flavonoids are responsible for protecting your cells from free radicals.

Cooking dried black beans are incredibly easy, delicious, and an affordable way to eat plant-based proteins and fiber!

Whether you’re vegan or vegetarian or you simply are looking to eat more plant-based meals, beans are so beneficial to include in your diet. Use these bean recipes as inspiration for incorporating them more throughout your week.

Dried Beans vs. Canned Beans in Recipes

You can choose to use dried beans or canned beans. If you choose canned beans, be sure to look for organic beans and BPA free cans. Also read the ingredient list and make sure there’s not a lot of added preservatives or other ingredients. Before using canned beans, be sure to rinse them well with water.

With dried beans, you’ll have to add the step of soaking your beans for a few hours. Soaking aids with digestion, but it does mean you need to think ahead when planning to make a bean recipe.

For these reasons, we use dried beans most of the time and keep a few cans of beans on hands for when we need something quick so we’re always able to enjoy a healthy bean recipe.

Bean Recipes for Breakfast

Including beans in your breakfast is a great way to start the day with a filling meal and plenty of sustainable energy.

Strawberry Blueberry Bean Smoothie Recipe

Yes, we here at Nutrition Stripped put frozen white beans in smoothies! Frozen white beans give smoothies a creamy consistency, reduce the sugar content, and provide a nutritional boost! Plus, you can’t even taste them in there. It may sound strange, but give it a try. So many Nutrition Stripped community members converted into bean smoothie lovers!

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Huevos Rancheros 

Get a bit more creative with your bean recipes by including beans in part of a larger recipe. These huevos rancheros are the perfect example! Beans share the spotlight with the eggs to create a filling and tasty brunch option.

Foundational Five Greens and Beans Nourish Bowl

In this greens and beans bowl, you’ll find a specific recipe to follow, but you’ll also find a template that you can use to make variations of this bowl with different ingredients! What makes this bowl come together is the addition of a creamy (but dairy-free), homemade dressing!

Bean Salad Recipes

Two-Bean and Herb No-Cook Salad

This bean salad can be served hot or cold! It makes such a great addition to any Foundational Five Nourish Bowl or Salad or it’s also a great side dish. But the major benefit of this one is it doesn’t require any cooking and you’ll have all of the ingredients in your pantry.

Protein-Packed White Bean Salad

This is a beautifully elevated white bean salad! With the addition of sumac and fresh herbs, it tastes incredible and transforms simple beans into a delicious salad or side dish.

Lemony Chickpea Salad

This salad takes less than 5 minutes to toss together! It’s a great option to have in mind on those days you need something quick, easy, and nourishing. There are a few fresh ingredients in this salad, but you can use pantry ingredients instead if you don’t have the fresh ingredients on hand!

Lupini Bean Salad

Unlike beans most of us may be more familiar with, lupini beans have a unique texture– they have a crunch, density, yet breakdown like a pine nut that’s been soaked for a couple hours. Their flavor is neutral with a slight nuttiness to it unlike any bean or legume I’ve ever had and overall so delicious!

Avocado Boats 3 Ways 

The best avocado boat recipe with three variations made in under 10 minutes, sesame cabbage, spicy black bean, and curry chickpea.

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Bean Soup Recipes

White Bean Soup With The Best Broth Ever

This bean recipe is simply delicious! Using just a few fresh ingredients and white beans, this recipe cooks itself for a few hours, filling your whole home with such a beautiful aroma. This is one of those staple recipes that once you try, you’re going to have it on your list of recipes to keep coming back to over and over again!

White Bean Chili Verde

This White Bean Chili Verde is the perfect balance between function and flavor. The green chiles add wonderful complex flavors and beautiful color, and the beans provide a boost of plant-based protein. Throw in the superfood effects from fresh cilantro and you have a batch-cooking friendly meal that checks all the boxes. This bean recipe is one that we make on repeat in big batches throughout the winter!

Hearty Black Bean and Corn Soup

This is another great option for batch cooking day or to store as a freezer meal Black beans and corn is a classic combination and you can serve this as the main course or alongside a big salad or nourish bowl!

Chocolate Cinnamon Walnut Chili 

This is one of my favorite recipes from my cookbook, mainly from the nostalgia of growing up in the Midwest eating Cincinnati style chili — it’s delicious and I gave it a healthy NS makeover. It might sound like an odd ingredient combination for you if you didn’t grow up eating Cincinnati-style chili, but try this one out, it’s too good!

Bean Recipes for Your Main Course

Since beans are a great source of plant-based protein and starchy carbohydrates, they can be the star of your main dish. These entrees are a few of our favorites that put beans front and center!

1-Pot Chickpea Curry with Tumeric Rice

If you’re ever looking for a warming, comforting, nourishing, and filling meal that’s made in about 20 minutes, then look no further. This Chickpea Tomato Curry with Turmeric Rice is a great entree dish to make on the weekends for plenty of leftovers for a quick lunch the next day.

The Easiest Black Beans Recipe

I highly recommend bookmarking this recipe for this weekend or on your next meal planning day — these make the perfect leftover side dish. You can enjoy these in so many ways from warming up as a side dish paired with any entree, topping a salad for a quick lunch, adding to a stir-fry, adding to a broth-based soup for extra protein and fiber, or eating them plain. The possibilities are diverse, flexible for your lifestyle, affordable, and easy to keep stocked in your pantry.

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Black Bean Burger

The black bean patty tastes traditional in the sense that it’s plain with a hint of smoke, and the added crunch comes from sliced radish. The spicy grainy mustard, sweet pickles, sweet and tangy red onions, and fresh sprouts make this an amazing burger experience.

Chickpea Burger

These chickpea burgers are perfect for prepping in advance! It will only take about 30 minutes of your batch cooking day to make enough burgers for the entire week. This recipe is packed with plenty of protein just like its animal-based counterpart! The egg, nutritional yeast, chickpeas and hemp seeds all contribute to great protein content.

Chana Masala

There are plenty of reasons to love Indian cuisine. Cumin, cardamom, and fresh ginger make this dish rich and flavorful with a healthy boost.  Using chickpeas for protein creates a wonderful texture to this dish and its shelf life makes for the perfect addition to your batch-cooking list. We suggest serving Chana Masala with perfectly steamed rice, sweet potatoes or steamed veggies.

Black Bean and Quinoa Lettuce Taco Wraps

Say hello to these Black Bean and Quinoa Taco Lettuce Wraps full of fiber, protein, healthful fats, and everything you need to satisfy that taco craving with a healthier touch thanks to the black beans (aka pulses). Garnish these with fresh cilantro, diced tomato, sliced red onion, jalapeño, salsa, and lime.

Which Bean Recipe Will You Try First?

Which bean recipes sound best to you? Pick 1 to 3 options that sound tasty to you and give one a try this week!

When you make it, we’d love to see it! Snap a picture and post to your stories on Instagram and tag, @nutritionstripped. We love seeing your creations and sharing with the community!

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