26 Ways to Eat More Beans

Because they're chock full of protein, endlessly versatile, and most importantly: delicious

Slow-cook them with ham for a hearty stew or simply throw a handful on toast with broccoli rabe—beans can transform anything from a cold salad to a chunky soup to nachos. Here are our 26 favorite ways to eat black beans, white beans, kidney beans, fava beans—basically any legume except for chickpeas and lentils, which have cooking methods all their own.

Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli
This version of the soup bean and pasta dish reverses the order of its stars turning it into a pasta dish laden with creamy beans and a creamy sauce. Get the recipe for Pasta e Fagioli »Simon Pearce

Dominique Ansel's Cassoulet

Dominique Ansel's Cassoulet
Made with confit duck legs, pork belly, and two kinds of sausage, this meaty, resplendently rich cassoulet is worth treasuring all winter.Matt Taylor-Gross
Lima Bean Gratin with Herbed Bread Crumbs

Lima Bean Gratin with Herbed Bread Crumbs

These are savory baked beans, but they have no Boston sweetness. Think of this gratin as a meatless cassoulet meant to accompany a roast or salad.Ryan Liebe
Refried Black Beans

Refried Black Beans

This easy 4-ingredient side dish practically takes care of itself.Helen Rosner

Cannellini Bean Salad with Radicchio and Celery

Cannellini Bean Salad with Radicchio and Celery
For this winter bean salad, a zippy vinaigrette adds brightness to crisp radicchio and celery. Get the recipe for Cannellini Bean Salad with Radicchio and Celery »Ryan Liebe

White Bean Soup with Fennel Seeds and Broccoli Rabe

White Bean Soup with Fennel Seeds and Broccoli Rabe
This kind of luscious puréed bean soup is made all over Italy with either white or fava beans. Prepare the soup several days in advance, but sauté the broccoli rabe just before serving. Get the recipe for White Bean Soup with Fennel Seeds and Broccoli Rabe »Ryan Liebe
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Black Bean Nachos with Red Chile Beef

This appetizer is loaded with spicy chorizo, assorted chiles, and hearty black beans.Farideh Sadeghin
Barbecued Baked Beans

Barbecued Baked Beans

These classic baked beans are a barbecue side-dish staple.Todd Coleman
Veal and Kidney Bean Stew (Ghormeh Sabzi)

Veal and Kidney Bean Stew (Ghormeh Sabzi)

Fenugreek, an aromatic dried herb, lends a distinctly floral flavor to hearty veal stew.Joseph De Leo
Fatback and Heirloom Bean Soup

Fatback and Heirloom Bean Soup

You can serve this soup the day you prepare it, but after an overnight rest on the refrigerator, the beans will have absorbed some of the broth and the soup will have a deeper flavor.Michelle Heimerman

Black Bean Burger with Salsa Fresca and Avocado Crema

Black Bean Burger with Salsa Fresca and Avocado Crema
Cumin, paprika, coriander, and both poblano and chipotle chiles lend their robust flavor to this earthy black bean burger.Helen Rosner

White Bean and Lacinato Kale Soup with Smoked Ham Hock

White Bean and Lacinato Kale Soup with Smoked Ham Hock
After flavoring the beans for this creamy winter soup, smoked ham hock is shredded and pan-fried, rendering it crisp and intensifying its flavor. Get the recipe for White Bean and Lacinato Kale Soup with Smoked Ham Hock »Bill Phelps
Bread Crumb Dumplings and Bean Stew with Parsley-Speck Pesto

Bread Crumb Dumplings and Bean Stew with Parsley-Speck Pesto

In Emilia-Romagna, chef Carla Rebecchi taught Jenn Louis to make this borlotti bean stew with shell-like gnocchi called pisarei. A fresh herb sauce laced with speck tops it off.Con Poulos

Tuscan Bean Soup

Author Nancy Harmon Jenkins uses olive oil three ways in this version of the venerable Italian soup: for sautéing garlic, rubbing on the toasts that accompany the dish, and finishing the soup.André Baranowski

Mexican Fava Bean Soup (Sopa de Habas)

Mexican Fava Bean Soup (Sopa de Habas)
The secret to this soup is a flavorful aromatic base of tomatoes, garlic, and onions—called a recado—that is pureed and fried before the beans go into the pot. Get the recipe for Mexican Fava Bean Soup (Sopa de Habas) »Todd Coleman

Broccoli Rabe, Cannellini Bean, and Ricotta Crostini

Broccoli Rabe, Cannellini Bean, and Ricotta Crostini
Crusty, garlicky toasted bread is topped with creamy ricotta, rosemary-accented beans, and spicy sautéed broccoli rabe in this quick, satisfying Italian appetizer.Andre Baranowski
Navy Bean Pie

Navy Bean Pie

The silky, custardlike base of this autumnal pie is made from sweetened navy bean purée spiced with nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon.Andre Baranowski
Frijolles de Olla (Stewed "Pot" Beans)

Frijolles de Olla (Stewed "Pot" Beans)

These stewed pinto beans can be eaten with tortillas for a light meal, or as a side dish for many roasted or grilled meats.Penny de los Santos
Ham and White Bean Soup

Ham and White Bean Soup

Finely ground ham infuses this simple soup with smoky richness.Ariana Lindquist
Hungarian Ham and Bean Soup

Hungarian Ham and Bean Soup

A paprika-laced roux of lard, flour, and sour cream transforms a simple bean and ham soup into something luxurious.Todd Coleman
Sausage with Broccoli Rabe and Cranberry Beans

Sausage with Broccoli Rabe and Cranberry Beans

In autumn, markets in Italy begin to fill with such staple winter vegetables as broccoli rabe. This pungent, bitter flower is not broccoli at all but comes from a variety of turnip.Joseph De Leo
New England-Style Baked Beans

New England-Style Baked Beans

Flavored with molasses, maple syrup, and rum, the classic New England bean dish is simple to prepare; all it takes is time. Serve it with hearty brown bread to mop up its flavorful sauce.Todd Coleman
White Bean and Sardine Stew

White Bean and Sardine Stew

With their delicate tenderness, canned sardines are ideal for this robust Mediterranean stew.Ingalls Photography
Coconut Rice and Red Beans

Coconut Rice and Red Beans

If you prefer, you can use canned red kidney beans in this satisfying side dish, served alongside Braised Oxtail with Butter Beans. Simply skip the first step and rinse one 15-oz. can of beans before adding them to the pan in step two.Matt Taylor-Gross

Irish Bean and Sausage Stew

Bean and Sausage Stew
At Gubbeen Farm, a 250-acre coastal plot of land in West Cork, an Irish twist on French cassoulet results in a flavorful, brothy stew of lima beans and thin Irish pork sausages. Get the recipe for Irish Bean and Sausage Stew »Matt Taylor-Gross
Cilantro and Lime Chicken with Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad

Cilantro and Lime Chicken with Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad

A simple and fresh black bean salad with grilled corns pairs perfectly with a quick marinated and grilled chicken.Farideh Sadeghin