10 Unexpected Things to Make with a Can of Beans

Give your can opener a full-circle crank for the most-underappreciated item in the grocery aisle.

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

The Beauty of Beans

Tasty, inexpensive and packed with protein, beans are a low-stress ticket to satisfying meals. Here are 10 ways to love your legumes. For each of them, drain and rinse your beans before proceeding.

Red Bean Curry

Add kidney beans and cauliflower to your favorite curry base and serve over rice for a twist on the classic rajma masala.

Peas and Greens

Upgrade a pot of collard greens simmered with smoky bacon and onion by stirring in a can of black-eyed peas a few minutes before serving.

Stuffed Avocado Boats

Pinto beans tossed with fresh pico de gallo and crumbled queso fresco make a quick stuffing for avocado halves.

Roasted Chickpeas

For an easy snack, pat chickpeas dry, toss with olive oil and coarse salt, then bake at 400 degrees F on a rimmed sheet tray, tossing occasionally until crispy, for about an hour.

Greek Chopped Salad

Need a speedy dinner fix? Toss chickpeas with chopped romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, pepperoncini, feta and your favorite vinaigrette.

Beans Benedict

Pinto beans warmed with browned Italian sausage and diced tomatoes make a flavorful base for sauteed spinach and a fried egg on toast.

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Chopped red onion, capers and a tablespoon or two of red wine vinegar add brightness to a can of oil-packed tuna mixed with cannellini or great Northern beans.

Navy Bean Pesto

Skip the pine nuts. Puree navy beans, olive oil, Parmesan, sauteed garlic and fresh basil (or spinach or arugula) in a food processor; adjust the consistency with a little water. Add lemon zest for zip, and use the pesto as a sandwich spread or topper for a fish fillet. You can even add a dollop to a cup of vegetable soup.

Black Bean Salsa

Stir a can of black beans into your favorite salsa recipe. They're extra-tasty with fruit varieties — think peaches or pineapple — and corn.

Black Bean Tacos

Black beans warmed with a little olive oil, water and oregano are a hearty alternative to the usual meat filling in a soft corn or flour tortilla. Go ahead and mix in a dab of chipotles in adobo if you like them smoky. From there, top with your favorite garnishes — shredded cabbage, scallions, cheddar and sour cream all work.

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