9 Surprising Ways to Use a Can of Beans

From savory dips to sweet chocolate muffins, we're transforming lowly cans of beans so that you'll never look at them the same way again.
By: Foodlets

Inexpensive and full of protein, a simple can of beans can be used in so many delicious ways — and beyond the standard soups too (though I am sharing a clever trick for one soup recipe). From savory dips to sweet chocolate muffins, we’re transforming humble cans of beans so that you’ll never look at them the same way again.

Kale, Bean and Egg Stew (pictured above)

Who can’t use a vegetarian weeknight meal to add to their repertoire? If this one looks exotic for your crew, draw on what’s familiar about it: a fried egg fresh from the skillet.

Photo by: Picasa

Picasa

In my mind, the only thing wrong with tomato soup is that it never lasts; you’re always hungry only a little while after eating. That’s where this recipe, a favorite of my own four kids, comes in. It’s made with a quick puree of canned beans, which will help to keep you fuller longer.

Photo by: Picasa

Picasa

If your kids are as hungry after school as mine are, but you don’t want them to lose their appetites just before dinner, this is the dip for you. Pulse it in the food processor, and the whole thing comes together in seconds.

Food Network Kitchen’s Vegan Pinto Bean Breakfast Sausage.

Food Network Kitchen’s Vegan Pinto Bean Breakfast Sausage.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

Did you know you could make “sausage” out of pinto beans? This meatless recipe is hard to beat with its full flavor and punch of protein.

This colorful salad mixes fresh ingredients — avocado, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, corn right off the cob — with simple beans to produce a rainbow of flavor right on the plate.

Photo by: Picasa

Picasa

As a mom, I’m always looking for recipes that meet two criteria: They must be full of as many good-for-you ingredients as possible, and they’ve got to be crowd-pleasers. I’m happy to say these muffins check both boxes.

Food Stylist:  Anne Disrude
Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin

YK_FN_09BakedBeansGreens3_030.tif

Food Stylist: Anne DisrudeProp Stylist: Marina Malchin,Food Stylist: Anne DisrudeProp Stylist: Marina Malchin

Photo by: Yunhee Kim ©Yunhee Kim 2011

Yunhee Kim, Yunhee Kim 2011

You might not think of making baked beans every day, but if you like easy meals full of flavor (not to mention healthy ingredients), you should consider this recipe. Add a crusty loaf of bread, and you’ve got dinner on the table.

Melissa d’Arabian’s Black Bean Brownies.

Melissa d’Arabian’s Black Bean Brownies.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

Melissa d’Arabian’s Black Bean Brownies.

Made with cocoa powder and chocolate chips, these lightened-up brownies are indeed a satisfying dessert. But the addition of black beans adds a welcome boost of nutrition — without sacrificing flavor, of course.

Artichoke and bean crostini is served as a appetizer.

Artichoke and bean crostini is served as a appetizer.

Giada De Laurentiis works her magic with grocery store staples to produce a flavorful Italian classic.

Charity Curley Mathews is the mother of four small kids and a contributor to InStyle, The Huffington Post. She blogs about parenting, food and simple family meals that almost everybody likes at Foodlets.com.

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