7 Ways to Turn a Can of Black Beans into a Healthy Dinner

black beans
Photo Credit: Once Upon a Chef

January 26, 2021

By Isadora Baum

Affordable and versatile, black beans are a nutrient-dense pantry staple. It is always a good idea to have a can — or three — on hand for quick and easy weeknight meals. Turn them into soups and chilis, use them to add heft to salads, and stuff them in everything from peppers to lettuce-wrap tacos.

Here are 7 ideas to help you put those black beans to good use.

P.S. If possible, look for organic, low-sodium options and rinse well to get the most nutrition out of your canned beans.

1. Black Bean Salad with Corn, Avocado & Lime Vinaigrette from Once Upon a Chef

Avocado and lime create a creamy, citrusy vinaigrette that tastes wonderful on the bed of beans. This is great for dinner when you want something simple and nutritious. Add cayenne pepper to kick the heat up a notch!

black bean soup
Photo Credit: Wholesomelicious

2. Mexican Black Bean Quinoa Soup from Wholesomelicious

It takes less than a half hour to make this fragrant and filling black bean soup. Cumin and chipotle spice powder give it plenty of flavor, and there’s ample fiber and protein from the blend of beans, quinoa, and corn. Add some lime for a bit of zest.

Pepper shell tacos
Photo Credit: The Toasted Pine Nut

3. Pepper Shell Tacos from The Toasted Pine Nut

Baking pepper halves to make tacos and cut the carbs is simple to do and you can make a big batch at once to keep on hand for ready-to-go weeknight meals. The beans work with the beef to pack in the protein and fiber, and they add that extra meaty texture you crave in a taco filling.

black bean soup
Photo Credit: Ambitious Kitchen

4. Quick & Easy Black Bean Soup from Ambitious Kitchen

Hearty and delicious, this black bean soup has so much flavor and protein — and it’s ready in 35 minutes flat. The beans make up the bulk of the soup, along with some tomato sauce, and vegetable broth. Add some shredded cheese for some added protein, calcium, and savory notes.

Black bean skiller dinner
Photo Credit: Two Peas & Their Pod

5. Black Bean Skillet Dinner from Two Peas & Their Pod

This no-fuss skillet leans on black beans for heartiness. Avocado and Greek yogurt round it out, with creaminess and plenty of healthy fat and protein.

black bean soup
Photo Credit: Minimalist Baker

6. 5-Ingredient Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili from Minimalist Baker

Our advice? Whip up a large pot so that you have something warming and filling for dinner throughout the week. Sweet potato adds natural sweetness, and you can pile on as many additional veggies as you like.

Black bean quinoa taco lettuce wraps
Photo Credit: Nutrition Stripped

7. Black Bean and Quinoa Taco Lettuce Wraps from Nutrition Stripped

Ditch the taco shell and use lettuce to keep things low-carb and gluten-free.This vegetarian taco features black beans as the base, along with quinoa and corn, and it’s a great budget meal, too.