11 Cheap and Healthy Recipes That Start With a Can of Beans

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Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit ...

... The more you eat, the more money you save! C'mon, guys. What did you think we were going to say? 

Canned beans are one of the most affordable pantry staples you can find at the grocery store, and if you aren't taking advantage of them, you should probably start now. There are tons of recipes to explore that start with a can of beans — here are some of our favorites.

Pot of Baked Beans on a Blue Gingham

1. Easy Crock-Pot Baked Beans

If effortless recipes are your jam, your Crock-Pot is probably the king of your kitchen. If so, you've got to try making your baked beans this way. This recipe is chock-full of flavor, and is all about throwing together pantry ingredients and condiments most folks have on hand anyway. Easy peasy. 

Recipe: A Southern Soul

Homemade Organic Refried Pinto Beans

2. Restaurant-Style Refried Beans

This recipe promises refried beans that channel the stuff you can find at your favorite Mexican restaurant. In addition to a can of refried beans, you'll need three ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge: sour cream, shredded cheese, and hot sauce (which is optional to boot). 

Recipe: An Affair From the Heart

Adding spices

3. Butter Bean Curry

Spices work overtime to transform the canned butter beans at the base of this vegan recipe. A flurry of curry powder, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, and cumin infuse this dish with the poignant flavor that makes curry so delicious. 

Recipe: Wholefood Soulfood Kitchen

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Homemade Organic Three Bean Salad
Green beans with ham. Plate of green beans cooked with serrano ham
Fernando Rico Mateu/istockphoto

5. Smothered Green Beans

These green beans are the perfect companion for dinner, especially if BBQ or soul food is on the menu. It's all in the sauce, guys, and boy is this one delectable, combining brown sugar with butter and soy sauce. The bacon is a nice touch, too.

Recipe: Plain Chicken

Related: 22 Quick and Easy Cold Salads for People Who Hate Lettuce

Black bean soup
Bean Soup

7. Ham and Bean Soup

If soup is your comfort food, ham and bean soup is a must. Bonus points if you have leftover ham to use to whip this one up with four cans of your favorite white beans. 

Recipe: Cafe Delites

green bean salad

8. Canned Green Bean Salad

Why not put an antipasto-style spin on canned green beans? This recipe turns a can of green beans into a flavor-filled side salad with feta cheese, tomatoes, black olives, red onion, and Italian dressing.

Recipe: Bunny's Warm Oven

Cooked rice and beans

9. Vegan Red Beans and Rice

You didn't think we were going to list our favorite canned bean recipes without mentioning red beans and rice, did you? This dish is a staple, and it's vegan-friendly too. You'll need myriad seasonings, canned kidney beans, rice, onion, garlic, celery, vegetable stock, and tomato paste to make it happen. 

Recipe: Thyme & Joy 

Mexican Charro Beans made with pinto beans, bacon, ham, chorizo, chili peppers, tomatoes and spices closeup on the bowl. Horizontal top view

10. Easy Charro Beans

What if we told you that you could emulate an authentic Mexican dish, starting with a couple of cans of pinto beans? Well, you can with this easy recipe. Bacon, canned fire-roasted tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, bay leaves, salt, and pepper join forces with the canned beans to create one tasty dish — best served alongside some tacos and a margarita, if you ask us.

Recipe: The Complete Savorist

Pasta and beans

11. One-Pot White Bean Pasta

If you want a meatless pasta but don't want to put protein on the back burner, this white bean pasta is a great option (and super simple to prepare!). 

Recipe: The Clever Meal