Fast and delicious ways to prepare a can of beans

I finally developed a taste for beans but I don’t know how to cook them. Aside from chick peas and lentils, that is, which are entirely different creatures than the black/red/turtle/fava etc which seem to be pretty interchangeable.

I know only three recipes :

  • Standard Chili
  • Standard Beans and Rice with Cumin
  • Standard Refried

I’ve eaten entirely too much tofu this week so I decreed tonight to be a bean night. I would like to eat sooner than later, so boiling up a nice pot of beans is not an option: it’s a can of black beans, or nothing.

So, do you know any delicious ways to cook a can of beans? I don’t really have time (or desire) for chili tonight, but I’d take a tasty variation on B&R or refried, if anyone knows any.

There must be more than three ways to eat them. There must be!

I advise you to not use horseradish in any shape, form, or fashion.

Black Bean Chilaquile from Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites.

I always say everything’s better when it’s fried in bacon grease. I find this is especially true of beans.

Or, you could slice an avocado, dice 1/4 of a white onion and a tomato, grate some (1/4 cup) jack cheese, put the beans in the pot, heat to bubbling, sprinkle the cheese on top, stir until well mixed, spoon into a large tortilla, add avocado, onion and tomato, and eat it up yum! :slight_smile:

Stir-fry some onion, garlic, and veggies (dieced zucchini, chopped bell peppers, drained canned diced tomatoes, or whatever you like) in olive oil. Sprinkle in some fresh orgeano, then add a drained can of beans and warm them through. Toss with cooked pasta. Top liberally with freshly grated parmesan or romano.

If you want a hot weather dish, you can make bean salad. Toss the beans with a good homemade vinaigrette and add any of the following:

chopped roasted pepper
minced garlic and/or onion
feta or parmesan cheese
fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, rosemary)
minced celery or cucumber

This makes a good meal by itself or as an accompaniment to leftover roast beef or lamb.

Are you a vegetarian?

No matter. Here, try this. It’s my wife’s recipe, and should translate well to veggiedom.

(Warning: this salad is addictive.)


1 lb ground beef (omit for vegetarian version)
1 pkg Lowry’s Taco flavor ground beef seasoning (omit for vegetarian version)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (coriander seed, for you brits)
1 tsp chili powder (for vegetarian version only)
1 tsp garlic powder (for vegetarian version only)
4 oz Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
4 oz of good quality chunky style salsa, mild or hot
1 can red kidney beans, drained (keep juices for vegetarian version)
1 head iceberg or romaine lettuce, washed and chopped into fork size pieces
(or use bagged greens)
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
4 oz finely shredded cheddar cheese (sharp recommended)
4 oz. tortilla strips, lightly crushed (or more, to taste)
Salt to taste
Red pepper to taste

Prepare ground beef with taco seasoning according to package directions. Drain fat before adding seasoning. Add cumin to meat with seasoning packet.

(For vegetarian version, simmer beans in juices with cumin, chili powder and garlic to infuse with flavor. Drain beans well afterwards.)

In a large salad bowl, mix seasoned beef (if used) with beans, ranch dressing, and salsa. Stir to distribute evenly. Add red pepper and salt to taste. Toss with lettuce, green onions, and tortilla chips. Garnish with cheese and serve immediately. Serves 2.

Serve with a light, cold, crisp beer like Bohemia, Samuel Adams Golden Pilsner, or even Franziskaner Hefeweisen and lemon.

mmm … thanks ! I look forward to many tasty cans of beans.

Have you tried Cannelini beans? These are Italian white kidney beans, with a mild flavor. You should be able to find them in any supermarket)

Pasta Quercus:
Rough amounts given for about 2 servings, but they’re not critical, just try and have roughly equal amounts of beans, tomatoes and broccoli.

Broccoli Heads (about 1 very large one)
Garlic (to taste, for me 3-4 cloves)
2 Tomatoes
One 12-oz can Cannelini Beans
Olive Oil (the best you have – extra virgin ideally)
2 servings pasta (Bowties or Penne or similar is better than spaghetti, but go with what you’ve got)
(optional) Parmesan or other grating cheese

Cook the pasta while you’re doing everything else.
Chop the broccoli heads into 2 inch or so pieces, mince the garlic, and dice the tomatoes. Rinse the beans.
Saute the broccoli in the olive oil, when it’s almost done, add the garlic for a few moments. You may need to add a little more oil as the broccoli soaks it up. That’s OK, olive oil is good for you.
When the garlic is just cooked, turn off the heat and add the tomatoes and beans. Add a liberal amount of salt, and more olive oil if desired.

Serve over the pasta with Parmesan cheese.

This is one of my standard quick easy meals.

Make a box of Spanish Rice Rice a Roni, add a can of black beans, mix and warm until the beans are warm, sprinkle with Cheddar cheese, and continue to warm until the cheese melts.

Pour a can of black beans and a can of kernel corn into a bowl and eat it cold. I guess you could add some salsa or something to it. Hey, you asked for fast.

There are some very nice flavoured saussages arround. Get a pre cooked pack of a flavour you like the sound of. Get a tin of peeled tomatoes.
Open the tin of beans but leave the tin lid attatched, pour out the liquid from the beans and rinse the beans (this can be done in the tin if you use the lid to stop the beans falling out when you pour off the liquid). Open the can of tomatos and use a knife to chop them roughly. put the tomatoes in a pan and heat, add a couplke of the causages sliced and the beans. Allow to cook for 20 minutes or more. Add all sorts of flavors that you might like.
Broil a couple of thick cheese on tosts. Serve the cooked beans on top of the cheese on toast.

Umm, no, cumin and coriander are different things on both sides of the Atlantic. You may be thinking of the fact that you call coriander leaves cilantro, whereas we just call them coriander leaves.

Pendantic perhaps, but it would be a shame to cause confusion where none was needed. And hey… this is the Straight Dope, right? :wink:

Here is a really easy and yummy semi-recipe for a mexican-style veggie bean dip.

Need : casserole dish, oven to about 350-400 (standard baking temp), canned stuff and can opener, taco seasoning mix or substitute, shredded cheese (cheddar or mexican or fake stuff if you only eat non-dairy), jar of salsa or substitute. Tortilla chips or burrito-sized tortillas are good with this.

Preheat oven.
Decide on what canned stuff to add and how much you want to make. If you want a fair bit of leftovers use : 1 can black beans, 1 can kidney beans, 1 can pinto beans, and 2 cans of corn (if you want less, my favorite is just pintos, black beans, and 1 can corn.) Drain the canned goods very well (get rid of the extra liquid) and pour into casserole dish.

Stir in 1 packet of taco mix for big batch, 1/2 for smaller batch. Use cumin and chili powder or whatnot if you don’t have any packets.

Stir in 1 jar salsa (whatever kind you like). Use a small one for small batch… big for big batch. You can substitute a can of diced or whole tomatoes if you have no salsa.

Stir it all up and stuff into the oven (uncovered) for 30 min or until all nice and bubbly.

Yank the oven open and pull out the steaming dish (very carefully). Sprinkle lots of shredded cheese on top.

Return to oven for about 15 min, till the cheese is all melted and everything’s really hot.

Turn off oven, pull out and eat. I like it best with tortilla chips, also good as a burrito or eaten straight from a bowl.