99 Great Ways to Use Canned Beans

Updated: Feb. 01, 2024

Turn those canned beans in your pantry into a nutritious, budget-friendly meal. Discover the endless possiblities—including soups and chilis to casseroles, enchiladas and more.

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Quickpea Curry

This colorful curry is a nice change of pace for a busy weeknight. I like to substitute fresh peas for frozen when they're in season. —Beth Fleming, Downers Grove, Illinois
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Spaghetti & Meatball Skillet Supper

I developed this one-skillet spaghetti and meatball dish to cut down on cooking time on busy nights. The beans, artichokes and tomatoes bump up the nutrition factor, while the lemon and parsley make it pop with brightness. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Mexi-Stroni Soup

If you're a fan of classic minestrone but love bold Mexican flavors, this soup's for you! It's pumped up with spices, veggies and pasta for a filling bowl of fun. —Darlene Island, Lakewood, Washington
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Healthy Greek Bean Dip

This crowd-pleasing appetizer is healthy to boot! Folks will love to eat their veggies when they can dip them in this zesty, fresh alternative to hummus. —Kelly Silvers, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Texas Chili Fries

The delicious chili goes together in minutes and then cooks while you run errands. The only way to make it even better is to pour it over crisp french fries and sprinkle with cheese to make Texas chili fries. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Chorizo & Grits Breakfast Bowls

While growing up, I bonded with my dad over chorizo and eggs. My fresh approach combines them with grits and black beans for this chorizo breakfast bowl. You can even add a spoonful of pico de gallo. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
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Chicken Pizza

My fun twist on typical pizza is an excellent way to use up leftover pesto. And since it’s loaded with protein-rich chicken and black beans, it’s hearty enough to satisfy everyone! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Chili-Lime Roasted Chickpeas

Looking for a lighter snack that's still a crowd pleaser? You've found it! These zesty, crunchy chickpeas will have everyone happily munching. —Julie Ruble, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Balsamic Three-Bean Salad

Here's my little girl's favorite salad. She devours it just about as fast as I can make it. I suggest preparing it ahead of time so the flavors can get to know each other. —Stacey Feather, Jay, Oklahoma
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Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup

My hearty soup uses herbs and vegetables from the garden along with convenient pantry items, so it’s easy, fast and mostly fresh. Your family will devour it. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Chili Mac Casserole

This cheesy casserole uses several of my family's favorite ingredients, including macaroni, kidney beans, tomatoes and cheese. Just add a leafy salad for a complete meal. —Marlene Wilson, Rolla, North Dakota
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Bean & Beef Slow-Cooked Chili

This chili may be already chock-full, but we love to build it up even more with toppings like pico de gallo, red onion, cilantro and cheese. —Mallory Lynch, Madison, Wisconsin
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Beef 'n' Bean Torta

This zesty dish is a favorite of mine because it has a wonderful Southwestern taste and is easy to prepare. I serve it on nights when we have only a few minutes to eat before running off to meetings or sports events. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Best Ever Beans and Sausage

When my wife asks what she should make for a gathering, she's always told to bring this—and a couple of copies of the recipe! — Robert Saulnier, Clarksburg, Massachusetts
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Christmas Tortellini & Spinach Soup

I made this soup for the first time in the summer, but when I saw its bright red and green colors, my first thought was what a perfect Christmas Eve dinner idea! —Marietta Slater, Justin, Texas
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Black Bean & Corn Quinoa

Some vegan quinoa recipes are boring, but this one definitely isn't. My daughter’s college asked parents for the best quinoa recipes to use in the dining halls. This healthy quinoa recipe fits the bill. —Lindsay McSweeney, Winchester, Massachusetts
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Caribbean Shrimp & Rice Bowl

I had a similar rice bowl on vacation and re-created this lighter version at home. It takes me back to the islands every time I make it. Try grilling the shrimp for more beachy flavor. —Lauren Katz, Ashburn, Virginia
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Southwestern Pulled Pork Crostini

As a different take on crostini, these apps are fantastic for tailgating and casual parties alike. —Randy Cartwright, Linden, Wisconsin
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Cassoulet for Today

French cassoulet is traditionally cooked for hours. This version of the rustic dish offers the same homey taste in less time. It’s easy on the wallet too. —Virginia Anthony, Jacksonville, Florida
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Tuscan Sausage & Bean Dip

This is a spinoff of a Mexican dip I had once. The original was wicked good, but since I was going through an "I’m-so-over-Mexican-dip" phase, I decided to switch it up. Take it to a party—I'll bet you no one else will bring anything like it! —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina
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Chickpea & Potato Curry

I make chana masala, the classic Indian chickpea curry, in my slow cooker. First browning the onion, ginger and garlic really makes the sauce amazing. —Anjana Devasahayam, San Antonio, Texas
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Easy Chicken Tamale Pie

All you need are some simple ingredients from the pantry to put this slow-cooker meal together. I love the fact that I can go fishing while it cooks. —Peter Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas
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Firehouse Chili

As one of the cooks at the firehouse, I used to prepare meals for 10 men. This firehouse chili recipe was among their favorites. —Richard Clements, San Dimas, California
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Grilled Bean Burgers

These juicy veggie patties have major flavor with cumin, garlic and a little chili powder. They hold their own against any veggie burger you‘d buy at the supermarket. —Marguerite Shaeffer, Sewell, New Jersey
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Penne with Tomatoes & White Beans

I learned how to make this dish from friends in Genoa, Italy, where they're known for creating tasty combinations of veggies, pasta and beans. You can sub feta cheese to give this a Greek twist. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Yankee Rancheros

After my in-laws began affectionately referring to me as a Yankee, I decided I had to learn to make some Mexican dishes. These are super easy and make my Tex-Mex-loving family happy—even if they do come from a Northerner!. —Darla Andrews, Boerne, Texas
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Quinoa-Stuffed Squash Boats

My colorful “boats” with quinoa, garbanzo beans and pumpkin seeds use delicata squash, a winter squash with edible skin that’s cream-colored with green stripes. In a pinch, acorn squash will do—but don't eat the skin! —Lauren Knoelke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Black Bean Turkey Chili

This busy-day chili is packed with flavor. We make it ahead and freeze some to eat later. —Marisela Segovia, Miami, Florida
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Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas

I love Mexican food, but I'm always looking for ways to make it healthier. I reworked a dish that I have enjoyed in restaurants to suit my taste and lifestyle. —Christie Ladd, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
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Black Bean-Mango Salad

This fresh mango salad is a lively side dish for chicken or fish. Simple to put together and pack for a picnic, it’s a yummy way to slip more fruit and veggies into meals.—Donna Hollon, Port Orchard, Washington
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Smoky Chicken Nachos

What's game day without can't-stop-munching nachos? Featuring layers of crunchy tortilla chips, black beans and a creamy, smoky chicken mixture, this appetizer will disappear before the second quarter. —Whitney Smith, Winterhen, Florida
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Roasted Curried Chickpeas and Cauliflower

When there’s not much time to cook, try roasting potatoes and cauliflower with chickpeas for a warm-you-up dinner. It's a filling meal on its own, but you can add chicken or tofu to the sheet pan if you'd like. —Pam Correll, Brockport, Pennsylvania
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Black Bean Potato au Gratin

The addition of black beans and vegetables adds hearty protein and fiber to this tasty side dish. For a southwestern twist, add a handful or two of chopped cooked ham or chorizo sausage and replace the peas with 1 cup of frozen, thawed corn. —Erin Chilcoat, Central Islip, New York
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Pico de Gallo Black Bean Soup

Everyone at my table goes for this feel-good soup. It is quick when you’re pressed for time and beats fast food, hands down. —Darlis Wilfer, West Bend, Wisconsin
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Indian Spiced Chickpea Wraps

Raita, an Indian condiment made with yogurt, elevates this vegetarian dish to a satisfying gourmet wrap. If you're in the mood to experiment, try diced mango or cucumber for the pineapple and add fresh herbs like cilantro or mint. —Jennifer Beckman, Falls Church, Virginia
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Tomato & Garlic Butter Bean Dinner

On the days I get home late and just want a warm meal, I stir together tomatoes, garlic and butter beans. Ladle it over noodles if you're in the mood for pasta. —Jessica Meyers, Austin, Texas
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Spicy Sweet Potato Kale Cannellini Soup

This cross between a soup and a stew fits the meatless Monday bill quite nicely. It warms you right up, and satisfies without leaving you overstuffed.—Marybeth Mank, Mesquite, Texas
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Buenos Dias Breakfast

I love the way the tortilla strips puff up when this is baked. It is a terrific no-fuss recipe that everyone in my family enjoys, even the meat lovers. —Barbara Burge, Los Gatos, California
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Quinoa & Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

If you're thinking about a meatless meal, give these no-fuss peppers a try. They come together with just a few ingredients and put a tasty spin on a low-fat dinner! —Cindy Reams, Philipsburg, PA
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Cabbage and Beef Soup

When I was a little girl, I helped my parents work the fields of their small farm. Lunchtime was always a treat when Mother picked fresh vegetables from the garden and simmered them in her big soup pot. We loved making this delicious recipe. —Ethel Ledbetter, Canton, North Carolina
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Layered Cornbread Salad

When the garden comes in, we harvest the veggies and layer them with cornbread and sweet relish for this snappy salad. Everyone wants seconds. —Rebecca Clark, Warrior, Alabama
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Cajun-Style Beans and Sausage

Beans and rice make the perfect meal because they're well-balanced, an excellent source of protein, and easy to prepare. The sausage adds full flavor to the recipe, and traditional pork sausage lovers won't even notice that chicken sausage is used in this dish. —Robin Haas, Cranston, Rhode Island
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White Turkey Chili

Here's proof that chili doesn't have to be red. I combined several recipes and changed flavors until the recipe was just right. Trust me, this one is a keeper. —Tina Barrett, Houston, Texas
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Santa Fe Chipotle Chili

Sausage and ground beef make this spiced chili a meat lover's delight. I can freeze and reheat it later without sacrificing any of the flavor. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida
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Quinoa Tabbouleh

When my mom and sister developed several food allergies, we had to modify many recipes. I substituted quinoa for couscous in this tabbouleh. Now we make quinoa tabbouleh all the time! —Jennifer Klann, Corbett, Oregon
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Championship Bean Dip

My friends and neighbors expect me to bring this irresistible dip to every gathering. When I arrive, they ask, "You brought your bean dip, didn't you?" If there are any leftovers, we use them to make bean and cheese burritos the next day. —Wendi Wavrin Law, Omaha, Nebraska
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Tilapia Tostadas

Even my non-fish-loving family enjoys this recipe. It’s a winner in my book. —Jennifer Kolb, Overland Park, Kansas
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Chicken Cassoulet Soup

After my sister spent a year in France as an au pair, I created this lighter, easier version of traditional French cassoulet for her. It uses chicken instead of the usual duck.—Bridget M. Klusman, Otsego, Michigan
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Confetti Corn Quesadillas

This easy and convenient meal is easily changed to fit any family's picky eaters. You can even sneak in protein, dairy and veggies and the kids will never know this is relatively good for them. I try to keep a batch in the fridge for a quick and hearty lunch. —Carey Hunt, Portland, Oregon
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Pasta Fagioli al Forno

The name of this Italian-inspired dish means "baked pasta with beans." But my busy family translates it as "super satisfying dinner." —Cindy Preller, Grayslake, Illinois
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Classic Texas Caviar

I adapted this texas caviar from one in a cookbook I received a long time ago, and now, I can't imagine a get-together at my house without this quick and healthy appetizer. —Becky Oliver, Fairplay, Colorado
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Coconut-Ginger Chickpeas & Tomatoes

This is my go-to quick dish. When you add tomatoes, you can also toss in some chopped green peppers (jalapenos, if you like heat) to make it even more colorful. —Mala Udayamurthy, San Jose, California
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Curried Chicken Soup

My German mother would occasionally cook dishes that were not traditional German recipes. One of my favorites was her Curry Chicken Soup. I've added my own touches to it, such as the chickpeas, coconut milk and fresh cilantro.—Deanna Hindenach, Paw Paw, Michigan
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Southwestern Rice

I created this colorful side dish after eating something similar at a restaurant. It complements any Tex-Mex meal wonderfully. Sometimes I add cubes of grilled chicken breast to the rice to make it a meal in itself. —Michelle Dennis, Clarks Hill, Indiana
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Mediterranean Tortellini Salad

One of my childhood friends moved to Italy 20 years ago. During a recent visit to see her, I enjoyed a scrumptious salad made with tortellini and fresh vegetables. I fell in love with the dish and have been trying to recreate ever since. How'd I do? —Kelly Mapes, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Contest-Winning Easy Minestrone

This minestrone soup recipe is special to me because it’s one of the few dinners my entire family loves. And I can feel good about serving it because it’s full of nutrition and low in fat. —Lauren Brennan, Hood River, Oregon
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Southern-Style Egg Rolls

Sausage, black-eyed peas and turnip greens give these unique egg rolls a decidedly southern accent. When I bring them to a party, I always come home with an empty plate. —Holly Jones, Kennesaw, Georgia
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Spicy Sweet Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa

I wanted to find a way to use pineapple salsa in a recipe. I came up with this super simple, delicious and quick dish! —Erin Schillo, Northfield, Ohio
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Skillet Southwestern Chicken Soup

This hearty soup is chockfull of chicken, corn, black beans and diced tomatoes seasoned with zippy southwestern flavor. Mexican cornbread makes a delicious accompaniment. —Terri Stevens, Ardmore, Oklahoma
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Double Jack Mac

This spicy mac and cheese recipe came about when I asked my two sisters what they would like to add to mac and cheese to make it special. One said pepper jack cheese and the other said black beans. I liked both of the ideas and this is the result. The black beans add color and nutrition. The pepper jack cheese adds zip and fun. —Andrea Johnson, Freeport, Illinois
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Mediterranean Turkey Skillet

I've always heard that it’s important to eat a rainbow of colors to get all of the nutrients we need. Thanks to my garden-grown veggies, this dish certainly fits the bill. —Nicole Ehlert, Burlington, Wisconsin
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Cornbread Pizza Wheels

This hearty, colorful snack looks like you spent a lot of time, but it's simple to make. —Patrick Lucas, Cochran, Georgia
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Hearty Pasta Fagioli

Here's a convenient spin on a classic Italian favorite. Spaghetti sauce and canned broth form the flavorful base. —Cindy Garland, Limestone, Tennessee
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Fresh Spinach Tamale Pie

I got this recipe from my mother, who loved quick and easy meals for dinner. I made a few variations by adding spinach, bell peppers and fresh corn. The changes were well worth it––my family and friends love this dish!—Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Marinated Three Bean Salad

Fresh herbs and cayenne pepper provide the fantastic flavor in this marinated salad featuring fresh veggies and canned beans. —Carol Tucker, Wooster, Ohio
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Spicy Bean and Beef Pie

My daughter helped me come up with this recipe when we wanted a one-dish meal that was different than a casserole. This pie slices nicely and is a fun and filling dish. —Debra Dohy, Massillon, Ohio
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Contest-Winning Pepperoni Pizza Chili

Pizza and chili together—what could be better? Fill folks up at halftime when you set out bowls of this chili. —Jennifer Gelormino, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Enchilada Casser-Ole!

My husband loves this casserole, so it never lasts too long in our house. Packed with black beans, cheese, tomatoes and southwestern flavor, it's an impressive-looking entree that's as simple as it is delicious. —Marsha Wills, Homosassa, Florida
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Fourth of July Bean Casserole

The outstanding barbecue taste of these beans makes them a favorite for cookouts all summer and into the fall. It's a popular dish, even with kids. The beef makes it so much better than plain pork and beans. —Donna Fancher, Lawrence, Indiana
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Southwestern Casserole

I’ve been making this mild family-pleasing southwest casserole for years. It tastes wonderful and fits nicely into our budget. Best of all, the recipe makes a second casserole to freeze and enjoy later. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Whole Wheat Orzo Salad

In less than 30 minutes, I can put together this hearty salad of pasta, white beans and veggies – and it’s good for a crowd. — Mya Zeronis, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Italian Sausage and Kale Soup

The first time I made this colorful soup, our home smelled wonderful. We knew it was a keeper to see us through cold winter days. —Sarah Stombaugh, Chicago, Illinois
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No-Fry Black Bean Chimichangas

My chimichangas get lovin’ from the oven so they’re a bit healthier. Black beans and corn make it meatless. And it’s a smart way to use leftover rice. —Kimberly Hammond, Kingwood, Texas
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Hacienda Hash Browns

I use a clear glass dish to show off my hash brown bake. The bold pepper, cilantro, cumin and garlic make this potato-egg casserole extraordinary. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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Spicy Lentil & Chickpea Stew

This recipe came to me from a friend who had worked at a health food store. I changed a few things until I found a version that my family loved. My son doesn't like things too spicy, so I make the stew milder for him and add a sprinkle of extra spice in mine. My husband, who farms, works outdoors for long hours at a time and finds this soup hearty enough to keep him satisfied. —Melanie MacFarlane, Bedeque, Prince Edward Island
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Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro Black Beans

As a vegan, I'm always looking for impressive dishes to share. Sweet potatoes loaded with beans and a touch of peanut butter are one of my mom’s favorites. —Kayla Capper, Ojai, California
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Spicy White Chili

I thought the original version of this dish was fine. But my son can't get enough spice, so I added green chiles and other seasonings until I'd created a quick and easy chili he's wild about. —Carlene Bailey, Bradenton, Florida
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Festive Bean Salad

I had experimented with all kinds of bean salads before I hit on this one. My husband loves all the different bean varieties, and corn adds to the color and texture.—Dale Benoit, Monson, Massachusetts
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Huevos Rancheros

My husband and I had huevos rancheros while visiting Cuernavaca, Mexico, and he loved the meal so much he asked me to cook it for him when got home. My version is suited to my family's preference for sunny side up eggs, but poached or scrambled eggs would be just as tasty. —Cheryl Woodson, Liberty, Missouri
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Meatball Chili with Dumplings

My family enjoys this delicious recipe—it's like a spicy meatball stew with dumplings!—Sarah Yoder, Middlebury, Indiana
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Mediterranean Bulgur Bowl

You can also transform this tasty bowl into an Italian version with mozzarella, pesto, tomatoes, spinach and basil. —Renata Smith, Brookline, Massachusetts
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African Peanut Sweet Potato Stew

Back when I was in college, my mom made an addicting sweet potato and peanut stew. I shared it with friends, and now all of us serve it to our own kids. They all love it, of course. —Alexis Scatchell, Niles, Illinois
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Mexican Roasted Potato Salad

My husband is the No. 1 fan of this south-of-the-border potato salad. The leftovers make an awesome late-night snack, straight from the fridge. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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New England Bean & Bog Cassoulet

When I moved to New England, I embraced the local cuisine. My cassoulet with baked beans pays tribute to a French classic and to New England in one hearty, heartwarming dish. —Devon Delaney, Westport, Connecticut
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Patio Pintos

Any time Mom had the gang over for dinner, she made these pinto beans. Once she made a batch for my cousin’s birthday and he ate the entire thing. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Refried Bean Tostadas

For a change of pace, you can substitute purchased tostada shells for tortillas or add more lettuce and use taco salad shells. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Rosemary Chicken with Spinach & Beans

With two young boys constantly on-the-go, I’m always looking for ways to simplify meals. This recipe uses just one skillet, making it a cinch to prepare dinner for a hungry family in half an hour. —Sara Richardson, Littleton, Colorado
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Easy Chicken Enchiladas

This chicken enchiladas recipe is so quick and easy, and I always receive a ton of compliments. It quickly becomes a favorite of friends whenever I share the recipe. Modify the spiciness with the intensity of the salsa and the green chiles to suit your taste. —Kristi Black, Harrison Township, Michigan
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Slow-Cooked Stuffed Peppers

My favorite kitchen appliance is the slow cooker, and I use mine more than anyone else I know. It does a great job with this good-for-you dish. —Michelle Gurnsey, Lincoln, Nebraska
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Tilapia with Corn Salsa

My family loves fish, and this quick and tasty dish is very popular at my house. Though it tastes like it takes a long time, it cooks in minutes under the broiler. We enjoy it with lemon wedges with couscous on the side. —Brenda Coffey, Singer Island, Florida
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Simple Vegetarian Slow-Cooked Beans

When I have a hungry family to feed, these tasty beans with spinach, tomatoes and carrots are a go-to dish. This veggie delight is frequently on our menu. —Jennifer Reid, Farmington, Maine
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White Bean Soup with Escarole

Pantry staples make this healthy soup oh, so simple to prepare. When I can't find escarole, I use fresh spinach. Just add to the soup pot moments before serving. —Gina Samokar, North Haven, Connecticut
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Black Bean & White Cheddar Frittata

This is one of my favorite comfort foods for breakfast or even a quick dinner. I like to make it with lime salsa. But if you're looking for something with more kick, use hot salsa or add some chipotle pepper. —Aysha Schurman, Ammon, Idaho