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Budget Wise Recipes ~ Beans

Beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, calcium, potassium and iron. They’re inexpensive and can be made into so many delicious recipes. Here are some ideas for using beans in your weekly menus ….

You can find my  instructions for cooking dried beans Here.

Here’s a tip for using beans:  Cook a pot of beans using 1 or 2 pounds of dried beans …

* When the beans are cooked, separate them into three bowls full of beans.
* The first bowl will be frozen for future use, YES! You can freeze beans!
* The second one will be used for tonight’s dinner.
* The third one will be used for re-fried beans and rice for later in the week. Cooked beans will keep about 3-5 days in the frig.

Beans and cornbread are a delicious, complete and nutritious meal. I add a salad to it and we have it about once a week.

Any left over beans from tonight’s meal can be frozen or put with the beans destined to become re-fried beans.

Re-fried Beans:
Heat the beans in a medium saucepan. Mash them with a potato masher or hand blender, season to taste with tomato paste, salt, pepper, cumin, and cheese if desired.
Cook your rice, then top with the hot beans and serve!

Bean Soup
cooked beans and bean liquid
extra water if needed to make it soupy
bay leaf
chopped onion
chopped carrot
few peppercorns or black pepper to taste
salt to taste

If you like your bean soup spicier or more savory tasting, you can add thyme and oregano and a can of tomatoes. To make it a complete meal, just add some rice or pasta and cook til its done.

Beans and Rice Dish
Cook 1 cup of rice (try using brown rice)
Add a little oil to a skillet and fry up together:
1 med onion, 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper, fresh basil, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (or white vinegar) and 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, salt & pepper

Add your cooked rice and 2 cups of cooked beans.
Add some hot sauce if you like or some lime juice & lemon juice for a little kick.
This is great served with baked fish!

Garbanzo Bean (Chick Pea) and Tomato Soup
2 cups cooked chickpeas
4-6 cups tomato juice
1 vegetable broth cube or beef broth cube
1/2 cup rice
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp ground coriander
1 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Add the rice to the tomato juice and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer til rice is done. Add chickpeas and all seasonings except lemon juice.
Simmer on very low heat for 10-25 minutes, reduce heat and add lemon juice. Serve hot!

Here are some recipes from my friend Shari ….

Many Bean Soup

1 big ‘ole ham bone*
1 bag of 15 bean soup (leave out the seasoning packet, if it comes with)
1 bay large leaf
olive oil – 1/4 C
1 large onion – chopped
5 cloves garlic – pressed
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can green beans – drained
1/2 C barley
1/2 C millet (opt.)
basil – 2 tsp to 1 tbsp
cumin – about 1 tsp
cayenne pepper – several dashes
1 -2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Soak your beans using your preferred method. Rinse and cover with plenty of water (2-4″). Add ham bone, olive oil, & bay leaf. You may add your spices now if you’d like. Cook on low temp. until nearly done or about 1 hour before you want it to be done, then adjust water as needed and add everything else except vinegar, salt, & pepper; which you’ll add before you serve.

*if you don’t have a ham bone, use beef or chicken or ham stock you have on hand or equivalent amount of bouillon. Can also use the seasoning packet found in the HamBeens 15 Bean Soup.

For some reason, Navy Bean Soup for Friday’s lunch is  an Air Force tradition. The House of Congress shares in this tradition. I might be persuaded to join them because I really do like this soup!

1 lb great northern, white, or navy beans
smoked ham hock or neck bones
1/2 of a large onion – chopped
a stalk or two of celery (including the leafy part)
bacon fat – a spoonful
beef stock or beef bouillon
2 bay leaves
1 T basil
quick dash of cloves
salt & pepper to taste

Soak your beans using your preferred method. I use the 2 minute boil and soak method.

Begin cooking the beans covering with an inch of your beef broth or  water & bouillon. If using bouillon; add a whopping 1 Tablespoon. A  whopping tablespoon is more than a heaping tablespoon. Place the hock or  bones in your kettle of beans & cover. Go ahead and crank up the  heat, but remember to turn it down to a simmer.

Add the celery and onions to the pot.

Add bay leaves, basil, and cloves. Be sure not to use too much clove, just a small dash.

Cook until done; adding more liquid, tasting and adjusting your spices as  needed. Remove the bay leaves and the hock or neck bones. Pick some of  the meat off the bones and add it back into the pot.

Serve hot with bread or cornbread. Chow-chow or other pickled veggie is great with these beans!

This recipe only calls for 1/2 C of garbanzo beans, but I always add red beans or white beans.

3 large carrots
5-6 stalks of celery
1 large onion
garlic to taste (2-3 cloves chopped fine)
3 T butter
1 can tomato juice, 12 oz can
1 can tomato soup
1 can tomato puree + equal amt of water
1 C orzo pasta, cooked
1/2 C garbanzo beans
1 1/2 T basil
1 T oregano
1 T thyme
salt & pepper

Chop your veggies and saute in the butter until onions are translucent, then add garlic and saute another minute or two. Add the tomato soup, juice, and puree plus 1 can of water and your herbs. Let soup slow boil until carrots are tender. Add salt, pepper, and garbanzo beans. Add cooked orzo, adjust amount of liquid with water, tomato juice or any broth on hand if needed and let soup stand 15-20 minutes before serving.

*If you don’t want to cook your orzo separately, add it when you add the tomato juice.
*I usually add red beans or lentils as well.
*Works equally well if you throw it all in a pot and let it slow cook for a couple hours.

Do you have any tried and true bean recipes to share?


  1. lydia

    Love the bean recipes and beans are a healthy and cheap way to stretch your food budget. For refried beans I mash my beans with onion and butter, cheese and season with salt and pepper.

  2. Sylvia

    Hi Marly !
    One way to get beans to last longer is to cool them completely before putting them in the frig. Once they are totally cooled, they cool down to frig temperature more quickly and will probably last longer. However, you’re right, they just don’t last sometimes and should be made in smaller quantities.

  3. Marly

    Wow! These sound really good. I love beans. I can testify that they only last 3 days, maybe 4.
    I cooked up a huge pot and left them the my refrigerator trying to decide what to do with
    them, and before I knew it, I detected an unpleasant oder wafting from somewhere in my
    refrigerator. It took several more days until I discovered that it was my beans. I never suspected
    them, so I didn’t look in that container. Oh well, live and learn. Now I only cook 2 cups at a time.
    Thanks for these recipes. Have a nice day.