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Beans

Beans are a staple in the vegetarian kitchen, adding a hearty, filling flavor to soups, tacos, stews, salads and spreads.

Taco Salad

Taco Salad

Homemade refried beans make this a stand-out salad, but the canned version can be used in a pinch.

Black Bean Chilaquiles with Chile Verde

Black Bean Chilaquiles with Chile Verde

To prep the bell peppers quickly, stand each on end, cut the “sides” away from the core, and then slice the sides into strips. Cut strips into desired length or into small dice. If heat isn’t an issue, use medium or hot salsa, but try to find a bottled, chunky one for this dish.

Chayote Ratatouille and Red Beans

Chayote Ratatouille and Red Beans

When chayote is simmered, it takes on a zucchini-like texture and tenderness, making it a perfect cold-weather substitute in this Provençal vegetable dish. We’ve added kidney beans for extra protein so you can serve this as a main dish over couscous, rice, or pasta.

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Southern-Style Greens with Polenta Croutons

In the South, hearty greens are cooked low and slow in a lot of water to make a rich-tasting broth. Here, we’ve added beans and crisp polenta cubes (a ready-made stand-in for grits) for a comfort-food dish with a modern twist.

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Smoky Peppers and Greens Sandwich

Sautéed bell peppers do double duty as a spread and a topping in these veggie-laden sandwiches. Wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight, the sandwiches are also delicious the next day, with no need to reheat.

Rainbow Vegetable Chow Fun

Chow fun is the Chinese name for rice noodles. We’ve called for fresh noodles here, but if you can’t find them, substitute dried rice stick noodles and prepare according to package directions. The noodles soak up the sauce quickly, so serve immediately.

Smoky Ribollita with Orca Beans

The black-and-white colors of Orca beans have clearly been an inspiration to cooks and gardeners. In addition to the whale-reference name, the legumes are also called vaquero (which means cowboy in Spanish) and calypso beans. Creamy and starchy, Orca beans work well in hearty soups and stews. (If you can’t find Orcas, you can use cranberry beans as a substitute.)

Flageolet and Lemony Celery Tartines

Creamy and mild, French flageolet beans are favored for slow-cooked dishes such as cassoulets and stews, because the beans keep their shape but still have a meltingly smooth texture.

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Quinoa-and–Black Bean Stew

Put a pot of this soup on the stove during the holiday season, and you’ll have a healthful, satisfying supper for a busy weeknight or a casual dinner party. Serve with a tossed salad.

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