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12 easy and hearty recipes to make with beans

Never be bored with beans again.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Erica Chayes Wida

For folks with pantries stocked full of canned or dried beans, get ready to transform those lovable legumes into a bunch of delicious dishes that will satisfy a range of taste buds.

Beans are an incredible staple ingredient to keep in every kitchen since they are packed with protein, fiber and work with a lot of different dietary plans. They're great when you want something lighter and vegetarian or if you've got a hankering for a hearty Southern classic, like barbecue baked beans.

Here are 12 of TODAY Food's favorite recipes made with beans.

Side dishes

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Baked Beans

The name in this savory side says it all. These hearty baked beans are chock-full of bacon, sweet and spicy seasonings, onions and even cola. They'll bring a taste of summer to your table no matter where you live or what the weather's like outside.

The fruity sweetness from peach preserves compliments the smokiness of the bacon and bourbon. These beans might just be the first thing to go at dinnertime.

Sweet, smoky, spicy and savory, these beans make a great accompaniment to any heart main protein, like roasted chicken or steak.

Natalie Morales' Brazilian Black Beans and Rice

Rice and beans are a must-have at any traditional Brazilian meal. Black beans are healthy, filling and have lots of protein. Fluffy white rice is perfect for soaking up this savory sauce.

Entrées

Green eggs and ham get a clever twist in this hearty and filling stew. White beans get cooked with fresh leafy greens, and the whole dish comes together with a perfectly cooked fried egg on top.

This one-pot wonder uses mainly canned and frozen vegetables, yet tastes totally fresh and fragrant after cooking in peppery spices for 30 minutes. It's easy and works well for leftovers.

Joy Bauer's Black Bean Tacos

Black beans are the star of this recipe because they're bursting with nutrition and they're a terrific source of plant-based protein and fiber — just one cup contains 15 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber. And while this dish is perfect for vegetarians, meat lovers will enjoy this tasty twist on a Mexican classic, too.

Adam Richman's Easy Veggie Chili

You don't have to be a vegetarian to appreciate all of the rich flavors in this dish. It's easy, it tastes amazing, it can all be made in one pot and it keeps for days. Feel free to add even more veggies, like zucchini or your favorite squash. Plus, it makes an amazing filling for burritos and tacos. You can even spoon it on top of a hot dog.

Need to satisfy those meat lovers in the family? Actress Katherine Heigl's recipe serves 20 (now that's great for freezing leftovers!) and uses both ground beef and sausage.

There are few recipes that are better suited for warming you up on a cold night than cassoulet, a slow-cooked casserole from southwestern France traditionally made with beans, duck and pork. Curtis Stone's version is much lighter, but just as satisfying, and makes a great way to repurpose roast chicken and veggies.

Slow Cooker White Bean and Kale Chili

Buttery white beans make this super healthy slow-cooker chili extra special. Cooked with garlic, hearty kale and sweet potatoes, then topped with creamy avocado, this dish will have everyone asking for seconds.

Veggie Chili Pizza

Veggie Chili Pizza

Lazarus Lynch

When you can't decide between chili and pizza, just combine them! The cornbread crust is lighter in carbs than traditional pizza crust and provides a glorious base for spicy Mexican toppings and melty cheese.