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Bean Basics | What Is A Dry Bean and more bean recipes

Beans Basics

What Is A Dry Bean?
Dry beans are produced in pods and belong to the family of plants called legumes. The shape of the bean distinguishes it from other legumes like peas and lentils. Usually beans are kidney-shaped or oval, while peas are round, and lentils possess a flat, disk-like shape.

The term “dry beans” refers to both beans that are dry-packaged in sealed bags and those that are pre-cooked in cans. Dry beans include varieties such as Pinto, Navy, Lima and Black beans, but not green beans, string beans or soybeans. See Bean Varieties for a listing and description of popular American-grown bean varieties.

Beans…Get Cookin’!

Whether you are using dry-packaged or canned beans, the following tips from the Bean Education & Awareness Network (B.E.A.N.) will ensure the best tasting beans for all of your favorite recipes.

Soaking Dry-Packaged Beans

Before cooking, soak dry-packaged beans to help soften and return moisture to the beans and reduce cooking time. Most beans will rehydrate to triple their dry size, so be sure to start with a large enough pot.

Preferred Hot Soak and Quick Soak Methods — Hot soaking helps dissolve some of the gas-causing substances, making the beans easier to digest. For each pound beans, add 10 cups hot water; heat to boiling and let boil 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside for at least one hour (Quick Soak), or up to 4 hours (Hot Soak).
Traditional Overnight Soak — For each pound (2 cups) dry-packaged beans, add 10 cups cold water and let soak overnight, or at least 8 hours.

Cooking Dry-Packaged Beans

Drain soaking water and rinse beans; cook in fresh water. In general, beans take 30 minutes to 2 hours to cook depending on variety. Check bean packaging for specific cooking times and instructions.
Spice up beans while they cook. Seasonings such as garlic, onion, oregano, parsley or thyme can be added to the pot while beans are cooking. Add acidic ingredients, such as tomatoes, vinegar, wine or citrus juices, only at end of cooking, when the beans are tender.
Add salt only after beans are cooked to tender. If added before, salt may cause bean skins to become impermeable, halting the tenderizing process.
To test for doneness, bite-taste a few beans. They should be tender, but not overcooked. When cooling, keep beans in cooking liquid to prevent them from drying out.

Cooking With Canned Beans

Canned beans are a great convenience since they are already presoaked and precooked. Always drain and thoroughly rinse canned beans before adding them to a recipe. It is not necessary to recook canned beans, just heat them if a recipe calls for it. Canned beans, like dry-packaged beans, absorb flavors from other ingredients in a dish because their skins are completely permeable.

Storing Beans

Uncooked dry-packaged beans can be stored in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry area. If kept for more than 12 months, dry-packaged beans will lose moisture and may require longer cooking times. Nutrient value is not lost with age.
Canned beans may be stored up to 12 months in their original sealed cans.
Cooked beans may be refrigerated, in a covered container, for up to five days.
Cooked beans may be frozen for up to six months.

Counting Beans

One 15-ounce can of beans = one and one-half cups cooked beans, drained
One pound dry beans = six cups cooked beans, drained.
One pound dry beans = two cups dry beans.
One cup dry beans = three cups cooked beans, drained.

Chicken Salad Chapala
Makes 6 servings (about 1 cup each)
Preparation Time: 20 to 25 minutes

Vegetable cooking spray
4 flour tortillas (8-inch)
16 ounces chicken breast, cooked, shredded or cubed
1 can (15 ounces) Pinto or Red Kidney beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Pinto or Red Kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 can (15 ounces) Black beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Black beans, rinsed, drained
1 cup cubed mango
1 medium zucchini, cut in half, sliced
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onions and tops
Honey-Cumin Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
6 cups torn salad greens

Preparation

Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges; spray tops with cooking spray. Bake on cookie sheet at 375 F. until browned and crisp, 5 to 8 minutes; reserve.
Combine chicken, beans, mango, zucchini, bell pepper and green onions in bowl; pour Honey-Cumin Vinaigrette over and toss.
Arrange salad greens on serving plates and spoon chicken salad over; garnish with reserved tortilla wedges.
Honey-Cumin Vinaigrette
Makes about 2/3 cup

1/2 cup orange juice
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 to 3 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Preparation

Mix all ingredients.
TIP: Tortilla wedges can be made 3 to 4 days in advance; store at room temperature in airtight container.
NOTE: Although B.E.A.N. recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.

Starting with dry-packaged beans and need soaking information?

Nutrient Information

Per serving: Calories 343; Fat 7g; % Calories from Fat 18; Calcium 131mg; Carbohydrate 49g; Folate 210mcg; Sodium 564mg; Protein 27g; Dietary Fiber 10g; Cholesterol 46mg

Confetti Bean Salad
Makes 8 servings (about 1 cup each)
Preparation time: 8 to 10 minutes

1 can (15 ounces) Garbanzo beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained
1 can (15 ounces) Red Kidney beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Red Kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 can (15 ounces) Pinto beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Pinto beans, rinsed, drained
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with roasted garlic, undrained
1 can (8 3/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 jar (8 ounces) mushrooms and garlic, drained
1/2 cup fat-free Caesar Italian salad dressing
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preparation

Mix all ingredients. Serve at room temperature; can be chilled or heated as desired.

NOTE: Although B.E.A.N. recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.

Starting with dry-packaged beans and need soaking information?

Nutrient Information

Per serving: Calories 208; Fat 2g; % Calories from Fat 7; Carbohydrate 40g; Folate 114mcg; Sodium 955mg; Protein 10g; Dietary Fiber 10g; Cholesterol 0mg

rilled Tuna and Bean Salad
Makes 4 servings
Preparation Time: 15 to 20 minutes

4 small tuna steaks (3 to 4 ounces each)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) Garbanzo or Black beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Garbanzo or Black beans, rinsed, drained
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped red onion Citrus Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
6 cups mixed salad greens

Preparation

Broil tuna steaks 6 inches from heat source until fish is tender and flakes with a fork, about 5 minutes on each side. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
While tuna is cooking, combine Garbanzo beans, mushrooms, tomato, bell pepper and onion in salad bowl; drizzle with Citrus Vinaigrette and toss. Add salad greens and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon salad onto serving plates and top each with a tuna steak.
Citrus Vinaigrette
Makes about 2/3 cup

1/3 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

Preparation

Mix all ingredients.
TIP: If desired, salad can be made with canned tuna. Drain 1 can (12 ounces) white tuna and break into large chunks. Toss with salad mixture.
NOTE: Although B.E.A.N. recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.
Starting with dry-packaged beans and need soaking information?

Nutrient Information

Per serving: Calories 305; Fat 6g; % Calories from Fat 18; Calcium 65mg; Carbohydrate 37g; Folate 100mcg; Sodium 302mg; Protein 27g; Dietary Fiber 7g; Cholesterol 37mg

Honey-Orange Bean and Vegetable Slaw
Makes 8 servings (about 3/4 cup each)
Preparation Time: 15 to 20 minutes

1 can (15 ounces) Red Kidney or Large Lima beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Red Kidney or Large Lima beans rinsed, drained
1 can (15 ounces) Navy or Garbanzo beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Navy or Garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained
1 can (15 ounces) Pinto or Red beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Pinto or Red beans rinsed, drained
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup small broccoli florets
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup sliced dried apricots
1/3 cup walnut pieces
Honey-Orange Dressing (recipe follows)

Preparation

Combine all ingredients, except Honey-Orange Dressing, in salad bowl. Drizzle Honey- Orange Dressing over and toss.
Honey-Orange Dressing
Makes about 1 cup

1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 – 1/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Mix all ingredients.
TIP: One cup bottled sweet-sour salad dressing or sweet French dressing can be substituted for the Honey-Orange Dressing.
NOTE: Although B.E.A.N. recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.
Starting with dry-packaged beans and need soaking information?

Nutrient Information

Per serving: Calories 297; Fat 8g; % Calories from Fat 22; Calcium 98mg; Carbohydrate 49g; Folate 118mcg; Sodium 412mg; Potassium 703mg; Protein 12g; Dietary Fiber 10g; Cholesterol 0mg

Italian Bean and Tuna Salad
Makes 6 servings

1 can (15 ounces) Baby Lima beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Baby Lima beans, rinsed, drained
1 can (15 ounces) Dark Red Kidney beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Dark Red Kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 can (15 ounces) Great Northern beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Great Northern beans, rinsed, drained
8 cherry tomatoes, cut into fourths
1/2 small cucumber, cut lengthwise into halves, seeded, sliced
1/3 cup chopped green or red pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
Basil Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
2 tuna steaks (about 16 ounces), broiled or grilled, or 1 can (12 1/4 ounces) white tuna in water, drained, flaked into 1-inch pieces
Lettuce leaves
Basil or parsley sprigs

Preparation

Combine beans, tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, and onion in large bowl; add Basil Vinaigrette and toss. Refrigerate mixture at least 4 hours for flavors to blend, stirring mixture occasionally. Add tuna to mixture 1 to 2 hours before serving time.
Spoon salad onto lettuce-lined plate; garnish with basil.
Basil Vinaigrette
Makes about 2/3 cup

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup tarragon wine vinegar
3 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh, or 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
3 tablespoons fat-free plain yogurt
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 to 2 cloves garlic

Preparation

Mix all ingredients; refrigerate until serving time. Mix before using.
TIP: Bean salad can be made and refrigerated 1 day in advance; add tuna as directed above.
NOTE: Although B.E.A.N. recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.
Starting with dry-packaged beans and need soaking information?

Nutrient Information

Per serving: Calories 460; Fat 12g; % Calories from Fat 24; Carbohydrate 48g; Sodium 457mg; Protein 34g; Cholesterol 28mg

Mango and Black Bean Salad with Grilled Tuna
Makes 4 servings (1 1/4 cups each)
Preparation Time: 20 to 25 minutes

1 pound tuna steaks or 2 cans (9 ounces each) chunk light tuna in water, drained
1 can (15 ounces) Black beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Black beans, rinsed, drained
1 large ripe mango, peeled, cubed
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 medium cucumber, chopped
4 green onions and tops, sliced
Island Lime Dressing (recipe follows) or prepared vinaigrette
Lettuce leaves
1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

Preparation

Grill tuna over medium-hot coals, or broil 6 inches from heat source until fish is tender and flakes with a fork, 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Cool several minutes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Or, rinse and drain canned tuna and cut into 1-inch pieces.
Combine tuna, beans, mango, tomatoes, cucumber, and green onions in bowl; drizzle with Island Lime Dressing and toss. Spoon salad onto lettuce-lined plates; sprinkle with feta cheese.
Island Lime Dressing
Makes 1/3 cup

2 to 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon dried mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves

Preparation

Whisk all ingredients in small bowl; refrigerate until serving time.
TIPS: One can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple in juice, drained can be substituted for the mango. If desired, garnish salad with avocado and mint sprigs.
NOTE: Although B.E.A.N. recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.
Starting with dry-packaged beans and need soaking information?

Nutrient Information

Per serving (garnishes not included): Calories 326; Fat 12g; % Calories from Fat 30; Carbohydrate 31g; Folate 139mcg; Sodium 525mg; Protein 33g; Dietary Fiber 10g; Cholesterol 52mg

Marinated Bean Salad
Makes 6 servings (about 1 1/3 cups each)

1 can (15 ounces) Light Red Kidney beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Light Red Kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 can (15 ounces) Pinto beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Pinto beans, rinsed, drained
1 can (15 ounces) Garbanzo beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained
3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped red and yellow bell peppers
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup minced mint or cilantro
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup citrus vinaigrette
1 tablespoon honey

Preparation

Mix all ingredients, except vinaigrette and honey, in a large bowl.
Mix citrus vinaigrette and honey; pour over salad and toss.

TIP: A balsamic or red wine vinaigrette may be used in place of the citrus vinaigrette.
NOTE: Although B.E.A.N. recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.

Starting with dry-packaged beans and need soaking information?

Nutrient Information

Per serving: Calories 302; Fat 7g; % Calories from Fat 19; Potassium 804mg; Carbohydrate 52g; Folate 158mcg; Sodium 952mg; Calcium 93mg; Protein 12g; Dietary Fiber 13g; Cholesterol 0mg

Montego Bay Shrimp and Bean Salad
Makes 4 servings (about 1 cup each)
Preparation Time: 25 to 30 minutes

3/4 cup water
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup uncooked rice
8 to 12 ounces cooked peeled, deveined shrimp
1 can (15 ounces) Blackeyes or Pink beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Blackeyes or Pink beans, rinsed, drained
1 cup cubed fresh or jarred mango
1/2 cup cubed cucumber
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions and tops
1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
Coconut Dressing (recipe follows)

Preparation

Heat water and coconut milk to boiling in medium saucepan; stir in rice. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until rice is tender and liquid absorbed, about 20 minutes. Cool.
Combine rice and remaining ingredients, except Coconut Dressing, in salad bowl. Pour Coconut Dressing over and toss.
Coconut Dressing
Makes about 1/3 cup

1/4 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons fat-free honey-Dijon dressing
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
2 to 3 teaspoons sugar

Preparation

Mix all ingredients.
NOTE: Although B.E.A.N. recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.
Starting with dry-packaged beans and need soaking information?

Nutrient Information

Per serving: Calories 276; Fat 3g; % Calories from Fat 9; Calcium 72mg; Carbohydrate 48g; Folate 119mcg; Sodium 522mg; Protein 17g; Dietary Fiber 5g; Cholesterol 87mg

Pasta and Pinto Bean Salad
Makes 4 main-dish servings
or 8 side-dish servings
Preparation Time: 15 minutes

2 medium green bell peppers, chopped
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 to 1 small jalapeo chili, seeds and veins discarded, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 ounces fettuccine, cooked
1 can (15 ounces) Pinto beans or Black beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Pinto beans or Black beans, rinsed, drained
2 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup fat-free Caesar-style Italian dressing
1 1/2 cups garlic or herb croutons
Salt

Preparation

In large skillet, saute bell peppers, onion, garlic, jalapeo and cumin seeds in oil, covered, until tender, about 8-10 minutes.
Combine fettuccine, cooked vegetables, beans and tomatoes in large bowl; add cilantro and Italian dressing and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper; refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Add croutons and toss just before serving.
TIPS: If desired, 8 to 12 ounces cooked cubed chicken or turkey breast may be added.
NOTE: Although B.E.A.N. recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.
Starting with dry-packaged beans and need soaking information?

Nutrient Information

Per serving: Calories 406; Fat 9g; % Calories from Fat 20; Carbohydrate 68g; Folate 101mcg; Sodium 939mg; Protein 16g; Dietary Fiber 3g; Cholesterol 0mg

Sesame Chicken and Bean Salad
Makes 6 servings (about 1 1/4 cups each)
Preparation Time: 15 to 20 minutes

2 cans (15 ounces each) Pinto or Black beans or 3 cups cooked dry-packaged Pinto or Black beans, rinsed, drained
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, broiled or grilled, shredded
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces, cooked until crisp-tender
4 green onions and tops, sliced
Sesame Dressing (recipe follows)
6 cups spinach leaves
2 tablespoons sunflower kernels

Preparation

Combine Pinto beans, chicken, asparagus, and green onion in bowl. Drizzle with Sesame Dressing and toss. Arrange spinach on plates; spoon bean mixture over and sprinkle with sunflower kernels.
Sesame Dressing
Makes about 1 cup

3/4 cup fat-free Italian salad dressing
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons grated gingerroot or 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preparation

Mix all ingredients.
NOTE: Although B.E.A.N. recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.
Starting with dry-packaged beans and need soaking information?

Nutrient Information

Per serving: Calories 308; Fat 9g; % Calories from Fat 25; Calcium 146mg; Carbohydrate 30g; Folate 305mcg; Sodium 978mg; Protein 28g; Dietary Fiber 9g; Cholesterol 46mg

Southwestern Rice and Bean Salad
Makes 12 servings (1/2 cup each)

2 cups cooked and cooled white rice
1 can (15 ounces) Black beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Black beans, rinsed, drained
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, cubed
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cumin
Crushed red pepper

Preparation

Combine rice, Black beans, tomatoes, cheese and onions in a large bowl. Whisk together dressing of cilantro, lime juice, vegetable oil, cumin and a dash of crushed red pepper in a small bowl.
Pour dressing over salad; toss well. Chill before serving.
NOTE: Although B.E.A.N. recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.

Starting with dry-packaged beans and need soaking information?

Nutrient Information

Per serving: Calories 110; Fat 4g; % Calories from Fat 30; Carbohydrate 15g; Folate 5mcg; Sodium 165mg; Protein 6g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Cholesterol 7mg

* Used with permission from the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Spirngs, Colorado.

picy Red Beans and Rice Salad

2 cans (15 ounces each) Red beans or Light Red Kidney beans or 3 cups cooked dry-packaged Red beans or Light Red Kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked Long Grain rice
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 cup fresh diced tomato

Preparation

Using a strainer, drain beans and rinse very well, being careful to not break the beans. Transfer to flat serving dish and toss gently with rice, onions and tomato. Set aside.
Creole Spice

3/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Preparation

Combine salt, garlic salt, peppers, basil, thyme and oregano. Stir well to combine. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon over bean mixture.
Dressing

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Creole Spice (above)

Preparation

Combine dressing ingredients. Let stand 5 minutes, then toss gently with bean mixture. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings, about 1/2 cup each.
NOTE: Although B.E.A.N. recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.
Starting with dry-packaged beans and need soaking information?

Nutrient Information

Per serving: Calories 186; Fat 6g; % Calories from Fat 25; Carbohydrate 30g; Sodium 202mg; Protein 10g; Cholesterol 0mg

weet & Sour Bean and Spinach Salad
Makes 4 main-dish servings (about 1 1/2 cups each)
or 8 side-dish servings (about 3/4 cup each)
Preparation Time: 15 to 20 minutes

1 can (15 ounces) Pinto beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Pinto beans, rinsed, drained
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 small avocado, peeled, pitted, cubed
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 green onions and tops, sliced
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup prepared fat-free sweet and sour dressing
4 cups packaged salad spinach
1 can (11 ounces) Mandarin orange segments, drained
2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds, optional
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Combine beans, vegetables, and parsley in salad bowl; pour dressing over and toss.
Add oranges and spinach and toss; season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon salad into bowls; sprinkle with sunflower seeds.
TIP: Sweet and Sour Bean and Spinach can be prepared through Step 1 up to 2 days in advance; refrigerate, covered. Complete recipe as above.
NOTE: Although B.E.A.N. recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.
Starting with dry-packaged beans and need soaking information?

Nutrient Information

Per serving: Calories 278; Fat 9g; % Calories from Fat 28; Carbohydrate 44g; Folate 151mcg; Sodium 497mg; Protein 10g; Dietary Fiber 14g; Cholesterol 0mg

Tangy Bean and Spinach Salad
Makes 4 main-dish servings (1-1/2 cups each)
or 8 side-dish servings (3/4 cup each)
Preparation Time: 10 to 15 minutes

1 can (15 ounces) Pinto beans or Lima beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Pinto beans or Lima beans, rinsed, drained
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 small avocado, peeled, pitted, cubed
2 green onions and tops, sliced
1/2 cup prepared fat-free sweet and sour dressing
4 cups baby spinach leaves
1 can (11 ounces) Mandarin orange segments, drained or 1 fresh orange, peeled, chopped
2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds, optional

Preparation

Combine beans and vegetables in salad bowl; pour dressing over and toss. Add spinach and oranges and toss. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.
NOTE: Although B.E.A.N. recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.
Starting with dry-packaged beans and need soaking information?

Nutrient Information

Per serving: Calories 241; Fat 9g; % Calories from Fat 30; Carbohydrate 37g; Folate 190mcg; Sodium 502mg; Protein 9g; Dietary Fiber 9g; Cholesterol 0mg

Turkey and Bean Salad with Apricot-Ginger Dressing
Makes 6 servings (about 2 cups each)
Preparation Time: 15 to 20 minutes

12 cups salad spinach
12 to 16 ounces cooked turkey or chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 can (15 ounces) Garbanzo beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained
1 can (15 ounces) Blackeyes or Navy beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Blackeyes or Navy beans, rinsed, drained
2 cups small broccoli florets
1 large sweet apple (red delicious), cored, unpeeled, cubed
1/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup walnut pieces
Apricot-Ginger Dressing (recipe follows)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

Combine spinach, turkey, Garbanzo beans, Blackeyes, broccoli, apple, cranberries, and walnuts in salad bowl; pour Apricot-Ginger Dressing over and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve salad on large salad plates or in bowls.
Apricot-Ginger Dressing
Makes about 1 1/4 cups

3/4 cup fat-free ranch dressing
1/2 cup apricot preserves or jam
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger.

Preparation

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.
TIP: For a tropical topping, prepare the dressing using mango chutney instead of apricot preserves or jam.
NOTE: Although B.E.A.N. recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.
Starting with dry-packaged beans and need soaking information?

Nutrient Information

Per serving: Calories 411; Fat 8g; % Calories from Fat 16; Carbohydrate 58g; Folate 367mcg; Sodium 999mg; Protein 31g; Dietary Fiber 11g; Cholesterol 47mg

Tuscan Bean, Tomato and Bread Salad
Makes 4 main-dish servings
or 8 side-dish servings
Preparation Time: 15 minutes

4 cups cubed sourdough or Italian bread (3/4-inch cubes)
Vegetable cooking spray (may be garlic- or butter-flavored)
2 cups diced tomato
1 cup cubed cucumber
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can (15 ounces) Great Northern beans or Pinto beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Great Northern beans or Pinto beans, rinsed, drained
Salt and pepper, to taste
Basil Dressing (recipe follows)

Preparation

Generously spray bread cubes with cooking spray and toss; spray again and toss. Arrange bread cubes on jelly roll pan; bake at 375 F until toasted, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside.
In salad bowl, toss tomato, cucumber, onion and beans with Basil Dressing; season with salt and pepper, add toasted bread cubes and toss again. Serve immediately.
Basil Dressing
Makes about 1/2 cup

1 cup packed basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Process all ingredients in food processor or blender until almost smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
TIPS: Bread may be prepared 1 to 2 days in advance; cool and store in airtight container at room temperature. Basil Dressing can be made 1 to 2 days in advance; refrigerate, covered. Any prepared basil or Italian dressing can be substituted.
NOTE: Although B.E.A.N. recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.
Starting with dry-packaged beans and need soaking information?

Nutrient Information

Per serving: Calories 296; Fat 9g; % Calories from Fat 25; Carbohydrate 45g; Folate 118mcg; Sodium 494mg; Protein 12g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Cholesterol 0mg

Bean Basics | What Is A Dry Bean and more bean recipes