18 tasty ways to use a tin of beans

Tinned beans are a quick and easy way to eat more fibre and protein and better still, they are the base of many a tasty meal. A tin of beans usually comes in at under £1, so they are also a cost-effective way to get nutritious food on the table and into your body.

Always fans of a cheap and healthy food source, we’ve brought together 18 of our best tinned bean recipes. Expect soups and stews, but also salads, dips and pastas. If you’re looking for time-and-money-saving-dinners – get involved.

18 tasty ways to use a tin of beans

What are the different types of tinned beans?

The most common beans to find in a tin in the UK are kidney beans, cannellini beans, butter beans, haricot beans, black beans, black eyed beans, and pinto beans. All have in common an earthy flavour, and all are rich sources of protein and fibre.

Beans are commonly used in stews and soups, but can also pair wonderfully with carbs like pasta and rice, and can be whizzed up into dips or sauces. We always recommend rinsing beans before use to rid them of any extra salt or starch that might be present.

18 of our best tinned bean recipes

Mexican baked beans

Here, tins of haricot beans are spiced up with chipotle paste, cumin and coriander and molasses. It’s a wonderful vegan main that can be served with avocado, rice, a baked potato or corn chips. Add cheese and sour cream to tone things down if you’re not needing to keep things dairy-free.

Mexican baked beans

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Butter bean and vegetable stew

If you’re new to cooking with beans, try this fibre-rich stew with butter beans, kidney beans, peppers and spinach. It’s an easy, nutritious dinner that only takes three steps to make.

Miso glazed aubergine

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White bean crostini with anchovy and lemon salsa

Beans can make for a sophisticated starter, like in this white bean crostini recipe. Creamy, rich beans are cut through with an anchovy and lemon salsa that adds brightness.

aubergine and chickpea traybake

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Greek-style giant baked beans

The quintessential bean dish would have to be baked beans, but here it is spiced up with chilli, cinnamon and earthy herbs and greens. Try serving with some simple baked or pan-fried white fish.

Melanzane parmigiana

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Baked rainbow trout and butter bean gratin

Fish and beans is a great combination. Our quick midweek butter bean gratin is a perfect pairing for baked rainbow trout in this recipe, which takes just 15 minutes to prepare. Trust us, the creamy dill sauce and sourdough breadcrumbs mean you’ll be coming back to this recipe again and again.

aubergine stir fry

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Jollof beans

Kemi Bamgbose’ fiery jollof beans can be made with a tin of black eyed beans and is one of the thriftiest meals you can make. The scotch bonnet, ginger and Dunn’s River seasoning bring heaps of flavour. Serve with rice, bread, couscous or fried plantain.

Baked aubergine rolls

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Black bean chilli with guacamole

Create a classic vegetarian chilli (sin carne) with a couple of tins of black beans, chipotle paste, cumin and paprika. This one can be prepped in advance and served the next day for even more depth of flavour. Serve with guacamole and get ready for smiles around your table.

Black bean chilli

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Warm tuna and white bean salad

Good news! You only need a few fresh ingredients to create this simple white bean and tuna salad. It’s brought alive with a piquant mustard dressing and is best served warm or at room temperature. If you have a can of white beans and some tuna, you’re on your way to a winner here.

white bean and tuna salad

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Rajma paneer

Kidney beans add depth of flavour in this creamy paneer curry from Chetna Makan. This curry only takes 10 minutes to prepare and the dried fenugreek leaves and garam masala add warmth and moreishness that is seriously hard to resist.

miso tahini aubergines

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Harissa-spiced butter beans with peppers and feta

Butter beans feature in this easy vegetarian one-pot alongside harissa and sweet red peppers in one bright Mediterranean-style dish. Sprinkle over lots of feta cheese and serve with toasted pitta breads.

Harissa butter beans

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Leek, lemon and white bean orzo

You haven’t lived until you’ve tried this light and lemony white bean orzo. You can make it with mini macaroni or ditalini if orzo is unavailable.

aubergine al forno

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Carrot, butterbean and caraway dip

We love this wallet-friendly dip recipe, made with carrots, butterbeans, citrus juice and spices – it’s perfect served with griddled flatbread or breadsticks.


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Tuscan bean soup

This classic vegetarian soup recipe makes enough for two batches. Use cannellini and flageolet beans and serve dolloped with pesto for a bowl of satisfaction.

Stuffed aubergines

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Chorizo, cannellini bean and sage orecchiette

Pasta and beans, it just works! In this recipe, chorizo and sage bring bold, meaty flavours and breadcrumbs bring extra crunch.


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Enchiladas verdes

These enchiladas verdes see tortillas stuffed with chicken and pinto beans, then covered in a flavoursome green tomatillo salsa that brings everything together beautifully.

Enchiladas verdes

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Grilled chicken with white beans and pesto

These speedy pesto-coated cannellini beans are paired with griddled chicken breasts for an easy yet satisfying midweek meal.

Griddled chicken with pesto beans

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Brazilian black bean soup

This bean soup has depth from black beans and smoked paprika, while the corn salsa brings extra crunchy texture and piquancy.

Black bean soup

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