Healthy Bean Side Dish Recipes

Find healthy, delicious bean side dish recipes including black bean, chickpea, lentil and edamame side dishes. Healthier recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Chilaquiles Casserole

Rating: 4.78 stars
55
Our version of this enchilada-style chilaquiles casserole is packed with nutritious beans and vegetables. Canned prepared enchilada sauce has great flavor and keeps the prep time quick. It can vary in heat level so find one that suits your taste. If you want to eliminate the heat altogether, try a green enchilada sauce (which is often milder than red) or substitute two 8-ounce cans of plain tomato sauce.

Slow-Cooker Dal Makhani

Rating: 3 stars
4
Using a slow cooker for this dal curry recipe is brilliant--the lentils cook until they're perfectly tender. For the creamiest results, use whole urad dal (versus split), which you can get online or at Indian markets. This particular bean breaks down beautifully, giving the dish its rich, creamy texture. For a stovetop variation, see below. Serve it over rice with Indian-style green chutney and a side of plain yogurt.

Basmati Rice & Curry Casserole (Chana aur Sarson ka Saag Biryani)

Rating: 4.67 stars
2
Biryanis are rice-based casseroles that combine a saucy meat, vegetable or legume curry with basmati rice, whole spices, nuts and raisins. This particular dish is a nutritional powerhouse, thanks to the mustard greens and chickpeas. Look for the specialty spices--cardamom pods, saffron and garam masala--in the spice section of well-stocked supermarkets or online at penzeys.com.

Stuffed Potatoes with Salsa & Beans

Rating: 4.5 stars
2
Taco night meets baked potato night with this simple recipe for loaded baked potatoes with salsa, beans and avocado. This easy, healthy family dinner comes together with just 10 minutes of active time, so you can make it on even the busiest of weeknights. This recipe is just as delicious with sweet potatoes in place of russets.

Quick Vegetable Saute

Rating: 3.25 stars
1
Add a little shallot and dried dill or tarragon to any mixture of frozen vegetables and have a delicious side dish on the table fast. If you'd like to make this recipe with fresh vegetables instead, cut them into bite-size pieces and add a tablespoon or two of water to the skillet when you add the vegetables; adjust the cooking time as needed.

Moroccan Kidney Bean & Chickpea Salad

Rating: 4 stars
4
The bold flavors of the lemon-cumin dressing in this healthy bean salad recipe make it a wonderful side dish to grilled beef and lamb, yet it's also a stellar meatless main when served with whole-wheat couscous.

Skillet Tuna Noodle Casserole

Rating: 4.26 stars
14
Known as Tuna-Pea Wiggle to some, this family-friendly tuna noodle casserole tends to be made with canned soup and whole milk, which means high fat and sodium. We remedy this by making our own creamy mushroom sauce with nonfat milk thickened with a bit of flour. Look for whole-wheat egg noodles--they have more fiber than regular egg noodles (but this dish will work well and taste great with either).

Broccoli, Chickpea & Pomegranate Salad

Rating: 5 stars
2
Simple steps give this broccoli salad recipe a more nuanced flavor: soaking the onion tempers its bite and toasting the cumin enhances its aroma. Serve alongside grilled chicken, pork or fish.

Parmesan White Beans

Stash mirepoix blend—a basic building-block combo of chopped carrots, celery and onion—in your freezer and save some serious prep time on this simple bean side dish.
By Karen Ansel

Loaded Sweet Potato Nacho Fries

Rating: 4.5 stars
2
Bump up the vitamin A and fiber when you swap tortilla chips for sweet potatoes in this healthy recipe. Serve as an appetizer at your next party or turn it into dinner by adding chicken, tofu, shrimp or more beans for protein.

Soft Green Beans

Rating: 4.5 stars
2
Modern cooking may champion barely cooked, tender-crisp veggies, but the soft and luscious ones you find in many Southern kitchens, like these super-soft green beans, make a mouthwatering healthy side dish to classic Southern barbecue.

Spring Pea Salad with Strawberries

Rating: 4 stars
1
As delicious as it is beautiful, this spring pea salad recipe is a potluck or dinner party stunner. Assemble the salad and dress just before serving--or serve the dressing next to the salad for people to drizzle. The tangy champagne vinaigrette balances the grassy sweetness of the peas and fruity pop of the berries.
Advertisement

Inspiration and Ideas

Bean & Tomato Salad

This beautiful salad combines fresh tomatoes, green beans, red onions and dried heirloom beans.

Lemon-Dill Green Beans

"This is an A+ recipe especially with fresh green beans freshly picked from the garden." – C2

Chickpea & Potato Hash

Rating: 4.67 stars
6

The eggs cook right on top of this chickpea and potato hash--cook them a few extra minutes if you prefer hard-set eggs. Serve with warm pita bread and a cucumber salad with mint and yogurt.