Low-Calorie Bean Recipes

Find healthy, delicious low-calorie bean recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Chilaquiles Casserole

Rating: 4.5 stars 74
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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Stuffed Potatoes with Salsa & Beans

Rating: 4.5 stars 3
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.
By Devon O'Brien

8-Layer Taco Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 5
This gorgeous and colorful 8-layer taco salad recipe is made healthier by using ground turkey in place of beef, adding Greek yogurt and bumping up the amount of vegetables. Serve this salad in a clear glass bowl and you'll have an eye-catching party-worthy dinner or potluck side in just 30 minutes.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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, MS, RDN

Chickpea Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 4
This satisfying chickpea salad is a delicious combination of textures, from crunchy cucumbers to crumbly feta. The dill ranch dressing adds creaminess, but a tangy vinaigrette would be just as good.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Tomato & Kale Pesto Pasta

Rating: 5 stars 2
This 25-minute pasta side dish goes well with chicken or fish and can be served either warm or at room temperature. Kale and basil create a fresh-tasting pesto that is packed with protein and taste, thanks to the addition of chickpeas. We like shaved Parmesan sprinkled on the top, but feel free to add toasted pine nuts or walnuts for some crunch.

Roasted Corn, Black Bean & Mango Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 16
This simple, fresh-tasting salad adds delicious variety to grilled foods, such as salmon, halibut, chicken or pork. Browning the corn in a skillet gives it a nutty, caramelized flavor that contrasts with the sweetness of the mango.
By Kathy Farrell-Kingsley

Broccoli, Chickpea & Pomegranate Salad

Rating: 5 stars 3
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.
By Christine Burns Rudalevige

Chickpea Snack Salad

Take 5 minutes to toss together a fiber-rich chickpea and tomato salad for a satisfying snack.
By Andrea Mathis, M.A., RDN, LD

Indian-Spiced Kale & Chickpeas

Rating: 4 stars 9
Chickpeas make this exotic dish a terrific player in any vegetarian menu.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Seasoned Black-Eyed Peas

To infuse peas with flavor, simmer them with dried spices, which pack a more intense punch than fresh. Smoked paprika delivers the essence of ham hocks or bacon while keeping this classic side dish vegan.

Curried Baked Beans

If you're a fan of classic baked beans, give this healthy recipe with curry powder, lime juice and molasses a whirl. These stovetop baked beans also have half the sugar and three-quarters of the sodium compared to a traditional recipe--and take a few hours' less cooking time. Serve with pistachio-crusted pork tenderloin or grilled fish.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Basmati Rice & Curry Casserole (Chana aur Sarson ka Saag Biryani)
Rating: Unrated 3
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.
Cucumber & Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Rating: Unrated 7
An easy salad to serve with grilled chicken or steak for supper or on a bed of greens for a satisfying lunch. Substitute white beans or chickpeas for the black-eyed peas if you prefer.
Slow-Cooker Dal Makhani
Rating: 3 stars 5

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.