Low-Calorie Bean Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Chilaquiles Casserole

Rating: 4.78 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.

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

Chickpea Salad

Rating: 4.71 stars
2
Feta cheese and chickpeas lend a Mediterranean flair to this satisfying side salad. The Creamy Dill Ranch is great with it, but would also be good with a tangy vinaigrette.

8-Layer Taco Salad

Rating: 4 stars
3
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.

Indian-Spiced Kale & Chickpeas

Rating: 3.73 stars
7
Chickpeas make this exotic dish a terrific player in any vegetarian menu.

Better Three-Bean Salad

Rating: 5 stars
4
Traditional three-bean salad gets a healthy, fresh spin with the addition of black soybeans, snap peas and a tarragon-infused dressing. Find black soybeans near other canned beans; they're a sweeter, creamier relative of the green ones you're probably familiar with.

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.

Super-Green Edamame Salad

Rating: 4.67 stars
2
Avocado, fresh chives and spinach are blended right into the creamy, bright-green dressing in this healthy edamame salad recipe. Pink beans are popular in the Caribbean, but you can substitute pinto beans or light red kidney beans if you can't find them.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Roasted Tomato and Vegetable Soup

Rating: Unrated
4
This veggie-packed side-dish vegetable soup can be made in the slow cooker. Just make a few tweaks (see Variation).

Vegan Baked Beans

Rating: Unrated
1
These vegetarian and vegan baked beans are everything you want them to be--thick, sweet and smoky. Plus, they're so easy to make for a barbecue side that everyone will enjoy.

Bulgur & Butter Bean Salad

The pleasantly sweet-and-sour pomegranate molasses in the tangy vinaigrette here is made by reducing pomegranate juice into a syrup. Look for it at well-stocked grocery stores and Middle Eastern markets.