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32 Cheap & Easy Meals That Start With a Can of Black Beans

Mexican Black Bean Lasagna

Given the current state of affairs, inflation and the rising cost of grocery store staples, we're looking for ways to use pantry ingredients in budget-friendly (yet delicious meals) now more than ever. Everyone needs recipes they can rely on that are easy on the wallet, but still hit high notes in the flavor department and I'm always on the hunt for cheap ingredients that are up for this task.

When stocking my pantry, one thing I always am sure to have on hand is black beans. They're loaded with protein, super versatile and under a dollar per can, which means they are one of the best bargains at the grocery store.

And to prove just how many meals you can make with them, I've rounded up 32 cheap and easy black bean recipes. They all start with a simple pantry staple but result in a happy and full family around the dining room table.

Related: The 60 Best Black Bean Recipes

Are Canned Black Beans Healthy?

No matter what you're craving, a can of black beans adds texture and protein to your meal. Not only are black beans delicious, but they are also loaded with dietary fiber, an essential ingredient to good health. Along with fiber and protein, they are packed with magnesium, folate and lots of antioxidants—about 10 times the antioxidants of oranges.

It's also worth noting that eating black beans as part of a balanced diet may help decrease your risk of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

Related: 100+ Best Vegan Recipes

What Are Canned Black Beans Good For?

Canned black beans are the perfect addition to so many recipes. They can be swapped out for a meat-free alternative protein, but also complement many other ingredients resulting in a flavorful, satisfying dish. Here are some of my favorite ways to use canned black beans:

Black Beans and Rice

When most of us are trying to use that can of black beans hanging out in the back of the pantry, Mexican night is the first thing that comes to mind. From tacos and burritos to enchiladas and a side of black beans and rice, they are heavily used in one of my favorite cuisines, so I am always constantly finding new ways to sneak them into our Mexi-night plans.

Related: 30 Best Recipes Using A Can Of Rotel

How To Cook Canned Black Beans

Canned black beans are one of the most versatile things you can keep stocked in your kitchen. From simply heating them up for a quick, protein-packed side dish to incorporating them into a ton of recipes, the possibilities are endless.

I love to use them for a terrific twist on refried beans by mashing them, adding some garlic and onion and frying them in a skillet.

I also simmer them in a sauce pot with garlic, onion, cumin and paprika for a restaurant-quality side dish for taco night.

Cheap and Easy Meals With Canned Black Beans

When it comes time to meal plan, and you want to keep extra money in your wallet, you can't go wrong with including meals that start with a can of black beans. Since so many of the other ingredients that end up in dishes with black beans are also budget-friendly, the entire meal can be made for much less than you might think.

These 32 black bean recipes are all cheap, easy enough for a weeknight and packed with flavor. I have included a cost estimate for each, so your grocery list planning just got a little easier; and all of them are under $20 total, so for a family of four, that is less than $5/person!

Best Tips for Cooking with Canned Black Beans:

  • I didn't include pantry and fridge staples like spices, butter, oil, vinegar, garlic, milk, mayonnaise, etc. in the cost.

  • But if you do have to buy something new for a recipe, it is an investment that makes the next recipe you make with it cheaper!

  • Whenever possible, I buy generic/store brands to save money. They taste just like name-brand products, but can really add up to savings on the grocery bill.

  • Buying things in season will help to keep costs down. For example, the Doritos Taco Salad contains iceberg lettuce, and red and orange bell peppers. Those things are much cheaper in the summer than in winter.

  • Soups and casseroles are great leftovers, so the initial investment into the recipe can be turned into multiple meals.

  • Discount stores such as Aldi are a great resource for saving money on canned goods, produce and meat.

  • Many of these recipes use the same ingredients, so buy them once and get double duty out of them.

Cheap Black Bean Recipes

<p>Krista Marshall</p><p>This Mexican night casserole is perfect for a meat-free Monday too. </p><p><strong>Cost: $12.72</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://parade.com/842609/kristamarshall/mexican-black-bean-lasagna/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Mexican Black Bean Lasagna;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Mexican Black Bean Lasagna</a></strong></p><p><strong>Related: <a href="https://noblepig.com/2019/04/low-calorie-turkey-chili/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:30 Best Lasagna Recipes;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">30 Best Lasagna Recipes</a></strong></p>
<p>Krista Marshall</p><p>The ultimate "dump and go" recipe. Once you brown the beef, the slow cooker does the rest for you. </p><p><strong>Cost: $10.54</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://parade.com/731233/kristamarshall/slow-cooker-taco-soup/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Slow Cooker Taco Soup;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Slow Cooker Taco Soup</a></strong></p>
<p>Krista Marshall</p><p>This easy casserole brings the flavors of tacos, salsa and the side of rice all in one bite. </p><p><strong>Cost: $14.30</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://parade.com/842668/kristamarshall/fiesta-taco-rice-bake/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Fiesta Taco Rice Bake;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Fiesta Taco Rice Bake</a></strong></p>
<p>Krista Marshall</p><p>Combine pasta night and Mexican night with this mash-up of flavors! </p><p><strong>Cost: $11.18</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://parade.com/902424/kristamarshall/switch-up-taco-tuesday-with-taco-spaghetti-for-mexitalian-greatness/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Taco Spaghetti;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Taco Spaghetti</a></strong></p>
<p>Krista Marshall</p><p>This retro recipe is still a favorite at summer barbecues, but it makes a great light supper or weekend lunch. </p><p><strong>Cost: $19.10</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://parade.com/1212385/kristamarshall/dorito-taco-salad/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Doritos Taco Salad;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Doritos Taco Salad</a></strong></p>
<p>Mark Boughton Photography</p><p>A great way to cut back on red meat, please vegetarians or simply enjoy a great burger on the cheap! </p><p><strong>Cost: $14.68</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://parade.com/842698/communitytable/hummus-black-bean-burgers/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Hummus Black Bean Burgers;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Hummus Black Bean Burgers</a></strong></p>
<p>The Country Cook</p><p>This favorite restaurant appetizer can make a great simple meal too, and can be made right in your air fryer! </p><p><strong>Cost: $14.95</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.thecountrycook.net/air-fryer-southwestern-egg-rolls/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Air Fryer Southwestern Egg Rolls;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Air Fryer Southwestern Egg Rolls</a></strong></p>
<p>Salt & Lavender</p><p>Gotta love a one skillet supper! Easy on the wallet and less mess too! </p><p><strong>Cost: $12.82</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.saltandlavender.com/taco-skillet/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Beef Taco Skillet;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Beef Taco Skillet</a></strong></p>
<p>Spend With Pennies</p><p>Deliciously simple, filled with fresh flavors and perfect for lunch or dinner. </p><p><strong>Cost: $12.22</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.spendwithpennies.com/black-bean-quinoa-salad/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Black Bean Quinoa Salad;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Black Bean Quinoa Salad</a></strong></p>
<p>Cooking Classy</p><p>A vegetable-packed soup with big flavor that you can easily adapt with your favorite produce aisle finds. </p><p><strong>Cost: $18.43</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.cookingclassy.com/black-bean-tortilla-soup/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Black Bean Tortilla Soup;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Black Bean Tortilla Soup</a></strong></p><p><strong>Related: <a href="https://parade.com/843378/jennybullistron/24-ways-to-eat-black-beans/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:24 Ways To Eat Black Beans;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">24 Ways To Eat Black Beans</a></strong></p>
<p>Spend With Pennies</p><p>A great way to feed a hungry crowd using pantry staple ingredients. </p><p><strong>Cost $12.68</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.spendwithpennies.com/cheesy-bean-burritos-freezer-friendly/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Cheesy Bean Burritos;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Cheesy Bean Burritos</a></strong></p>
<p>Spend With Pennies</p><p>Tender chicken with zesty lime seasoning with black beans and rice! </p><p><strong>Cost: $16.81</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.spendwithpennies.com/chicken-burrito-bowl/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Chicken Burrito Bowl;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Chicken Burrito Bowl</a></strong></p>
<p>Southern Bite</p><p>A one-pan supper means less clean up after a tasty, filling meal. </p><p><strong>Cost: $17.38</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://southernbite.com/chicken-enchilada-cornbread-casserole/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Chicken Enchilada Cornbread Casserole;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Chicken Enchilada Cornbread Casserole</a></strong></p>
<p>Julie's Eats and Treats</p><p>Making restaurant-quality recipes at home is a great way to enjoy favorites without blowing the budget. </p><p><strong>Cost: $18.15</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.julieseatsandtreats.com/chipotle-chicken-and-black-bean-burritos/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Chipotle Chicken and Black Bean Burritos;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Chipotle Chicken and Black Bean Burritos</a></strong></p>
<p>The Country Cook</p><p>Crock Pot meals are some of the most wallet-friendly suppers around. This one has a big flavor payoff with minimal effort. </p><p><strong>Cost: $19.24</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.thecountrycook.net/crock-pot-chicken-and-rice-burrito-bowl/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowl;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowl</a></strong></p>
<p>Salt & Lavender</p><p>This black bean chili is super versatile because you can load it up with your family's favorite toppings. </p><p><strong>Cost: $18.41</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.saltandlavender.com/easy-black-bean-chili/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Easy Black Bean Chili;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Easy Black Bean Chili</a></strong></p>
<p>Salt & Lavender</p><p>This 30-minute soup has cooked all-day flavor but is made with inexpensive ingredients! </p><p><strong>Cost: $10.92</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.saltandlavender.com/easy-black-bean-soup/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Easy Black Bean Soup;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Easy Black Bean Soup</a></strong></p>
<p>Salt & Lavender</p><p>Chicken, beans, and corn simmered in a flavorful tomato broth for a comforting meal on a cold night. </p><p><strong>Cost: $18.57</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.saltandlavender.com/easy-chicken-tortilla-soup/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup</a></strong></p>
<p>Salt & Lavender</p><p>All the best taco flavors plus a layer of Doritos make this a meal the kids will run to the table for. </p><p><strong>Cost: $17.09</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.saltandlavender.com/easy-taco-casserole-recipe/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Easy Taco Casserole;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Easy Taco Casserole</a></strong></p>
<p>Spend With Pennies</p><p>Fresh flavors and any protein you wish from chicken, to beef to even shrimp make this a recipe you will want to make weekly. </p><p><strong>Cost: $19.64</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.spendwithpennies.com/easy-taco-salad/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Easy Taco Salad;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Easy Taco Salad</a></strong></p><p><strong>Related: <a href="https://parade.com/1025653/kristamarshall/summer-salad-recipes-for-bbq/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:60 Best Summertime Salads;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">60 Best Summertime Salads</a></strong></p>
<p>The Country Cook</p><p>A traditional Mexican breakfast, brunch or "brinner" with not a lot of ingredients that are easy to put together. </p><p><strong>Cost: $12.40</strong> (including the eggs)</p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.thecountrycook.net/huevos-rancheros/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Huevos Rancheros;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Huevos Rancheros</a></strong></p>
<p>No. 2 Pencil</p><p>These are perfect for a simple supper or a game-day treat. </p><p><strong>Cost: $16.49</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.number-2-pencil.com/loaded-sheet-pan-nachos/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Loaded Sheet Pan Nachos;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Loaded Sheet Pan Nachos</a></strong></p>
<p>Cooking Classy</p><p>A one-pan supper you can easily adapt with your favorite Mexican toppings. </p><p><strong>Cost: $12.92</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.cookingclassy.com/one-pan-cilantro-lime-chicken-and-rice-with-black-beans/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:One-Pan Cilantro Lime Chicken and Rice with Black Beans;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">One-Pan Cilantro Lime Chicken and Rice with Black Beans</a></strong></p>
<p>Cooking Classy</p><p>Make your next Taco Tuesday a meat-free one with these tasty vegetarian tacos with black beans, squash, corn and more roasted veggies. </p><p><strong>Cost: $15.61</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.cookingclassy.com/roasted-veggie-black-bean-tacos/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Roasted Veggie and Black Bean Tacos;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Roasted Veggie and Black Bean Tacos</a></strong></p>
<p>Salty Side Dish</p><p>The perfect Crock Pot meal to throw together in the morning, with pantry ingredients and be ready when you get home. </p><p><strong>Cost: $8.95</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.saltysidedish.com/sausage-and-black-bean-soup/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sausage and Black Bean Soup;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Sausage and Black Bean Soup</a></strong></p>
<p>The Country Cook</p><p>This is how you make quesadillas for a hungry crowd without standing over the skillet all night! </p><p><strong>Cost: $17.95</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.thecountrycook.net/sheet-pan-chicken-quesadillas/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sheet Pan Chicken Quesadillas;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Sheet Pan Chicken Quesadillas</a></strong></p>
<p>Spend With Pennies</p><p>This is a healthy chili recipe perfect for a cold winter's night. </p><p><strong>Cost: $14.47</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.spendwithpennies.com/slow-cooker-butternut-squash-chili/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili</a></strong></p>
<p>Southern Bite</p><p>I love serving pasta salad as a light supper on busy nights. </p><p><strong>Cost: $11.32</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://southernbite.com/taco-pasta-salad/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Taco Pasta Salad;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Taco Pasta Salad</a></strong></p>
<p>Plain Chicken</p><p>This is a quick and easy Mexican casserole that you can even make ahead and then bake at dinner time. </p><p><strong>Cost: $13.71</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.plainchicken.com/taco-black-bean-rice-casserole/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Taco, Black Bean and Rice Casserole;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Taco, Black Bean and Rice Casserole</a></strong></p>
<p>Cooking Classy</p><p>A fresh, flavorful taco salad with double protein from black beans and turkey. </p><p><strong>Cost: $19.69</strong><br></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.cookingclassy.com/turkey-black-bean-taco-salad/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Turkey Black Bean Taco Salad;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Turkey Black Bean Taco Salad</a></strong></p><p><strong>Related: <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/25-ground-turkey-casseroles-upstage-022248217.html" data-ylk="slk:25 Easy Ground Turkey Casseroles;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link  yahoo-link">25 Easy Ground Turkey Casseroles</a></strong></p>
<p>Cooking Classy</p><p>These tacos are a little healthier, and the filling only takes five minutes to make! </p><p><strong>Cost: $15.78</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://www.cookingclassy.com/black-bean-tacos-with-avocado-cilantro-lime-crema/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Black Bean Tacos;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Black Bean Tacos</a></strong></p>
<p>Noble Pig</p><p>A chili so packed with flavor, you will forget you are eating something that is good for you! </p><p><strong>Cost: $19.45</strong></p><p><strong>Get the recipe: <a href="https://noblepig.com/2019/04/low-calorie-turkey-chili/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Low-Calorie Turkey Chili;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Low-Calorie Turkey Chili</a></strong></p>

Up next: 28 Easy One-Pan Dinners You'll Make Again & Again (& Again)