5 Black Bean Recipes That Are Quick And Delicious

There's something about the hearty, rich flavor of black beans that really hits the spot when it comes to rounding out a dinner. In fact, many cultures use black beans as a staple ingredient part of practically every meal (via Michigan State University). For instance, if you ever head to Costa Rica, you'll likely be served gallo pinto, a mix of black beans and rice, as part of a traditional breakfast. But black beans don't just make a good side dish — black bean soups or stews, black bean burgers, and black bean casseroles are all delicious ways to utilize this fiber- and protein-rich legume. 

So, when you're looking for ways to update your go-to family meals on a budget (beans are both cheap and easy to use, especially if you're using pre-cooked, canned beans), consider one of the following meals. Certainly, black beans aren't the only ingredient featured in these recipes, but the humble plant protein adds that special something to each dish that will help make it a fixture in your cooking rotation. 

1. Taco salad

The beauty of taco salad is that you don't even have to assemble each plate. Simply set all the ingredients out on the counter and let your family members be in charge of putting their own salads together. Traditionally, taco salads include tortilla chips or a tortilla bowl, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, corn, beans, and ground beef, but there's no reason to keep things this simple. Rather, try our taco salad recipe that features skirt steak, black beans, shredded cabbage, grilled tomatoes, sliced avocado, jalapeños, and Cotija cheese ... just to name a few of the ingredients. 

Even though there's a lot that goes into the recipe, and prepping all the ingredients can take some time, there's nothing challenging about the process, and the result is practically guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. 

Recipe: Taco Salad

2. Vegan guacamole burger

The next time you're looking for a way to update your "Meatless Monday" menu, look no further than this mouthwateringly-good vegan guacamole burger. The prep time is short and sweet (around 10 minutes), although you do have to allow about an hour to roast the sweet potatoes that work in conjunction with the black beans, bread crumbs, quinoa, and onions to make the meatless patties. Aside from that, though (and you can roast the potatoes a few days in advance, if you'd like), the patties are easy to make, assemble, and cook. When topped with guacamole, lettuce, tomato, tortilla strips, and chipotle aioli? You're going to have a dinnertime hit on your hands (and in your mouth).

Recipe: Vegan Guacamole Burger

3. Cuban-style pork

There's this beautiful marriage of ingredients that come together to make a perfect dinner. Every main dish needs to be well-balanced with appropriate sides, because the sides are often what really make the main dish sing. That's exactly how black beans function (along with rice and a fresh pineapple salsa) to complement this Cuban-style pork recipe. Alone, the Cuban-style pork with a sweet and sour sauce just wouldn't "make a meal." But when you pair the pork with black beans, rice, and salsa, the flavors and textures all mix and meld to make a delicious dish.

Recipe: Cuban-style Pork

4. Pork with chiles and lime

Pork may not be as popular as beef or chicken, but it pairs especially well with black beans and rice, and all three items are favorites in Latin American and South Pacific countries. So if you're looking for a way to switch out your typical meats in favor of pork, you might want to stock up on rice and beans at the same time. This recipe for pork with chiles and lime is a great way to update your "Taco Tuesday," serving the seasoned pork in tortillas. You can then top your tacos with black beans and rice, or you can enjoy the plant-based sides as stand-alone accompaniments. 

Recipe: Pork With Chiles And Lime