Pick a bean, and see what comes to mind when you think of it. If what comes to mind is chili, hummus, or beans and rice, you are thinking about beans all wrong! Beans are a very versatile and easy to use ingredient that can quickly add a lot of nutrition to a multitude of meals. Beans can be used as a side dish, yes, but they can also be the meal’s shining star. Beans are packed full of important nutrients like protein, fiber, and potassium, and can sometimes be used as a leaner substitute for meat. It’s time to get creative and start making beans a staple in your family’s diet!

Check out the nutrition facts of these three common beans that are most- likely, already in your pantry.

Bean Comparison Chart

table 2
½ cup portion, boiled, unsalted


Edamame 1Spaghetti with Edamame, Parsley, and Garlic

Though edamame is one of the pricier beans, the other  ingredients in this recipe are very inexpensive – making this meal easy on your wallet!

For the full recipe click here.

Photo from The New York Times


edamame 2Sugar Snap Pea and Carrot Soba Noodles with Edamame

Carrots and snap peas tend to be among the vegetables that kids don’t mind, which is why they make the perfect addition to edamame in this colorful meal.

Important note: The cook time for this recipe is 5 minutes!

For the full recipe click here.

Photo from Cookie and Kate

Garbanzo Beans

garbanzo bean 1Risotto with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, and Chickpeas

Okay, you might be hard pressed to get your kids to eat onions and mushrooms – maybe this one is for mom and dad’s date night. Yum!

For the full recipe click here.

Photo from Greatist


Roasted chickpeasSweet and Salty Roasted Garbanzo Beans

Cheap, easy, healthy – a great snack alternative to potato chips.

For the full recipe click here.

Photo from Cupcake Project

Black Beans

tacosHoney-Lime Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Corn Tacos

Pairing sweet potatoes with black bean is a home run! Not only is it a delicious combination but a healthy one too – sweet potatoes are loaded with essential nutrients for your little ones.

For the full recipe click here.

Photo from Cooking Classy

black bean burger

Black Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers

This veggie burger is delicious and fairly easy to make! Veggie burgers are a great way to “sneak” vegetables into your kids’ meal.

For the full recipe click here.

Photo from Prevention RD

After trying out these great recipes, get creative and keep trying new ways to incorporate beans into your family’s diet. Your family’s health will thank you and so will your wallet!