3 Vegetarian Bean Recipes for Delicious Variety

Sweet and spicy beans

Beans are a delicious vegetarian source of protein, and they're so versatile as a main course or side dish. These three vegetarian bean recipes can add variety to your meals.

Sweet and Spicy Baked Beans

This recipe simmers on the stovetop, filling your kitchen with a spicy aroma. These beans have a lovely balance of a little bit of sweet, a little bit of heat, and a slight smokiness. The recipe serves six.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 3 (14-ounce) cans navy beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat until it shimmers.
  2. Add the onion and green pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to brown, about seven minutes.
  3. Add the garlic cloves. Cook, stirring constantly until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to brown, about two minutes more.
  5. Add the tomato sauce, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with the side of a spoon.
  6. Add the navy beans, molasses, liquid smoke, paprika, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, mustard, and salt.
  7. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

This recipe makes a whole mess of beans. It's great for a large group, such as a potluck or barbecue. For smaller groups, reduce the recipe size or freeze the beans in a tightly sealed container for up to one year. Use a six-quart slow cooker. The recipe serves 12.


  • Slow cooker baked beans
    8 garlic cloves
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cups vegetarian barbecue sauce of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a food processor, combine the garlic, jalapeno peppers, Anaheim pepper, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper. Pulse for ten one-second pulses.
  2. Add the mixture to the slow cooker with the onion, pinto beans, kidney beans, barbecue sauce, Dijon mustard, syrup, bourbon, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  3. Cover and cook on low for eight hours or on high for four hours.
  4. Stir in the parsley just before serving.

Mexican Style Baked Black Beans

This recipe is a bit of a departure from traditional baked beans, but it's really delicious. It uses black beans, corn, and traditional Mexican flavor profiles. It uses cheese, but vegans can leave the cheese off or they can substitute vegan cheese for a tasty dairy-free dish. For a variation, stir in one cup of cooked quinoa before baking the beans. The recipe serves six.


  • Mexican style black beans
    2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans black beans, drained
  • 1 (14-ounce) can corn, drained
  • 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 ounces grated cheddar-jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil on medium-high until it shimmers.
  3. Add the onion, jalapeno, and red bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about five minutes.
  4. Add the black beans, corn, tomato sauce, chipotle chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, coriander, salt, and cayenne. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Pour into a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle the cheese over the top (optional).
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with the cilantro before serving.

A Tasty Protein

Beans are a tasty vegetarian source of protein. With their neutral flavor, they are practically a blank slate for any seasonings you'd like to add. Try these recipes or variations of your own to make delicious bean dishes.

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3 Vegetarian Bean Recipes for Delicious Variety