Better in Bulk: Budget-friendly black beans offer nutrition, too

Black beans are easily one of the most nutritious items you can buy in bulk at a very low price. Dry black beans can be found in any bulk section for an average of $1.07 per pound. Though dried black beans are slightly more expensive than the canned variety, they yield more product overall after they’ve been cooked.

These legumes are also highly recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for their nutritional benefits. When cooked, black beans contain about 15 grams of protein per cup and 15 grams of fiber as well.

Tons of great recipes can be surmised by using black beans, and here are just a few that are easy to make, inexpensive and super tasty.

Black Bean & Corn Salad (adapted from The Daily Meal)

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 can, drained)
  • 2 cups corn
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/4  cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 teaspoons chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

What to do:

1. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss.

2. Allow the salad to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, then garnish and serve.

Black Bean Quesadillas (adapted from Budget Bytes)

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 can, drained)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • ½ small red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 10 flour tortillas

What to do:

1. Combine all of the ingredients, except for the tortillas, in a large bowl.

2. Place half a cup of this filling onto one side of a flat tortilla and fold over. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas and the remainder of the filling.

3. Cook in a skillet over medium heat until the tortilla is browned on the outside and the cheese is melted on the inside.

Taco Casserole (adapted from Yummly)

What you’ll need:

  • 2 ounces tortilla chips (about 24)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 can, drained)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or mexican blend cheese

What to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Heat olive oil and red pepper flakes over a skillet, then add the onion and garlic and sautée until soft. Add the meat and taco seasoning, cooking the meat while breaking it up with a spatula for about 5 minutes. Add the beans and salsa and continue to cook until the salsa thickens.

3. Line the bottom of a baking dish with tortilla chips, pressing down on them lightly into smaller pieces. Spread the meat and bean mixture over the chips and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.



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Lindsay McWilliams

Lindsay McWilliams