Looking for easy ways to incorporate more heart-heathy vegan protein into your diet? Look no further than your pantry! A trusty can of beans and a great bean recipe is your ticket to healthy, affordable dinners that will leave you nourished and satisfied. 

Collage of 4 bean recipes, including white bean shakshuka, bean soup, butter beans, and Mediterranean bean salad.
From left to right: Chickpea Salad, White Bean Soup, Butter Beans, and White Bean Shakshuka

Beans may be having a moment as an up-and-coming superfood, with multiple studies showing their efficacy in promoting weight loss, along with lowering the risk of heart disease and type II diabetes. But in the Mediterranean, we’ve been loving beans every which way for hundreds of years—from Egyptian Hummus to Italian Minestrone Soup and so many more.

And bean recipes are a huge part of the Mediterranean diet. Not only are they tasty, but according to Health Benefits of Plant-Based Nutrition: Focus on Beans in Cardiometabolic Diseases, a 2021 study posted by the National Institutes of Health, “Pulses, including all bean varieties, are rich in carbohydrate, resistant starch, fiber, potassium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, iron, magnesium, and B-vitamins, contain almost no sodium or fat, and are an excellent source of protein, with 21–25% content by weight.” 

Beans are also remarkably versatile and budget-friendly. Keeping them stocked means you can have a healthy dinner on your table in under 20 minutes. In my house that's often the difference between a wholesome meal and ordering takeout! Read on to find your new favorite easy bean recipe.

Dried vs. Canned Beans

Most of the dishes in this collection of healthy bean recipes use canned beans. But if you regularly cook dried beans you can use those instead. If a recipe calls for canned beans and you'd rather cook your beans from scratch, here is a rough idea of how to convert the measurements:

  • 1 cup dried beans = 3 cups of cooked beans
  • 1 pound dried beans = up to 6 cups cooked beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of cooked beans = 1 ½ cups drained cooked beans
  • If a recipe calls for 1 (15-ounce) can of cooked beans, start with a heaping ½ cup of dried beans (which you will need to soak and cook before using in the recipe).

3 EASY Bean Recipes to Get You Started

These easy bean recipes come together in 30 minutes or less with just pantry staples and a handful of tried and true flavor-makers. Turn to these healthy bean recipes when you're hungry with an empty fridge and little time to spare.

Side shot of butter beans in a white pan with bread and lemon wedges on the side.

Butter Beans with Garlic, Lemon, and Herbs

This Southern favorite is given a Mediterranean twist. My vegan take on butter beans is ready in only 15 minutes. Serve it with a piece of crusty bread to sop up the lemony juices or pair it with a simple salad. A bell pepper salad brings a pop of color to the table or if you’re looking for something heartier this Kale Salad goes beautifully with butter beans.

spanish rice and beans on a plate with a fork.

Spanish Rice and Beans

Spanish rice and beans is ready in only 30 minutes and made with pantry staples like rice, kidney beans, and olives. This quick and easy vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free weeknight dinner is a great vegan main or side dish. If you aren’t vegan, top with chicken or grilled shrimp for a little extra protein.

garlic parmesan white beans with cherry tomatoes in a pot

15-Minute Garlic Parmesan White Beans

All you need is a couple of cans of cannellini beans, and 15 minutes to make this white bean recipe with garlic, Parmesan, and cherry tomatoes. Serve it as an easy meatless dinner with your favorite crusty bread or as a side to chicken or fish.

Healthy Bean Salad Recipes 

I talk about How To Make A Salad You'll Actually Want To Eat a lot–ditching boring, limp salads is something I'm very passionate about! The Mediterranean is famous for its many varieties of delicious grains, beans, and other healthy legumes like lentils.

Each one will add not only heft but also textural variety to your salads, making them crave-worthy and satisfying enough to count as a whole meal. Here are some favorite bean salads, and be sure to head over to our shop if your pantry could use a refresh.

chickpea salad in a serving bowl next to a cloth napkin, a bowl of salad dressing and wooden serving utensils.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

When it comes to chickpea salad recipes this one is packed not only with high fiber and plant-based protein from the beans, but also with fresh herbs, grape tomatoes, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, and creamy avocado. This Mediterranean chickpea salad can be enjoyed as a light lunch or a healthy side. All you need is 10 minutes to spare and a big bowl for mixing!  

Mediterranean Three Bean Salad | The Mediterranean Dish. Three bean salad with chopped veggies, capers, fresh herbs and a zesty Mediterranean garlic Dijon vinaigrette. Best bean salad; the perfect potluck salad or healthy side dish. See it on TheMediterraneanDish.com

Easy Mediterranean Bean Salad

This three-bean salad is so bright and packs tons of flavor from fresh herbs, capers, and a zesty garlic Dijon vinaigrette. It’s the perfect potluck salad and makes a great side for any dinner.

Mediterranean Za’atar Chickpea Salad Recipe with Fried Eggplant | The Mediterranean Dish. A flavor-packed Mediterranean peasant salad with chickpeas, chopped vegetables, eggplant and Za’atar. A meal in its own right! Get the step-by-step tutorial.

Loaded Chickpea Salad With Za'atar

This family recipe is Mediterranean diet-friendly and loaded with crunchy veggies, fresh herbs, and a tangy garlic and lime dressing. This healthy bean salad recipe is so filling and satisfying you can serve it as a vegan main meal.

Overhead view of white bean and sardine salad in a white bowl

Easy White Bean Salad

This simple white bean salad is loaded with bright Mediterranean flavors! I toss canned chickpeas, chopped veggies, and fresh herbs together in one large bowl. No fancy dressing here, a squeeze of lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil is all you need!

Balela Salad Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Bright, flavor-packed Mediterranean chickpea salad with chopped veggies, lots of herbs, and favorites like olives and sun-dried tomatoes. A zesty dressing brings it all together! A simple recipe from TheMediterraneanDish.com #balela #chickpeasalad #mediterraneanfood #mediterraneanrecipe

Balela Salad

This salad is loaded with cooked chickpeas, chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, mint, basil, parsley, and Mediterranean favorites like olives and sun-dried tomatoes. A bright salad dressing with garlic and sumac marries all the flavors. This is the perfect bean salad recipe for your next backyard barbecue, picnic side, or weekly meal prep. 

Kidney Bean Salad with Cilantro and Dijon Vinaigrette | The Mediterranean Dish. BuzzFeed calls this salad, “incredible!” A simple and tasty salad of kidney beans, chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions with cilantro, sumac and a zesty Dijon vinaigrette. It will be your new favorite!

Kidney Bean Salad with Cilantro and Dijon Vinaigrette

I love a good vegetable and bean salad – no lettuce required. This recipe comes together in 15 minutes. Crunchy veggies and red kidney beans are dressed in a simple Dijon vinaigrette and brightened with a pop of cilantro.

Mediterranean Chickpea Egg Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Egg Salad

Not your average egg salad recipe! Crunchy cucumbers and celery provide the refreshing crunch in this bean recipe while creamy chickpeas and protein-rich eggs offer a balance of textures and nutrition. A little dijon mustard, parsley and lemon juice round it out. Don’t worry, you won’t miss the mayo! 

bowl of black eyed pea salad with garnish of fresh mint to the side

Mediterranean Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Looking for a quick and easy lunch recipe? Look no further! This hearty black-eyed pea salad with chopped vegetables, fresh herbs, and pomegranate arils will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Store the dressing separately and pack it for lunch throughout the week. Keep it vegan or add a sprinkle of creamy feta to finish! 

Turkish white bean salad with onions and tomatoes on a deep white plate with sumac alongside.

Piyaz: Turkish White Bean Salad

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be time consuming. This salad made with white beans, tomatoes, onions, parsley, and garlic comes together in 10 minutes. This is your, “too-tired-to-cook go-to salad!

Bowl of Mediterranean Chickpea and Farro Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Farro Salad with Shrimp

Chickpeas and nutty farro are mixed with chopped cucumber, tomato, and fresh herbs. Dressed with a bold Mediterranean dressing. This is a great make-ahead meal! 

Overhead view of white bean and sardine salad in a white bowl

15-Minute Mediterranean Sardine Salad

Sardines are easy to find near the canned tuna in your local grocery store. This salad is loaded with white beans, fresh herbs, tomatoes, and onions. A light dijon dressing ties this healthy, flavorful, and filling bean salad recipe together.

Bean Soup and Stew Recipes for Busy Weeknights

Everyone knows about chili, but there's so much more to discover in the world of Mediterranean bean soups! And you don't need to spend all day to get big flavor and comfort. All of these easy bean recipes come together in an hour or less!

a close up of Mediterranean white bean soup in a bowl with a spoon next parsley and a small bowl of aleppo pepper.

Mediterranean White Bean Soup with Spinach and Fresh Herbs

This vegan white bean soup recipe is packed with nutrient-rich cannellini beans, spinach, celery, carrots, and fresh herbs like parsley and dill. This brothy bean soup is seasoned with Italian Seasoning, and a touch of heat from paprika and chili flakes.

Ribollita served with a garnish of Paremsan

Ribollita (Tuscan White Bean Soup)

Make this soup on the stovetop or if you’re pressed for time make it in your slow cooker. Ribollita is a classic Tuscan soup made with white beans, vegetables, and crusty day-old bread. 

minestrone soup web story poster image.

Simple Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

Italian minestrone soup is comforting, filling, and packed with vegetables, fresh herbs, and beans. A little pasta to finish it off makes this a one-pot meal you can eat on repeat. Serve it with a simple side salad if you want even more veggies. 

White Bean and Kale Soup served in bowl

White Bean and Kale Soup with Chicken

This is the soup to make when you’re short on time! All you need is 35 minutes, some chicken, kale, and a can of white beans. If you don't have kale swap in spinach, watercress or Swiss chard. Make a pot and feed a crowd.

Mediterranean Bean Soup with Tomato Pesto | The Mediterranean Dish. Tons of flavor in this cozy bean soup loaded with vegetables, and Mediterranean flavors from spices and amazing fresh tomato pesto. This is not your average bean soup! A must try from TheMediterraneanDish.com #beansoup #mediterraneandiet #mediterraneanfood #mediterraneanrecipes #vegetablesoup #vegetarian #glutenfree #budgetfriendly #onepot #chickpeas #kidneybeans #beans #soup

Mediterranean Bean Soup with Tomato Pesto

Tomato pesto dresses up this humble soup made with three types of beans — kidney beans, cannellini beans, and chickpeas. It’s a pantry soup recipe if there ever was one. Serve it with a fresh batch of homemade focaccia and dinner is served! 

harira served in a bowl, garnished with cilantro with lemon wedges to the side

Harira (Lentil and Chickpea Soup)

Harira is a classic Moroccan lentil and chickpea soup made with fresh herbs and loads of warm spices. Get ready for delicious leftovers because this vegetarian soup is even better the next day. Serve it with lemon slices and warm pita bread.

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew

This chickpea stew is a hearty vegan stew, loaded with roasted cauliflowers, carrots, tomatoes, and a few warm spices.

Easy Greek Bean Soup (Fasolada) | The Mediterranean Dish. Simple, flavor-packed Greek soup with white beans, celery, Mediterranean spices and aromatics. A satisfying weeknight dinner for a family on a budget! See the recipe on TheMediterraneanDish.com

Fasolada (Greek Bean Soup)

Make Fasolada (Greek Bean Soup) when you want a flavorful and hearty weeknight dinner. Garlic, onions, celery and a generous drizzle of good Greek extra virgin olive oil will put this vegan and gluten-free soup on your weekly healthy bean recipe rotation.  

Vegan chili in a pot with quinoa and jalapenos

Homemade Vegan Quinoa Chili with a Mediterranean Twist

Easy vegan chili with a bold Mediterranean twist! Quinoa, two different types of beans, and chopped vegetables are layered with Mediterranean aromatic flavors, warm spices, fresh herbs, and a splash of citrus. It’s a plant-based protein powerhouse! 

A big bowl of chickpea chili topped with toasted almonds

Tomato and Chickpea Chili (Two Ways)

This slow cooker chili recipe is a favorite in my house and perfect for busy nights when I’m running kids from one place to another. It’s vegan and loaded with tomatoes, sweet corn, onions, peppers, and, of course, chickpeas! 

Greek Vegan Black Eyed Peas Recipe with tomatoes and vegetables

Black Eyed Peas Recipe (Greek Style)

You don’t have to be vegan to love this healthy black-eyed pea recipe. Simple pantry ingredients are dressed up with onions, garlic, and bold Greek spices. A squeeze of citrus and a handful of fresh herbs make this a crowd favorite. 

Bean Dip, Snacks and Appetizer Recipes

Healthy bean recipes don't stop at the main meal. You can turn to canned beans for so many occasions, from filling snacks to party appetizers to please a crowd.

layered hummus dip web story poster image.

Layered Hummus Dip

Move over 7-layer bean dip, this layered hummus dip is great for parties and casual get togethers! I top creamy hummus with a layer of spiced ground beef then finish it off with diced fresh tomatoes, a sprinkle of parsley, and toasted nuts.

roasted chickpeas web story poster image.

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

When you’re in a snacky mood, these crunchy roasted chickpeas will hit the spot. If you like chickpeas with a kick, add a pinch of cayenne after roasting then add them to salads or sprinkle them over hummus.

Roasted Garlic Hummus | The Mediterranean Dish. Smooth and creamy hummus dip with the perfect flavor combination. Sweet. Smoky. And just enough zing. Top it with toasted pine nuts, and feta. The best roasted garlic hummus ever from TheMediterraneanDish.com

Roasted Garlic Hummus

If you like classic homemade hummus, you will love roasted garlic hummus. Roasted garlic adds a subtle caramelized sweetness with a smoky undertone and just a hint of spice. Perfect for scooping up with homemade pita

White bean hummus served in a plate and topped with dukkah and olive oil

Ultra Creamy White Bean Hummus

Most people know hummus is made with chickpeas, but you can make a creamy, luxurious and lemony hummus with white beans too. Scoop it up with your favorite veggies or pita.

Bean Dip with Roasted Acorn Squash | The Mediterranean Dish. A rustic, flavor-packed white bean dip with a Mediterranean twist. I add caramelized shallots, warm Mediterranean spices, and toasted nuts! See the easy recipe on TheMediterraneanDish.com #beandip #whitebeandip #dip #appetizer #partyfood #holidayrecipe #squash #roastedsquash #hummus #mediterraneanrecipe #mediterraneandiet #mediterraneanfood

Mediterranean-Style Bean Dip with Roasted Squash

Roasted acorn squash and a can of white beans are the stars of this rustic bean dip. Caramelized shallots, garlic, and paprika, cumin, coriander and sumac are the flavor boosters.

Beans for Breakfast!

Just like Cucumber Tomato Salad is an essential part of the Mediterranean breakfast, beans certainly have their place in the first meal of the day. They're a great way to start your day with the essential vitamins and nutrients your body needs to function. Plus they're sure to keep you satisfied until lunch, helping to ward off a mid-morning sweet craving. But please don't limit yourself! I love each of these bean recipes for lunch and dinner too.

An overhead photo of white bean shakshuka garnished with dill and parsley in a skillet. Next to this are small bowls of dill and parsley.

White Bean Shakshuka

This twist on classic Shakshuka cannellini beans are simmered in a mildly spicy tomato and pepper sauce. A few poached eggs and fresh herbs round out his vegetarian favorite. Serve it with crusty bread or fresh pita to scoop up all the sauce. Enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Foul Mudammas in cast iron skillet

Ful Mudammas (Egyptian Fava Beans) Recipe

Growing up in Egypt, we ate this for breakfast all the time, but really you can eat it any time of day. Fava beans are smashed with a fork and then seasoned with ground cumin, fresh herbs, and a lemon garlic sauce that adds just the right kick to this healthy bean recipe. Serve it with warm pita.

chickpeas on toast with eggs on top on a dark plate.

Smashed Chickpea Toast

This protein-packed vegetarian meal takes only 10-minutes to put together. Eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Keep it vegan or add sliced boiled eggs on top for extra protein.

Healthy Dinner Recipes

Soups, salads, and dips are just the beginning! Beans have long been a way to "stretch" humble dinners in the Mediterranean, particularly when meat was considered a luxury reserved for a special occasion. From stuffed peppers to creamy pastas, these bean recipes will keep you excited to cook more legumes!

vegetarian stuffed peppers web story poster image.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers With Basil Vinaigrette

These vegetarian stuffed peppers with orzo, tomato, and chickpeas are from my cookbook, The Mediterranean Dish: 120 Bold and Healthy Recipes You'll Make on Repeat. Serve them as a satisfying meatless main or filling side dish. They're a guaranteed crowd-pleaser! 

Close up of chickpea salad sandwich, showing the layers of fresh veggies, olives and more.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich with Fresh Veggies And Herbs

Get ready to take your lunchtime sandwich to the next level with this easy-to-make chickpea salad sandwich. This easy bean recipe turns a humble can of chickpeas into a protein-packed vegan sandwich recipe everyone will love. Dijon Vinaigrette replaces the more traditional mayo used in salad sandwich recipes. Make this sandwich for this lunch or a light dinner.

Falafel served in bowl with a side salad, tahini and pita bread

Easy Authentic Falafel Recipe: Step-By-Step

This is my family’s falafel recipe made with chickpeas, fresh herbs, and spices. Make a batch then tuck them into warm pita sandwiches with tahini sauce or hummus, and a tomato and cucumber salad

Orecchiette pasta in a skillet, topped with arugula. smaller bowls of red pepper flakes and olives to the side

Orecchiette with White Beans, Tomatoes, and Olives

This Mediterranean pasta dish is made with simple pantry staples. White beans add fiber and plant-based protein, making it an extra satisfying weeknight dinner. Tomatoes, garlic, fresh herbs, and Kalamata olives pack in the flavor! 

A bowl of creamy tomato pasta with chickpeas, garnished with parsley. Another bowl to the side

"Date Me" Creamy Tomato Pasta with Chickpeas

Creamy Tomato Pasta with Chickpeas is flavorful, nutritious, and rich! It takes only a few simple pantry staples and is ready in a flash.

Mediterranean Grain Bowls with lentils, zucchini, avocados, tomatoes and topped with feta cheese.

Mediterranean Grain Bowls with Lentils and Chickpeas

Grain bowls come in all shapes and sizes and this one is layered with both lentils and chickpeas, but that’s not all. This healthy bean recipe is also loaded with zucchini, cherry tomatoes, olives, avocado, shallots, and farro. This bowl is a nutritional powerhouse.

smoky chicken with carrots and chickpeas.

Sheet-Pan Smoked Paprika Chicken with Chickpeas and Carrots

Sheet-pan dinners make weeknight meal planning a snap. They are easy to make and easy to clean up. Chicken thighs, chickpeas, carrots and onions are tossed together in a tomato sauce with garlic, citrus and spices then popped into the oven. This comforting is recipe from my cookbook, The Mediterranean Dish: 120 Bold and Healthy Recipes You’ll Make On Repeat

More Recipe Roundups

Browse all Mediterranean recipes.

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Mediterranean Diet Starter Kit

Stock your pantry with the essentials to eat the Mediterranean way, including Greek olive oil, 7 spices, and tahini.

Mediterranean Diet starter kit, with olive oil, spices, and tahini.

*This post has recently been updated with new information for readers’ benefit.

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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  1. Cüneyt Acim says:

    Hepsi mükemmel görünen, okurken tadı hayal edilen tarifler.Çok teşekkürler.

  2. Tracy says:

    I would absolutely love, love, love to have all these bean recipes in a book. I have your book, "The Mediterranean Dish", and would love to have another focused on bean recipes to add to the collection. Please publish a hard copy.

  3. Ladda Drankiewicz says:

    Hi Suzy I have to on low fiber diet for 3-4 weeks, do you think can you give me a recipe the restriction is have to soft and cooked no raw ingredients.

    Ladda Drankiewicz

  4. Beatrice says:

    Hello Susy.
    I loved your recipies, thank you for sharing them .
    I would like to know if you sell the products in australia
    Many thanks

  5. Robin says:

    Do you have gluten free recipes? I realize I can use GF pasta in most recipes that call for pasta.

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Robin! I have quite a few gluten free recipes, and recipes that can be tweaked to be gluten free. I usually this on the recipe's blog post. I'll see what I can do to highlight this better on the blog, though, to make searching for those recipes easier. Thanks for the heads up!

  6. Jacque Hastert says:

    During these crazy times, these recipes are exactly what we need to be thinking about making. Thanks for sharing these delicious and easy recipes.

    1. Suzy says:

      You are very welcome! I hope you enjoy them!

  7. Toni says:

    Packed full of amazing flavors! This would be so hard to resist!

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks, Toni! Enjoy!

  8. Haley D Williams says:

    I have to try all these! Beans are always a great option for me!

    1. Suzy says:

      Hope you enjoy them, Haley!

  9. Carrie Robinson says:

    I want to try them all! Love beans. 🙂

    1. Suzy says:

      Go for it 🙂

  10. katerina @ diethood.com says:

    Such a fantastic round up! I would love to try all of these!!

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks, Katerina!