Bean recipes are a big part of the Mediterranean diet and for good reason. Not only are they tasty, but beans are also versatile, budget-friendly and loaded with health benefits like fiber, protein, folate, zinc and more. Add beans to soups and stews, salads and pastas, whip them up for creamy dips and appetizers.

bean recipe roundup graphic featuring white bean salad, minestrone, layered hummus dip and chickpea salad.

I wanted to share my favorite bean recipes for any night of the week because bean recipes are so EASY! And who doesn’t need dinner to be a little easier every now and then? Healthy bean recipes come together quickly and are great to use for a weeknight main, a party appetizer, or a simple side dish

I keep all sorts of dried and canned beans in my Mediterranean pantry. A quick scan of the shelves reveals black beans, red kidney beans, black eyed peas, and, of course, chickpeas

It takes minutes to transform canned beans into a hearty stew, use them to add protein to a big salad, serve them as a side to my favorite chicken recipe, or feed a friend a flavorful vegan dinner.

In addition to being healthy, beans are an affordable way to add protein and fiber to your diet without breaking the bank. Obviously, canned beans are the easiest and quickest way to get dinner on the table, but a little planning makes dried beans a great option too.  

Table of Contents
  1. Dried vs. Canned Beans
  2. Healthy Bean Salad Recipes 
  3. Bean Soup, Stew and Chili Recipes for Busy Weeknights
  4. Bean Dip, Snacks, Sides, and Appetizer Recipes
  5. Beans for Breakfast
  6. Beans for Dinner
  7. The Mediterranean Dish Cookbook
  8. 35 Best Bean Recipes: Vegetarian Minestrone Soup Recipe

Dried vs. Canned Beans

Most of the recipes listed here use canned beans, but if you regularly cook dried beans you can use those instead. Here’s a quick guide to help you substitute cooked dried beans for canned beans in any of these recipes.

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).

Healthy Bean Salad Recipes 

Mediterranean Three 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 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

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

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

Mediterranean chickpea salad with a side of eggplant and pita

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!

White Bean Salad with chopped vegetables and fresh herbs

Balela Salad Recipe

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. 

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

Kidney Bean Salad

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.

Kidney bean salad with cucumber, tomato, onion, cilantro and Dijon vinaigrette

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! 

Mediterranean Chickpea Egg Salad

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! 

Mediterranean black eyed pea salad

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!

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

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.

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

Bean Soup, Stew and Chili Recipes for Busy Weeknights

Minestrone

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. 

Minestrone soup in a large pot with herbs and vegetables.

White Bean and Kale Soup with Chicken 

This is the soup to make when you’re short on time! All you need is 30 minutes, some chicken, kale and a can of white beans. Make a pot and feed a crowd.

White Bean and Kale Soup served in bowl

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! 

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

Harira (Moroccan 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.

chickpea stew with cauliflower and carrots, served in dinner bowls

Fasolada: Greek White 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 rotation.  

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

Vegan Quinoa Chili 

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! 

Dinner bowl of vegan chili held in two hands as it's placed on table. Topping the bowl of chili are some beans, fresh herbs and sliced jalapeno.

Tomato and Chickpea Chili 

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! 

A big bowl of chickpea chili topped with toasted almonds

Greek-Style Black Eyed Peas

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. 

Greek Vegan Black Eyed Peas Recipe with tomatoes and vegetables

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. 

Ribollita in serving bowls with a side of crushed red pepper flakes

Bean Dip, Snacks, Sides, and Appetizer Recipes

Layered Hummus

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.

Hummus dip layered with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, parsley, and pine nuts

Crunchy 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.

Crunchy roasted chickpeas seasoned with za'atar and harissa

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

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

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

garlic parmesan white beans with cherry tomatoes in a pot

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.

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

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. 

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

Beans for Breakfast

Foul Mudammas

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 then seasoned with ground cumin, fresh herbs, and a lemon garlic sauce that adds just the right kick. Serve it with warm pita.

Foul Mudammas in cast iron skillet

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.

smashed chickpea topping on a slice of toast, topped with slices of boiled egg.

Beans for Dinner

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! 

roasted vegetarian stuffed peppers on a large serving dish with a sprinkle of feta cheese.

Broccoli Pasta with White Beans

Simple broccoli pasta with hearty white beans, tossed in a light olive oil sauce with garlic, onions, and oregano. A good handful of fresh parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese finish this light and flavorful pasta dinner.

bean and broccoli pasta garnished with parsley and parmesan cheese

Easy and Authentic Falafel Recipe

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

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

Chickpea Farro Bowls 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! 

Bowl of Mediterranean Chickpea and Farro Salad

Orecchiette with White Beans, Tomato 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! 

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

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.

Two bowls of creamy tomato pasta with chickpeas in pink tomato sauce with parsley garnish

Mediterranean Grain Bowls with Chickpeas and Lentils 

Grain bowls come in all shapes and sizes and this one is layered with both lentils and chickpeas, but that’s not all. Zucchini, cherry tomatoes, olives, avocado, shallots and farro round out this nutritional powerhouse.

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

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

sheet pan chicken recipe with vegetables.

The Mediterranean Dish Cookbook

The Mediterranean Dish Cookbook: 120 Bold and Healthy Recipes You'll Make on Repeat. In her book, Suzy brings cross-culturally inspired dishes from throughout the Mediterranean to you, using easy-to-find ingredients and easy-to-follow, to make your meals more vibrant, delicious, and yes — even a little healthier, too!

3D picture of cookbook
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35 Best Bean Recipes: Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

Suzy Karadsheh
Minestrone soup in a pot with herbs and vegetables.
Hearty vegetarian minestrone soup is an Italian speciality. Brimming with vegetables, kidney beans, and pasta, it's a great soup to use up what you have on hand. The thick, flavorful tomato broth is scented with rosemary, lots of fresh herbs, and Parmesan! One bowl will never be enough!
Prep – 10 mins
Cook – 35 mins
Cuisine:
Italian
Serves – 6 people (up to)
Course:
Soup

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 zucchini or yellow squash, diced
  • 1 cup green beans, fresh or frozen, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces, if needed
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 15- oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 6 cups broth, vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1- inch Parmesan cheese rind, optional
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 (15- oz) can kidney beans
  • Large handful chopped parsley
  • Handful fresh basil leaves
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)
  • 2 cups cooked ditalini or elbow pasta

Instructions
 

  • In a large Dutch oven, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add onions, carrots and celery. Raise heat to medium-high and cook stirring regularly, until the veggies soften a bit (about 5 minutes or so). Add the garlic and cook another minute, tossing regularly.
  • Add the zucchini or yellow squash and green beans. Season with paprika, rosemary, and a generous pinch of kosher salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
  • Now add the crushed tomatoes, broth, fresh thyme, bay leaf and Parmesan rind (if using.)  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and partially cover the pot. Let simmer for about 20 minutes or so.
  • Uncover the pot and add the kidney beans. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Finally, Stir in the parsley and fresh basil. And, if serving immediately, stir in the cooked pasta and simmer just until the pasta is warmed through; do not overcook. (See Cook's Tip #2)
  • Remove the cheese rind and bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Serve the minestrone hot with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Video

Notes

  • Pasta reminder: Cook the pasta before adding it to the soup.Simply follow package instructions for al dente pasta. You will start with 1 cup of dry pasta, which will yield 2 cups cooked pasta.
  • Make it your own: Minestrone is meant to be adapted, so feel free to make this recipe your own by using what vegetables and beans you have on hand. Adding a handful of spinach or diced potatoes is common. You can use white beans instead of kidney beans, or use a combination of both.  If you're looking for a low-carb option, feel free to omit the pasta. And if you need something meaty, add cooked  ground turkey or even leftover rotisserie chicken. You can add that early on, once you've cooked the onions, carrots, and celery.
  • Make-ahead tip: If you are not serving this minestrone soup immediately, do not add the cooked pasta to the pot until you are ready to serve. This will give you best results and will prevent the pasta from soaking up too much of the broth and getting too mushy.
  • For meal prep: Related to the note above, if you plan to make minestrone to use for lunch over several days, definitely keep the cooked pasta out. You can just add a small portion of the pasta directly to your bowl, and then add an appropriate portion of hot minestrone on top.
  • Recommended for this recipe: From our all-natural and organic spice collections, sweet paprika. And be sure to see our selection of extra virgin olive oils including Nocellara extra virgin olive oil.
  • Visit Our Shop for quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oilsspicesand grains.

Nutrition

Calories: 211.9kcalCarbohydrates: 26.7gProtein: 6.8gSaturated Fat: 1.5gCholesterol: 0.7mgPotassium: 650.6mgFiber: 7.4gVitamin A: 4456.4IUVitamin C: 19.4mgCalcium: 83.3mgIron: 2.6mg
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*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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Comments

  1. This is the type of resource I hoped to find! I really want to try to use a lot of my pantry items. So many great dishes!

  2. Beans have become somewhat of a staple in our home recently, so I am so thankful I saw your post! Adding these to my dinner line up for the week, indeed!

  3. I love cooking recipes with beans. One of my own favorite recipes is to heat a can of baked beans in a saucepan, then add a small chopped onion lightly fried plus a handful of chopped, fresh spinage. Serve on toast, and sprinkle a few drops of Tabasco or worcester sauce on top. Fantastic!

  4. Not only do I enjoy your recipes I also appreciate the tips and nutrition info. Thanks for the conversion measurements for the dried and canned beans. Very helpful.
    Stay healthy!

  5. This is a very timely post - thanks so much. I cook beans frequently, usually from dried, as we don't have such a large variety of canned beans in Greece. These are mainly kidney beans, gigantes (sort of like large Lima beans), and sometimes foul. I will be making several of these recipes these days. The secret is in soaking the dry beans overnight.

    By the way, I have pretty much solved my printing problems - I have switched to Opera browser. After pressing "Print" a print preview page comes up. It is usually easy to edit, sometimes by just printing 2 pages instead of 3.

    1. Thanks, Betty! So glad you were able to find a solution to your printing issues! I hope you find some recipes in the round-up that you really like!

  6. Well now that I'm at home with hungry kids and teenagers - you've given me meals to cook for the next weeks. Thank you for these excellent selections. I always love your recipes everything turns out just as promised. And easy to follow! Thank you - and stay healthy and safe at this time!!

  7. Thank you for sharing all these!! I have stocked up on plenty of beans..so, I know what I'll be making a lot of!

  8. How can I get the respites for all your soups and stews. Do you have them in book we purchase. I get them on my I Pad but do not have a way to print them . Can you please mail them to me and let me know the cost.
    I am 85 years old and love soups and stews. I have purchased your olive oil , spices and Refresh cook book.
    Please help me

    1. Hi Winona! Thank you so much for your kind note. I will be working on a cookbook in the near future, for the time being, there is a print button on each recipe card that allows you to print so you have a hard copy. Do you see that option on your end?

  9. Thanks for all the great bean recipes; aside from being a good source of protein and fiber, they are inexpensive and taste so good. I have 2 crockpots. - 6 qt and a dual 1.5 quart that can be used individually or as 3 qt. I live alone and I can either cook and make portion-sized meals to put in the freezer for days I don't want to cook or don't have time. The dual 1.5 crockpot is handy when I want to try out recipes but don't want to make a lot of whatever I'm trying out, among other things..

    I love Mediterranean food. It was recommended years ago by Dr. Gourmet (Dr. Timothy S. Harlan) on the internet as I am on Coumadin for life. His website is full of recipes for not only people on blood thinners but also have acid reflux, and other diet concerns. The Mediterranean diet is not only healthy, it is delicious. There are certain foods I am not allowed to eat but the Mediterranean diet is easy to adjust by omitting one thing and adding something else.

    Thank you for sharing your recipes and tips.

    1. You are very welcome! Yes, the Mediterranean Diet has sooooo many benefits! Sounds like you are becoming a pro :).