38 recipes for beans and lentils for superfood meals

beans photo
CC BY-SA 2.0 Neil Palmer (CIAT)

Our Superfood Recipes Series gathers up great recipes for the most amazing superfoods, inspiring you to add these healthy ingredients to any meal.

Different varieties of beans and lentils have different variations of nutritional value and benefits. But there are some things all these hundreds -- even thousands -- of varieties of legume share in common. They are a superfood!

Beans and lentils are high in protein, so they're filing without piling on the fat and calories. Combine these legumes with a whole grain and you have a complete protein, making them an essential menu item for vegetarians and vegans. They are high in fiber, which lowers cholesterol, and they're high in complex carbohydrates which helps maintain steady blood sugar and stave off food cravings. Their nutritional make up helps stave off heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.

Beans and lentils can also provide you with some of the cheapest health food you'll ever find. Always affordable, these protein-packed legumes are a must for meals. Here are 38 recipes to inspire you to cook them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert. Yes, you can even make outstanding desserts that pack a healthy punch!

Breakfast and Baked Goodies:

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Simple and easy navy bean bread
Recipe: TreeHugger

Apples ‘n Spice Breakfast Lentils
Recipe: Go Dairy Free

Red Lentil Breakfast Pudding
Recipe: Plant Matters

Fragrant Breakfast Lentil Bowl with Apples, Golden Raisins and Indian Spices
Recipe: Gypsy Roller's Veggie Kitchen

Vegan Lentil, Pumpkin and Coconut Breakfast Bars
Recipe: Epicurious

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Spiced lentils with arugula and fried eggs
Recipe: TreeHugger

Breakfast Quinoa and Adzuki Beans
Recipe: Silly Little Vegan

Maple Lentil “Breakfast Sausage”
Recipe: Organic Alex

Black Bean Breakfast Burritos
Recipe: Good Life Eats

Red Lentil Breakfast Pancakes
Recipe: Yummy Funny

Red Lentil Porridge
Recipe: Big City Vegan

Bean and Rice Breakfast Bowls with a Spicy Avocado Sauce
Recipe: Nourishing Meals

Salads and Snacks:

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Bean Salad with roasted potatoes, asparagus and pesto
Recipe: TreeHugger

Bean Salad with Walnuts and Cilantro
Recipe: TreeHugger

Lentil salad with roasted vegetables and lemon-rosemary vinaigrette
Recipe: TreeHugger

Curried wild rice, lentil and orzo salad with caramelized onions and toasted almonds
Recipe: TreeHugger

Simple and creamy white bean dip with lemon zest
Recipe: TreeHugger

Easy white bean dip with sun-dried tomatoes
Recipe: TreeHugger

Soups, Stews and Casseroles:

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Tuscan white bean soup
Recipe: TreeHugger

The "anything goes" savory tomato and bean stew
Recipe: TreeHugger

Black bean chipotle chili with zucchini lime fritters
Recipe: TreeHugger

Pinto bean mole chili with orange zest
Recipe: TreeHugger

Mushroom and white bean soup
Recipe: TreeHugger

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Baked white beans with caramelized onions
Recipe: TreeHugger

Tunisian tagine with a cinnamon bread topping
Recipe: TreeHugger

Green lentil and swiss chard stew
Recipe: TreeHugger

Hearty lentil soup with tomatoes
Recipe: TreeHugger

Mushroom lentil bourguignon
Recipe: TreeHugger

Spinach lentil ragout over pasta
Recipe: TreeHugger

Dessert:

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Cocoa and Black Bean Brownies with Raspberry Sauce
Recipe: TreeHugger

Kidney Bean Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe: Lovely Greens

Healthy Chocolate Chip Blondies with Beans
Recipe: Chocolate Covered Katie

Garbanzo Bean Brownies
Recipe: Honest Cooking

Pinto Bean Fudge
Recipe: Good Muse

Oatmeal (And Bean!) Raisin Cookies
Recipe: Food.com

Chocolate Chickpea Spread
Recipe: Bittersweet Blog

Chocolate Black Bean Cookies
Recipe: My Happy Dessert

Silky Smooth Bean Fudge
Recipe: Whole New Mom

Tags: Cooking | Fruits & Vegetables | Recipes | Vegan | Vegetarian | Weekday Vegetarian

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