Dinner Plans: Black Beans

Make 3 Delicious Meals From 1 Batch of Black Beans

black bean soup with sour cream
Tina Rupp Collection: Dorling Kindersley

What’s for dinner? That’s always the question on a busy weeknight, isn't it? The trick is how to get interesting, delicious meals on the table for your family. Second Servings is a realistic plan to put in a few hours of work (planning, shopping, and prepping) and get a big head start on your week.


Easy Ground Beef and Pinto Bean Chili Recipe

Game Plan

Prep Time: 2 hours

  1. Make a double batch of vegetarian black beans (about 10 servings) and serve the first portion on rice with grilled salmon
  2. Divide the remainder into two portions, store in the refrigerator, and use to make two more dinners—black bean burgers and turkey chili—to pair with sides and serve for dinners or pack up for lunches. There will be enough left over for a batch of make-ahead bean and cheese breakfast quesadillas. Bonus points!
  3. Organize ingredients for dinners 2 and 3, plus the make-ahead quesadillas.
  4. Rinse, prep, and cut the produce for the rest of the meals if you have time.

Prep Day

This is a dish that's easy to make, nutritionally complete, universally loved and easy to accent with your favorite flavors: vegetarian black beans and rice. Round it out with simple grilled salmon and homemade or prepared salsa.

Black beans and rice with veggies
artedetimo / Getty Images

Prep Day Tips

  • Make two batches of black beans (about 10 servings).
  • If using dry beans instead of canned, make sure to rinse them well and pick through them first to find any small stones.
  • Divide the double batch between four sealable containers. Use one for prep day dinner, label the other 3, and store in the refrigerator.
  • Organize ingredients for meals 2 and 3. Prep the black bean burgers. Rinse herbs. Pare and cut vegetables for turkey chili.

Dinner Two

Make this vegetarian-friendly black bean burger recipe with some of your reserved black beans. It takes about a half hour to mash the bean mixture and shape the patties. Let the kids help.

Vegan Black Bean Burger
The Spruce

Black Bean Burger Prep Tips

  • Replace the 14-ounce can of black beans with 1 1/2 cups of cooked black beans.
  • Drain the cooked beans very well in a colander to ensure the patties are not too mushy to hold their shape.
  • Make sure the rest of the ingredients are dry as well — too much moisture will make it difficult to form burgers.
  • Serving suggestion: Serve on sesame buns with all your favorite classic burger fixings. You won't even notice the meat's not there!

Dinner Three

Your homemade black beans are the secret ingredient for this filling and scrumptious turkey black bean chili. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice for a perfectly balanced bowl.

black bean chili on fry bread
 Diana Rattray

Turkey Chili Tips

  • Make this recipe using ground turkey instead of beef for a low-fat, high-protein meal.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of cooked black beans instead of a 14-ounce can.
  • Make this entire dish on prep day and freeze into dinner or lunch portions.
  • Load into burger buns for a quick, tasty play on a Sloppy Joe.

Bonus Breakfast

Savory, protein-packed black beans, shredded cheese, and your favorite kind of tortillas are all you need for make-ahead freezer quesadillas that reheat perfectly in the toaster oven for a nutritious start to your busy morning.

 The Spruce Eats

Essential Info

Did you make this dinner plan? We want to hear about it. Send your comments.