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11 Must-Try Legume Recipes, Including a Vegan Crunchwrap Supreme

Wondering how to use up those cans of beans in your pantry? Try some of these recipes to step up your plant-based protein game.

Written by
Asha Swann
Published
November 25, 2021

Legumes are so underrated. The legume family is made up of beans, peas, lentils, soybeans, peanuts, and more—a group that's packed with protein, fiber, as well as plenty of important nutrients. According to a past study, legumes are also important for the planet and could even benefit agricultural systems.

You'll find legumes in all sorts of dishes, and integrative medicine physician Irina Todorov, MD, says they're worthy of eating on a regular basis. (Psst—they also have a lower environmental footprint than animal protein like beef.)

"Legumes, also known as pulses, are a food group that consists of beans, lentils, and garbanzo beans," Dr. Todorov tells the Cleveland Clinic. "They help you maintain good health because they’re packed with plant-based protein and fiber and can lower your blood sugar and cholesterol."

If you want to add more legumes into your meals, look no further—we rounded up some easy and delicious legume recipes to try. Here are some of our favorites.

11 Delicious Legume Recipes to Try

Have you tried adzuki beans? They're small red beans similar to kidney beans, but they're easier to crush and mold, making them the perfect option for plant-based meatballs.

If you're a fan of granola bars, making them instead of buying them is a great way to save money. The secret protein-packed ingredient in this recipe is lentils.

Skillet meals are really convenient for anyone who meal preps because the dish will last for days. If you want to enjoy it as an appetizer, add some tortilla chips and cheese and turn it into a plate of nachos.

Cannelli beans, also known as navy beans, are the stars of this dish. It's quick to make and freezes really well. You can also add in extra veggies to make the soup even more filling.

Bean curries are often made with chickpeas, but this one mixes things up with black-eyed peas. It's packed full of flavor, making it a delicious meal you can enjoy all week long.

If you're looking to make a vegan swap on a meaty classic, try this lentil "meatloaf." The recipe calls for your choice of walnuts or pecans, then combines it with lentils, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes to give it a meaty texture.

Loaded with smoked tofu and black beans, this soup is equally filling and delicious. (Pro tip: It's also perfect for dipping crispy taquitos into!)

Tempeh, which is made from soybeans, is another great vegan protein option. Paired with a peanut-y sauce and added to skewers, it's a healthy dish you'll want to eat on the regular.

Meet savory pancakes. This Korean version—which is spicy, crispy perfection—is made with mung beans. The recipe is also super versatile: it can be made vegan, and you can add any of your favorite veggies into the batter.

Peanut stews are common in West African countries, though each region will have a different variation. This Gambian stew calls for white beans and peanuts. Eat it as-is, or serve it with your favorite grain.

Love Taco Bell? Make an eco-friendly version at home with black beans, roasted veggies, and dairy-free cashew queso. It's just like the fast-food version... but better.