Light Vegetarian Dinner Recipes Made with Beans, Chickpeas, or Lentils

Legumes such as beans (think: cannellini, kidney, navy, or black) and lentils are heart-healthy forms of protein and are packed with folate, antioxidants, and fiber. If you want to incorporate more beans and lentils into your diet, you’re in luck. Here, we’re sharing 30 recipes that transform beans, chickpeas, lentils, and other legumes into light vegetarian dinners that you can make any day of the week.

You’ll love our recipe for Grilled Vegetables and White-Bean Fattoush—the colorful spread of cannellini beans, bell peppers, escarole, red onions, crumbled feta, and pita chips that you see right here comes together in less than an hour. It’s a hearty salad that you can absolutely serve as a main course salad. We also have several soup recipes in this collection that will soothe your soul and satisfy your appetite. Some come together in under an hour, but others cook at a low heat for a long period of time in a crock pot, slowly marrying the flavors of the legumes, vegetables, and herbs together. No matter which path you choose, we guarantee you’ll scoop up every last drop.

The beauty of beans is that they’re so versatile. You can cook them and serve them with rice or crusty bread, sprinkled over a salad, or tucked into pitas. We have a simple recipe that will teach you how to cook dried black beans in a flash and another recipe that features a preparation to upgrade a can of beans. Whichever method you decide to take or recipe you choose to whip up, you’re guaranteed a delicious vegetarian dinner when you make legumes the star of the meal.

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