Sunday, September 27, 2020

Meals to Make with Dried Beans

Both of my parent's families came from Kentucky and although I grew up in Illinois, my language and cooking definitely has southern roots due to my heritage. Dried beans were always a part of that heritage and continues to be true to this day. 

Dried Beans 

Dried  beans are one of the most economical dishes you can feed to your family and they taste great when prepared properly. A one pound bag of beans generally costs anywhere from $1.00 to $1.50 and sometimes up to $3.00 a pound for some specialty beans. 

You may think there isn't much savings when buying a bag of dried beans verses canned beans, but there are savings to be had not to mention the added flavor of home cooked beans. 

A one pound bag of dried beans will cook up to make the equivalent of around three 15 ounce cans of already cooked beans, so when buying dried beans over canned beans you will be saving money. 

I make all kinds of dried beans in my frugal kitchen. Great northern beans, lovingly referred to as soup beans, pinto beans, cranberry beans, lima beans, yellow and black eyed peas, 15 beans, navy beans, yellow and green split peas, and lentils. 

If you need directions on how to cook beans from dried, you can find that information here

We can make a meal out of just beans, although cornbread is good to go with them if you have those ingredients on hand. Other meals you can make with beans include...

Ham & Beans


Chili Tacos

Bean & Cheese Burritos

Mock Tuna Salad

Bean Tacos

Hurst Pizza Beans

Barbara G's Homemade Beanie Weenies

Bean & Cheese Enchiladas

Vegetarian Red Beans & Rice

Refried Beans

Amy Dacyczyn, writer of The Tightwad Gazette, stated that beans should be considered a staple of the tightwad diet and are nearly always cheaper than meat.

Amy's recipe for Maine Baked Beans was printed in the first TWG book. 

Amy's Maine Baked Beans

2 pounds dried beans (4 cups)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 medium onion
1/2 pound bacon or pork salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup molasses
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt

Soak the beans overnight in cold water. In the morning pout off the soaking water and parboil the beans with baking soda in fresh water until the skins crack when blown upon. Cut the onion in quarters ad put in the bottom of a bean pot or large casserole. Add parboiled beans. Put cut up bacon or salt pork on top of the beans. Mix brown sugar, molasses, dry mustard, and salt, with a pint of water. If necessary add more boiling water while baking. Bake at 300 degrees for 6 hours or more. 

Homemade baked beans are less expensive than store bought baked beans. And if you regularly cook from scratch, you'll probably already have these ingredients in your panty, so no need to make a special trip to the store for ingredients. If you don't have molasses on hand you can substitute dark corn syrup. 

Do you cook with dried beans in your home? If so, what kinds of beans do you serve? Do you have any recipes to share with us? We would love to hear all about it in the comment section. 

~ Living within our Means ~
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  1. Beans are a great meat substitute and a good source of protein too. Dried beats canned any day in flavor and cost. Great recipes!

    1. Yes, I think dried beans are better than canned beans I usually rinse canned beans to get all the juices off of them

  2. I love beans - so versatile and cheap. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. We ate beans in a bowl with dinner and never had any kind of beans in any kinds of soups. I never knew what soup beans were. We ate lots of Great Northern Beans but I never knew there were "soup beans."

    The only thing on your list that I have ever made or will ever make is refried beans. I did use GNBs to make hummus because I hate garbanzo beans. My friend who learned to make hummus from her Jordanian fil, said the GNBs tasted right.

    I love navy beans, too. But, kidney and red beans make me sick, so I wonder if it is an allergy.

    One of my favorite meals is blackeyed peas and brown rice. YUM!

  4. Black Eyed peas and rice sounds delicious. A bowl of beans over rice is very filling too.

    1. I mix the beans and rice in the pot. I cook the beans and use the rice to cook and absorb most of the liquid.

  5. I'm a lover of dried beans, all shapes and kinds..
    Thank you for sharing your recipes, they all sound delicious :)

  6. I do cook dried beans, but not weekly. In the summers we prefer fresh ones and I freeze a lot of fresh beans and peasfor the winter.
    I cook dried chickpeas for hummus and falafel , dried black eyed peas just to eat, dried pinto for chili, dried butterbeans for turnip green soup, and dried blackens that I cook the freeze in portions to use in a myriad of Latin dishes.

    1. Merry, you sound like an expert! Maybe you could share some of your recipes with us sometime?

  7. My daughter does all her beans from dry, but I admit I rarly do except for bean soup. I must give it a better go as she has some of the best began items.

    1. They are really easy to cook from dry once you get into the habit.

  8. I love chili in the fall and winter, and your other recipes sound so good.
    I wonder if you could make Amy's beans in the Crock-Pot instead of the oven for 6 hours.
    I like taco soup with black beans and that 15 bean soup is so good. Sometimes I just want pinto beans and cornbread although I put sugar in my cornbread which my mom thought was awful. ;)

    1. I’m sure you can make her baked beans in the crockpot, Kathy. My Mom was always trying to make good meatloaf and she put sugar in it one time, which she tried to hide from me. LOL I love a good bowl of hot chili, that is a good food for fall. I’m ready for that and good soup too.

  9. This sounds like a great recipe. Thanks!


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