9 Ways to Turn a Pot of Beans into Lunch for the Week

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(Image credit: Brie Passano)

I encourage you to add make a pot of beans to your list of things to do this weekend — it will most definitely save each and every lunch throughout the coming week. Plop a pot of beans on the stove while you go about your Saturday or Sunday, and let them lazily simmer until they’re soft and creamy. Then tuck the whole pot in your fridge and reach for it throughout the week for hearty, satisfying lunches. Here are 10 ideas to inspire you.

How to Cook Up a Pot of Beans

Cooking dried beans may take a little time, but it’s ridiculously simple to do. The taste of beans cooked this way always trumps the canned stuff, so it’s worth the time, most of which isn’t hands-on anyway.

Our Favorite Ways to Cook Beans

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(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

1. Toss together a bean salad.

Combine beans with some raw or roasted veggies and a simple vinaigrette and you’ve got a salad that will hold up all week in the fridge.

2. Make faux tuna.

If you simmered up a big pot of chickpeas, use some to make a vegetarian twist on tuna salad that even meat-eaters will enjoy.

3. Boost your avocado toast.

Sure, avocado toast makes a great lunch, but it all too often lacks the protein needed to keep you full until dinnertime. Pile a handful of beans on top to solve that problem.

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

4. Whirl up hummus.

Yes, hummus can be lunch if you accompany it with fluffy pita and plenty of raw veggies for dipping. Top it with a sliced hard- or soft-boiled egg or additional whole cooked beans to make it even more filling.

5. Bulk up some boxed soup.

A box of creamy soup, like tomato or butternut squash, is a quick, convenient lunch when time is short. Unfortunately, it’s not usually too hearty. Add beans to it while you’re heating it up, mashing some with a fork, to thicken it and make it more satisfying.

6. Turn them into a crispy topping for salad.

When you start to get bored of beans’ creaminess, throw them in a pan with a little oil and spices to get their outsides extra crispy. Toss them with wilted greens or simply serve over a salad for little bean croutons.

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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

7. Make bean fritters.

Bean fritters are a great way to boost your veggie intake at lunch without subjecting yourself to a salad day in and day out.

8. Make bean burgers.

Similar to fritters, bean burgers also satisfy the veggie and protein quota for lunch. Just don’t forget the bun and your favorite condiments.

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

9. Roll up a burrito.

Black beans are classic, but that’s not to say any kind of bean you cooked wouldn’t be great stuffed and rolled up into a burrito.

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