Our Readers Share Their Favorite Recipes from Joe Yonan’s “Cool Beans”

updated Sep 30, 2020
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Credit: Ariel Knutson

This month, thanks to Kitchn’s Cookbook Club, I finally put my dried bean stash to use with the help of Joe Yonan’s Cool Beans. I already know that beans are affordable and nutritious, but what September taught me was just how versatile they all are. It’s not just chilis, salads, and tacos! And it’s not just chickpeas and black beans! I have so much more to explore.

So, if you’re just diving into Cool Beans or are looking for more recipes to try, I rounded up a few of the clear favorites from our Cookbook Club Facebook group to help you out. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it’s a great place to start.

Buy the book: Cool Beans by Joe Yonan, $28

Lalo’s Cacahuete Beans

This was definitely the most popular recipe that people made this month. A few people (myself included) weren’t able to find cranberry beans, so had to substitute with other varieties. Regardless, everyone said it was a great success! “The pico de gallo was a perfect complement, definitely made the dish,” said Mallory H.

Texas-Style Bowl O’ Red Beans

“This was fun to eat and to make — I loved the broth technique and the bean mashing, did not know you could do that and it made the texture perfect,” said Danille J. A bunch of readers also stressed that the toppings make this recipe, so don’t skimp on ’em!

Credit: Aubrie Pick
Garlicky Great Northern Beans and Broccoli Rabe over Toast

Garlicky Great Northern Beans and Broccoli Rabe over Toast

Danille J said she tried the recipes two ways: “First night dinner on its own as a soup because that broth … yum! Second night it thickened up so served as Buddha Bowl component with farmers market veggies.”

Peruvian Beans and Rice (Tacu Tacu)

“The flip was nerve-wracking, but it was worth it! The crust is delicious. Definitely a hit with the family,” Liz M said. Melissa H agreed and said that it was “a great weeknight/meatless Monday win!”

Cuban-Style Orange-Scented Black Beans

“This is absolutely outstanding,” Trisha H declared. Julie W added that it’s “really good and easy to make from dried [beans] in the Instant Pot.”

Kidney Bean and Mushroom Bourguignon

A handful of people made and loved this recipe in September. Popular things to serve it over included grits, mashed potatoes, and cauliflower rice. “Subbing beans for the beef in the traditional dish made this lighter and even creamier; for me it was always about the mushrooms and red-wine sauce anyway,” Diane J said.

Credit: Aubrie Pick
Homesteader’s New England Baked Beans

Homesteader’s New England Baked Beans

“I loved the maple syrup addition instead of sugar. Did the first cook in the Instant Pot for 30 minutes, and then into the oven for eight hours. The house smelled wonderful all day. Can’t wait for some cold rainy nights to make this again,” Laura M said.

Falafel Fattoush 

This recipe is pretty versatile and a couple of our readers played around with making it their own. “It was delicious, loved the dressing. I didn’t add the pitas, though, nor the sumac nor the sour pickle spears,” Nuria C said. Danielle O also chimed in and said that “the chickpeas are so good. I would definitely make this again, but maybe with a different dressing (just not the biggest fan of tahini-based dressing).”

Kidney Bean and Poblano Tacos

Katie J said that this recipe is a “super fast yet flavorful weeknight dinner,” and that she’d definitely make this again.

Paella with Chickpeas, Green Beans, and Shishito Peppers

Leslie J and her daughter Katie did a cook-along with this recipe on Facetime. “Katie thought that next time it might benefit from a little pinch of aleppo or crushed red pepper and some salt on the shishitos in the initial step. Hers had a nice crispy bottom but mine didn’t, unfortunately, maybe because she used a cast iron pan. Overall a definite keeper!”

What was your favorite recipe from Cool Beans? Let us know in the comments.