Four Vegan Meals That Say, ‘Yes, I Stockpiled 25 Pounds of Dry Beans and Need to Use Them Somehow!’

OK, so I maybe got a little salty when people started buying huge quantities of beans over the last month. Don’t get me wrong: I feel grateful that folks are trying to be responsible about how often they go to the store, and I know beans last a long time in both the canned and dried varieties. But I distinctly remember a moment when I reached for the garbanzos for my daily kale salad and found…empty space. “The toilet paper was one thing, but now you’re coming for my lifestyle?”

(I realize this sounds like I don’t use toilet paper. I do. I just thought eating a massive amount of beans was like, my thing.)

Anyway, if you’re now on week six of staying indoors and rapidly running out of ideas for what to do with your legume stash, don’t stress. We’ve got you covered. Take it from me, though—if you’re quarantining with a partner or roommate, you might want to crack a window in there.

Beans in spoons

Hefty Pasta

It’ll keep you full for hours, and the beans add a surprisingly creamy texture.


  • 2-3 cups of rotini or other short pasta
  • 4 quarts of water
  • Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ white onion
  • 1 can (about 1 ½ cups) cannellini beans rinsed and drained, or about ⅔ cup dry beans soaked and cooked
  • 1 zucchini, cut in bite-sized pieces
  • ½ lemon, cut in half for juicing
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Nutritional yeast to taste


  1. Bring water to a boil in a medium-size pot. Add two-three pinches of salt.
  2. Add pasta and boil uncovered for about seven minutes, or until “al dente.”
  3. In a pan, heat olive oil and cook onions for about five minutes, or until translucent.
  4. Add zucchini and stir until tender.
  5. Add cannellini beans and continue stirring. Use a spatula or the flat of a spoon to press about half of the beans, making a kind of paste.
  6. Add a half-cup of pasta water to the pan. Continue stirring. Keep on low heat while you drain the pasta, then add cooked pasta to the pan. Stir until the sauce has your preferred consistency.
  7. Add lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast.

Dinner Like a Toddler

For when even silverware is too overwhelming.


For the hummus:

  • 1 lemon, quartered for juicing
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
  • ¼ tsp. liquid smoke
  • 1 can (about 1 ½ cups) chickpeas rinsed and drained, or about ⅔ cup dry beans soaked and cooked

For the dippin’:

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into three-inch long pieces
  • 1 bowl tortilla chips
  • 3 ribs celery, cut into three-inch pieces
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • Whatever the heck else you like to put in hummus


  1. Juice the lemon into a small bowl.
  2. Peel and mash the garlic. Soak it in the lemon juice for a minute or so.
  3. Add tahini, water, cumin, salt, jalapeno, liquid smoke, garlic, and lemon juice to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add the chickpeas. Puree. Add a little more water here if it’s too thick for your liking. Personally, I like a hummus that can stand up on its own, but you do you.
  5. Serve with your dippin’s.

Shepherd’s Pie

A great way to use up tons of pantry items, with leftovers for days. With inspiration from  Minimalist Baker!


For the filling:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked brown or green lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 10-ounce bag frozen mixed veggies (peas, green beans, carrots, corn)

For the potatoes:

  • 2 ½ pounds russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled or scrubbed
  • 4 Tbsp. vegan butter
  • 1 Tbsp. vegan cream cheese (Tofutti brand works well here)
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. In a large saucepan, sauté onions in olive oil for about five minutes over medium heat.
  2. Turn down the heat, then add garlic and stir for two to three minutes, taking care not to let them burn.
  3. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Then add lentils, stock, and thyme. Stir, bring to a low boil, and reduce heat to simmer. Continue cooking until lentils are tender (about 35-40 minutes).
  4. In the last ten minutes, add frozen vegetables, stir, and cover.
  5. Slice potatoes in half, place in a large pot, and cover with water. Bring to a low boil, salt, and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until they slide off a knife very easily.
  6. Drain potatoes and transfer to a mixing bowl. Use a masher, pastry cutter, or large fork to mash until smooth, adding vegan butter and cream cheese and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. You know how you like your potatoes! But keep in mind they’ll be mixing with the lentils, so they don’t need to be TOO flavorful on their own.
  7. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and lightly grease a 9×13 pan. An 8×8 is fine, but there will be leftovers. (And then you can make bonus pie the next day!)
  8. If your lentils are looking a little soupy, stir in a few spoonfuls of the mashed potatoes.
  9. Transfer lentils to the dish and top carefully with mashed potatoes. Ideally, you’ll have about 2 parts lentils to 1 part mashed potatoes, but more potato is never a bad thing, emotionally.
  10. Place on a baking sheet to catch any overflow and bake for 15-18 minutes.
  11. Let cool briefly before serving. The longer you let it cool, the thicker it will get.

Black Bean Brownies


Give yourself something to look forward to with this simple and protein-heavy treat, adapted from No Meat Athlete.


  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup cocoa
  • 4 tsp. instant coffee powder OR one cup brewed coffee
  • 1 can (about 1 ½ cups) black beans, or ⅔ dry beans soaked and cooked
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup water (if not using brewed coffee)
  • Extra water if needed


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, instant coffee powder, and sugar.
  3. Thoroughly rinse black beans and puree in a blender with one cup water or one cup brewed coffee.
  4. Add the puree to the dry mix along with the vanilla. Stir slowly. Add extra water until the batter has a smooth consistency.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pan around halfway through. When the brownies are finished, they should be firm in the center and the edges will be slightly puffy and starting to pull away from the sides.
  6. Let cool and serve.

Written by: Kat Jercich