Unconventional, gluten-free ways to enjoy beans

Beans are a heart-healthy food full of fiber and protein. They’re also naturally gluten-free! While some people turn their noses up at eating beans on their own (for example, as a side dish with a meal), there are tons of ways you can add this nutritional powerhouse food to a variety of gluten-free meals and snacks. Read on for a few beanlicious recipes the whole family can enjoy!

Pasta made from beans

Looking for a great gluten-free pasta? Look for pasta made from beans! Modern Table, a brand that can be found in your local Target, has made several kinds of gluten-free bean pasta available, such as Confetti (tri-colored rotini and penne made with green and red lentil flour as well as black beans), Mixed Lentil Penne (red and standard-colored penne pasta made from green and red lentil flour), and Lentil Penne (made from green lentil flour).

These pastas aren’t nearly as difficult to cook as some other gluten-free pastas out there. Each bag of Modern Table’s bean pastas serve 5 and are ready in under 10 minutes. They hold up well during cooking, and they’ll fill you up at mealtime! Depending on the type of Modern Table bean pasta you choose to make, each serving will provide you with 3 to 5 grams of fiber and 14 to 15 grams of protein.

Serve these tasty, nutritious pastas as side dishes with your favorite type of chicken, use them to make pasta salads, use them for pasta-based bakes and casseroles, include them instead of “traditional” gluten-free pasta in your homemade macaroni and cheese, or just enjoy them with your favorite gluten-free marinara or alfredo sauce. The possibilities are endless—but all of them are delicious!

Nachos made with bean chips

When you think of beans with nachos, you probably think of corn tortilla chips topped with refried beans, right? But beans can actually serve as the base for your nachos if you use Beanitos bean chips! Beanitos has a wide variety of gluten-free bean chips available. Some are more flavorful and are the perfect snack on their own (like Chipotle BBQ and Nacho Cheese), and the other varieties are a perfect start to a plate of ooey-gooey cheesy nachos!

To make scrumptious nachos, use Beanitos Original Black Bean, Hint of Lime, Restaurant Style, or Simply Pinto Bean chips as your base. Then add the following toppings:

Choose a meat: Shredded beef or pork, or sliced or shredded gluten-free rotisserie chicken

Top with veggies: Chopped peppers, sliced olives, diced tomatoes, chopped onions, shredded lettuce—whatever suits your fancy!

Add some cheese: Whether you’re using plain cheddar or a Mexican-style blend, you can’t go wrong with cheese! If you need a dairy-free cheese, try Daiya’s Cheddar Style Shreds.

Microwave or bake your nachos to desired warmth, and then share and enjoy! (Or don’t share. Keep them all for yourself. I can’t blame you if you do!)

Beanitos bean chips are also a treat to eat with your favorite gluten-free dip or salsa. Rojo’s salsas are a perfect complement to these hearty bean chips. Their homestyle, fresh-cut salsa is tasty and flavorful, and it’s packed with chunky diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, and serrano chilies. Mild and medium varieties are available. Or, if you want a more unique type of salsa, go for one of Rojo’s specialty salsas instead, like Pico de Gallo, Southwest Fire Roasted, and Zesty Garlic.

Include beans in soup recipes

‘Tis the season for hearty, filling fall soups! Because beans are so great at filling you up, they’re always a perfect ingredient for soups. Try these simple gluten-free soup recipes for lunch or a light dinner:

Gluten Free Beefy Bean Soup from Betty Crocker

Creamy Ham and Bean Soup from AllRecipes.com

Tomato and Vegetable White Bean Soup from The Minimalist Baker

And finally, a dessert that includes beans!

This dessert is sneakily nutritious. And it’s so fudgy that your kids won’t even realize there’s healthy stuff in there! These Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies are flourless and, like their name implies, packed with black beans. And even better—they’re super-easy to make!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy beans? Let me know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: A few of the products mentioned in this article were provided to me for review purposes. Under no circumstances has this affected the integrity of the article. If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t cover it here. See my personal disclaimer for more details.

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