“Why beans in a stockpile?” new prepper asks at a gathering. After a few withering looks from the assembled bunch, someone deigns to answer.
“Well, it’s like this,” says the old-timer, counting off on his fingers:
2. They don’t cost a lot
3. They are high in protein
4. They are low in fat.”
Now he’s used up all his fingers and leans back eyeing the newcomer.
“5. And they last ten years,” he says triumphantly tapping his thumb.
The discussion then turns to which type of beans are best for a stockpile. It seems that the top beans to store are soy beans, lima, mung, pinto, black beans, kidney and garbanzo beans.
There’s a bit of argument with certain individuals pushing their favorites, but it turns out that although the old timer said you could keep beans for ten years they actually lose nutritional value the longer they are stored.
It seems they can last, and you can eat them, but you would be losing the majority of the vitamins after around 5 years, and they are at their best eaten between 2 to 3 years after storing. Old timer isn’t worried by this information.
Says he’s stored beans for ten years and he is still around, so what are the rest of them worrying about, because he’s heard of them being stored for 30 years?
At this point, the screen door opens and some ladies emerge carrying various casseroles and dishes containing – you guessed it – beans. The aroma is amazing, bacon, chicken, venison, steak, cheese, garlic, oregano…
Here is a round-up of beans recipes to please carnivores, vegetarians and vegans. What they have in common is that they use ingredients readily available in your stockpile, herbs you can easily grow, and vegetables that can be pulled from the veggie patch, whether that patch is on your farm, in your backyard, or is made up of some pots on the balcony.
Table of Contents
Requiring either fresh, frozen or canned corn kernels, teamed with a can of pinto beans, this is an easy and nutritious salad to prepare when there is no electricity.
The added flavor and color comes from chopped red onion, tomato, a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and a splash of vinaigrette or olive oil. This can either be a main course or served as a side salad.
The recipe calls for avocado which would make a delicious finish to the dish but it not absolutely essential in difficult situations.
All you need to create this saucy salad is a can of pinto beans, fresh corn kernels ( a can will do if you don’t have fresh), avocado, tomato, a bell pepper, lime, cilantro, garlic and chili.
Just twenty minutes and you can have this placed on the table ready to accompany a meat or a fresh-caught fish dish. It can even be served alone just with some toasty sourdough bread slathered in butter or a vegan spread.
This is such an easy one – just mix the mung bean sprouts with the diced cucumber and fresh peas and drizzle on a dressing.
The recipe calls for water chestnuts but if you don’t have these crunchy treats substitute with some walnuts or pecans for the crunch.
The dressing is made by mixing black bean sauce and red-hot pepper sauce, but if a mild dressing is required, feel free to substitute your favorite salad dressing.
You can use a can of beans or homemade beans as a base for this spicy and colorful salad. Chop some fresh tomatoes, finely sliced spring onions (scallions), green bell pepper, jalapenos, finish with a twist of lime and a good handful of chopped cilantro. It’s a guaranteed taste explosion in your mouth. For those who don’t do spicy then leave out the jalapeno.
This is a real survivalist recipe, relying on garlic and onion powder that can all be kept in the stockpile, as well as canned pinto beans and canned jalapenos.
Just a few other store-cupboard essentials are needed plus five minutes of your time to whip this dip together. Serve with nachos, on slices of cornbread, celery and carrot sticks.
Never mind a side dish, I could make a whole meal of refried beans – they are that delicious. Onion, garlic, cumin and coriander are stir fried in hot oil, then the cooked black beans are added with some water, allowed to simmer then mashed.
Whether its nachos, tacos, or tortillas you’re serving they will fit in with the ingredients.
Use this creamy dip as a base when building a nachos plate, or with tortilla chips, or even as one of the fillings for tacos.
It’s made with a can of pinto beans, onion, garlic, bell pepper and seasonings, all whizzed together to a creamy consistency.
The soybean-based falafel are rolled into small balls with the accompanying seasonings and shallow fried. Eat alone, or with a dip or wrapped into a tortilla.
Falafel make a great ingredient in vegetarian wraps combined with sour cream, hummus, shredded lettuce, avocado and fresh herbs, and if you want to add meat a bit of pulled pork or shredded chicken, would go down well.
These can be served as a starter, as an accompaniment to a meal, or even the main course. In Greece, they would be part of a mezze platter.
The ingredients are straightforward – tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, garlic, dried thyme and oregano. The kind of stuff a person would have stocked up on. They make for a tasty and healthy dish.
As the creator of the recipe writes, they came about by accident from overcooking lima beans, but the crumbly beans whipped up like mashed potato, and were even more nourishing.
She even added a gravy made with cashew nut cream. The lima bean mash can also be used as a dip, or spread on some home-baked sourdough bread.
Better than a bowl of peanuts, these roasted chickpeas are quick to make once the chickpeas have been boiled – serve with whatever salt and spices you fancy – a bit of chili, paprika or cayenne powder to spice things up, some crushed oregano for a gentler herb flavor.
They are best eaten within a couple of hours of roasting.
Perfect as a side dish for tacos or enchiladas, these black beans can even serve as a meal on their own with some freshly baked bread.
They rely on a can of black beans added to sautéed onion and garlic flavored with cumin, and salt. Sprinkle some chopped cilantro on top and they are ready to serve within 20 minutes.
No collection of beans recipes would be complete without a humus recipe. Use it as a dip, spread on toast, or add to wraps. It takes 5 minutes to make using a blender, a bit longer with a mortar and pestle, and just a few ingredients among which are salt, water, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.
Admittedly, the tahini paste required may not be on every prepper’s list, but a jar of this sesame paste is worth keeping on hand. The chickpeas used can be cooked from dried ones or you can use a can of chickpeas.
At a pinch this could be a main meal but is usually a side dish for a meal that incorporates meat. The onions and garlic are sautéed, then the broth added and the rice is cooked in this broth to impart full flavor.
After cooking the rice, stir through a can of salsa and a can of beans – the type doesn’t really matter. If you have a garden you can make a fresh salsa, but this is an easy meal to make with what is stored in the pantry.
Use your stockpiled pasta, a can of soybeans or white beans, chopped tomatoes and seasonings for this bake that is finished off with a topping of melted cheese.
Mac and cheese are a kid-friendly dish, but you can change up the health rating by blitzing together spinach, ricotta cheese and garlic for a full flavored sauce. If you want you can add shredded chicken to up the protein content.
Any beans can be used but the creator of the recipe suggests white beans – butter or haricot beans to keep the color of the dish light.
Garlic, dried mixed herbs, and olive oil with thinly sliced broccoli, onion and Brussels sprouts are stir fried before the cooked fettuccine is added then topped with dry-pan pumpkin seeds.
Stews / Casseroles
This African stew it is pretty similar to most pinto bean recipes except for the addition of chicken, instead of bacon or ham, as chicken is very popular in Africa. The recipe doesn’t specify exactly what type of beans, but pinto beans would give a lovely creamy taste to the dish.
Just remember if slow cooking beans to boil them first to get rid of the phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) that can cause nausea. The slow cooker doesn’t get to a high enough heat to destroy the PHA.
In a slow cooker, the spices seem to dissipate in strength during the long cooking process, so a top up of spices towards the end of the cooking period is suggested.
The refried beans used in the recipe can be canned or make them fresh from the recipe listed under side dishes in this article. The other beans used are black beans, navy beans and kidney beans – all from cans if you prefer, so it is quick and easy.
A quick lunch or dinner meal, this ragu is served with crusty sourdough bread and sprinkled with finely grated parmesan. It’s a basic recipe using onion, carrot and celery, then adding a can each of tomato and soybeans. Garlic and fresh thyme add flavour.
Once the roasts and stews have been made, use up some of the ground venison in this tasty stew. Made with a can of pinto beans, canned tomatoes, tomato salsa, celery and green pepper, with garlic and other seasonings, with the venison to round out the flavor, and give it meaty heartiness.
The garden gathered herbs add another dimension to this dish, plus the spices like turmeric, garam masala, and cayenne pepper, giving it a bit of a bite without overshadowing the mushrooms and beans.
Originating from North Africa the dish is hearty and flavorsome, with tomato, tomato paste, onion, garlic and red bell pepper creating a deep red base to which cooked chickpeas or canned ones are added along with a variety of spices.
The creator of this recipe says to use what you have in your pantry, but suggests cardamom, paprika, cayenne, chili and coriander. She finished hers with olives, but that is a personal choice.
When there is fresh-caught fish, fresh spinach from the garden, and a can of chickpeas in the stockpile, then all you need is smoked paprika, garlic, and a can of diced tomatoes (or you can use fresh ones if you have).
The fish fillets are seared on either side, set aside, then the rest of the ingredients added to the pan, before the fish is returned to complete cooking just before serving. A one-pan, no-fuss meal.
The Moroccan tagine can refer to either the stew or the pot with its high conical lid that keeps food moist. This tagine relies on a Moroccan spice blend for flavor, available from the international aisle at your grocery store or online.
The eggplant is seared in a hot pan with oil, but not cooked right through as the cooking will be completed in the oven. Raisins or chopped dried apricots are used for a hint of sweetness in this dish, redolent with garlic, tomatoes, onion, and of course the chickpeas.
The ham hocks give a delicious richness to the dish which can be served as a main course or extra ham is added to the pot, or it can be served as a side dish with southern fried chicken. Whichever way, make sure there are some cornbread muffins available to mop up the gravy.
There is nothing like slow cooked pork for tenderness and flavor, that just melts on the tongue. Combine that pork taste with the creaminess of the pinto beans and you have a dish the family is unlikely to forget.
Pinto beans may originate in Mexico but there is no need to keep to all Mexican spices.
This easy recipe relies on Gochujang, an Asian chili paste made from rice, red chilis and wheat, with a taste that is a mix of savory, sweet and spicy. You can find it in Asian food stores. It can be substituted with Sriracha chili sauce if you find it hard to obtain.
Instead of bacon use pork belly and cook in sesame oil and add toasted sesame seeds for the authentic Asian flavor.
The steak takes center stage for this meal with the pinto beans in a supporting role. The recipe takes about 20 minutes to prepare and while the steak is in the grill pan, the skillet can be used to sauté the bell pepper, then the salsa, seasoning, and can of beans are added. It’s incredibly quick and easy.
The pressure cooker will have the beans ready in 15 minutes – so there is no need to pre-soak. Then it’s a case of adding the ground beef, chicken stock, the seasonings and you have the makings of a great stew.
You can use 2 cans of pinto beans instead of the dried beans. This is an ideal recipe for using from the stockpile as there are no fresh vegetables called for. The majority of the ingredients are canned, dried or frozen.
Use mushrooms as a substitute for met in this recipe using onion, mushrooms and a can of pinto beans. The recipe uses egg replacer to make it vegan, but you could use egg powder or a fresh egg for a vegetarian meal.
The recipe can be made gluten-free if you avoid serving on buns and serve instead with rice or some freshly foraged greens.
Caramelized onion and garlic, whole cumin seed and whole coriander seed are what add the special flavour to this dish – do not try to substitute with ground cumin and coriander if you want to authentic taste.
The spiced tomato gravy for the dish is blended with the spices so you won’t be biting into bits of coriander or cumin seed. Serve on a bed of fluffy white rice. The kidney beans can be either canned, or pre-boiled from your dry beans store, before adding to the dish.
Ground turkey and tomatillos provide the flavor basics, then corn tortillas, a sharp cheddar cheese and cilantro make this recipe super tasty. The tortillas are heated a little then the filing placed in them before being rolled and placed in the casserole dish.
About the only thing that shouldn’t be swapped out in this recipe is the chickpeas. If you don’t have sweet potato feel free to use butternut, or potatoes, or a combination. The sausage doesn’t have to be chorizo – any pork, beef or chicken sausage could be added. Easy Pinto Beans from Scratch
This is a good recipe to start with that gives tips on cooking pinto beans from scratch to produce hearty Mexican flavored bowls of beans – enough to feed a family of 4 or more.
This is a vegetarian recipe as no ham hocks or bacon were used What the recipe does use is garlic, cumin, onion, green chilies, diced tomatoes and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
The pressure cooker takes care of the beans in just 15 minutes, so there is no need for pre-soaking. Add the ground beef, chicken stock, the seasonings and you have a great stew.
This is an ideal recipe for making from the stockpile as there are no fresh vegetables called for. The majority of the ingredients are canned or dried.
Pieces of venison are fried in a coating of corn starch and seasoned with salt and pepper, before the rest of the ingredients are added for this stove-top delight that is slow simmered with the beans and vegetables to get the meat to tender perfection.
Smoked paprika gives a richness of flavor to the vegetarian mix of baby spinach and Cotija cheese. The beans provide the heart to this recipe that can use corn or flour tortillas.
Although this may sound exotic, it is an easy one pot dish ideal for preppers. The only slightly unusual items you need are a can of coconut milk, cumin powder, fresh ginger and a jalapeno chili or two.
The mung beans should be soaked to remove the phytic acid which can interfere with the absorption of nutrients like calcium, iron and zinc.
Most beans and legumes have phytic acid which is why we soak and rinse them, then boil them, to remove this anti-nutrient, leaving us with the good stuff only.
The only fresh grown ingredients you need for this recipe are the onions and garlic – everything else is either dried or canned.
A tasty recipe, the cayenne pepper gives it a bit of a bite, but if cooking for children you could leave this out. Serve with cornbread or soft tortillas.
The creator of this recipe shares how to make the famous berbere spice found in north African dishes – and it’s really quite easy. It adds an extra flavor dimension to this stew starring the green beans you may have been growing in the garden.
If using frozen green beans add them towards the end of the cooking to keep them slightly crispy, as the potatoes in the dish take a while to cook.
The budget friendly vegetarian dish relies on the usual flavorings – onion and garlic – but then coconut milk adds the creaminess, and cumin the taste, stretched with some spinach – either freshly picked or frozen, and served over whole grain rice.
When using kidney beans in a dish make sure to boil them thoroughly before adding to a stew or slow cooker recipe.
This is to avoid the phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) causing nausea and severe reactions… or worse. Once boiled, the kidney bean lectin is destroyed and cannot harm you. Never add soaked kidney beans to a slow cooker without the high heat of boiling first.
This recipe uses a mixture of dried red kidney beans and frozen broad beans. The mustard seeds, cumin, ginger, coriander, garlic and chilis all add a flavor kaleidoscope to this easy dish.
Many different spices go into this dish – but they are all readily available, and it is an easy dish – all the spices are braised in oil to release the flavor, then the previously boiled kidney beans are added, some water and the chunks of potato. Let it all simmer together and you will have a finger-licking good curry beans dish.
Seriously, you don’t have to lick your fingers – mop up the juices with roti – an Indian flat bread, or use soft flour or torn tortillas.
This recipe uses coconut cream as across the east coast of Africa coconuts have established themselves, and are used in indigenous cooking.
You can use a can of coconut milk for this recipe that uses black eyed peas, either fresh or canned. The onions, paprika, chili powder, cumin, and brown sugar add the depth of flavor to this easy stew.
A recipe that was inspired by Jamie Oliver’s spicy parsnip soup, this one relies for its flavor on the parsnips and brussels sprouts to offset the creamy beans.
It is fairly quick recipe. If you don’t have access to an oven, then the Brussels sprouts can be pan crisped in a skillet over a campfire or on a stove top.
Is it a soup or a stew? Well, depends on the consistency I guess. I’ve had watery stews and soups you could stand your spoon up in.
This soup relies on garlic, onion, ginger and celery for the flavor, then because it is a Filipino dish the can of coconut milk for the smoothness and spinach.
The traditional Filipino recipe uses malunggay (moringa oleifera) leaves – if you happen to have these as one of your useful plants in the survival garden.
Roasted garlic makes this soup special – roast the garlic whole in the oven or in the coals of a fire. Further than that the soup requires a can of beans, an onion and some celery stalks.
No Flour – no problem. Use the beans to create these delicious chocolate covered brownies for a sweet treat.
As the creator of this recipe mentions, a group of people were given the brownies without telling them they were healthy, vegan etc, and the trays were demolished and there were a number of requests for the recipe.
Chocolate chips, maple syrup, cocoa, coconut oil and quick oats, and oh yes, the beans, make this a recipe that can compete with the best of the decadent chocolate brownies.
If you have kids that won’t eat beans they will devour these blondies (as long as they don’t see what goes into them, before they are hooked on the taste).
The creator of the recipe advises avoiding white kidney beans as the flavour is a bit strong. She uses great northern beans, honey, butter and oats. White chocolate chips were used.
So, let’s get decadent with vanilla, pecan nuts, sugar and eggs all going into this special pie. Who would have thought beans could be combined into a pie to create a sweet sensation. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream.
Don’t be put off by the color of the mix in the bowl – it does look a rather unappetizing grey/beige – but the magic happens in the oven when it darkens to a rich brown.
Serve with vanilla ice-cream or freshly whipped cream. The spices in this pie are reminiscent of a sweetly rich pumpkin pie.
Now that we accept carrots are perfectly delightful in a cake, and even zucchini, and as for pumpkin pie – say no more.
But, just try this pinto bean cake redolent with the flavor of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, raisins, and pecans and you’ll find it’s as good as it promises. I would serve with fresh whipped cream or even some vanilla ice cream.
Jeanie is an avid camper and a cook. She likes to do pioneer recipe sin particular, and any other type of survival food that our great-grandfathers loved.