Kidney beans are a staple store cupboard ingredient, most often used in a classic chilli con carne or a bean stew. With minimum effort, you could also achieve tasty meals with this ingredient in as little as 30 minutes. We have listed our best kidney bean recipes, ranging from Mexican and South American cuisine to Caribbean and Chinese, and other flavours fusions from around the world. These recipes are quick, healthy, use less home energy, use alternative methods like a slow cooker, are fuss-free, freezable and meal plan friendly, perfect for those who want to stick to a budget but want to enjoy wholesome food. As a protein source, beans and pulses are also high in fibre and iron, a great way to bulk out meals and achieve your five-a-day and a balanced meal.


There's a kidney bean recipe collection for more inspiration, as well as healthy bean and bean salad collections. Learn more about the 10 best vegan protein sources and our store cupboard collection has smart recipes using cheap and healthy cupboard ingredients.

20 delicious kidney bean recipes...

1. Kidney bean curry

kidney bean curry

One of the easiest ways to use this staple ingredient is to make a quick, hearty kidney bean curry. It is cheap and uses bulk buy ingredients making it the perfect budget meal for an easy weekday dinner. Batch cook and freeze this curry ahead if that suits you, too. Find more hearty curries in our winter curry collection.

2. Kung pao-style cauliflower & kidney beans

kung-pao style cauliflower and kidney beans

There's a sweet and savoury flavour to the sauce in this kung pao-style cauliflower & kidney beans vegan main, a nod to its amazing Chinese ingredients and cooking style. It's easy to make and counts as three of your five-a-day. The kidney beans bulk out the dish and add extra fibre. From 'fakeaways' to lighter twists on classics, try out our healthy Chinese recipes.

3. Vegan chilli

vegan chilli

This vegan chilli is a simple meal when you have leftover veg that needs using up, and doesn't fail on flavour, with spices, herbs and lots of fiery chilli. It's very nutritious and freezable, great for meal prep and budget-friendly living. For student- and family-friendly meals, check out our vegan bowl recipes and these delicious vegan rice recipes.

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4. Spicy sausage & bean one-pot

spicy sausage and bean one pot

This speedy spicy sausage & bean one-pot is the definition of budget-friendly. Made from six simple ingredients, this dish is weekday meal friendly and really tasty for a winter dinner. You could also pair with some mashed potato. More one-pots can be found in our collection, with others found in our family one-pot collection.

5. Three bean salad with mozzarella

three bean salad with mozzarella

Up your fibre and protein with this impressive three bean salad with mozzarella. It's a healthy balanced meal or side at a barbecue or dinner party and puts your store cupboard ingredients to good use. The silky and garlicky vinaigrette adds a nice acidity which binds the flavours together. You can find more in our bean salad collection and other tasty salads, too.

6. Rice & peas

rice and peas

We're taking you to the Caribbean next with this rice and peas side, nice alongside jerk-style chicken or barbecued beef and meats. The peas are actually kidney beans, steamed and cooked perfectly alongside the creamy coconut rice, infused with thyme and all-spice. You can find more recipes from the region in our Caribbean collection, alongside mouth-watering jerk chicken recipes.

7. Spicy bean burgers with lime yogurt and salsa


These vegetarian spicy bean burgers with lime yogurt and salsa are a great way of trialling healthier alternatives to meat. They are low in calories and can be dressed up in a bun with salad, avocado, salsa and lime dressing. Uncooked burgers can be made in advance and frozen to keep for a later date. For more inspiration, check out this bean burger collection and more vegetarian burgers.

8. Double bean & roasted pepper chilli

A pan of double bean & roasted pepper chilli

One of our most popular hearty dishes is this double bean & roasted pepper chilli. Low-fat, high in fibre and protein, and very wholesome, this chilli can be dowsed in Tabasco sauce, soured cream or yogurt to add creaminess or to take away some spice. Our vegetarian chilli collection is also a hit, paired with rice, tacos or grains.

9. Refried bean quesadilla

refried beans quesadilla

Have some friends and family coming round? This is an easy winning dinner. These refried bean quesadillas are vegetarian, full of flavour, cheap and take no time to put together. Fluffy tortillas filled with beans, spices, fresh herbs and melted cheese is always a great choice. Why not make more variety with recipes from our quesadilla collection and go crazy for refried beans in our collection.

10. Spicy chicken & bean stew

spicy chicken and bean stew

Stews are generally easy meals to cook and prepare, whether in a slow cooker or on the hob. This spicy chicken and bean stew is made in one pot, hearty and nutritious, a tasty family meal for all to enjoy. More of this comes your way in our bean stew collection and you can find delicious chicken casseroles, too.

11. Spicy chicken fried rice

spicy chicken fried rice

Feel the health benefits with this mixed rice chicken dish filled with tasty veggies. A 30-minute meal, it is useful for busy weeknights and is really nourishing. This spicy chicken fried rice also only requires cupboard ingredients, along with a cheap source of protein. Our healthy fried rice collection has more simple suppers for you to rustle up.

12. Spaghetti puttanesca with red beans & spinach

spaghetti puttanesca with red beans and spinach

Swap the anchovies for kidney beans in this vegan spaghetti puttanesca with red beans & spinach. Full of nutrients such as iron, fibre, healthy fats and protein, this will prove a hearty meal for two; it is easily doubled if feeding a family. Find more ways to swap the classics in these vegan pasta recipes.

13. Slow cooker chilli con carne

slow cooker chilli con carne

Why cook on the hob when a slow cooker can do a better and easier job? This slow cooker chilli con carne makes kidney beans the star, alongside slow-cooked red pepper, celery and onion, with the smokiness from the chipotle paste and richness from the dark chocolate. Use cupboard ingredients to achieve this meal, serving alongside tortilla chips for some scooping action and lime wedges for that sharp kick. There are more healthy chilli con carne recipes in our collection.

14. Stuffed avocado with spicy beans and feta

stuffed avocados with spicy beans and feta

Fill halved avocados with this spicy beans and feta salsa. Full of vegetarian protein and fresh ingredients, this easy starter or snack is great for a Mexican-themed evening or if you're looking for a healthy meal to satisfy your hunger. There are more healthy avocado recipes to give a try.

15. Vegetarian chilli

vegetarian chilli

Raid your cupboards for this easy four-ingredient vegetarian chilli. Grab a ready-to-eat pouch of grains, some tinned tomatoes, a pack of roasted vegetables and, of course, those delicious kidney beans. This wholesome vegan chilli will go down a storm. There's more where that came from in this vegetarian chilli collection.

16. Sweet potato jackets with guacamole & kidney beans

sweet potato jackets with beans

Sweet potatoes, a great source of fibre, are counted as one of your five-a-day and are delicious in this sweet potato jacket with guacamole & kidney beans. This meal is very balanced and low-cost, making it an easy family dinner. Add red chilli for a kick and sprinkle fresh coriander with a drizzle of lime juice. Explore more recipes with sweet potato as the star ingredient.

17. DIY Mexican chilli wraps

DIY mexican chilli wraps

These DIY Mexican chilli wraps are only six ingredients and taste great homemade. Mix lean minced beef with tomato sauce and kidney beans, then start to build your wraps with soured cream and fresh salad. Add additional sauces such as Tabasco and make some guacamole if you've got avocados to hand. Find similar dinners in our easy Mexican collection.

18. Spicy chicken with rice and beans

spicy chicken with rice and beans

Chicken thighs are really budget friendly and can add an important protein source into a meal. This spicy chicken with rice and beans takes inspiration from many cuisines and is simple but very tasty. Add red or yellow peppers, which provide vitamin A and magnesium, adding to your five-a-day. Freeze the chicken sauce for another day and quickly make up some rice and beans. Head to our healthy chicken thigh for more cost-effective and nutritious meals. Enjoy the heat in these spicy chicken dishes.

19. Spicy bean tostadas with pickled onions and radish salad

spicy bean tostadas

Mix kidney beans with chipotle paste and grab corn tortillas for these simple spicy bean tostadas with pickled onions & radish salad, a lunch full of flavour and nutrients so you won't go hungry. The pickled onions add acidity and the radishes give it an earthy, peppery flavour. Enjoy more Mexican cuisine with these vegetarian Mexican recipes. And find more uses for fluffy tortillas in these enchilada recipes.

20. Chilli chicken one-pot

chilli chicken one pot

Feed a crowd with this chilli chicken one-pot, which can be made ahead, then allowed to sit for a while to soak up all the flavours. Load with veg, herbs and spices to enrich the chicken flavour. Serve with crispy garlic bread to dunk into the sauce. For more like this, try recipes from our chicken one-pot collection, all low-cost and balanced meals.


For more healthy meals on a budget, check out the following content...

High-protein vegetarian recipes
Healthy budget pasta
Budget winter recipes
Healthy student meal
Budget entertaining recipes
Budget autumn recipes
Budget slow cooker recipes
Budget batch-cooking recipes
Healthy chicken recipes
Healthy kids' recipes

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