Beyond the Basic Bean Recipes


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Beyond the Basic Bean Recipes

May 15, 2023
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Beyond the Basic Bean Recipes

Beyond the Basic Bean Recipes

If your go-to bean recipes are bean burritos or chili, that’s great….but don’t stop there! We’re sharing some of our favorite ways to use CA Grown beans. 

beans in hand at Rancho Gordo

Do beans grow in California?

California farmers grow over 400 different crops, including a wide variety of beans! Fun fact: California farmers produce over 99% of the nation’s lima beans.

Where do beans grow in California?

Central Valley / San Joaquin Valley overhead agriculture view
Central Valley / San Joaquin Valley overhead agriculture view

Beans are grown in the Sacramento and Northern San Joaquin valleys.

When are beans in season in California?

Dried beans are always in season in California. Beans have an indefinite shelf life are best used within two years of harvest. The best way to know that your beans are fresh is to purchase them from a reputable company, like Rancho Gordo.

Learn how Rancho Gordo has turned the humble bean into a cult commodity!

What’s the best way to cook dried beans?

beans in pot with seasoning and bay leaves

Dried beans can be cooked on a stovetop, in a pressure cooker or slow cooker – and even in the oven! Get the step-by-step details from the pros at Rancho Gordo!

Do beans need to be soaked before cooking?

Soaking beans before cooking is not necessary if your beans are fresh. Soaking can reduce cooking time and ensure that they cook evenly – so if you’ve got time, it’s never a bad idea.

Let’s get down to it…here are some of our favorite bean recipes!


white bean dip recipe

Chili Crunch White Bean Dip

Let’s just admit it – bean dips can be a little…well, boring. Luckily, this Chili Crunch White Bean Dip from Salt and Wind is anything but.

White Bean Buffalo Dip from Baking the Goods

White Bean Buffalo Dip

Serve this Vegetarian White Bean Spicy Buffalo Dip from Baking the Goods with chips or a veggie tray. It’s the perfect Game Day snack!


Illyanna Maisonet Spring Bean Salad

Spring Bean Salad

Illyanna Maisonet created this seasonal Spring Bean Salad – an unexpected (but utterly delicious) mix of pinto beans, asparagus and cucumber. Enjoy this dish year round by swapping in your favorite in-season veggies!

Mediterranean Tuna Salad from A Girl Defloured

Mediterranean Tuna and White Bean Salad

Too hot to cook? Whip together A Girl Defloured‘s tasty Tuna and White Bean Salad instead.

Black Bean Taco Salad with Green Chile Dressing

Black Bean Taco Salad with Green Chile Dressing

Think salads aren’t satisfying? Try this Black Bean Taco Salad from Hola Jalapeno. It’s jam packed with CA GROWN goodness and full of fresh flavors.


Illyanna Maisonet's Habicheula

Puerto Rican Habichuelas

Ever tried habichuelas? Our friends at Rancho Gordo said this was their favorite recipe from Illyanna’s cookbook, Diasporican. 

smoky vegetarian chili

Smoky Vegetarian Chili

This recipe for vegetarian chili is super easy to make, full of flavor, and loaded with delicious California -grown ingredients!

Leek and Bean Soup from Eat the Love

Leek and Bean Soup

Our idea of the perfect summer supper: Eat the Love‘s Leek and Bean Soup, a loaf of crusty bread, and a bottle of California white wine. What more could you ask for?

White Bean Chili from This Mess is Ours

Chickpea and White Bean Chili

Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), navy beans and great northern beans create the perfect base for this White Chili from This Mess is Ours.

Nigella's Chili from G-Free Foodie

Nigella’s Homemade Chili

Not all chili recipes are created equally. This incredible recipe, for example, is from Nigella Lawson. She’s a self-proclaimed Domestic Goddess, so it’s safe to say she knows her way around a kitchen. Our friend KC serves this homemade chili with Fritos, which is never bad idea.


beans marbella

Beans Marbella

Any fans of Chicken Marbella in the crowd? We swapped the poultry for Marcella beans to create this vegetarian spin on the classic recipe.

Burrito Bowls with black beans

Veggie-Loaded Burrito Bowls

More is more! We’re big fans of these Veggie-Loaded Burrito Bowls. Black beans are the perfect foil to sweet corn, tart lime and spicy fajita veggies.

Black Bean Burger patty square

Black Bean Burgers

Embracing a plant-based diet? This black bean patty takes your veggie burger from drab to fab.

Vegetable Enchiladas

Vegetable Enchiladas

Our vegetable enchiladas are packed with black beans and CA GROWN veggies, bathed in a scrumptious sauce and then covered in gooey cheese. We have a feeling this recipe will be a family favorite.

Black Bean Enchiladas from Salt and Wind

Smothered Black Bean Enchiladas (Enfrijoladas)

Have you ever tried enfrijoladas? They’re similar to enchiladas but the tortillas are dipped in bean sauce instead of chili sauce. Sounds delicious, right? Our friends at Salt and Wind shared their quick and easy recipe.

Black Bean Pupusas from Hola Jalapeno

Black Bean Pupusas

Snack or supper? You decide. Pupusas are an El Savadorian stuffed masa cake. Our friend Kate stuffs hers with creamy black bean filling, and then drizzles them with a lime spiked crema. Yum!


Puerto Rican Baked Beans from Illyanna Maisonet

Puerto Rican-Style Baked Beans

Illyanna Maisonet puts her signature spin on the typical baked bean recipe. She uses a sofrito (the base of many traditional Puerto Rican dishes) to add flavor…and some Latin flair!

Refried Beans from Hola Jalapeno

Vegan Refried Beans

With just a few simple ingredients, you can create restaurant-quality beans at home. Bonus: they’re vegan! This recipe from Hola Jalapeno calls for olive oil instead of the traditional lard or bacon fat. Don’t worry, you’ll never miss it.


Coffee and black bean brownies from Jerry James Stone

Coffee and Black Bean Brownies

Beans? In brownies? Yep. Our friend Jerry James Stone created this recipe as a way to use up leftover black beans. You’re gonna have to try it to believe it.

We hope you’ve found a few new ways to enjoy California Grown beans! Have a favorite bean recipe? Snap a pic and share on social using #CAGROWN!

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