Beans, 3 Ways

Though kale, quinoa and chia may be the most buzzed-about super foods, there’s another secret (and inexpensive) item you’re probably not cooking with enough: Beans. A longtime staple of many cuisines worldwide, beans are a nutritional powerhouse that can — and should! — find a way into your weeknight meals.

What Makes Beans So Healthy?
Loaded with fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium and folic acid, beans play a pivotal role in a healthy diet, with one cup of cooked beans providing approximately 14 to 18 grams of protein, said Vandana Sheth, a CDE, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Beans are also rich in lignans (a group of chemical compounds found in plants) which are known to play an important role in helping with heart disease, osteoporosis and preventing some types of cancers. While all beans are nutritious, Sheth’s top picks include garbanzo, black and kidney beans.

How to Cook with Beans
Dried beans can be purchased in bulk bins from your local grocery store then soaked in water overnight and prepared on the stovetop in a pot, in a pressure cooker or on a slow cooker (Sheth prefers using her pressure cooker, as it speeds up the process). You can also cook with canned beans by simply draining and rinsing the beans before cooking. To make things easy, consider preparing a large batch of cooked beans then varying the ways you use them.

“Cooked garbanzo beans can be made into hummus, added to a soup, or tossed with herbs and vegetables in a salad,” Sheth says. “You can also make garbanzo bean burgers.”

Ideas for Cooking with Beans
Beans can be enjoyed in a variety of ways and can easily be incorporated into your diet. Use beans whole in salads, soups or casseroles; puree them into dips, such as hummus, or spreads for wraps and sandwiches. Even combining them with Hunt's® Tomato Sauce to create a plethora of delicious chili recipes and sauces! Sheth’s favorite bean-centered recipes include vegetarian chili, bean burgers and bean burritos — all completely different from each other with one central ingredient! Here are some more of our favorites:

  • Two-Bean Vegetable Chili—this easy chili uses canned beans and Hunt's® Diced Tomatoes with Sweet Onion as a base for an easy, and hearty, dinner.

  • Southwestern Breakfast Burritos—combine black beans, Hunt's® Petite Diced Tomatoes and cilantro with scrambled eggs and cheese for a breakfast wrap with a kick.

  • Stuffed Peppers—use a large bell pepper in lieu of a tortilla and fill it with your favorite burrito ingredients, like beans, brown rice, corn and Hunt's® Tomato Sauce.

  • White Bean Minestrone Soup—this recipe uses white beans, kale and pasta as ingredients for a classic and comforting soup in just 30-minutes.

Do It Up with Deviled Eggs

Forget your typical way of whipping up the all-American classic. Deviled eggs are best served with a little creativity and a good amount of untraditional flavor! Put the finishing touches on your recipe with a handful of ways of refashioning the favorite, including truffle, fig, avocado and more twists. 

But first things first -- let’s review your basic deviled eggs recipe. You’ll want to hard-boil eggs in a pot. Don’t crowd the pot, or else they may bump into each other while cooking and crack. Also, try using older eggs closer to their expiration, which may be less delicate and better for these purposes. Then, cover eggs with about 1-inch of cool water and slowly bring to a boil over medium heat.

When water reaches a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let eggs sit 12-15 minutes. Transfer eggs to a bowl full of ice water to stop them from cooking. Peel and split in half lengthwise.

Now, the fun part! Experiment with your deviled egg fillings to jazz up these flavorful appetizers:

  • Horseradish: Mix yolks, mayonnaise, horseradish, salt, paprika and parsley. Adjust the horseradish to control the degree of spiciness, suggests registered dietitian nutritionist, and editor of, Jenny Champion.
  • Sweet relish: Instead of mustard, add sweet relish to add a little crunchy sweetness in every bite, she adds.
  • Tomato ‘n’ Paprika: For a spicier version of your standard eggs, says Champion, cut back on the mayo and add around 2 tablespoons of Hunt's® tomato paste, fresh ground garlic to taste, and top with smoked paprika, a pinch of Hunt's® canned crushed tomatoes and cayenne pepper.
  • Avocado: One of Champion’s favorites for an extra creamy, healthy fat-filled version of deviled eggs, “cut back on the mayonnaise a bit and add ripe avocado in its place,” she says. Not counting calories? Add a bit of chopped bacon for garnish and a nice crunch.
  • Truffled: First, mash your hard-boiled eggs (~6 eggs) with ¾ cup mayo, 1.5 teaspoons of truffle oil and a pinch of cayenne. Serve in the center of a white oval place (it will look like one large deviled egg!). Top with a fig jam for a sweet finish!

BLT Pasta Salad


  • 8 ounces dry whole grain penne pasta, uncooked
  • 1 can (14.5 oz each) Hunt's® Diced Tomatoes-No Salt Added, drained
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 pkg (6 oz each) refrigerated diced oven roasted chicken breast
  • 10 slices fully cooked bacon, heated, chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool.
  2. Meanwhile, stir together drained tomatoes, mayonnaise and garlic salt in large bowl. Add pasta, chicken and bacon; toss to combine ingredients. Add spinach; gently toss together. Serve immediately.

Recipe: Artichoke Turkey Pizza


  • 1 prebaked thin pizza crust (12-inch)
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (1-1/2 cups = 6 oz)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz each) Hunt's® Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano, drained
  • 1 cup chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 can (14 oz each) artichoke hearts in water, drained, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (2.25 oz each) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place crust on ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Top with drained tomatoes, turkey, artichokes, olives and Parmesan cheese.
  2. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut into 6 slices.

Muffins that Make for Meals

You may have seen mini meals in the shape of muffins on your favorite Pinterest boards and food bloggers’ sites. We love the idea of these portion-sized meals that will keep you full. Not only that, but they’re great to have on hand for lunches, dinners, and snacks throughout the week. Here, international fitness model, foodie, and mom of three, Tiffany Lee Gaston, shares three of her favorite muffin recipes that are the base of delicious, healthy meals. Cook them up on the weekend and reheat them all week long!

Tip: Try Hunt’s version of a Mini Meatloaf Recipe!

Recipe: Turkey Cranberry Mini Meatloaves

This recipe will remind you of a smaller version of Thanksgiving dinner!

Servings: 12 mini loaves


1½ lbs. ground turkey
1 egg
¾ c almond meal
¼ medium onion minced
1 clove minced garlic
½ c canned whole cranberries
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. Herbes De Provence


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place onion and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
3. Add all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
4. Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, spoon into greased muffin tins filling nearly to the top.
5. Press down firmly to pack and bake for 32-35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°F.
6. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.

Recipe: Mini Veggie Frittatas on Ham Crust

These frittatas are great for an easy breakfast when you’re short on time, or an appetizer!

Servings: 12 mini loaves


12 eggs
12 slices of ham
¼ c jalapeno (or more to taste)
½ c diced tomatoes
¼ c finely chopped onion
½ c diced cooked potatoes or hash browns (can purchase pre-cooked in bag)
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Whisk eggs.  Place a slice of ham in each section of a greased muffin tin.  
3. Fill with egg mixture, no more than ½ to ¾ full depending on how much of the veggie mixture you prefer. \
4. In another bowl, combine all veggies; season to taste with salt and pepper.
5.  Spoon veggie mixture evenly into each frittata cup giving a little stir to incorporate ingredients.
6. Bake for 28-30 minutes.

Recipe: Steak and Smashed Potato Mini Meatloaves

Have your steak and eat it, too (with spuds), in these tasty mini meals.

Servings: 12 mini loaves

1½ lbs. lean ground beef
¾ c almond meal
1 egg
¾ c diced cooked potatoes smashed (try packaged diced potatoes for convenience)
¼ medium onion finely chopped
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. rosemary


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl, season ground beef with sea salt, pepper and rosemary and add in onion, garlic, and potatoes.
3. Combine well and use an ice cream scoop or a large spoon to drop mixture into greased muffin tins filling nearly to the top.
4. Press down firmly to pack and bake for 32-35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°F.
5. Let cool 5 minutes before removing.