One Bag of Black Beans: Three Meals

Classic Seasoned Black Beans
This post is brought to you by a Wholefully partner.

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One of the more frequent questions I get is how to do this whole healthy eating thing on a budget. Is it even possible? And to that I say, absolutely yes!

It takes some adjustments and problem-solving, but I believe that a healthy diet can be just as budget-friendly as a diet loaded with cheap (and not-so-nourishing) foods. And one of the main stars of a budget-friendly healthy diet? Pulses!

Pulses are the delicious, protein-packed, sustainable foods known as dry peas, chickpeas, lentils and beans. They are so tasty, so versatile, incredibly healthy, and so affordable to cook with. The average cost of beef per serving is $1.49, whereas you can serve dry peas, chickpeas, lentils, or beans for about 10 cents per serving. TEN CENTS!


Canned pulses are a great deal, too, but to stretch your budget even further, drive your cart down the grocery store aisle a little more and pick up some bags of dried beans, lentils, chickpeas, or split peas. A pound of dried pulses runs between $1-$2, and trust me, you can streeeettttcchhh each of those bags into multiple meals.

Today, I’m partnering up with the awesome folks from USA Pulses and Pulse Canada to show you exactly how to do just that. We’re kicking things off with one bag of black beans that I show you how to transform into three separate meals. And over the course of the next few months, we’ll cover all categories of pulses—chickpeas, lentils, and even split peas!

Classic Seasoned Black Beans

Classic Seasoned Black Beans

First things first, we gotta cook this bag of black beans! I have a full tutorial on the blog for how to cook dried beans from scratch and freeze them, but that shows you how to make plain beans. Today, we’re going to spice them up a little bit—literally! This base seasoned black bean recipe will serve you well, and I’ll show you how to transform this one pot of seasoned black beans into three separate meals in a sec.

Classic Seasoned Black Beans

Classic Seasoned Black Beans

Yield: About 6 cups of black beans
Prep Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 10 hours

These perfectly seasoned black beans are great on their own with a side of cornbread, or mixed into any number of other recipes.


  • 1 pound dried black beans, picked through
  • Water
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 or 2 jalapeños, seeds and membranes removed and diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 8 cups vegetable or chicken broth


  1. Place black beans in a large stock pot and cover with at least two inches of water. Let soak overnight. Or, for a quick soak, bring stockpot to a boil, boil hard for one minute, then remove from heat, cover, and let soak for an hour.
  2. Drain and rinse the soaked beans. Return them to the pot. Add in all the remaining ingredients.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the beans are tender. This will depend a lot on the age of your beans. Fresher beans will be ready in 45-60 minutes, older beans might take 2-3 hours. Your best bet is to start tasting around the 45 minute mark.
  4. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if necessary, then remove beans using slotted spoon. Eat immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 287mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 9gSugar: 4gProtein: 10g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Once you have your pot of black beans made, you can eat them as is (so good with some cornbread!) or stash them in the fridge to turn into these three meals throughout the week. A one pound bag of black beans should get you around six cups of cooked black beans (or three cans worth). Let’s dig into the meals!

Black Bean Burrito Bowls

Black Bean Burrito Bowls

Black Bean and Avocado Quesadillas

Avocado and Black Bean Quesadillas

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Each of these recipes uses about two cups of black beans, meaning you can cook up a single one pound bag of black beans and make all three of these dishes. Now that’s how you stretch your grocery budget!

This post is brought to you by a Wholefully partner.
Looking for ways to eat healthier? Just add pulses! This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of USA Pulses and Pulse Canada. All opinions are my own.

Want to be a sponsor? Let’s work together!

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.
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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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