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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.
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.

Learn about my sponsored post policy in the bylaws. 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.

Leave a Reply

17 Responses
  1. Hilary

    Hi Cassie – love these recipes! I just wanted to check that you want 12 whole jalapenos in this black bean base? That seems like a TON to me – and I like spicy things!

    1. Julie @ Wholefully

      Oh good catch – that didn’t go into the recipe format correctly. It should be 1-2, not 12 (ouch!). Should be fixed now! Thank you!

  2. I can’t wait to try these next week! I get Hello Fresh delivered, but then have to come up with another 2-3 meals… This looks perfect 😀

  3. Brilliant! I’m usually lazy when it comes to beans and end up using cans, but now that our second baby is starting to eat solids I’m going to go back to dried again (our pediatrician is really strict about canned foods in the first year because of the botulism risk…the silver lining is that we save money). Definitely trying this base!


    After the beans have soaked, when your begin adding flavorings, what does the “1 Water” means in
    the instructions? Thanks! Making these now, just unsure how much water I need to add for the final cook.

  5. Mikayla Flanders

    Hello! A friend made these beans for me and they were the best! Sadly though, every time I look it up (including now) the recipe doesn’t show up. 🙁 Do you think you could copy and paste the recipe and send it to me so I can see it?

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