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14 Genuinely Interesting Ways to Cook with Black Beans

Black beans are such a culinary staple that most of us have mastered at least one way of cooking with them. We know how to throw black beans in a pan, spice them to perfection, and serve them with rice. The results are delicious, and we could eat them for days on end. But few of us have gone any further than that. And considering how many absolutely delicious black bean recipes exist in this world, it’s kind of a shame we haven’t.

Spend a few minutes perusing the internet, and you’ll quickly realize that black beans are much more than a simple side item. They can act as a delicious and filling meat substitute in vegetarian burgers, tacos, and meatballs. They can be ground into hummus and served with chips—or turned into chips themselves. And perhaps most surprisingly, they can act as the base for an array of rich desserts. Avocado black bean brownies are beloved by many, but black bean chocolate truffles and black bean chocolate peanut butter cookies can be just as decadent.

Quite frankly, there are so many worthy black bean recipes out there that you could eat the legume for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert for days on end—and still have more black bean-based dishes to try. That’s not to say you should do that. (Seriously, no one expects you to eat black beans all day, every day.) But you easily could. And you could even more easily swap your go-to black bean recipe for a more out-of-the-box option.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with spiced black beans served with rice. The dish is delicious, and it deserves a spot in anyone’s culinary arsenal. It’s just not your only option when it comes to cooking with black beans. You could just as easily turn the ingredient into an entree, a dessert, or a snack. And admit it—aren’t you at least a little curious about what black bean chocolate truffles taste like?

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