16 Simple And Healthy Red Bean Recipes

Red beans are full of flavor and protein. They can be used in a variety of different dishes, spanning many cultures.

Some refer to kidney beans as red beans, however, they are not the same.

16 Simple And Healthy Red Bean Recipes

Both are typically used in stews and chilis as they absorb all the flavors of the dish. 

Here we have reviewed 16 red bean recipes that are bursting with flavor and bound to give you some fresh new ideas. 

1. Cajun-Style Vegan Red Beans And Rice

Bold flavors from paprika, thyme, parsley, and hot sauce give this dish an authentic Cajun taste.

Although there is no meat in this dish, the red beans give it a hearty, meaty texture that leaves you full and satisfied. Served with cooked brown rice and some optional liquid smoke can take the flavor of the beans to the next level. 

2. Sweet Red Bean Soup

This soup is made with dried adzuki beans to create a thick, sweet and tasty soup. The sweetness comes from orange zest and sugar as well as tapioca pearls which are slightly chewy.

You can find these ingredients in your local Chinese supermarket. Traditionally, this soup is served after a Chinese banquet that can have up to 10 courses. 

The beans used here will need to be soaked overnight for them to expand, so be sure to plan ahead with this recipe. 

3. Spanish Red Bean And Sausage Stew

Known as Potaje de Alubias Rojas con Salchichas, this stew is warm and hearty. This recipe calls for beyond sausage, a vegetarian substitute, but any sausage will do.

Herbs, spices, and vegetables are simmered with the beans and sausage to tie the dish together. As with any stew, you can serve this with anything you like, but potatoes work well. 

4. Healthy Red Beans And Rice 

Certain red beans and rice dishes contain loads of sodium and fat, if you’re eating this a lot this can lead to some significant health issues!

This recipe has reworked a classic to make it healthier by using smoked turkey sausages instead of the usual ones. The authentic Cajun flavors come through by using seasonings such as cayenne pepper. 

5. Red Bean Mochi Recipe

Mochi is a Japanese form of confectionary that has become increasingly popular around the world. They are made of layers of soft rice cake with a sweet red bean paste filling.

As you’ll need some special ingredients for this recipe, going to your local Asian supermarket is advised. Serve with green tea to help you swallow this sticky treat. 

6. Zenzai – Red Bean Soup With Mochi

Zenzai is a traditional Japanese red bean dessert soup that is topped with toasted mochi. There are three different ways to make this dish which are detailed in this recipe.

The soup is served hot with mochi in the bowl for an instant warming and comforting feeling. Zenzai is a soup made from adzuki beans, sugar, and salt. 

7. Authentic Louisiana Red Beans And Rice 

The South is known for its red beans and rice dishes. To make authentic Louisiana red beans and rice you need to use andouille sausage along with fresh vegetables and spicy Cajun seasonings.

This is the perfect bold and hearty meal. Adding a splash of cider vinegar can really make the dish pop and make the rice have a little more flavor. 

Wholegrain rice is suggested to pair with this meal although any type of rice works well with the dish. 

8. Red Bean Stew

An easy one-pot meal is ideal to suit our busy lives. Kidney beans and potatoes make up the main substance of this dish. Spices from the Middle East such as cumin, paprika, and cinnamon add a burst of flavor.

This is a great meal that can easily be turned from vegetarian to vegan by garnishing with the appropriate yogurt. 

9. Homemade Sweet Red Bean Paste 

Sweet red bean paste is a Chinese staple and is used in many different desserts as well as soups.

There are two ways to create this paste, one produces a smooth red bean paste which is used for desserts and requires you to remove the skin of the beans.

The other method requires the beans to be cooked before being smashed for a thicker texture.  

10. Coconut Red Bean Pudding

A popular Chinese pudding is the coconut red bean pudding, with its smooth and silky texture and sweet beans.

The pudding takes the form of a long bar with a white coconut bottom layer, red beans are added to the top of the smooth coconut mixture to create a thick topping. The pudding is cooled in the refrigerator and served cold. 

11. Danpatjuk

Danpatjuk is a Korean sweet red bean porridge. Typically, we don’t think of having beans in our porridge, but as it’s so popular maybe we should give it a chance!

Made with small adzuki beans, they are blended into a velvety paste which is perfect for porridge. 

This dish is customarily eaten on winter solstice day as it will leave you feeling lovely and cozy.

Optional garnishes can be added to the top of the porridge which includes boiled chestnuts, sprinkles of cinnamon, and pine nuts. If you’re adjusting to the taste of this dish, pick a sweet topping to garnish your porridge. 

12. Shrimp And Red Bean Chili Recipe

Big juicy tiger prawns are used to create this tasty seafood chili. Seafood chili recipes aren’t that common, but they resemble gumbo in some ways as they are rich and delicious.

Herbs and spices are heavily used here, including a lot of chili peppers and hot sauces, so this isn’t for the faint of heart. The shrimp goes well with rice or cheesy grits. 

13. Stewed Kidney Beans

Stewed beans are a staple in many cuisines and are a great source of protein for vegans. Traditionally, this dish is cooked with pork but here there is no meat at all!

This warm and hearty dish is inspired by Central American and Caribbean herbs and spices. Serve this thick stew with any type of rice or some grilled plantain and get the taste of a Caribbean delicacy

14. Gluten-Free Red Bean Brownies

Gluten-free brownies may not sound appealing at first, but you might change your mind after you try this recipe. This recipe is gluten-free as no flour is used at all.

The beans are blended in a food processor with all the other ingredients following to make a gooey chocolatey mixture. Walnuts and honey are used to replace sugar but this can always be reversed. 

15. Homemade Red Beans Buns

Dou sha bao are pillow soft steamed red bean buns and are one of the most popular Chinese desserts. These soft steamed buns are also eaten for breakfast.

Simply mix the dough ingredients together before letting it rise and shape into round balls. Small amounts of the red bean paste are placed in the middle before being completely sealed and cooked. 

16. Manju

Manju is a Japanese steamed cake with a sweet red bean filling. This is different from the popular mochi as Manju is made of wheat, rice, or any other type of flour with a cake-like consistency.

You can buy pre-made red bean paste if you don’t want to make this yourself. Matcha Manju is the most common flavoring but there are many other varieties to enjoy. 

Final Thoughts 

Red beans are versatile beans to use in cooking and are used across many different cultures. Asian cultures typically use these beans for sweet dishes whereas in the U.S. they are commonly used in stews and chili recipes. 

We hope you found this article interesting and informative, with plenty of new inspiration for cooking future dishes.  

Happy cooking!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should Red Beans Cook?

Red beans can be bought in a dried or canned form which means there are different cooking lengths. If you’re cooking them straight from the can then you can add them to whatever you’re cooking and it should only take a few minutes. 

Dried beans, on the other hand, can take between one and a half and two and a half hours to cook on a simmer.

The majority of beans will cook in forty-five minutes, but this heavily depends on the brand. Some recipes also require you to soak the beans overnight in order to make the beans soft and fluffy.  

Are Red Beans The Same As Kidney Beans?

Red beans and kidney beans are commonly mistaken for one another, but they are actually two different types of beans. Red beans have a more ‘beany’ taste compared to kidney beans.

In terms of appearance, kidney beans are much larger and darker in color; red beans are more of a pink color. 

16 Simple And Healthy Red Bean Recipes

16 Simple And Healthy Red Bean Recipes

Recipe by Jenna

Red beans are super healthy and full of protein. They are popular in Japan, China, and the US. Here we have reviewed 16 tasty red bean recipes for you to try

Course: Dinner
5 from 1 vote
Follow Me
Latest posts by Jenna (see all)