$3 Worth of Beans Gets You All This (+ Taco Salad Recipe)

There are so many healthy, inexpensive uses for dried beans. With food prices skyrocketing in the past few years, I’ve had to think of cheap creative ways to continue to make healthy, mostly organic, real food for my family.  It’s not easy.  Dried beans are a tremendous help, though! Last week, I accidentally cooked WAY too many dried beans.  I had 1 pound of black beans and 1 pound of kidney beans, which amounts to about $3 of beans.  Little did I realize, those 2 pounds of dried beans resulted in about 10 cups of cooked beans.  Yikes! So, as not to waste, here’s what I ended up making over the course of several days, including a new, simple Taco Salad Recipe.  My freezer is stocked now!

THREE 8×8 pans of Cheesy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas.

Cheesy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

ONE HUGE pot of Vegetarian Tortilla Soup.

Anything Goes Tortilla Soup - A 10 minute one pot wonder!

EIGHT Make Ahead Lunch Wraps.

I put them in the freezer and will bake them in foil at 350 degrees for 25 minutes for lunches or quick dinners. Make Ahead Lunch Wraps

THREE Taco Salads.

I made Taco Salad for our family and two other Taco Salad packs to exchange with my freezer club friends (as a fresh meal). See the simple Taco Salad Recipe below.

Simple, flavorful, and healthy taco salad

More Bean Ideas

what to do with black beans

Our Facebook friends had lots of suggestions, too.  Check out their ideas for how to use up 2 pounds of beans.  Just wish I could get more of their actual recipes (hint, hint).

 – Make homemade Chipotle – Southwest burgers – Black bean soup – Red beans and rice with some andouille sausage – Chili – homemade baked beans (Passionate Homemaking has a good recipe) – Mexican quinoa salad – Breakfast burritos – Refried beans and then make a layered dip with them – Taco casserole – Black Bean Salsa – Black bean lasagna – Black bean brownies!

Your turn…What’s your favorite bean dish?


Easy Taco Salad

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x


This taco salad recipe is so simple but packed with flavor. It is sure to be a home run in your household!


  • 1 pound ground beef (preferably grass-fed, organic)
  • 1 packet of McCormick’s Taco Seasoning (I like this brand, since it only has a few ingredients.)
  • 1 cup black beans or kidney beans (I often use a mix of both)
  • 1 cup ranch dressing (I use Brianna’s)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 large head Organic Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ can black olives, drained and chopped (optional)
  • 1 avocado, chopped (optional)


  1. Brown beef. Drain and add seasoning packet and beans. Cook according to directions.
  2. Mix ranch dressing and salsa.
  3. Top lettuce with meat/bean mixture, cheese, crushed chips, tomatoes, olives, avocado, and dressing. Toss.

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  3. Rachel says


    I do both! From thawed, they take about 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven in foil. From frozen, they take about 25-30 minutes. Yummy recipe! Nathan is going to love this!

  4. Devin says

    Do you bake the lunch wraps from frozen, or thaw them? I love this red beans and rice recipe. It’s takes 2 overnights (though the recipe part is easy…you just have to soak the beans 8 hours before starting, and then let it “cure” 8 hours before doing the final cook), so you have to plan ahead, but it makes a TON and the flavor is wonderful! http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/delta-red-beans-rice-10000000257563/