Beans Create a Complete Meal: Food Pairings for Popular Dishes

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Sometimes we’re stymied by what side dish to pair with our main course. Fortunately, beans are a go-to solution in many of these situations. Here are some great ideas for completing your meals with the ever-versatile legume.

Burgers: What to Cook With Hamburger Meat
Hamburgers with a potato bun and great toppings keep this classic new and interesting. Try your burger with fresh tomato, avocado, grilled onions, Swiss cheese, lettuce and barbecue sauce or experiment with other flavor combinations. Great sides for burgers include potatoes roasted with seasoning salt, coleslaw and baked beans with a Tex-Mex kick.

Flank Steak: What to Eat With Steak
Show off your grilling skills with this meat. It’s a perfect cut to marinate and serve with bold-flavored beans. Complete the meal with a green salad and, if you’re feeling indulgent, a chocolate mousse for dessert.

Pork: What to Cook With Pork Chops
Obviously pork and beans are a winning combination. But bean dishes can also dress up for a nice pork chop dinner. Try a grilled potato and cannellini bean salad or a spicy Caribbean BBQ beans recipe.

Roast: What to Eat With Beef
Add the classic combination of carrots and potatoes along with the roast for extra sides without the extra work. For an updated — but still easy and delicious — version of the classic, use cannellini beans in place of or in addition to the potatoes.

Seafood: What to Eat With Fish
Milder fish flavors like tilapia match well with dishes like citrus rice and beans. For a splash of color and flavor, try a mixture of beans and vegetables with a garlic and herb twist.

Grilled Veggies
If you aren’t planning on having meat for dinner, pair beans with grilled veggies for a complete meal. Chile rellenos are a hearty, spicy choice. Satisfy craving for Italian flavors with Tuscan-style stuffed tomatoes.

Some other great (and easy) meal pairings include:

  • Loaded baked potatoes — Top your baked potatoes with your favorite combination of lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, corn, sour cream or chili.
  • Hot dogs — Almost any kind of beans make a great side dish with hot dogs.
  • Grilled chicken — Chicken off the grill and black beans were made for each other.
  • Taco salad — Use beans as a primary topping for your taco salad to make this meal hearty and delicious. Layer crushed corn chips, beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa and sour cream on a plate for a full meal.

As you can see, beans can be a lifesaver any time you’re looking to create a complete meal, and you’ll feel good about making a well-rounded dinner your family is sure to love.

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