Look in your pantry. Seriously, go poke around. Odds are that just behind that can of plum tomatoes and in front of that dusty jar of chutney there's a can of black beans. It's okay; we've all got one. And that's why we've come up with twelve ways to put it to use—so you can go buy another one (and not keep it around quite so long).
1. Baked Chipotle-Black Bean Taquitos
Sauté minced garlic in olive oil until fragrant. Add rinsed black beans and cook, mashing, until soft (the texture should resemble refried beans; add a splash of liquid if too dry). Stir in 1 or 2 chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce and a good handful of shredded Monterey Jack. Roll up the black bean mixture in corn tortillas, then arrange seam side down on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350° oven until the tortillas are crisp and heated through. Stir a spoonful of adobo sauce, fresh lime juice, and chopped cilantro into sour cream or Greek yogurt for a dipping sauce.
2. Shrimp and Black Bean Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Sauté peeled and deveined shrimp, stirring, until pink and opaque. Whisk together olive oil and fresh lemon juice (in a 3:1 ratio) and some honey to sweeten the vinaigrette. Place shredded romaine lettuce in a salad serving bowl and top with rinsed and drained black beans, toasted almond slices, and plenty of freshly grated Parmesan. Top with the cooked shrimp, then drizzle with the dressing. Toss just before serving.
3. Roasted Garlic and Black Bean Crostini
Mix mashed black beans with roasted garlic and spread on toasted baguette slices. Top with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with snipped chives and crumbled bacon.
4. Black Bean Dip
Blend rinsed and drained black beans with fresh lime juice, a couple chipotle chiles packed in adobo sauce, fresh cilantro, garlic, onion, smoked paprika, and Greek yogurt; drizzle with hot sauce and chopped cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.
5. Black Bean Tostadas
Sauté rinsed and drained black beans with chopped onion in olive oil. Mash while cooking and season with ground cumin and coriander. Toast a corn tortilla on one side, flip, and sprinkle with shredded Monterey Jack; cook until the cheese melts and the bottom of the tortilla is toasted. Spread the refried beans on top, then pile on shredded iceberg lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa.
6. Roasted Black Beans
Rinse and drain black beans, then pat dry. Toss on a parchment-lined baking sheet with olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Roast in a 400° oven until dry and crisp, turning once halfway through, about 30 minutes.
7. Spicy Black Bean and Mango Salsa
Combine rinsed and drained black beans, diced plum tomatoes, red onion, and mango; add minced jalapeño, coarsely chopped cilantro, fresh lime juice, and kosher salt; let stand for at least 20 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.
Combine rinsed and drained lightly mashed black beans, diced cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell peppers; add minced garlic, chopped fresh oregano, sliced scallions, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Let stand at least 1 hour or refrigerate overnight. Toast baguette slices, then spread with goat cheese. Spoon the black bean mixture on top and sprinkle with kosher salt.
9. Chicken Salsa Soup
Heat through a jar of salsa emptied into a sauce pan, then add rinsed and drained black beans and shredded rotisserie chicken. Add enough water to cover the beans and chicken to thin the soup as desired; season with fresh lime juice. Once the soup is heated through, serve topped with tortilla chips, avocado slices, and sour cream.
10. Black Bean Burritos with Cilantro Pesto
Blend cilantro, freshly grated Parmesan, garlic, and olive oil to make a coarse paste, then toss with rinsed and drained black beans, cooked brown rice, and diced mozzarella. Roll up in a whole wheat tortilla and toast on both sides in a nonstick skillet. Slice on the diagonal before serving.
11. Black Bean Croquettes with Feta Cheese
Combine mashed potatoes with black beans, thawed frozen corn kernels, and peas, and crumbled feta; the mixture should be malleable and hold together in a clump. Form the mixture into small patties. Coat each patty in flour, beaten egg, and then panko (Japanese breadcrumbs). Fry in olive oil until golden on both sides and heated through.
Sauté chopped onions and green bell peppers in vegetable oil, then stir in minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Stir in a little tomato paste to coat, then add rinsed black beans and enough low-sodium chicken broth or water to come just below the surface of the beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are soft and the liquid is thickened. Mash some of the beans, if desired, then top with more chopped onion and fresh cilantro.