Legume Recipes


There are many varieties of legumes including kidney beans, cannellini beans, black beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, and lentils.

People are often surprised to learn the nutritional value of legumes. They are a good source of fibre, protein, carbohydrate, B vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and phosphorous. Legumes are naturally low in fat, are practically free of saturated fat, and because they are plant foods, they are also cholesterol free.

They are an important part of a healthy diet with evidence that shows that they can play an important role in the prevention and management of a number of health conditions.

To get more legumes in your diet, try adding them to soups, stews and salads. Add hummus dip to your lunches and snacks or use as a spread. You can even add a cup of legumes to your rice for meals. There are also many recipes where legumes are the hero ingredient, such as the following 3 recipes, ideal for everyone. Enjoy!



Lentil bolognaise

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme (or use more oregano)

1 ½ teaspoons salt, plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

150g tomato paste

1/2 cup dry red wine

3 cups vegetable stock

1 cup (185g) red lentils, soaked

¼ cup (32g) walnuts (or pecans), crushed finely

1 can of crushed tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand (see note 3)

350-450g pasta – such as tagliatelle, pappardelle, or fettuccine; or tube pasta such as rigatoni or penne

1 tablespoon high-quality balsamic vinegar

Flat-leaf Italian parsley or fresh basil, chopped or slivered (optional)

Soak the 1 cup of lentils in water for 30 minutes, or up to 60 minutes. Meanwhile, prep all the other ingredients (i.e., chop the onions and garlic, chop the walnuts, etc.)

Heat a large, deep pan or Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add and heat the olive oil, add the onions and season with a pinch of salt. Cook the onions for about 5 minutes. Add a few spoons of water to deglaze the pan, and stir. Continue cooking the onions, adding more water every few minutes and stirring frequently to prevent burning, until the onions are softened and golden brown, 9-10 minutes.

Add the garlic, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Stir frequently for 60-90 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes to caramelise, stirring very frequently.

If using the red wine, pour the wine into the pan and deglaze, scraping up any browned bits. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the smell of alcohol has burned off and the mixture is jammy.

Pour in the broth to deglaze the pan, stirring any browned bits on the bottom of the pot and stirring to combine. Add the lentils and walnuts and mix well. Bring mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the crushed tomatoes and simmer for another 15-20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still al dente, stirring occasionally to prevent burning and sticking.

If using crushed tomatoes, you may need to add a little water or lower the heat as needed to prevent burning.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Add the pasta and cook as per cooking instruictions. Reserve a ladle or so of pasta water (may not need it) and drain pasta.

Taste the bolognese for seasonings, adding more salt and pepper to taste. Finish with the balsamic vinegar (or 1-2 steaspoons of brown sugar,), and stir to combine.

Add the hot cooked pasta to the bolognese and toss until well coated in the sauce, adding a bit of pasta water as needed to ensure the sauce coats the noodles. Garnish with chopped parsley or basil, if using.


Tips for making this recipe

Use the best ingredients you can find

The flavors from all 10 ingredients are on full display in this recipe, which is you’ll get the best results using better-quality ingredients. If anything, use quality brands of tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and pasta, because they add A LOT to this recipe.

Soak the lentils first

Before you do anything else, soak the red lentils in a bowl of cool water for 30 minutes. This softens them up and helps them cook much quicker. If you skip this step, they’ll take closer to 45 to 60 minutes to soften in the bolognese.

Chop the walnuts finely

The finer the pieces, the more they’ll melt into the sauce and you’ll avoid hard bits of walnuts (not terrible, but not great). The best way to do this is to blitz the nuts in a food processor or spice grinder. Chopping them by hand with a chef’s knife works too, but you’ll need to chop them very finely



Chick pea burger

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)

1/4 cup chopped small red onion (about 1/2 small red onion)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons tahini or peanut butter

1/3 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup chopped coriander (or parsley)


In a large bowl, add the drained and rinsed chickpeas. Use a potato masher or fork to mash them until no whole beans remain.

Add the chopped red onion, garlic, cumin, salt, tahini, breadcrumbs and ccoriander/parsley to the chickpeas, and stir with a large spoon until well combined.

Form into burger shapes, about 7-10cm wide and 1.5cm thick.

In a large pan, heat 1/4 cup of oil over medium heat. Carefully place the patties on the pan, and fry for about 4 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Alternatively, you could bake the burgers at 180 degrees celcius for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for 15 more minutes.

Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate.

Serve immediately on buns with toppings of choice, such as mayo, arugula, tomatoes and red onion slices.



Mexican bean wrap

1 onion

1 red capsicum

60g Cheddar cheese

olive oil

1 clove of garlic

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon tomato puree

1 can plum tomatoes

1 can red kidney beans

4 large flour tortillas

2 large handfuls mixed salad leaves

balsamic vinegar


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/ gas 4. Peel and finely slice the onion, then deseed and slice up the pepper. Coarsely grate the cheese.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat and gently fry the onion for 10 minutes, or until softened.

Peel and crush the garlic, then add to the pan along with the chilli powder.

Add the tomato purée and the tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon as you go, then add the drained kidney beans.

Cook for 10 minutes, or until slightly reduced, then season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

In a separate pan, fry the capsicum in a little oil until starting to soften, then set aside.

Divide the filling mixture in half, then blitz one half with a stick blender to form a bean paste – if you don’t have a stick blender, mash with a potato masher.

Spread the tortillas with the warm bean paste, then add a serving spoon of the filling and a spoonful of red pepper, and sprinkle with cheese. Roll up the tortillas and place on greased baking tins.

Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden and warmed through.

Dress the salad leaves in a little oil and vinegar, then serve alongside your bean wraps.