Pantry staples like beans and lentil make dinner easy. Best of all, each of these recipes was tested by all four of my own rascals. 

Sausage, Bean & Kale Soup

The best way to make a small amount of meat go far? Add it to soup! This one is a huge hit with my kids and you can use potatoes, carrots, even sweet potatoes. Any starchy veggie will do.

Lentils & Kielbasa

All the nice flavors of soup in a heartier form. Serve over rice, inside pie dough like pockets or deliciously as is. 

Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole with Black Beans

Use rice or quinoa and layer with as many fresh fixings as you can get your hands on: tomatoes, salsa and avocado. It’s wonderful any way! 

Not-Too-Spicy Chili My Kids Love

Lentil Sausage Soup, a Barefoot Contessa Makeover

As always, this makeover is to make a gorgeous recipe easier, faster and more nutritious. Check, check, check!

Taco Soup with Beans

My favorite way to make this soup is after Taco Night, using all the tasty leftovers but it can also be made fresh any time. Make it with all beans, or add a little ground meat. Up to you but if you’ve got any tortilla chips to add, you’ll thank yourself for it! (P.S. Make your own baked tortilla chips with this recipe I developed for eHow.)

Easy Coconut Curry Lentils

Filled with pantry staples, this vegetarian dinner comes together easily in a little longer than it takes to watch an episode of Paw Patrol. Not that I know anything about that.

One-Pot Macaroni Chili

Add ground meat, or make it vegetarian! The joy of having only one pan to wash — and kids who love this dinner — remains. 

Pasta with Pesto and White Beans

This is one of the first recipes I ever wrote, while we lived in Italy, and it’s still delicious on any shape of pasta, any time. 

Hearty Tomato Soup with White Bean Puree

The surprising source of protein in this easy-peasy tomato soup? White beans! Thick and creamy without adding dairy. 

Chicken & White Bean Chili with Swiss Chard

Use kale, spinach or any other green you have around (even frozen!) The flavor will still be the same: so good. 

Not-Too-Spicy Chili My Kids Love

It’s all in the presentation… 


If you like these easy dinners with beans and lentils, there’s more where they came from! 

  • 20 Minute Smoky Pasta with Sausage
  • Buttery Skillet Chicken with Zucchini
  • Best Ever Taco Bake: The Taco Casserole Makeover (that Kids Love!)

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