8 Brands of Pre-Cooked Beans Chefs Love

published Mar 29, 2022
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Holly's canned food cabinet

I’m transitioning to a mostly vegan diet these days, and beans have become a pantry staple. I don’t always have hours to soak and cook dry beans from scratch, though, so it’s great to have a variety of ready-to-go beans on hand to power up the plant-based protein for any meal.

I wanted to know which ones pro chefs stock in their own cabinets at home. So I asked a few of them from around the country to share their favorites. And they did! These are the bean brands they keep on hand all year long.

Credit: Amazon

1. Fillo’s Americas Made

“Fillo’s black beans are quite a surprise. They carry enough flavor to stand on their own but also not an overpowering taste that you can’t add a spin to. As someone that’s been eating Cuban black beans since pretty much birth, these don’t disappoint.” — Michael Beltran, executive chef & owner of Ariete 

Buy: Fillo’s American Made Cuban Black Beans, $17.94 for six (10-ounce) pouches

Credit: Target

2. A Dozen Cousins

“I love A Dozen Cousins because they’re quick and easy to prepare, the texture of the beans are amazing, and the flavors offered are much better than the typical canned stuff. My favorite way to enjoy? Using the Cuban black beans for my famous Cubano sandwich.” — Benjamin Graham, chef of Citizen Public House 

Buy: A Dozen Cousins Black Beans, $2.48 for 10 ounces at Walmart

Credit: Target

3. Eden Foods

“Beans are one of the most nutritious things you can eat. There are properties in beans that you can’t find anywhere else in the plant kingdom. I love Eden because they’re organic, low in salt, and have a great selection of beans, including black beans and garbanzo, which are great for blending into hummus. They even have cannelloni beans, which are hard to find in dry form.” — Seizan Dreux Ellis, executive chef of Cafe Gratitude 

Buy: Eden Foods Organic Garbanzo Beans, $2.61 for 15 ounces at Instacart

Credit: Target

4. La Preferida

“I always choose La Preferida because they are simple — just beans, water, and salt — which gives me a great foundation to build off of. I enjoy adding chopped onions and minced garlic (both sautéed), pickled jalapeño juice, and sour cream to the beans to make them even creamier before serving.” — partner Jeff Georgino of Trejo’s Tacos 

Buy: La Preferida Pinto Beans, $0.99 for 15 ounces at Target

Credit: Target

5. Bush’s

“These are my go-to for backyard barbecues and are always a hit. All the flavor is already in the can, but to dress it up I like to add a bit of barbecue sauce, bacon, and onion.” — Tara Monsod, executive chef at Animae 

Buy: Bush’s Best Original Baked Beans, $2.39 for 16 ounces at Target

Credit: Target

6. Progresso

“Progresso makes a great canned cannellini bean and it’s available at most supermarkets. It’s great in a pasta dish with broccoli and sweet Italian sausage with a nice garlic-onion-butter sauce like Carmine’s country-style rigatoni, or sautéed with garlic, olive oil, and fresh-cut escarole.” — Glenn Rolnick, director of culinary operations at Carmine’s and Virgil’s Real Barbecue

Buy: Progresso Cannellini White Kidney Beans, $1.59 for 15 ounces at Instacart

Credit: Kakao Market

7. Trader Joe’s

“Overcooked or undercooked beans can ruin your recipe, so you need to go with a brand that you can count on time after time. These [kidney] beans are consistently cooked properly and I love using them to make caldo de verduras in my Instant Pot.” — Dave Schy, chef of Burrito Beach

Find it in stores: Trader Joe’s Organic Kidney Beans

Credit: Amazon

8. Ziyad

“My favorite brand is Ziyad, often found in the international food section of major grocery shops. You can find these beans in Middle Eastern shops, East African shops, Halal groceries, and kosher shops as well. I don’t normally use canned foods but they’re great for simplifying recipes like East African hummus or Bajiya. The flavor and quality are superb and it does not have the metallic taste or the sulfites that you would see with other canned beans.” — Jamal Hashi, chef and food consultant at Joia Consulting

Buy: Ziyad Chick Peas Garbanzo Beans, $3.64 for 2 (15.5-ounce) cans

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: 8 Brands of Pre-Cooked Beans That Chefs Buy on Repeat