How to Prepare Canned Kidney Beans

Canned red kidney beans make a nutritious convenience item. They have a shelf life of at least two to three years, and they spare you the hassle of soaking dried beans to rehydrate them; they're also pre-cooked, so they only need to be warmed through. Such bean can be eaten cold dishes such as salads. These legumes are a standard inclusion in rice and beans, chili, salads, soups, stews and casseroles, and they make a satisfying side dish, too.

Step 1

Drain canned kidney beans in a colander. Rinse them thoroughly under cold running water, tossing them with your hand, to remove the thick, salty liquid in which they're packed.

Step 2

Heat a large pan over medium heat for a few minutes, then add in a coating of canola or other cooking oil. Wait for the oil to become hot enough to move around the pan with a watery consistency.

Step 3

Saute chopped garlic, onion, scallion, carrot, celery or other aromatics you want to mix with the beans for about three minutes. Add a bit of salt and pepper to the pan, along with some cilantro, sage, cayenne pepper flakes, curry powder or other desired herbs or spices.

Step 4

Dump the kidney beans into the pan and saute them with the rest of the ingredients for about another two minutes, just until they're heated through. If you'd like, toss in some spinach with the beans, too, and it has just enough time to wilt.

Things You'll Need

  • Colander

  • Large pan

  • Canola or other cooking oil

  • Aromatics

  • Salt and pepper

  • Herbs and spices


Add sauteed canned kidney beans with garlic and scallion to rice for a basic red beans and rice preparation.

Add some chipotle pepper powder for heat, grate some pepper jack cheese over the top or toss in other complementary ingredients you have on hand for a quick and easy meal.

A red beans and rice preparation also serves as a component for jambalaya, soups and stews. For a healthier option, use brown rice.


Read can labels and watch out for beans packed with lots of sodium or preservatives.

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