The Bean That Is Just as Filling as Meat (2024)

updated May 1, 2019




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The Bean That Is Just as Filling as Meat (1)

I knew I already loved pasta and cheese and gelato when I moved to Italy, but what I discovered while living there was that I loved beans. That’s because I found the one bean that finally felt as hearty as meat. As someone who was once a vegetarian and had eaten a lot of beans in her lifetime, I’d never felt satisfied with them — even nubby chickpeas don’t have that heft that meat does.

While perusing the Italian grocery store for cannellini beans one day, however, I stumbled upon giant white beans, and I’ve never looked back.

Why Giant White Beans Are the Heartiest Beans Around

I am referring to these meaty beans as simply giant white beans, as they fall under many different names. The Italians call them corona beans; the Greeks call them gigante beans. You’ll also sometimes find them labeled as butter beans. They all, in fact, stem from the good ol’ lima bean.

What makes them stand out from your cannellini and kidney beans is their size — they can easily cook up to be about an inch in diameter, depending on the variety. Their extra-large interior is creamy yet also quite starchy, which allows them to have that bite and chew that many other beans lack.

These big beans can be hard to find canned, but are easily available dried, particularly through quality bean purveyors, such as Rancho Gordo. Use them in a hearty vegetarian stew, toss them to make a satisfying bean salad, or serve them my favorite way, simply tossed with warm tomato sauce and spooned over creamy polenta.

5 Recipes to Try Swapping in Giant White Beans

The Bean That Is Just as Filling as Meat (2024)


What beans are good instead of meat? ›

Experiment with legumes by trying this White Bean and Tuna Salad recipe. Black eyed peas, pinto beans, edamame, these are all legumes that are good sources of protein and can be a healthy substitute for meat.

Are beans as filling as meat? ›

Beans Vs Meat | Beans Win

Put simply, the bean meals had more “staying power.” They provided more stomach-filling satisfaction than the meat meals, which curbed food intake at the next meal. Obviously, that's a very important asset if you're trying to shed weight.

Which bean has more protein than meat? ›

Soybeans take on many forms and are rich in amino acids and B vitamins. One cup of soybeans has about 31g of protein, more than a 4-ounce turkey burger.

What kind of beans have the most protein? ›

Some legumes with the highest protein content per 100 g serving include :
  • field peas (26 g)
  • cowpeas (24 g)
  • common beans (24 g)
  • mung beans (23 g)
  • pigeon peas (22 g)
  • chickpeas (21 g)
  • soybeans (13 g)

What are the best beans to replace chicken with? ›

Use Chickpeas Instead of Chicken or Turkey

The color and chewiness of chickpeas can mimic that of chicken and turkey meat.

What foods keep you full the longest? ›

High-fiber foods not only provide volume but also take longer to digest, making you feel full longer on fewer calories. Vegetables, fruits and whole grains all contain fiber. Popcorn is a good example of a high-volume, low-calorie whole grain. One cup of air-popped popcorn has about 30 calories.

What foods make you feel full without gaining weight? ›

Filling Foods That Won't Fill You Out
  • Oatmeal. 1/15. A bowl of this stuff in the morning can keep you going all day. ...
  • Soup. 2/15. The liquid helps fill your stomach but doesn't add many calories because it's usually made with a lot of water. ...
  • Salad. 3/15. ...
  • Nuts. 4/15. ...
  • Avocado. 5/15. ...
  • Eggs. 6/15. ...
  • Cottage Cheese. 7/15. ...
  • Fish. 8/15.
Aug 30, 2023

Is it better to eat meat or beans? ›

Beans have a healthier calorie density

That means even if you eat the same amount of beans and meat, you'll consume more calories from the meat.

Is 2 eggs a day enough protein? ›

Is 2 eggs a day enough protein? Two eggs give you 12 grams of hunger-satisfying protein. Although 2 eggs does not complete your daily protein needs, it's a great start. Eating two eggs in the morning ensures you are on the right track to hit your protein consumption goal by the end of the day.

Which vegetable is the king of protein? ›

Among the highest protein vegetables are chickpeas, corn, spinach, artichoke hearts, and edamame. To get all of the amino acids your body needs, aim to eat a variety of foods, such as legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetables throughout the day.

How many beans equal a serving of meat? ›

Beans and legumes

“Beans and legumes are fiber-rich nutrient powerhouses and an excellent source of protein,” says Hopsecger. “One serving (1/2 cup cooked) of beans provides about 7 grams of protein, the same as 1 ounce of meat.” Beans and legumes also keep you fuller longer because they're so rich in fiber.

What fruit has the most protein? ›

Avocado and guava have some of the highest protein content of all fruits. Adding more fruit to your diet offers your body more than just a bump in protein. Fruits are a delicious way to get the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber your body needs to stay healthy.

What canned beans have the best protein? ›

Soybeans provide the most protein, calcium, and magnesium compared to other types of beans,” Parlitsis says. “At almost 30 grams of protein per cup, soybeans are your best choice when it comes to using beans as a main protein source.” Soybeans also provide the most magnesium at 37% of your daily need per cup.

What are the best beans for weight loss? ›

Many do not consider beans healthy when following a low carb diet as it is high in carbohydrates. However, along with carbs, beans also contain fiber (mostly soluble), which can help lower cholesterol level. Black beans, kidney beans, navy beans are the ones considered best for weight loss plan.

How do you make beans taste good without meat? ›

Don't forget spices and herbs

I like smoked paprika to add a bit of the campfire flavor, since I keep my beans vegetarian most of the time. I also like adding a little bit of red chile flake or a whole dried chile, sometimes some cumin, and maybe a little bit of Mexican oregano.

Are kidney beans a good substitute for meat? ›

According to one study, people who eat beans daily consume less fat and saturated fat while taking in more fiber, protein, folate, iron, and other important minerals. Beans may have a positive impact on health when eaten as a replacement for meat or other protein sources that are high in cholesterol.

Do beans count as meat? ›

Therefore, beans, peas, and lentils are also considered part of the vegetable group. Individuals can count beans, peas, and lentils as either a vegetable or a protein food. Beans include varieties such as kidney beans, pinto beans, white beans, black beans, lima beans, and fava beans.

What are high protein foods that are not meat or beans? ›

Although all fruits and vegetables contain protein, some contain more than others. Vegetables with the most protein include broccoli, spinach, asparagus, artichokes , potatoes, sweet potatoes , and Brussels sprouts, which typically contain 4–5 g of protein per cooked cup.

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