mixed bean casserole – a frugal recipe

This mixed bean casserole is absolutely delicious. Beans are the ultimate frugal food. High in protein and vitamins and versatile in use. You can either use two tins of bought beans (less frugal but still cheap) or soak dried ones overnight and then boil until cooked (can be over an hour for some beans) – good ones for this recipe: chick peas, aduki beans, black eye beans, green lentils, kidney beans (usually 11p for a value tin), borlotti and lima but any will do.

Check out bulk prices here. Clearance food specialists Low Priced Foods and Approved Food sometimes have some bean bargains too.

mixed bean casserole


  • 2 leeks or 2 onions, sliced into thin round slices
  • A little olive oil
  • Mixed beans of your choice, cooked (how much is up to you – 500g+)
  • 2 tins plum tomatoes – chop them up (about 3 cups/800g in all)
  • half a cup of water or vegetable stock
  • a handful of fresh herbs of your choice roughly chopped or 3 teaspoons of dried herbs (suggested herbs – mint, thyme, sage, winter savory)
  • salt to taste


Fry the leeks in the oil for a few moments then add the beans and stir until coated with the oil. Add the tomatoes, water/stock, salt and herbs and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes until cooked – alternatively place in oven to cook – a good idea if you are already using it for baked potatoes or herb bread which go very well with this dish. Maybe you could fit a cake in there too? Sorry – off on a frugal tangent!

Variations are many with casseroles – they are great for using things up: Add the dumplings from our mince and dumplings recipe. Add any vegetables that need using up – tinned potatoes mixed through could make this a one pot meal. Add rehydrated soya chunks or chopped sausages Make it fruity with dried apricots. Pictured is a casserole made with tinned butter beans, aubergines and leeks served with mustard mash.

If you liked this mixed bean casserole, you might like some of our other frugal fare!

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“The first time the sea killed me, my brother brought me back to life.”

So begins THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR. Set in a castle, this historical novel features the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic and a love story.

6 Replies to “mixed bean casserole – a frugal recipe”

  1. Hi thanks for the idea. However Im not keen on herby things, but Id love to know how to make this spicy… not hot though. I have spices but not sure what amounts/types to use. Can you help? Thanks

  2. I grow some runner bean plants every year but don’t take a picking of the green bean, I wait until the autumn until the plant has grown brown and the pods are crispy ,, I harvest the beautiful beans inside the pods, dry them on a tray for a week then store in a paper bag ,, the beans can be soaked overnight and used in stews, casseroles, curries, chillie, as you would a can of beans ,, very frugal and healthy indeed, so give it a go and you can replant them the following year so you never have to buy seeds again,,

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