10 Great Casseroles on a Budget

Spicy Three-bean Casserole (Vegetarian)
Beans provide inexpensive protein in this dish.
Beans provide inexpensive protein in this dish.

Yield: 12 servings

Beans are a primary vegetarian protein option, but they're not just for vegetarians. Cost-cutters love beans, too. As far as protein sources go, they're cheap.

This casserole is about as healthy as it gets: vegetarian protein, lots of dietary fiber and some of the lightest veggies around, so it's low in calories and fat. It's high in flavor, though -- hot and spicy flavor, to be exact.

Get cooking!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (about 15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (about 15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped tomato
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers,* minced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 11/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 21/2 cups (10 ounces) frozen cut green beans
  • Fresh oregano for garnish (optional)

*When handling jalapeño peppers, wear cooking gloves and keep your fingers away from your eyes. For a non-spicy casserole, omit them.


  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onions, celery and garlic. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except green beans and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.
  3. Add green beans. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until beans are tender. Garnish with fresh oregano.

(For nutritional information, see TLC Cooking.)

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