Recipes / $20 Meals

Big Batch Beans Vegetarian or Meat Style

Discover the story
We are all about keeping things easy (and on a budget), and maximizing what we have at home.

Today for our new WOT series $20 Tuesday we are sharing with you this easy recipe for Big Batch Beans Vegetarian or Meat Style. If you missed last week’s $20 Tuesday, Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork sandwiches, you can check it out here!

You can follow the recipe below or make swaps for any of the ingredients (raid your fridge and freezer) and still have a delicious meal that satisfies whatever you are feeling.

You can serve rice + beans on their own, vegetarian style or throw an egg on top, Brazilian style. There really isn’t a wrong way to make these! If you aren’t getting enough flavor, Camila can show you how to add some simple ingredients you probably already have at home to kick up the taste (have a look at the video below!).

These are a Brazilian household staple and a great way to get a big boost of protein on a budget and feed the whole family, all for around $20.

Big Batch Beans Vegetarian or Meat Style


  • 2 lbs dried black beans
  • 2 bay leaves
If You Have Meat In Your Freezer
  • 2 lbs pork ribs I used small baby back but Any kind of pork or meat can be added this just makes a little more of a hearty meal.
  • 1 lb moked sausage your preference, cut into bite size pieces, just sausage if its all you have.
Vegetarian Style Ingredients
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic or some garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil (or what you have on hand)
  • You can also add some Italian dressing to this mix if you got a good one! That is just for the fun!
  • Salt and Pepper to taste and any other spices of your preference.
  • jalapeno or some crushed red pepper for heat.


Directions For The Night Before
  • Sort and wash the beans well removing any that don’t look good.
  • If using ribs Soak(brine) them in salted water 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
The Next Morning
  • Drain and rinse the beans and add to a large pot and cover with water with approx. 4 fingers width of water above the beans Add bay leaves Cook the beans alone until just tender adding water if needed.
For The Meat Version
  • Add the soaked ribs in and let cook until the ribs are tender. Once tender add the sausage pieces and cook through. The beans will be seasoned from the meats and you can add seasoning to taste at the end if more is needed. 
  • If you only had ground meat you can sauté it with a little seasoning and add once beans are cooked or make little meatballs with the kids and toss those in. It’s a free for all, get creative. 
For The Vegetarian Version
  • Cook the beans until soft, seasoning with a little salt and the bay leaves. In a separate pan, sauté’ onion in oil until tender. Add garlic and tomato (if using) and your extra spices to taste and sauté until cooked and a little browned and reduced. Drain the amount of the beans from the pot that you want to eat that day and add to the sauté pan. 
  • Toss the beans in the pan on medium heat until they absorb all of those flavors. Add some of the cooking water if needed to get them to a nice consistency for serving.
  • Serve over rice or quinoa, add that fried egg, avocados or whatever you Like or have! I would love to see what you do with beans so please share with the WOT community. Whatever you don’t eat they will freeze very well for a second meal. 
Copied Print


Making this recipe? Be sure and share it with us on the WOT Instagram or on Facebook!


Note: $20 is an approximate cost for this dish. The actual price of all ingredients may vary.

by Camila Alves McConaughey