Skip to Content

To add a breath of fresh air to your favourite dishes, why not turn to legumes? Here are some good reasons to add them to your menu, plus some recipe ideas to help reinvent your spring classics.

Variety on the menu

Legumes are used in cuisines around the world, but did you know that many varieties come from Quebec and Canada? In fact, our country is one of the largest producers of legumes. Lentils, peas, or beans: learn how to enjoy them for their diversity . . . and deliciousness!

Dry legumes: not to be overlooked!

Some dry legumes are often shunned because of the soaking time required to prepare them. Indeed, dry peas, chickpeas, as well as dried beans, whether black, red, white, or Pinto, must first be rehydrated for six to eight hours (or overnight) before cooking. But that’s no reason to ignore them! To save time, simply bring the dried legumes to a boil for two minutes, remove the pan from the heat, and let sit for an hour.

And not all dry legumes need soaking. Several varieties, such as split peas and brown, green, coral, blond, or beluga lentils can be prepared on the spot. They are tasty in soups, giving them a deliciously creamy texture. Another benefit of lentils: they take on the flavours of whatever dish you’re cooking, enhanced by spices, herbs, and aromatics.

Canned legumes: perfect for busy nights

Peas, lentils, and beans of all kinds are also available in can format. Cooked and ready to use, these legumes are a popular option on hectic weeknights. We advise rinsing them prior to consumption, to remove excess salt from the brine.

Endless benefits!

  • Economical: Legumes are very affordable. They usually cost less than a dollar per canned serving. They are even cheaper when you opt for the dried variety: typically under $0.20 per serving. By replacing some of your meat with legumes, you can easily lower your grocery bill. Such a delicious way to save money!
  • Satiating: Considered both a starch and meat substitute, legumes contain a high content of complex carbohydrates and protein, which contributes to the feeling of satiety. The best of both worlds!
  • Nutritional: Legumes are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Bonus: they have no saturated fat, unlike meat.
  • Practical: Dry or canned, they can be stored for a long, long time, making them the perfect option when it comes to last-minute meal ideas!
  • Versatile: In the slow cooker, in a pan, in the oven, or over a fire: legumes can be prepared and enjoyed a thousand and one different ways. You can even prepare them on the BBQ! Remember to incorporate them into your patties, as in this recipe for these meat and black bean burgers cooked on the grill.

Unique ways of incorporating legumes

Mexican fiesta

Want to impress the kids? Combine brown lentils with ground beef to make a taco filling. In a variation on the same theme, we suggest a Mexican salad made with legumes. This recipe, served in a tasty tortilla bowl, is sure to add some sunshine to your day!


Try adding a can of beans or lentils to your chicken minestrone, along with your leftover cooked chicken. Legumes can also replace potatoes in a creamy squash soup.

Magical meatballs

Transform your traditional meatballs by swapping half the meat with lentils. With breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese, and topped with tomato sauce, your kids won’t even be able to tell the difference! Make extra meatballs and use them to make yummy sandwiches for lunch the next day.

Chickpeas in your lunch

For an easy on-the-go lunch, try this fresh and flavourful Greek salad made with chickpeas. Or whip up a hummus-style dip or spread (simply puree cooked chickpeas with mayonnaise, onion, garlic, carrot, parsley, Cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper) and use it to upgrade your sandwiches and wraps. Chickpeas also make a great snack: roast them in the oven with olive oil, paprika, and garlic powder.

They even make delightful desserts!

You read that right—legumes can even be used in your dessert recipes! We absolutely adore this recipe for black bean brownies, a healthier alternative to the much-loved classic. But don’t reveal your chef’s secret to the kids . . . and we bet they come back for seconds!

Legumes are true chameleons in the kitchen. Not only are they delicious, but they’re easy to incorporate into almost any dish. So go ahead—add them to your menu this spring and enjoy every bite!