Bean sauce is already a popular appetizer. Hummus, traditionally made with chickpeas, can be a creamy replacement for sandwich spreads, for pizza sauce, and for roasted veggies. Chickpeas are not your only option, though! Any bean can be turned into a sauce. White beans, like cannelinis, are an excellent mildly flavored bean if you want something that will disappear under the seasonings you’re adding. Black beans have an earthiness that makes them work well paired with strong flavors like cilantro, jalapeño, and lime. Red beans, like kidneys and pintos, have a hint of sweetness that plays well with root vegetables like winter squash and sweet potato and warmer spices, like a Jamaican jerk seasoning.
Use these tricks to get the best texture and flavor from your beans:
- Start with no-salt-added beans so you can control how salty your finished dish it.
- Pop the skins off your beans for creamier texture (works best with chickpeas).
- Make sure the beans are cooked very well.
- Reserve some of the brine or use low-sodium broth to help thin your sauce to the thickness desired for your dish.