5 Weekday Meals with Make-Ahead Red Bean Sauce

Feeling tired to cook every day because of a hectic work-life? Wouldn’t it be nice if you can reheat prepped dishes and make instant meals for dinner? Here’s a way to prepare a batch of red beans in advance to make five different 300-calorie meals throughout the week.

Red bean is one of the richest sources of plant-based heme. It has plenty of macronutrients such as potassium, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and copper. Red beans are nutritious with decent quantities of folate, thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin.

One cup cooked red bean has 295 calories and contains 17 grams of protein, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of fiber, and 0.2 grams of fat. Eating a red bean diet can help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels. These have high-antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Since they are high in fiber, one red bean meal can keep you satiated for longer.

Red beans are not kidney beans. It will be available in the Asian supermarkets as Kashmiri red beans, adzuki beans, or Kashmiri rajma. However, you can follow the same recipe with red kidney beans too, but the nutritional value will differ.

How to Meal Prep Red Bean Sauce?

Choose a lazy day to meal prep red bean sauce. You can cook this on a Sunday and reheat it throughout the week. This recipe works for two members for 5-days. Scale the recipe according to your family.


100grams/ 1 glass of red beans boiled

A large can of diced tomatoes or 10 whole tomatoes pureed

1 tsp of mixed herbs and garlic

1 tsp cumin and pepper powder

2 tbsp of chili powder/ paprika

1 ½ tsp salt and sugar

½ cup olive oil/vegetable oil

Red Bean Sauce
Make-Ahead Red Bean Sauce


Wash and soak red beans overnight for 8-12 hours. Pressure cook for 5 whistles. You can slow cook them for 8 hours in a slow cooker or instant pot.

Add a cup of pureed tomatoes in a large saucepan along with olive oil, mixed herbs, garlic, chili powder or paprika, salt, and sugar. Simmer it for 10 minutes. Mix boiled red beans into the sauce and stir well for 10 mins. Add cumin and pepper powder. Transfer the sauce into 5 different containers or according to the portions you need.

The sauce stays good in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can place three containers on the top shelf and the other two in the freezer.

5 Vegetarian Iron-Rich Recipes with Red Beans

Iron is one of the most important nutrients to include every day in our diet. But cooking iron-rich meals daily can daunt new mothers, professionals, and working women. If you have this pre-made red bean sauce, you can whip up delicious meals in no time.

  1. Red Bean Shakshuka

Prepare this wholesome meal on the first day of the week for breakfast. Add the red bean sauce to a skillet and cook for 2 mins. Break 2-4 eggs in the skillet and sprinkle pepper and salt. Close the skillet with a lid and let it simmer for 10 mins. Serve hot with bread!

Red Bean Shakshuka
Shakshuka with Make-Ahead Red Bean Sauce
  1. Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice, a fulfilling lunch for the second day of the week. Cook the red bean sauce in a pan by adding a cup of veg stock or boiled water. Pressure cook a cup of basmati rice and serve this with the hot bean gravy and a fresh cucumber salad for lunch.

Red Beans and Rice
Steamed Basmati Rice with Make-Ahead Red Bean Sauce
  1. Red Bean Sandwich

Mash the red beans in the sauce to make a thick sandwich filling. Apply this paste to a multigrain bread and top it with cheese or onion, tomato, and cucumber slices (if needed). Sprinkle chat masala on top and have it for the third-day breakfast.

Red Bean Sandwich
Sandwich with Make-Ahead Red Bean Sauce and Cheese
  1. Red Bean Pasta

Use the two bean containers from the freezer for this recipe. Thaw the boxes in the fridge overnight. On a cooking day, boil any pasta, preferably macaroni as they absorb the sauce and stay good for the next recipe too.

Add the thawed red bean sauce to a pan along with frozen corn and peas. Simmer it for 10 mins and add the boiled pasta. You can have this for lunch or dinner.

Red Bean Pasta
Elbow Pasta Topped with Make-Ahead Red Bean Sauce and Cheese
  1. Red Bean Soup

You can make red bean soup by adding stock to leftover pasta from the previous night. Seasoning it with pepper and salt for the fifth-day dinner. You can spruce the soup with fresh vegetables such as onions, carrots, celery, squash, zucchini, and spinach. I added frozen corn and peas to leftover pasta to make it into a tasty soup.

Red Bean Soup
Red Bean Pasta Soup with Frozen Corn and Peas


  • Reheating beans can make it mushy.
  • Boiled beans stay good in the fridge than uncooked beans.
  • You can store soaked red beans for 3 days in the freezer. After that, it will ferment and turn bad.

The red bean sauce is an excellent add-on to your weekly meal plan. You can eat one or two dishes on the same day or use the sauce throughout the week. Try these 300-calories nutritious and filling meals next week! also check out how meal prep can alter your health and life.

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