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What can I do with mushy canned green beans?

Thinking to save money, I picked up a few cans of french-cut green beans. The only canned veggies I ever use are tomatoes and carrots (I pop carrots in food processor and add to my pasta sauce). The green beans were an unappetizing beige-green and mushy. There is no way I can eat these straight-up. What are some suggestions that will hide the texture and the color? BTW, they are not going in my spaghetti sauce.

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  1. Frittata. It won't hide the color, but it will make the texture irrelevant, and Italians don't generally prefer crispy green beans.....

    Also, you can use them with linguine with pesto (that will make the color less of an issue, and green beans in pasta should be very tender anyway) - if you added potatoes, then you'd have something approximating the classic Ligurian dish.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Karl S

      Yeah, maybe, on the crispy veg thing for Italians, but that awful canned liquid tastes just like metal. I feel like I am eating the can.

    2. A stew. For example a local fav at the Kibler's

      Liege Stew
      onion chopped fin
      1/2 pound bacon, cut into cubes
      left over boiled potatoes, 3 or 4 small, cubed...or you can use the jarred ones
      1 can green beans with a little of the juice
      any spices you prefer...even Sriracha!

      Fry bacon cubes until crisp, add onion and fry until clear, add potatoes, after a few minutes add green beans with a little of their juice. Let stew awhile.

      This is a week night dinner at our house. Can be served with add ins like grated cheese, plain yogurt, or other left overs.

      1. First of all, rinse them off with water to lose some of the metallic taste.

        I try to avoid carbs and I used canned green beans as a sub for pasta with lots of tomato sauce on top.

        If you really hate them, donate them to a food drive. Someone likes them or they wouldn't be sold in stores.

        1. You might try incorporating drained, rinsed beans into a type of Indian-spiced vegetable fritter. This recipe looks similar to what a family member makes, except she sometimes uses chickpea flour (besan) to bind instead of cooked lentils. However, I think that addition is essential for having the patties stay together....as well as chilling the patties ahead of time.


          1. some things just aren't worth repurposing. chalk it up to experience, dontate the cans to a food pantry, and don't buy again!

            9 Replies
            1. re: janniecooks

              Seriously. With so many people out of work and food pantries stretched, the suggestions to feed them to animals or compost them, while I hope they were tounge-in -cheek, seem so wrong.

              There's nothing wrong with canned beans. If you like fresh, you like fresh. But this will give a vegetable to someone who might not otherwise have anything to eat.

              I am not in favor of dumping bad food on the poor, but seriously ... there's nothing wrong with canned beans.

              The website Thrifty Fun has lots of ideas. I am guessing you are not the green bean caserole type, but if you scroll down there are lots of other ideas such as frying them up with bacon and garlic

              It won't help the texture, but as this site suggests, you need to wash them and get rid of the liquid. I rarely buy cans of beans with salt, but it washes away some of the sodium. Even salt-free, washing removes the metalic can taste, if there is one


              1. re: rworange

                mmmm. . . bacon. it makes everything better, but i think i'll expand on the idea of the veggie fritter, and puree them and add them to a dough along with some type of cheese and spicy seasonings. i'll probably bake them as opposed to frying to save some calories. hopefully the kids will like 'em.

                thanks everyone for all of the ideas.

                  1. re: fantasyjoker

                    The German dish, "Birnen, Bohnen, und Speck" means pears, beans, and bacon.
                    My mother made it in the pressure cooker, with potato, sliced fresh Bosc pears, frozen frenched green beans, and slab bacon. It was something my father liked but I never ate it - that chunk of slab bacon was the deal-breaker. I"m not sure if there was onion. If I were to reconstruct it, I'd render diced slab bacon, sautee onions in the fat, add pears and fresh green beans and cover over low heat for a while, then serve over steamed potatoes. Instead of fresh beans, putting canned green beans in at the end would, I think, be acceptable in a pinch.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      Green beans with pears and bacon sounds good. For that sort of thing I would use fresh though. Will have to keep that in mind.

                  2. re: rworange

                    "I am not in favor of dumping bad food on the poor" but it happens.

                    Yes, I just got a can of green beans from my local food bank, and have no idea what to do with them. I might just take it back to them, as I don't own a dog.

                    Maybe a serious pickling for a mixed bean salad is in order, with some onion and canned kidney beans, which I also received from the food bank. Hope I can get around the metallic taste.

                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                      Take them back if you don't like them. There are people who like canned green beans. If you look at the Thrifty Fun link there are some recipes for marinated green bean salad. Just be sure to rinse the beans a number of times to remove any can taste. It depends on who is canning them. Some have that white enamel like lining that cuts donw the can taste.

                      1. re: rworange

                        Actually, the food bank may not accept them. They don't take donations directly from the public into my local bank location. I have a neighbor would might want them, though.

                        Or, I might try tartetatin's vegetarian chopped liver recipe, as I think toasted walnuts and caramelized onion might lessen the canned flavor.

                        PS I like many different canned vegetables, just not green beans.

                  3. I was going to be a smart alec and post a response to this question but it turns out my solution was apparently not as amusing as I thought it was going to be. (Feed them to the dog).

                    1. Nothing--- I threw mine out. I tried to perk them up with bacon and onion, but the mush was just too much.

                      I tossed them this evening.

                      1. Canned green beans mixed with stewed tomatoes, topped with parmesan cheese is one of my favorite quick lunches. I used to live near a greek diner that served this as a side, and I loved them.....

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: jeanmarieok

                          I have a delicious vegetarian chopped liver recipe that calls for canned beans (mushiness of beans is important element here). It has five ingredients that go into a food processor - 1 cup of walnuts, 1 medium to large onion, sliced and caramelized for 20 mins, 1 hard boiled egg, 1 piece of bread, toasted and 1 can of beans, drained and rinsed. Pulverize all, but be careful to keep some texture. spread on toast or crackers or challah, yum.

                          1. re: tartetatin

                            Interesting! Two questions:
                            Do you toast the walnuts first?
                            Do all ingredients go into the food processor at the same time, or do you fully process certain ingredients before coarsely processing in others?

                            1. re: 4Snisl

                              Yes, I toast the walnuts, but it is also good with them raw.

                              In terms of processing, I don't really have a set method, but I guess I probably process the walnuts first for a bit (depending on the size of the pieces) and then add other ingredients except the egg (give each ingredient a bit of a chop before adding to the food processor). I add the egg at the end and just pulse a number of times to break it up.

                              1. re: tartetatin

                                Oh, and season with salt and pepper too - sorry, forgot to include that.

                            2. re: tartetatin

                              Seems to me I saw that idea/recipe somewhere way back when, have always wanted to try it, more out of curiosity to taste the end result. Since I now own a can of green beans, maybe I'll give it a go. Thanks for posting the idea.

                          2. My mother makes "bar-b-que" green beans. A few cans of green beans, fry some bacon, add some kind of home made sauce or I guess a bottled sauce and bake in the oven for a couple of hours. My mom made her sauce with ketchup, brown sugar, worchestershire and probably a few other things.

                            They were a popular side at her restaurant and always a hit at family gatherings.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Shann

                              Not sure if this will work with the french cut beans but I like to do crumbed beans. Melt some butter, add in bread crumbs, then toss in in drained beans and cook till warm. My mother did this with fresh beans but my mother-in-law used the can beans.

                            2. I am really enjoying these responses. Thanks everyone. Now that I have more time this weekend, I'm going to try that fritter experiment with the green beans.