Quick “Meaty” Marinara with Red Beans

Everyone has lazy nights. You know, the ones generally following busy days… But that’s why they make prepared foods. We keep certain foods around our kitchen for these times.  Canned beans, boxed quinoa, frozen veggies, and pasta sauce – all of these things make it super easy to whip up the occasional meal (only slightly higher in sodium than usual)! Because we don’t buy meat sauce, the lack of texture of marinara can sometimes get old. So one busy night, J decided to add some texture and flavor to her jar of sauce for a quick “homemade” spaghetti.  (1 hour prep, 30 min to make. Makes enough for about 6 servings)

½ tbsp Olive Oil

½ Sweet Onion

3-4 Large Garlic Cloves

1 Tomato

1 cup Dry Red Beans

1-2 tbsp Olde Thompson’s Steak & Burger seasoning (Black Pepper, Dill Seed, Ground Coriander, Red Pepper, & Garlic)

24 oz Jar of Marinara Sauce (whatever you have in the pantry)

In a pot, cover red beans with enough water to submerge them completely. Soak overnight.*

Before starting, rinse your beans of the overnight water with fresh water. Fill your pot of beans a 3/4 full with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil lightly for one hour**.

Meanwhile dice the onion and tomato, and mince the garlic. Place the tomato chunks in a bowl and mash ’em up. Over medium heat, warm up the oil. Saute onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic. Once fragrant, add tomato to warm. Turn heat to low and let sit.

When the beans are done, pour them into a bowl and mash those as best you can. Add the seasonings and keep mashing. Try to get all the whole beans. You’re making the consistency similar to ground meat. Because red beans are pretty thick, this can get kind of tiring. Make sure to stir them up so you’re not just mashing over the same ones the whole time.

Add the ground beans to the veggie pot and stir in marinara sauce. Cover and stir occasionally until hot. You may want to turn the heat up slightly. Serve hot over vegetable noodles or whole grain pasta.


*If you’re too busy, or forgot to soak the beans: boil extra long or use 1/2 (7 oz) of rinsed canned beans. The canned beans should be heated on the stove before mashing.
**Check after one hour for done-ness. If needed, boil longer until desired tendency. It may be 1-2 hours depending on their age and size. They should be mushy like lima beans when they’re cooked.

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