Italian White Beans

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5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 17 minutes

Italian White Beans are so tasty, even people who claim to be bean haters will be taken by surprise of how this dish is.

Italian White Beans in a white bowl.

This Italian Cannellini Beans recipe is packed with flavor while being nutritious and hearty. Such a good side dish that is pairs well with so many other dishes. Italian white beans will easily become a family favorite.

To learn more about the nutrition facts about white beans, visit the USDA.


MORE BEAN RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Restaurant Styled Black Beans | Instant Pot Baked Beans | Three Bean Chili


What We Love About This Recipe

  • 20 Minute Side Dish: This hearty and delicious side dish takes less than 20 minutes to make.
  • Easy Ingredients: Italian white beans recipe requires mainly pantry friendly ingredients.
  • Adaptable: Can you easily make this recipe dairy-free with a simple swap.
Side view of the beans.

Ingredient Notes

  • Olive Oil: A good cooking oil.
  • Garlic Cloves: Fresh minced garlic.
  • Italian Seasoning: The link for the seasoning is here.
  • Crushed Tomatoes: Can tomatoes or fresh, use what you enjoy.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Just a little heat.
  • White Beans: Soak and drain.
  • Spinach or Kale: That punch of green makes it perfect.
  • Butter
  • Parmesan Cheese: Fresh grated is best but the can works too.
Beans, salt garlic, red pepper flakes etc.

Equipment Needed

How to Make Italian Beans

These are the basic steps for making Italian White Beans. Please refer to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.

Preparing the beans for cooking.

STEP 1: MAKING WHITE ITALIAN BEANS

In your large pot over medium-high heat, add extra virgin olive oil, once its heated add minced garlic cloves and saute until fragrant. Then add the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper, kosher salt, black pepper, and the beans (drain and rinsed). Cook for 8 minutes until beans are tender.

STEP 2: ADD THE SPINACH

To the white beans, add the spinach and cook for 4-5 minutes until wilted. Stir in butter or extra drizzle of olive oil and parmesan cheese, then serve.

Adding the spinach and ingredients for the beans.

Prep and Storage Tips for Italian Beans Recipe

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE AHEAD OF TIME

To make this Italian beans recipe ahead of time, follow the steps as usual and store in airtight container for 1-2 days before serving. Reheat in a saucepan or skillet on the stove until warm.

HOW TO STORE THIS RECIPE

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

HOW TO FREEZE THIS RECIPE

Freeze Italian white beans in a freezer bag for up to 6 months, allow to thaw completely before reheating.

HOW TO REHEAT THIS RECIPE

You can either reheat on the stove top in skillet on medium low heat until warm or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until hot.

Frequently Asked Questions about Italian Cannellini Beans Recipe

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE VEGAN

To make this recipe dairy-free/vegan, hold the parmesan and swap out the butter for a plant based butter or just supplement by using extra olive oil.

CAN I SUBSTITUTE CHICKPEAS IN PLACE OF WHITE BEANS?

You actually make this recipe with chickpeas as well if white beans are not your favorite.

CAN THIS RECIPE BE DOUBLED OR HALVED?

This recipe can easily be doubled or halved, just increase or deceased ingredients proportionally.

WHAT ARE ITALIAN WHITE BEANS CALLED?

Italian white beans are also known as cannellini beans or white kidney beans.

HOW LONG SHOULD YOU SOAK YOUR WHITE BEANS FOR?

Simply rinse your desired amount of beans, then soak them in water for 6-8 hours, using a ratio of 3 cups of water for every cup of beans.

A spoonful of the Italian White Beans.

Expert Tips for Making This White Beans dish from Italy Recipe

  • This Recipe Can be Doubled: This is a great recipe to bring to a pasta party, to doubled, just increase ingredients proportionally.
  • Chickpeas: If you are not a huge fan of the texture of white beans, you can also use garbanzo beans for just as tasty of a result.
  • Lemon Juice: You can add a squeeze of lemon juice to help bring a slight citrus flavor to this dish. Lemon juice pairs very well with butter, parmesan cheese, and tomatoes.
  • White Beans: You can also use other types of white beans, such as navy beans or great northern beans.
  • Serve with: Serve with pasta dishes, meat dishes, or soups.
  • Fresh Herbs: Try adding fresh sage, rosemary or a bay leaf to the tomato sauce. Add a little onion too.

What to Serve with Italian White Beans

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Italian White Beans
5 from 1 vote

Italian White Beans

Yield: 10 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 17 minutes
Italian White Beans are so tasty, even people who claim to be bean haters will be taken by surprise of how this dish is.
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Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 5 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 14 oz Canned Crushed Tomatoes, with juice from can
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, or more to taste
  • Salt, as desired (adjust if using canned beans with salt)
  • 32 oz Canned White Beans, drained and rinsed *see note
  • 2 cups Baby Spinach
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, optional
  • Parmesan, for serving

Instructions

  • In a large stockpot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Stir in the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes and salt, followed by the beans.
  • Cook for 8 minutes until completely hot throughout the dish, then add the baby spinach and cook until wilted, about 4-5 minutes.
  • If desired, stir in butter for some richness before seasoning to taste with grated Parmesan cheese.

Expert Tips

  • This Recipe Can be Doubled: This is a great recipe to bring to a pasta party, to doubled, just increase ingredients proportionally.
  • Chickpeas: If you are not a huge fan of the texture of white beans, you can also use garbanzo beans for just as tasty of a result.
  • Lemon Juice: You can add a squeeze of lemon juice to help bring a slight citrus flavor to this dish. Lemon juice pairs very well with butter, parmesan cheese, and tomatoes.
  • White Beans: You can also use other types of white beans, such as navy beans or great northern beans.
  • Serve with: Serve with pasta dishes, meat dishes, or soups.
  • Fresh Herbs: Try adding fresh sage, rosemary or a bay leaf to the tomato sauce. Add a little onion too.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 82mg | Potassium: 573mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 751IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 4mg
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: beans, white beans

This recipe is my personal adaption of an ethnic inspired recipe. It is not intended to be an authentic recipe.  I’ve recreated this recipe because I enjoy the flavors and I want to encourage my readers to expand their tastes and try new flavor combinations. The recipe, ingredients and processes may have been adapted to make the recipe accessible for the average American. I have provided links to authentic versions of the recipe in the post above. I encourage you to visit these pages and learn more about the traditional version(s) of this recipe.

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