Now, these are the SEXIEST white beans you'll ever try! It takes only 2 cans of cannellini beans, and 15 minutes or less to make this delicious white beans recipe with garlic, Parmesan, and cherry tomatoes. Serve it as an easy meatless dinner with your favorite crusty bread or as a side.
The sexiest creamy garlic white beans you'll try!
White beans cooked in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, cherry tomatoes, and a duo of Italian cheese, now this is the BEST (even sexiest) white beans recipe you'll try! And it's ready in just 15 minutes.
Using canned cannellini beans, which are tender and slightly nutty tasting, is a major shortcut that is worth taking (no overnight soaking or boiling required)! Garlic is essential here, but I also add warm Mediterranean spices including cumin and Aleppo pepper to flavor the beans. And a little grated parmesan and nutty Pecorino Romano add heft and creaminess, while a squeeze of fresh lemon balances the dish with just enough acidity.
This one-pan creamy white beans recipe is a true warm-your-belly meatless dinner that requires nothing more than your favorite crusty bread to serve. I can't wait for you to try it!
Types of white beans
White beans are a group of legumes that are easily distinguishable because of their white color and kidney-like shape. Some types of white beans include cannellini beans (also called white kidney beans), lima beans (also known as butter beans), great northern beans, and navy beans. Yup, plenty of options you can find in most supermarkets in dry and canned form. A quick guide on each of them:
- Navy Beans: Also called pea beans are smaller and have a mild flavor. They are great for mashed preparations.
- Great Northern Beans: These white beans are medium-sized and firm with a slight nutty taste.
- Cannellini Beans: Also called white kidney beans, are larger and heartier, but they do have a nice creamy texture when cooked. These beans are native to Italy and you’ll find them in many of my meals, like this orecchiette pasta, vegetarian pasta fagioli, and ribollita. And I use them in this recipe as well.
- Baby Lima Beans: Also called butterbeans, are small and creamy with a buttery texture. I love them, especially, in a mashed white bean dip.
Like I said, I used canned cannellini beans here, but you can use any canned white bean variety you like! There will be a subtle difference in taste and texture, but you'll still have a delicious bean dish that is loaded with flavor.
Ingredients: What you’ll need to make this easy white beans recipe
With just a few pantry staples, you can have dinner ready in a flash! Here’s what you’ll need to make these white beans.
- Minced garlic – I like 3 to 4 minced cloves of garlic in this dish, but feel free to alter this amount based on your preference.
- Extra virgin olive oil – A generous drizzle of EVOO to finish the dish adds a nice silkiness to the sauce.
- Canned cannellini beans – You’ll need 2 cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed. Other white beans such as butter beans and great northern beans would also work well in this recipe.
- Halved cherry tomatoes – Just a cup of cherry tomatoes adds color and a hint of bright acidity.
- Aleppo pepper – I love the subtle tang and hint of sweetness that comes from Aleppo pepper in this recipe.
- Cumin – Its earthiness is the perfect base for the other flavors to balance on.
- Chopped fresh parsley – Few herbs elevate a dish as easily as fresh parsley does!
- Grated cheese - A combination of parmesan cheese and Pecorino Romano (which is a dense, nutty, sharp cheese) add tantalizing umami to this white beans recipe. If you can’t find one or the other, you can use just parmesan or Pecorino Romano, but the combination together is a good balance of salty tang and nuttiness.
- Fresh lemon juice – A squeeze of lemon juice instantly brightens this dish, enhancing its creamy, tangy flavors.
How to make this white bean recipe
My favorite thing about this dish is just how simple it is to make and all you need is one large pan and 15 minutes of time. Here’s how you make it:
- Sauté the garlic and beans. In a large pan, sauté 3 to 4 minced garlic cloves in heated olive oil over medium heat. Once the garlic is golden, add 2 15-ounce cans of cannellini beans that have been drained, and about ½ cup of water. Season with kosher salt, black pepper, 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, and ½ teaspoon cumin.
- Add the tomatoes, fresh parsley, and cheese. Add 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the beans and tomatoes are warmed through and the tomatoes have softened a bit. Stir in the chopped fresh parsley, ¼ to ⅓ cup shaved parmesan, ¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano, and the juice of half a lemon.
- Serve! Drizzle extra virgin olive oil generously to finish the white beans dish, and serve immediately.
Can I make this recipe from dry white beans instead of canned?
If you have the time, and you’re looking for a way to use up those dry white beans that have been in your pantry for what seems like forever, you can make this white beans recipe from scratch.
Three quarters of a cup of dry white beans equals approximately 1 15-ounce can of beans. So start with 1 ½ cups of dry beans and add them to a medium to large bowl. Cover with water (there should be about 3 inches of water above the beans). Let them soak for at least 8 hours – overnight is ideal!
Drain and rinse the beans thoroughly, and then add them to a large pot on the stovetop. Cover with water once more and bring to a boil. Add some kosher salt (about 2 teaspoons) and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the beans simmer uncovered. The beans are ready when they are tender, but not mushy. This can take 2 to 3 hours. Keep an eye on the beans as they cook and add water if they start looking dry.
Once the white beans are cooked, follow the recipe as is from step one!
What to serve with this cannellini beans recipe
These creamy white beans are delicious with pita or your favorite fresh crusty bread. I also like to start the meal off with a big salad.
How to store leftovers
These garlic parmesan white beans will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 days. To reheat, add the beans to a pan on the stovetop on medium heat. If the beans have dried out a bit in the fridge, add a small amount of water (no more than ¼ cup).
Other white beans recipes to try
Hungry for more? Here are all our Mediterranean Recipes!
Garlic Parmesan White Beans
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ to ⅓ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano
- Juice of half a lemon
- In a large pan, warm 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook briefly, tossing regularly, until just golden.
- Add the cannellini beans and ½ cup water. Season with kosher salt, black pepper, and the spices. Add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally until warmed through (about 10 minutes)
- Stir in the parsley, cheese, and lemon juice.
- Finish with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately with pita or your favorite crusty bread.
- If you don't have cannellini beans, feel free to use another kind of white bean such as butter beans or great northern beans.
- I used canned beans in this recipe to save time, but you can also prepare the beans from scratch if you prefer.
- Leftover tips: These garlic parmesan white beans will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 days. To reheat, add the beans to a pan on the stovetop on medium heat. If the beans have dried out a bit in the fridge, add a small amount of water (no more than ¼ cup).
- Visit Our Shop for quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils and spices.
I am not a fan of fresh tomatoes. Do you think this would be good with jarred sun dried tomato? The recipe looks delish!
Sure, Sarah! I think that would be delicious as well!
Hi Suzy ~
Thank you for this great recipe! Your web-site encompasses so many ethnic Mediterranean dishes from many cultures and I'm looking forward to experiencing many wonderful tastes!
The Mediterranean diet is a great way to get healthy ....and stay healthy ...deliciously!
We agree 100%, Ellen! Thanks so much for the kind words!
Incredibly easy and so flavorful. Like something my Italian grandmother would have made!
Love hearing that! Thanks, Teri.
Looking forward to trying it.
I followed the directions except I skipped the Aleppo pepper because I didnt have any. Still turned out great! Love how the flavors all come together. Will definitely make this again. I'll have to find Aleppo pepper next time. Thanks for sharing!
Epic! I add chopped spinach for more goodness. Love this dish!
follow directions to a T and you will be pleased. Definitely find yourself Aleppo pepper, you’ll never use pepper flakes again.
Thanks so much, Monica!
Do you rinse the canned beans after draining?
Hi, Rebkah. You sure do! Hope you love this one!!
This dish is so easy, quick but most importantly absolutely delicious. My new comfort food.
Yay! Thanks, Colleen!
is the nutritional content for 1 serving or of the whole dish of 4 servings?
Hi, Susan. The nutritional information is based on 1 serving here. Enjoy!
Absolutely delicious. I am in heaven. I did not have Aleppo pepper, so found a suggested sub - 3/4 tsp paprika and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper. Otherwise, I made it to the exact specs. This is my new favorite!
Fantastic! Love this and will definitely be making again! Incredibly easy too. I made a few moderations, I swapped the parsley for basil and added some courgette and chilli flakes. Beautiful, recommend!
Love those adaptations, Megan! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much for this recipe. It’s so delicious and very easy to make 👍🏻
I would like to add trofie pasta to this dish. Any recommendations to keep this saucy like the picture? Would I need to add broth?
Hi, Kerry. Hard to say, as we haven't tested the recipe in this way. I'm thinking adding broth would likely be a good option, though... to keep it saucy. If you give it a try, will you please stop back and share your thoughts?
Easy, quick and tasty! Will make this again especially on one of my lazy days!
After making this for the first time this evening, I told my husband “I could eat this EVERY DAY and be happy!” Such a comforting dish, esp. during the cooler seasons but I am sure would be amazing any time of year. Am looking forward to incorporating into meals. Great balance of flavors and so satisfying. Thank you! Thank you!
I have not made this yet. But I have a question. The picture of the dish shows a saucy bean dish, the video shows a dish that is thickened by the cheese with no sauce. If I skip some of the cheese, will this dish look more like the picture. The saucy picture is what brought me to this particular recipe of yours.
Hi, Anne. It's actually that generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil at the end that give the pictures that saucy look, but you could try reducing the cheese, if you prefer.
I ended up not putting any cheese in the dish itself, I offered the grated cheese on the side allowing everyone to add as much as they liked. Otherwise I followed the recipe. It was a big hit with my vegetarian sister. Thanks!
Love it, easy and tasty.