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White Beans with Tomato and Spinach

White Beans with Tomato and Spinach


  • 1 10-ounce bag fresh spinach leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup sliced shallots (about 4 large)
  • 24 grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), drained

Recipe Preparation

  • Heat large deep nonstick skillet over high heat. Add spinach to dry skillet; toss until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to strainer set over bowl.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; add tomatoes and rosemary and sauté 1 minute. Add broth; cover and cook until tomatoes soften, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Crush tomatoes with potato masher. Stir in beans and 1 tablespoon oil. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until juices thicken, about 15 minutes. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over low heat.

  • Stir spinach into beans. Season with salt and pepper.

Reviews Section

Recipe Summary

  • 1 ¼ cups dry cannellini beans
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • 1 ½ cups tomato sauce
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Place beans in a large pot. Cover with water and stir in baking soda. Soak for 8 to 12 hours.

Rinse beans and return to the pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender yet firm to the bite, about 25 minutes. Drain beans, reserving the water, and set aside.

Heat the same pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Saute garlic and sage in the hot oil until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add drained beans. Stir and let the beans absorb the aroma of the garlic and sage. Add tomato sauce. Gently stir and simmer until the beans are soft but not mushy, 10 to 15 minutes. Use reserved cooking water to keep the sauce from burning, but the sauce should be thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

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I made quite a few modifications given what I had on hand (basil instead of rosemary), no white beans. Otherwise went with the base recipe and threw in pasta with the spinach at the end and it was really yummy. We served it with Parmesan cheeses. I will absolutely make it again (with the beans).

This was good and easy especially for a quick main meal during the week. I followed the other cooks' advise and added onion and garlic. I didn't have fresh tomotes so I used canned. I sauted the onions and garlic in the tomato juice from the can. It worked out just fine. Also since only two of us were eating I used only one can of the beans. Very enjoyable.

I added lemon juice at the end and substituted half of the rosemary for thyme! Also i used dried beans which i pre-cooked with garlic and a bay leaf. This is a nice combination, but definitely needs some work!

This is real easy and such a great side. I threw some roasted pine nuts to add more texture and flavor. Fantastic.

I love this recipe. Pairs very well with grilled lambchops. Made exactly as written, which is rare for me, and it came out excellent.

You need to add garlic to this recipe - I do nice size slices/chuncks. Also, I crush up some of the beans so it gets a little thickness to it. You must add salt & pepper - it's always a big hit, and is even better the next day!

This is one of my favorites- it needs a little help. I add lots of garlic, onion sometimes instead of shallots. It does taste better with fresh tomatoes. I also cut the beans down to 1 or 2 cans, depends on how many are eating. It needs salt and pepper at the end. A recipe is like a blue print, sometimes it needs an adjustment or two. I love this with lamb chops.

Disappointing. It was pallid and uninteresting andI used the original recipe. If one uses canned tomatoes in any recipe the sodium content will up their flavour to dominate. It is not good looking after a day - wilted spinach and withered cherry tomatoes look depressing. There are many tastier white bean recipes.

I reduce the beans by 1/2 or 1/3, but otherwise a great recipe, got raves from my guests.

We had this instead of potatoes along a pork tenderloin. It was EASY and delicious. I made roughly half, and used diced canned tomatoes. Yum -- even better the next day, as a side to ham.

Lovely side dish. Healthy, tasty, and easy.

This dish taste much better when made the day before serving with a little extra rosemary and seasoning.

Second time I've made this. It is not delicious, but it's very pretty, and can be totally made in advance, unlike most vegetable dishes. Last night I quintipled the recipe for 70 guests. It was all eaten, no one asked for the recipe, but it's one of those great dishes to make ahead, take to a potluck, etc. I'll make it again and again---in my permanent repertoire. Only advice: make sure you almost totally reduce the broth to point of syrup. I have made with canned beans as well as boiled---no difference.

There are only two of us so I cut this recipe in thirds and only used one can of beans. I added more spinach than the recipe called for and didn't mash the tomatoes, only cut them in half. I also added more tomatoes. It was very good. Next time I'll add more shallots and possibly some garlic, more spinach and more tomatoes. I definitely would make this again.

Easy to make. The flavor was great. After reading the other reviews I added more rosemary to the dish.

This was attractive, but very underwhelming, taste-wise. It was kind of fun to mash the tomatoes and have them explode all over my apron, though! Still, there are a lot of recipes that pack flavor into beans, and this isn't one of them. I made it to the letter, but found it disappointing and won't be making it again.

I agree with the other reviewers healthy, but must be seasoned heavily with salt and pepper.

This recipe takes bland to a whole new level - even after I added extra herbs and spices.

I was hoping for Spinach with Beans, but got Beans with not much Spinach, so next time I would at least double the spinach. If there is a next time, because frankly, I found this quite bland. The tomatoes dissolved -- next time I would use a lot more tomatoes and NOT mash them. And finally, this does not make a good leftover. it was even blander on day two.

I followed the recipe exactly, with the exception of using Great Northern beans as the store did not have cannelini. Though quick and healthy, the flavor was off. The rosemary seemed overpowering and the dish overall was disappointing. I won't make it again.

  • 1 cup white beans, soaked (see notes)*
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced, half reserved
  • ½ to ⅔ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch greens such as kale or collards, chopped, to equal 4-6 cups
  • 3 cups diced heirloom tomatoes or 1 large can unsalted diced tomatoes, drained
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes, or diced hot pepper, if desired
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • Black pepper, to taste

  1. Pressure Cooker Method:

Drain the beans and set aside. Heat the pressure cooker over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. Add the beans and broth and lock the lid on the cooker. Bring to high pressure over high heat and then reduce the heat. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the pressure come down naturally. Carefully open the lid, tilting it away from you.

Dry sauté the onions and half the garlic and then add the beans and broth to cover (it will be closer to 1 cup or more). Cook, simmering, until the beans are done, adding liquid as necessary to keep beans covered. Drain off most of the broth, leaving about ¼ cup in the pot.

Add the greens, tomatoes, pepper flakes, if using, and the remaining garlic. Simmer for up to 10 minutes until the greens are cooked and the tomatoes start to break down. Season to taste. Serve hot over quinoa, other whole grain or pasta or as a side dish.

Notes: If fresh shelling beans are available, use them. If not, soak your beans overnight or do a quick soak and then cook them quickly in the pressure cooker. No, pressure cooker? It takes much longer on the stovetop but can be done.

Shrimp with tomatoes, white beans and spinach recipe

Since my husband and I both have our own businesses, a big family vacation hasn’t been in the picture for many years. We never felt that we could take the time off from work or spend the money during uncertain economic times. But with Daughter #1 off to college (we hope) in two years, we decided it was now or never. So here we are in Amsterdam with two teenage girls and a picky 8-year-old on the first day of a 3 1/2 week European adventure. So far so good!

We are hoping to create some amazing memories, expose the kids to beautiful and interesting places and cultures, and enjoy some quality family bonding time. I purposely didn’t purchase any international phone plans for the girls so that they would focus on our experiences, but somehow they have already figured out how to call and text their friends for free. Oy. Regardless, I decided to let a lot go before we embarked on this trip, especially with regard to food. Sometimes you have to go with the flow and not create any unnecessary stress at a time when you are supposed to be relaxing. So I ate a cheese and tomato pancake in Amsterdam today and didn’t think about the white flour, non-organic butter and cheese I had inhaled. Until now. Just kidding! Totally ok with it.

What I did think about before I left was you dear people and how I still wanted to continue to inspire you with some healthful recipes to cook. I hope you know that I really do walk the talk and prepare dinner for my family at least five nights a week, sometimes six or seven. I especially like to make sure I cook the night before I leave for a trip so that we have a proper meal and a good night’s sleep. So I thought I would share with you what I made for our last dinner at home.

Granted, the night before we left for 3 1/2 weeks was a busy one and Pamela had veeeeery limited time. Shrimp with tomatoes, white beans and spinach was one of the only things I knew how to whip up in about 15 minutes and feel good about. Yes, you see white rice on the plate because my choice was either brown rice and not going out to buy Mr. Picky a rain jacket or white rice and keeping him dry on our trip but losing a little fiber. Mr. Picky always wins and I’m glad since we had a little sprinkle tonight as we walked back to our hotel after dinner.

With some grilled zucchini, this was otherwise the perfect meal. You know by now I could eat tomato-garlic-olive oil on anything and I love seafood. But I will admit right now that Daughter #2 is still boycotting anything that swims and I my husband doesn’t eat shellfish. The beauty of this dish is that you can easily adapt it for vegetarians or non-seafood eaters by eliminating the shrimp since the white beans add lots of good protein. So the two of them just picked out the shellfish. More for me! If you can find good quality wild shrimp, it’s actually a really good source of Vitamin D and iodine, and very low in fat.

I used Eden Organic canned white beans for this recipe and fresh tomatoes. The beans make the sauce nice and creamy so include something in the meal to soak up the juices. Besides rice, I think polenta or millet would be good choices too. You could also sub arugula for the spinach, but Mr. Picky just started eating spinach so I didn’t want to push my luck. Speaking of pushing it, it is now morning and everyone is waiting for me to head over to the Van Gogh Museum. Check out my daily posts on Twitter and Facebook for more European updates!

  • 1 ½ cups white rice
  • 4 larges eggs
  • 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for serving
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 9-oz. bag baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the rice according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Carefully lower in the eggs and cook 6 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl full of ice water and let cool. When cool, remove the eggs and peel.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the paprika, season with salt, and cook, stirring until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until the mixture is slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the beans and cook, mashing some with a fork, until warmed through, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and keep warm.

Add the spinach and water to the skillet and cook, tossing, until almost wilted, about 1 minute. Serve the rice topped with the bean mixture, spinach, and halved eggs. Top with the cheese and season with salt.

  • 4 thick slices country-style whole-wheat bread
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 medium plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
  • 1 10-ounce bag baby spinach
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh basil, or 2 tablespoons prepared pesto

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Top bread with Parmesan, place on a baking sheet and bake until the bread is crispy and the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and beans and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes are beginning to soften and the beans are heated through, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in spinach, pepper, salt and broth and cook, stirring constantly, until the spinach is just wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in basil (or pesto). Spoon the bean-and-spinach mixture over the Parmesan toasts and serve hot.

Make Ahead Tip: The spinach-and-bean mixture can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave.

Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.

Gigantes Plaki – Baked White Beans in Tomato Sauce

I have an original Gigantes Plaki recipe on this blog, and I love it. It’s based on an original dish I enjoyed that last time I was in Greece. Though, it’s made with dried beans which means it take a little more planning ahead, and more time, even if you have a pressure cooker. So I decided to make a new version of this tasty recipe, but this time not quite as traditional, but a whole lot quicker. Thanks to canned “Bianchi die Spagna” in other words, organic butter beans (also known as lima beans). They can be found at a well-stocked organic food store, otherwise canned or jarred fava beans (Dicke Bohnen) can be used.

Both I would say are mild with a creamy texture. So canned beans yes. Quick. Weeknight quick. And leftovers are pretty darn tasty. For best results, I urge you to buy quality ingredients. The white beans and tomato sauce is a simple recipe that relies on good ingredients. For me, that means buying organic. If not, check the labels as some brands add sugar to the tomatoes and beans can vary in salt content.

Oven-Roasted Salmon with White Beans, Tomato and Spinach

Oven-roasted salmon with white beans, tomatos and spinach is a great weeknight meal but also elegant enough for a special dinner party.

Salmon with White Beans, Tomato and Spinach


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and smashed
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can white cannellini beans drained
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces fresh spinach


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Heat the olive oil and smashed garlic clove on the stovetop over medium heat. When the garlic clove starts to turn brown on the edges, remove the garlic cloves and discard. Increase the heat to high, add the salmon fillets, presentation side down, and sear for 2 minutes to brown. Flip and cook the other side for 1 minute. Remove the salmon to a plate and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add the shallots and thyme sprigs and cook briefly. Add the white wine and bring to a simmer. Add the tomatoes and return to a simmer again. Return the salmon fillets to the pan, placing them on top of the tomato sauce and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the salmon fillets to a resting plate. Add the white beans to the tomato sauce and heat through. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and just before serving, stir the spinach into the mixture to wilt.
  5. To plate, spoon the tomatoes, beans and spinach to a plate or shallow bowl and top with the salmon. Serve with a green salad and some crusty bread to wipe up the sauce.
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Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 2 fifteen-and-a-half-ounce cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups (about 8 ounces) spinach, stems trimmed
  • 4 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, and add olive oil. Add diced onion, and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add beans, and cook until hot and slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and vinegar, stirring frequently until spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the thyme, and season with the salt and pepper. Serve.