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Overhead image of a large stainless steel skillet filled with cooked cannellini beans and spinach in a savory lemon and garlic sauce.
4.89 from 9 votes

Cannellini Beans Recipe

This Cannellini Beans Recipe is an easy and nutritious way to turn dried white beans into a hearty and delicious vegan and gluten-free side dish, lunch, or weeknight dinner recipe.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Soaking Time8 hrs
Total Time10 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 306kcal


  • cups dry cannellini beans soaked overnight
  • 1 head garlic halved horizontally (crosswise)
  • 4 leaves fresh sage
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 6 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil divided
  • salt (cook to taste)
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoon butter optional
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • 2-3 large handfuls fresh spinach
  • ½ large lemon zest and juice
  • freshly ground black pepper to season


  • Place the dry beans, whole head of garlic, sage leave, fresh rosemary, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a generous pinch of salt, and 6 cups of water in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the beans are creamy all the way through, but (most) of their skins are still intact (the skin will start to peel away). Set aside.
  • Once the beans are softened, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil plus 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the crushed garlic and cook until fragrant - about 30 seconds.
  • Add the spinach in batches. Allow it to cook and wilt slightly before adding additional spinach. Toss the spinach frequently for even cooking. Season with additional salt and a little black pepper as desired.
  • Use a large slotted spoon to carefully transfer the cooked beans over to the skillet filled with garlic and spinach. Continue to gently mix until heated through.
  • Add the lemon juice and lemon zest and a little of the cooking liquid if needed (discarding otherwise). Season to taste and serve drizzled with additional olive oil, lemon juice, or a little fresh parmesan cheese, if desired.


Recipe inspired by Bon Appetit


Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 29mg | Potassium: 1000mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 945IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 153mg | Iron: 6mg
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