Sweet and smoked white beans | 7 ingredients

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These Sweet and smoked white beans are simmered in a homemade tomato and roasted red pepper sauce for a comforting side or hearty main dish. Vegan, gluten-free and oil-free option.

This Vegan White Bean Recipe will forever change the way you look at a can of baked beans. Simmered in a sweet, smoky tomato and roasted red pepper sauce, the protein-rich beans soak up the wonderful flavors and are served with cashew cream on top. All you need are simple plant-based ingredients for this nutritious side or main dish!

  1. Your new favorite way to eat white beans
  2. Ingredients for vegetarian white beans
  3. How to Make Sweet and Smoky White Beans
  4. Presentation suggestions
  5. How to store white beans in sauce
  6. Substitutions and variations
  7. Recipe FAQs
  8. Sweet and Smoky White Beans Recipe

Your new favorite way to eat white beans

Can we give it up for some white beans, please? 👏 They are finally getting the attention they deserve and I couldn’t be happier! Lately, it seems like everyone is blending these wonderfully versatile and creamy beans into hearty vegan stews and bold-tasting chilis, tossing them into creamy dips and so much more.

This sweet and smoky white bean recipe turns everyday canned white beans into the star ingredient, and the recipe really couldn’t be simpler.

The beans are simmered in a rich, smoky-sweet tomato and roasted red pepper sauce until tender and bursting with flavor. Dress them up with fresh herbs and cashew cream and enjoy with some crusty fresh bread or keep it simple by pairing them with your favorite vegan dishes. Just one taste and you’ll be craving this deeply flavorful and nourishing dish for years to come.

Ingredients for vegetarian white beans

These healthy white beans come with budget-friendly, everyday ingredients:

ingredients for sweet and smoked white beans arranged on a dark green background
  • White beans: Use Navy, Cannellini, Great Northern or Broad beans, they all work well! I used canned Cannellini beans with salt. If you prefer to cook the beans from scratch, keep in mind that you will likely need to add more salt to the recipe.
  • Roasted red peppers: You can roast the red peppers at the same time as the onion and garlic or go the store-bought route to speed up the process. Whatever you do, don’t ignore them! Roasted red peppers are the secret to white bean sauce, giving it tang, more depth and a silky texture.
  • Onion and garlic: They are roasted with the peppers to reveal their wonderful hidden flavors before being incorporated into the sauce. Use a red onion to add more sweetness to the sauce or a yellow onion for a more savory flavor.
  • Spices: Smoked paprika and cumin add the sauce’s signature smokiness, while coriander and kosher salt round it out.
  • Canned tomatoes: Fire-roasted tomatoes, to be exact. They are super practical and add a nice smoky and acidic note to the sauce.

How to Make Sweet and Smoky White Beans

a grid of six images showing the bean preparation process described below
  1. Throw pepper, onion and garlic in olive oil until coated. Grill vegetables until edges are lightly charred.
  2. Blend sauce ingredients together until smooth.
  3. Add white beans in a large saucepan and pour the sauce on top. Simmer until it thickens to your liking.
  4. Serve white beans in sauce in bowls and garnish with fresh parsley and cashew cream

an enlarged image of sweet, smoked beans

Caitlin’s Cooking Tips

  • Grill on the middle rack of the oven. When grilled on the middle rack, the vegetables get nice and tender without charring too quickly.
  • Do it in just 20 minutes! Prepare this recipe even faster by skipping the grilling altogether and tossing the raw vegetables and oil with the sauce. The flavor won’t be as complex or nuanced, but the raw onion and garlic will still cook while the beans simmer!
  • If the sauce splashes on the stovecover the pot with a splatter shield or cover it loosely with a lid.
  • To make homemade cashew cream, blend 1 cup soaked cashews with 3/4 cup water and a pinch of salt until smooth. Drizzle over the cooked beans and sauce for a creamy element, then enjoy.

Presentation suggestions

When I can resist the urge to eat the braised white beans straight from the pot, I like to serve them on toasted sourdough slices or use the bread to scoop up each bite. A generous drizzle of homemade cashew cream on top is always welcome when served this way, as it takes the comforting creaminess to another level.

For a more complete meal, serve the beans as a side alongside light vegan main dishes, like these Vegan Zucchini Lasagna Wraps and this Roasted Broccoli and Quinoa Salad. You can also enjoy them as an unconventional (albeit hearty) pasta sauce, wrapped in wraps or burritos, or piled on top of roasted sweet potatoes.

The beans are hearty enough to double as a main dish. Just like in these Smoky White Bean Bowls, I recommend serving them over a bed of cooked rice or quinoa or sautéed spinach or kale topped with roasted vegetables.

If you’re looking for easier recipes featuring canned beans, you’ll also love this White Bean and Cucumber Dill Salad, Instant Pot Black Bean Soup, and Mediterranean Chickpea Pasta Salad!

How to store white beans in sauce

Once cooled to room temperature, transfer the cooked white beans to an airtight container. Leftovers will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 2 months in the freezer.

Reheat leftover beans in a pot on the stove or in the microwave until heated through. The sauce may thicken as it cools, so add a little water or vegetable stock until it softens slightly.

Substitutions and variations

  • Oil free: Use the 20 minute mode instructions in the cooking tips but omit the oil.
  • Vegetable supplements: Stir finely chopped kale or spinach into the sauce as it simmers for a boost of nutrition.
sweet and smoky white beans served on a large plate garnished with cashew cream, parsley and toasted sourdough slices

Recipe FAQs

Can this recipe be made with dried white beans instead?

Yes, you can cook your own beans from scratch if you want. Dried white beans should be soaked overnight and boiled in cool water the next day until tender (about 45 minutes to 1 hour). Keep in mind that you will likely need to add additional salt to the recipe when using dried beans.

Should you use salted or unsalted canned white beans?

You can use either one! If your beans are unsalted, simply add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the sauce.

Does this recipe work with chickpeas?

Chickpeas soften less when simmered in a sauce but you can still use them if you don’t mind a firmer texture.

Appreciate! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook Or Instagramdon’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love for you to leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thanks for the support 😊

  • 1 Red bell pepper in quarters,
  • 1 small red onion in quarters
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander optional
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of fire roasted and diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup filtered water (or use vegetable stock for more flavor)
  • 4 cups cooked white beans; about 3 cans
  • Chopped parsley for Ganish (optional)
  • Cashew cream for garnish (optional; see notes)
  • Serving suggestions: rice toast, etc.

  • Preparation: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the pepper, onion and garlic to the tray and drizzle with olive oil. massage oil into vegetables until evenly coated. Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and grill the vegetables for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges are lightly charred and the onion is cooked.

  • Prepare the sauce: Transfer the roasted vegetables to a large blender with a venting lid. Add the smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, salt, tomatoes, and water to the blender and blend on high until smooth, 45 to 60 seconds. Put aside.

  • Combine: Rinse the beans and drain them well. Add the beans to a large pot or sauté pan and pour the sauce over them; mix well and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

  • Simmer: Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes, until the sauce thickens to your liking. If the sauce starts to splatter, I recommend covering the pan with a splatter guard or lightly covering the pan with the lid.

  • Serve: Remove from heat and garnish with fresh parsley and cashew cream, if using. Serve hot and as desired. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or can be frozen for up to 2 months.

  • 20 minute option: Skip the toasting and simply add all the raw vegetables and oil to the blender in step two. The flavor of the sauce won’t be as complex, but the raw onion and garlic flavors will still cook off while the beans simmer!
  • Without oil: Follow the 20 minute option and omit the oil.
  • Cashew cream: To make your own cashew cream, blend 1 cup soaked cashews with 3/4 cup water and a pinch of salt until smooth.

Calories: 1192kilocaloriesCarbohydrates: 209gProtein: 63gFat: 19gSaturated fat: 3gPolyunsaturated fats: 3gMonounsaturated fat: 11gSodium: 3427mgPotassium: 5094mgFiber: 49gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 6421UIVitamin C: 204mgCalcium: 752mgIron: 30mg

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