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Brothy Beans

Brothy Beans

When your beans are tender, take them off the heat and focus on the cooking liquid, doctoring it with good olive oil, salt, and pepper, tasting and seasoning it until the liquid itself is straight-up delicious.


  • 1 pound dried gigante, baby lima, or cannellini beans, or chickpeas, soaked in water overnight, drained
  • 2 carrots, peeled, halved crosswise
  • 2 celery stalks, halved crosswise
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil (for drizzling)

Recipe Preparation

  • Place beans, onion, carrots, and celery in a large pot and add cold water to cover by several inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer very gently until beans are cooked almost all the way through, about 1½ hours. Season with salt and continue to cook, adding more water if needed to keep beans submerged, until tender (outside skin should still be intact), 45–60 minutes. Discard onion, carrots, and celery.

  • Transfer beans and broth to a serving dish or a large bowl; season very generously with salt (start with 2 Tbsp.) and pepper and drizzle with oil.

  • Do Ahead: Beans can be cooked and seasoned 2 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat gently before serving.

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 350 Fat (g) 1 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 65 Dietary Fiber (g) 21 Total Sugars (g) 11 Protein (g) 23 Sodium (mg) 35Reviews SectionThis recipe was going well until the last section where it recommends adding at least 2 tbsp. salt. I'm wondering whether this was a typo and whether it should say 2 teaspoons? Because this was way too much salt.I love this recipe! It's a great base and I usually add to it depending on what I have in the house. I usually use chicken broth diluted a little with water to increase the volume and add vegetables, protein, or anything else really!ls2003Melrose, MA04/27/20I was super excited to make this recipe. I followed it to the letter. The cooking time was too long. I cut it by 45 mins. Then I added the recommended 2tbsps salt “to start.” It was so unbearably salty it burned my lips and I had to throw it all out. So disappointed.AnonymousAnn Arbor, MI04/26/20My beans cooked (exceptionally) fast - which is a first (I feel like they always need longer than what a bean recipe calls for). I didn't need to do the additional 45-60 minutes of cooking after that first 90 minutes. That meant that they weren't able to absorb the salt added at the end as well as if they had been simmered in the salt, but still tasty nonetheless.Kirsten WoodwardBeverly Hills04/15/20

Brothy Oven Baked White Beans

These days we’re really leaning into cozy comfort foods - and these brothy oven baked beans certainly fit the bill. They’re as versatile as can be: eat the beans and the garlicky broth as is (or with a side of grilled bread, for dipping), use it as a base for soups/stews, or add a scoop of beans to bowls, salads, toast, anything you want really. And while cooking beans from scratch does take some time, this method lets you pop them in the oven for a completely hands-off cooking approach. It truly is the best of both worlds.

Given everyone seems to have been hunkered down at home for months now, we weren’t really sure how excited anyone would be about something as humble as a dried bean. But it turns out, the excitement is real. After a simple photo of beans from our weekend meal prep, we’re stunned by how many of you were literally begging for the recipe! So without further adieu, here’s how to make our brothy oven baked beans.

The recipe starts with an overnight soak for dried navy beans. If you prefer to go with another white bean, like cannellini, go ahead! After soaking, you’ll simply rinse and strain the beans and toss them into a pot with your favorite veggie stock and a handful of delicious herbs and aromatics. Shut the lid and pop everything in the oven. You can cook beans on the stove, but we love the oven baked method because you don’t need to keep an eye on a bubbling pot for hours. Our method means you literally “set it and forget it”. until your timer goes off to tell you that your delicious beans are ready!

This is a recipe that really benefits from starting with good ingredients, so pick your favorite veggie stock (ours right now is Better than Bouillon, but use what you love). If you don’t have shallots, feel free to skip them. Don’t skip the garlic, because nobody regrets roasted garlic. Two heads of garlic might seem like a lot, but it’s what we feel is the perfect amount for this recipe - and we are cooking up a lot of beans, after all. We won’t get upset if it’s desperate times and you can only scrounge up one head of garlic. but if you’re completely out, we’d suggest waiting until you’re fully stocked before making this for the first time (that way, you’ll know what you’re missing!). Thyme, if you haven’t noticed, is one of our favorite herbs, and definitely worth buying for this recipe, if you don’t already have it on hand.

Another thing we love about this dish is that both the beans AND the garlicky broth make for many delicious, versatile meals. You can eat them on their own, as we often do. You can toast / grill up bread to serve on the side for dipping. If you’re feeling up to it, you can toss in whatever greens you have on hand (kale, spinach, bitter greens, are all great contenders). We sometimes like to serve ours with crumbled feta and a jammy egg on the side for variety. Sometimes we use the beans and broth as the base of a soup (adding in small cooked pasta noodles and other veggies) or they can be served on top of rice. Extras can be frozen if you feel like you have too many to get through in the week, but we have yet to have that happen!


Hello and welcome back to Home Movies Tuesday!

Some personal news: Today, February 16th, 2021, marks the last time I am able to publicly talk about BEANS.

It’s been a good run. I’ve truly enjoyed talking about beans for the last several years, asking you to cook dried beans without soaking, and writing recipes for those beans you’ve cooked (presumably, without soaking). I’ve loved the extremely tepid take of “soak if you want and don’t soak if you don’t” and having so many strangers on the internet (mostly men!) tell me why I’m wrong. I will chase the high that can only be achieved from being benignly contrarian about the most boring topic known to man (beans) forevermore.

Signing off from the bean discourse for the last time, I can’t help but wonder: Will I ever feel again?

BUT WHAT BEANS SHOULD I COOK? Listen, it takes cooking a lot of beans to find your bean. Finding your bean should not be taken any less seriously than finding “your person” or “your apartment” or “your karaoke song.” All are important milestones in your long and gorgeous life and sometimes those things take time, so be patient, try many beans, think about what makes a good bean to you. Is it firm and starchy? Is it fall-apart and creamy? Is it small with thin skin or large and sturdy enough to be eaten with a toothpick? My advice: Buy new and different beans. Cook them. Eat them. Cook with them. Listen to yourself, listen to your heart. Then and only then will you find your bean.

To start your bean adventure, Rancho Gordo is of course an excellent mail-order source.


Serves one person for at least two weeks

If you’d like to make a pot of beans and are looking for a recipe, know that this is more a method than a recipe. Also, please note that this is more MY method, MY recipe, and not THE ONLY method or THE ONLY recipe. There are a million fantastic ways to cook beans, this is simply one. The beauty of these beans is in their ridiculous simplicity and how truly wonderful they are in just about anything you can think of. They are also *highly customizable*, which you know I love.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 small or 1 large onion, quartered through the root (I don’t peel)
1 or 2 heads garlic, halved crosswise (I don’t peel)
1 lemon, halved crosswise
1 small bunch or a few sprigs dried herbs like oregano, marjoram, thyme or rosemary
A few dried chiles (or one fresh one, halved lengthwise)
1 pound dried beans (about 2 cups)
6 or so cups water
Kosher salt

1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onions, garlic and lemon. Cook until they’re caramelized and nicely browned, a few minutes or so. This step will do a huge favor to your broth, adding depth and complexity non-caramelized ingredients could only dream of.

2. Add dried herbs and chili. Add beans and water. Season with salt, bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a bare simmer, leave the pot uncovered and cook until, as Steve Sando from Rancho Gordo puts it, “they’re done.” This can take anywhere from 50 to 120 minutes depending on the size and age of the bean.

If the beans need more liquid as they simmer, add more water. Depending on the bean and your preference for their final destination, the beans can be creamy and fall apart-y or tender and semi al-dente. I am not a bean expert, just a bean enthusiast, but just know I feel like the only way to truly ruin a pot of beans is if you buy old beans (they’ll never become tender).

If you’re dying to know more about BEANS, this book from Rancho Gordo and this book by one of the original vegetarian queens, Crescent Dragonwagon, are great references.


This is an excellent “I have nothing in my fridge what should I eat tonight” type situation that you will now start to go out of your way to make. The bean cooking liquid plays an important role here, soaking into the olive oil toast, it very much eminds me of classic Thanksgiving stuffing. That’s all I’ll say.

Wilt a handful of dark leafy greens (dandelion, kale, mustard, swiss chard, spinach, etc) in a glug of olive oil with some salt and pepper, ladle in some beans with their broth, swirl to incorporate. Serve the beans and their broth over thick-cut olive oil toast (crusty bread, fried in olive oil on the stovetop till crispy, 2–3 minutes per side). Eat with a six-minute egg (place eggs in a small pot of boiling water, boil for six minutes, remove from the water, and cool in an ice bath or cold running water) with some shaved or crumbled salty cheese (parmesan, pecorino, queso fresco, feta), coarsely chopped or torn fresh herbs (parsley, dill, cilantro) and more olive oil (beans really love olive oil, and so do I).

Beans and Garlic Toast in Broth

Gentl and Hyers for The New York Times. Food stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop stylist: Amy Wilson.

A simple dish of creamy, thin-skinned beans and broth on toast is easy to make, and a comfort to eat alone or feed a crowd. If you make the beans ahead of time, they can keep in the fridge for 3 days, but may need a splash of water added when you heat them up. The broth is a great way to make use of parmigiano rinds, if you happen to be saving those, but if you don’t have any lying around, you can still make it rich with umami: Whisk a heaped tablespoon of white miso with a little of the bean broth to make it smooth and lump-free, then add it back to the pot. It will add a similar, savory depth. The dish seems plain, but it won’t be if you season the broth well, and garnish each bowl generously with olive oil, grated cheese and herbs, just before you eat it.

Brothy beans and greens

I'm always on the hunt for easy weekday meals. My wife makes this all the time since she likes pasta and I demand greens in my foods. It's fast and easy and still tastes great.
You could have it with bread, but it really doesn't need it, and it saves well in the fridge.

4 oz of short pasta (we like conchiglie or farfalle)

3 cups of vegetable broth

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 yellow onion, cut into half moons

2 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced

1 bunch of kale, de-stemmed and chopped

Juice of 1 Lemon (about 3 tbsp)

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Heat a high sided skillet or dutch oven over medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil, season with salt and cook onion until it starts to soften.

While the onion is cooking start cooking the pasta. Bring 3 cups of vegetable broth to a boil and add 4 oz of pasta.

Once the onions have started to soften, add 2 cloves of minced or pressed garlic and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant (1-2 minutes).

If necessary, use a little of the vegetable broth from the pot of pasta to deglaze the bottom of the onion & garlic pan, scraping up any brown bits that may have formed.

Add chickpeas to the onion pan, season with salt and cook until warmed through. Add the kale and continue to cook until it just starts to wilt.

Cook the pasta a few minutes shy of al dente (about 6-8 minutes depending on the pasta shape). Do not drain! Add both the pasta and the vegetable broth to the pan of onions, chickpeas and kale.

Continue cooking until the pasta is al dente and remove from heat.

Stir in the juice of 1 lemon, add some fresh black pepper or a little chili oil if you have it on hand and serve!

Brothy Beans and Lentils

This delicious vegetarian dish is warm, comforting, and filled with flavor. Beans and lentils absorb flavors from the liquid they are cooked in, which means that a good broth is essential for the success of this dish. Instead of using store bought broth, which can easily overpower the other flavors in the dish, we create a highly flavorful broth with garlic, shallots, and red pepper flakes. After slow cooking, we finish the beans and lentils with red wine vinegar for a touch of acidity, parmesan for savory umami flavor, and chives for freshness.

Note: If you would like to schedule this meal, but do not want to wait for the broiler to cool before refrigerating, saute shallot, garlic, red pepper flakes, and olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes instead of broiling in Step 1.

Brothy Beans and Lentils

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: 3 hours


  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup French lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can white beans, such as navy, cannellini, or great northern
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp parmesan, grated
  • 1 tbsp minced chives


1) Stir together shallot, garlic, red pepper flakes, and olive oil in a Suvie pan. Insert into the top of your Suvie and broil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2) Rinse and sort lentils. Add to shallot mixture, stirring to coat in oil. Add water and white beans to lentils and then return pan to your Suvie. Input settings, and cook now or schedule.

Suvie Cook Settings

Bottom Zone: Slow Cook High for 1 hour

3) After the lentils have finished cooking, remove from Suvie and stir in red wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, and ½ tsp ground black pepper.

4) Divide lentils and beans between bowls and top with parmesan and chives.

Note: If you would like to make this recipe in Suvie 1.0, insert pan into the top zones of Suvie, fill reservoir, and set to Slow Cook on High for 1 hour.


Nutritional Information per serving (2 servings per recipe): Calories 580, Total Fat 10g, Total Carbohydrates 91g, Total Sodium 1740mg, Total Protein 36g

Brothy Beans & Pasta

This pantry series is forcing me to get creative in many ways. And I’m sure you’re forced to get creative with what you have, too. This recipe for brothy beans and pasta is super versatile with many substitution options, so you can use what you have.

There are three things that I always have on hand – pasta, broth, and beans.

So when I was looking for another addition to this pantry series, I thought I’d use all three.

If you have a lot on hand – see some of my other pantry recipes like my pantry pasta and pantry beans.

This is kind of a simple pasta e fagioli – it just has less vegetables and is a little less “soupy.”

Right now’s a great time to experiment with what you have. Even though this recipe calls for carrots and celery, you can use whatever veggies you have on hand.

Great additions for some flavor are onions, spinach, or canned tomatoes.

Also feel free to omit the pasta if you’d rather just have beans.

The beauty of cooking with what you have is that it doesn’t have to be perfect! It’s all about using what you have to make something delicious.

Brothy Beans & Pasta Ingredients

  • 4 cups any kind of broth or stock
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • bay leaves
  • 2 cans cannellini or great northern beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 package small pasta – I used acini de pepe
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Add stock, celery, and carrots, and bay leaves to a large pot over medium heat.

Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Add beans and pasta and cook for about 7 minutes, or until pasta is done to your liking.

A Humble Bean Dinner for These Cold Winter Nights

Throughout Italy, Tuscans are lovingly referred to as mangiafagioli, or “bean-eaters,” so to say they know a thing or two about the legume is an understatement. Their rustic cuisine is full of bean-focused dishes, such as ribollita and fagioli all’uccelletto, the latter being one of my very favorites. Fagioli all’uccelletto — white beans stewed in a light tomato sauce with a generous amount of olive oil, garlic, and sage — translates to “beans in the style of little birds,” meaning they’re seasoned as Tuscans would traditionally season game bird like pheasant. Centuries ago, the rich would be served these beans alongside the pheasant, but the rest would be served the beans on their own, or occasionally with sausage.

Today these beans continue to be a staple in Tuscan homes and trattorias. This recipe is my twist on the humble dish. Traditional recipes start with dried white beans, but this weeknight-friendly version takes advantage of canned. Letting the beans simmer in lots of olive oil that’s fragrant with garlic and sage rids them of their dull flavor and bolsters their creamy texture. I love using canned cherry tomatoes here, which are ultra sweet and juicy, but canned diced tomatoes work just as well.

Serve the stewy beans over slabs of garlicky, skillet-fried sourdough to turn them into a hearty and complete meal that’s just about as comforting as it gets.

Baked White Beans With Ham

This is not a white bean soup. Sometimes, soups can be a little soupy for me, to much broth..not enough things. This is brothy but in the best possible way. Loads of beans in just the right amount of broth. I used prepared diced ham from the grocery store and let me tell you something: it was easy. I've told you lately I'm into that easy dinner life.

I realize it's summer, and are we really eating soup beans in June? Yes. I usually reserve soupy, brothy, bean recipes for fall and winter but if it's raining, cloudy, riot-y, pandemic-y. any day is fair game for a big ol' bowl of beans. These are feel good beans, grounding beans, the coziest beans.

The kind of brothy beans you soak up with that whole wheat bread you made in the bread machine yesterday. Also noteable is the fact that I didn't use pinto beans. White beans are a little lighter in flavor, texture, and broth-ability. I would definitely save the pintos for winter.


  • White beans are so cheap, you probably already have them in your pantry right now ($.95 based on $1.42 for 1 pound- 3 cups).
  • Diced ham, also cheap, comes in 8oz packages at the grocery store ($2.08)
  • Onions are the most basic ingredient and add the most flavor ($.70)
  • Bacon is great for more than just breakfast on the weekend ($.52 based on one package/ 20 slices)
  • Butter: Probably most people have butter already in the frig ($.26)
  • Chicken broth ($1.22) is easy to make free using chicken bones and leftover vegetable tops (subtract $1.22) and this meal is $4.53

*prices based on Walmart app and Great Value brand products


  • White Beans: I used canellini beans, you can substitute navy beans if needed. If it's a chilly month, you can substitute heavier pinto beans.
  • Bacon: Only two slices, rendered, so yum.
  • Diced Ham: Prepackaged diced ham, I used John Morrell brand, nothing fancy.
  • Onion: 1 onion, diced finely, all the flavor.
  • Butter: Butttttahhhhh
  • Broth: Homemade chicken broth or boxed, use what you have.
  • Salt: My flavor bae.



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Carla lalli music’s magic brothy butter beans from marlow & sons recipe

these are serious magic beans. may these be your hoppin’ john .

On New Year’s Day in the South, there is a tradition to kick out the old year and welcome good luck in the new year with eating Hoppin’ John. There are many variations but it’s traditionally made with black-eyed peas, rice, onion, bacon, with collard greens served alongside. While these brothy butter beans aren’t the same as Hoppin’ John, I’d like to think after this dumpster fire of a crap year, they can lead us into a better 2021 like the Hoppin’ John promises.

When I first saw Carla Lalli Music’s epistolary recipe of these beans gathered from chef Patch Troffer of Marlow & Sons, I knew I had to make them. I made them soon after Carla wrote about the beans in 2018 on the bon appétit website and absolutely agreed with her assessment — magic! So flavorful, great textures, lovely colors, and warm comfort in cold weather. I took a shortcut though, and did a quick soak-and-cook, ending up with flavorful but more beans that didn’t hold their curvy figures. And I changed the aioli to a lemon mayo. I adjusted the herbs a bit. I didn’t have an overripe tomato. I used homemade croutons instead of toasted breadcrumbs. But that’s part of the magic she describes: use what you have and it’s still fabulous.

Then life happened before I could do a proper bean soak and photos for the blog AND I waited TWO YEARS before I tried again. When the COVID-19 pandemic closures happened in March here, I scrabbled for non-perishable items, the dry butter beans ending up in my pantry. But I kept waiting to make this recipe again. Longer. And longer. Then it was too hot outside to eat soupy things. Then I kept forgetting to soak the beans the night before. Then I ran out of the peppery olive oil I planned to use. I also second-guessed my boring grocery-store generic dry butter beans and considered ordering some high-end Rancho Gordo beans to see what the fuss was about. I just wasn’t patient enough to wait for their online store re-stocking and couldn’t completely ignore the pound of dry beans in my pantry.

Whatevs. My pragmatic self finally got to these patient beans again. Enter the koginut squash. To give the brothiness some color and wintery flavors, I chose a koginut squash to roast.

I picked some rosemary from our garden, and bought some good quality mayo to mix with lemon juice and zest. Seriously, do not miss the aioli/mayo in the soup. Just a spoonful gives each bowl a tangy creaminess. So good!

I halved the squash and roasted until fork tender.

I also cut up some stale bread to make some extra-crunchy croutons (see my recipe here).

We also still have some tenacious arugula in our garden this month, which was a nice addition right before serving. Olive oil and vinegar, too. All the tastes! You need them all!

Here’s to putting out the dumpster fire of 2020 and a truly better 2021!

First, YAY COVID VACCINATIONS! I’ve gotten my first and feel great. Ready for my second in a few days….

Watch the video: Brothy White Beans and Greens- Healthy Appetite with Shira Bocar