Beans are a satisfying way to add lots of protein and fiber into your plant-centric diet and in this dish, beans take center stage. This simple bean stew is flavored with roasted garlic and served with crispy, salty, herby ciabatta cubes for even more flavor and lots of texture.
A meal like this is great for making ahead because it holds up well in the fridge. Just reheat before eating, adding a touch of water for consistency as needed, and make the croutons (which couldn’t be easier). This serves 4 as a main dish, but can be stretched if you’re adding a protein or vegetable side. I like crumbled vegan italian sausage for this dish (or traditional sausage if you’re an omnivore).
I love that this meal is incredibly Lean Pantry friendly. I always have ciabatta rolls in the freezer, but if you don’t, it’s the only ingredient you need to get for this whole meal (assuming your Lean Pantry is fully stocked). Perfect for cozy or busy winter days alike, most of the recipe is simmering and roasting the garlic (inactive time) so you can be doing other things around the house while it cooks (whether cleaning, working or tending to the fire).
Roasted Garlic White Beans with Herby Croutons
1 lb dry white beans (soaked/drained)
1 large head garlic
sea salt, fine grain
1 large sweet or yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake
1 dry bay leaf
4 cups vegetable stock or broth (low/reduced sodium)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
for the croutons
2 large ciabatta rolls, split cross-wise
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon garlic granules
3/4 teaspoon dried dill
3/4 teaspoon dried parsley
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, fine grain
Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F). Slice the whole head of garlic (papery skins included) cross-wise, 1/4” from the root end. Keep the halves as in tact as possible. Drizzle cut ends with a small amount of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Hold the cut ends together, wrap in aluminum foil. Roast in the oven for about an hour, until cloves are super soft and starting to turn golden. Remove from oven, allow to cool.
Meanwhile, add 3 tablespoons olive oil to a pot and heat over medium. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté onion for about 6 minutes, until soft and beginning to caramelize. Add soaked/drained beans, vegetable stock, 1 teaspoon salt, 3 cups water, thyme, pepper flake and bay leaf.
Bring to boil, reduce heat to low or medium low, cover with lid leaving a small crack for some steam to escape. Gently simmer until beans are cooked. The cooking time depends on how well they are soaked, it could be anywhere between 60 and 90 minutes. The beans should be soupy but thick. Add water or more stock as needed.
When the beans are cooked and the garlic is roasted, transfer 1.5 cups of the beans and broth to a blender or blending cup. Allow to cool slightly. Squeeze roasted garlic out of the skins into the beans (both sides, it should be very easy). Add nutritional yeast. Blend until super smooth. Add more broth if needed to blend. Add to the pot with the beans, salt to taste.
For the croutons, combine the oil with the salt and herbs. Divide herb oil between the sliced ciabatta, the cut sides. Use a spoon to rub/spread the herb oil evenly over the entire cut sides. Toast bread until crispy and golden. Cut into cubes, serve on top of beans.
Soaking Beans – cold soak for 8-12 hours in the fridge… or hot soak by bringing beans to a boil with water, covering and turning off the heat. Let the beans soak in the hot water for at least an hour before draining.
2 thoughts on “Roasted Garlic White Beans with Herby Croutons (plant-based | vegan)”
These look delicious, the croutons too! We love beans! Cooking them from dried tastes so much better than canned, although I do keep canned beans on the shelf as well.