Cannellini Quandry

by Cate on March 2, 2007

When putting things away in the pantry the other day, I noticed something. Five cans of cannellini beans. I have no idea what recipe I bought them for. I don’t even think I have any tried-and-true recipes that call for cannellini beans, so I need your help. Have a good recipe that uses them? Bring it on.

A year ago today… Fish cookies!

P.S. For those that are stocking their pantry with yesterday’s list, or something along those lines, I’m going to try and highlight a Pantry Recipe a week, starting next week, so stay tuned for that.

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Mensch71 March 2, 2007 at 2:33 am

I can think of two recipes off the top of my head.

White Chicken Chili

4 cans cannelli beans
2lbs chicken breats
1 – 2 cans green chilis (minced)
2 quarts chicken stock/broth
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 white onion, diced
1T cumin
olive oil
salt, pepper

Remove the bones and skin from the chicken and cut into 1″ cubes. In a large, heavy bottom stock pot, saute the onion in olive oil. After 3 – 4 minutes, add the garlic and the green chilis. Add the chicken and brown on all sides.

Rinse the beans (in the can is fine) and add to the pot. (If you want it thicker, mash up 1 -2 cans before adding to the pot.) Add the chicken stock, cumin and freshly ground black pepper.

Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt at the end.

You can add more/less cumin, green chilis, add jalapeno or hot sauce if you prefer. Sometimes, I add a can of Rotel tomatoes if I have it available.

White Bean Puree

1 head fresh garlic
1 can cannelli beans, rinsed
1t fresh lemon juice
1T fresh parsley
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Cut the top of the garlic head off and cover with olive oil. Wrap head in aluminum foil and roast in oven for 45 minutes. Allow to cool to room temp and squeeze out the roasted garlic.

In a food processor, add the beans, the roasted garlic and the lemon juice and pulse until thoroughly blended. Taste for seasoning, adding about 1.5t salt and 5 – 10 cranks of fresh pepper. Add the parley at the last second.

Serve with veggies or on toasted rounds of bread.

You can also roast half the garlic and add one fresh clove for a more intense garlicky taste. Sometimes, I add a bit of sundried tomato paste and some hot sauce.



Christa March 2, 2007 at 3:26 am

We used them all the time for an itallian salad. Tomato, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, olive oil, a bit of red onion, salt and pepper. Yummy, especially in the summer when tomatoes are so good.


Andrea March 2, 2007 at 3:33 am

You might try making hummus-sub. the chick peas for the Cannellini. That was the first thing that came to my mind. Good Luck!


Jill March 2, 2007 at 4:16 am

The only thing I have ever used them for is Pasta E Fagioli.

1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound sweet Italian sausage (optional)
1/4 cup onion slices
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled, or 1 small fresh rosemary sprig
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 small fresh thyme sprig
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
2 cans (16 ounces each) cannellini beans
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each)chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup small shaped pasta, such as small elbows
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

1. Finely chop the garlic to measure 1 teaspoon.
2. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the sausage, minced garlic, onions, rosemary, and thyme. Cook, stirring and breaking up the sausage, for 2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add the wine and boil for 2 minutes, until reduced by half.
4. Rinse and drain the beans. Add them with the chicken broth to the pan, stir to combine, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil.
5. Stir in the pasta, reduce the heat to medium-low, and partially cover. Simmer gently for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.


emzeegee & the hungry three March 2, 2007 at 10:32 am

Hi Cate,

I’ve read your blog for ages now but I have yet to comment! Anyway, here is a solution for cannellini beans! You can make quite a yummy dip out of them! Drain and rinse a can (or two!). Put into a blender or food processor, add a few cloves of garlic, some lemon juice and some salt/pepper. Blend to a fairly dense paste, then eat with some decent lavosh bread or grissini. Your “white bean dip” will also be a nice addition to a tapas or antipasto platter.

:) Hope that helps – obviously it’s something with endless variations to it! Otherwise I use cannellini beans as a good ‘oomph’ factor for basic soups or minestrones.



Lisa March 2, 2007 at 2:37 pm

This is an easy one for me…escarole & beans!! I don’t have an exact recipe but it is like this…
Clean, chop & cook a couple of heads of escarole briefly in a small amount of boiling water then drain. Saute garlic & red pepper flakes in olive oil in a large skillet. Add cooked escarole & stir to coat with oil. Then add the beans & simmer for 5 minutes or so until creamy. Serve with parmesan chees…YUM!! I am going to try the chicken chili this weekend!!


Alisha March 2, 2007 at 2:51 pm

How funny, Cate, about your beans — though yesterday I looked in my pantry and I have *3* cans of those suckers sitting there too. Do you think they show up without us knowing?

I’ll be keeping an eye on this comment thread for ideas to use them up.


Jen March 2, 2007 at 3:05 pm

This is so easy and so good! From the owner of a fantastic Italian Market!

Pasta e Fasule

2 T. olive oil
4 oz. chopped pancetta
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
8 oz. diced tomatoes, canned
8 oz. cannelloni beans
1/2 cup ditalini pasta (or any small pasta)
2 cups water
1 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and chili pepper

Saute pancetta in olive oil over medium heat. Cook for 3 minutes.
Add garlic, celery and carrot and cook until soft. Add tomatoes, beans and water and bring soup to gentle simmer. Add pasta and cook for 10 minutes. (Add more water if too thick)
Season with salt and chili pepper. Add cheese when ready to serve.


Randi March 2, 2007 at 4:41 pm

Giada’s white bean dip or her white bean tuna salad. Both are delicious.


farmgirl March 2, 2007 at 6:20 pm

LOL I think I have at least that many cans in my pantry, too. I keep buying them and then forgetting why. Thanks, Cate, for putting out this cry for help–all these recipes sound fantastic!


Cate March 3, 2007 at 2:13 am

Wow, you guys are awesome! So many great recipes, I just may have to buy *more* cannellini beans! ;) Maybe we can have a regular Pantry Challenge post to feature ideas to use up specific items, and feature recipes using pantry items. We’ll give it a go next week and see how it goes. I’m trying to empty the pantry (or at least whittle it down greatly), so I don’t have to pack too much food when we move… and thanks to these replies, I’ll have 5 less cans to pack!


PatL March 3, 2007 at 3:45 am

Try my easy cassoulet, when you’re up for something rich and waist-thickening!


ServesYouRight March 4, 2007 at 3:14 pm

Love your blog :-) Thought I’d throw in my two cents… I second the white bean hummus / dip idea, turns out creamy and nutty, very good. Also works well in soups. I even came across a recipe where you use bean puree in cookie dough!



Kris March 7, 2007 at 1:52 pm

I saw these on Dave Lieberman’s show on Saturday morning. He made a Vanilla Bean and Cannellini Bean Ice Cream. Looked pretty interesting,1977,FOOD_9936_35809,00.html

Not that I would make it, or my family would eat it, but it was different.

Can’t wait to try some of the recipes here.


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: