Marinated White Beans

Marinated White Beans recipe is a quick, easy and incredibly flavorful meal or appetizer that is part of the Mediterranean diet. This recipe can be served many ways. However, it is beyond amazing on olive oil toast with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (aka real Italian parmesan cheese).

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Italian Marinated White Beans served on small pieces of toast and garnished with parmesan.

Marinated White Beans served on olive oil toast and garnished with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Easy and Quick Mediterranean Dish (Meatless Meal)

So many people know the value of cooking healthy meals from-scratch. However, the challenges that many people face are lack of time, the cost of cooking healthy and lack of inspiration.

The beauty of this Marinated White Beans recipe is that it is easy enough for the beginner cook, very quick to make and highly affordable. Additionally, most of the ingredients are cupboard items or can be swapped for cupboard items, making it a great meal to have when lacking creative inspiration.

Ingredients Needed

Ingredients for Marinated White Beans

  • White Beans– Cannellini Beans, Great Northern Beans and Navy Beans are all wonderful options for this recipe. 
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil– To find a high quality olive oil look for bottles that have an estate or mill name along with an expiration date because real olive oil has a short life span. Note: Costco has high quality extra virgin olive oil at an amazing price.
  • Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest– Adding both lemon juice and lemon zest provides a delicious brightness to the beans.
  • Garlic– Roasting the garlic is a good for anyone who isn’t a fan of the intensity of fresh garlic. However, for those of us who love garlic add 2-4 cloves.
  • Red Onion– Finely diced red onion adds a delicious flavor and appealing crunch to the beans.
  • Fresh Herbs– For this recipe I used fresh rosemary and oregano. However, there are all kinds of delicious herb combination possibilities of both fresh and dried herbs (see Flavor Variations section below).
  • Salt and Pepper Maldon’s Sea Salt Flakes is a delicious gourmet salt that adds wonderful flavor to dishes like this bean recipe.

Olive Oil Toast Ingredients

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Favorite Bread– For this recipe I used thin slices of my homemade sourdough bread. However, other types of bread that would be delicious with the recipe are rye, sprouted whole grain, French bread or Italian loaf.
  • Parmigiano Reggiano– This is true Italian parmesan that has a deep complex nutty and salty flavor that is a delicious finishing touch to Marinated White Beans on olive oil toast.

Canned White Beans vs Dried White Beans

Having canned white beans on hand is very handy for fast, easy and affordable meal prep. However, cooking and freezing beans can add in an extra layer of affordability when purchasing beans in bulk. Additionally, you completely control the amount of sodium added.

Best Ways to Cook Dried Beans

With all three methods of cooking you will want to place beans into a colander and rinse well. It is important to remove any discolored beans, pebbles or clumps of dirt. Soaking the beans before cooking is not necessary. However, soaking the beans will lower cooking time.

Stovetop

Cover beans with water or broth 4 inches above the surface of the beans. Bring to a boil over high heat and then lower to a simmer. Cook stirring occasionally until tender, approximately 2 hours depending on whether the beans were presoaked.

Instant Pot

Add beans to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Cover with 4 cups broth or water for every 1/2 pound of beans. Secure lid on pot and close pressure valve to “sealed” position. Cook on bean setting for:

  • 36-40 minutes for Cannellini Beans
  • 28-30 minutes for Navy Beans
  • 28-30 minutes for Great Northern Beans

Once beans are done cooking let the pressure release naturally. Totally cooking time will be approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes depending on type of bean chosen.

Slow Cooker

Place beans in slow cooker and cover with 3-4 cups of broth or water for every 1/2 pound of beans. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, 4-5 hours on high, or until beans are fork tender.

How to Make (Instructional Video)

  1. Rinse and drain beans.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together the oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, herbs and onion.
  3. Add beans and toss well.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve as desired (See Serving Marinated White Beans section below). Note: To make olive oil toast place a 1/8-1/4 inch of olive oil into a frying pan over medium heat. Cook the bread on both sides until golden brown and toasty.

Serving Marinated White Beans

These Marinated White Beans are absolutely delicious on their own. However, here are a few additional ways to enjoy this simple Mediterranean meal.

  • Lettuce Wraps– Adding these Marinated Beans to lettuce leafs such as Boston, butter, romaine, iceberg or even Jicama Wraps makes for a tasty and light lunch or dinner.
  • Topping for Salads– Having a big garden salad dressed with Simple Herbed Lemon Vinaigrette and then topped with these beans is a delicious way to eat an incredibly healthy meal.
  • Appetizer– Enjoying these beans with Baked Pita Chips as a tasty appetizer.
  • Sandwiches– These beans are delicious in a pita pocket with Greek Marinated Chicken, Tzatziki Sauce and veggies. My all time favorite way to enjoy these beans in on top of olive oil toast and topped with grated Parmigiano Reggiano as seen in the photos and video.
  • Roasted Veggies– Serving these beans on top of oven roasted veggies with a balsamic glaze is super delicious and healthy meal.

Variations

Herb Flavor Variations

When making Marinated White Beans it is important to tailor the flavors to you and your family’s taste preferences. Here are a few herb and flavor combinations that pair well together. Note: When substituting dried herbs for fresh herbs it is important to lower the amount. Generally speaking, for every tablespoon of fresh herbs use 1-2 teaspoons of dried herbs.

  • Fennel and oregano (or fennel with any of the other Italian herbs such as rosemary, basil and thyme).
  • Marjoram and Thyme
  • Dill and Italian Parsley
  • Cilantro and Mint
  • Sage and Thyme
  • Red wine vinegar and mustard (this combination replaces the lemon juice and lemon zest).

Add In Options

Here are some fun additional add in ingredient options.

  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Black Olives, Castelvetrano Olives or Kalamata Olives
  • Homemade Croutons
  • Capers (1 tablespoon minced)
  • Feta
  • Diced Cucumbers
  • Tear Drop Tomatoes
  • Diced Celery, Red Bell Peppers or Carrots
  • Thinly Sliced Fennel

Storage and Shelf Life

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container. This Marinated White Bean Salad will remain fresh for up to 3 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to marinate the beans?

This Marinated White Beans recipe can be eaten immediately after making. However, marinating in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes helps all the flavors to marry with one another. In other words, all the flavors become balanced.

Does rinsing canned beans reduce sodium levels?

It has been shown that draining and rinsing canned beans can reduce sodium levels by up to 41%.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Because this recipe tastes wonderful after sitting for a bit, it can be made 12-24 hours in advance with no issues.

Are white beans a good source of protein?

White beans are not only a good source of protein, they are a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Are there substitution options for the white beans?

Although I highly recommend sticking with beans because of their wonderful health benefits, diced chicken breast, canned tuna or salmon may replace the white beans.

Can I freeze this bean dish?

I highly recommend not to freeze this dish. However, leftovers taste even better then next day.

More Delicious Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

Panko Crusted Salmon

Lemon Chicken Stir Fry

Italian Chicken Zucchini Boats

Spaghetti Squash Greek Bowls

Italian White Bean Soup

Zesty Chicken Pasta Salad

 Easy Peanut Noodles

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Marinated White Beans on olive oil toast and garnished with freshly grated parmesan.

Marinated White Beans

Marinated White Beans recipe is a quick, easy and incredibly flavorful meal that is part of the Mediterranean diet. This recipe can be served many ways. However, it is beyond amazing on olive oil toast with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (aka real Italian parmesan cheese). 
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Marinated Cannellini Beans, Marinated White Beans
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 220kcal
Author: Heather

Ingredients

  • 1 15 ounce can white beans *Rinsed and drained, See Note #1 below
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium lemon zested
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice *See Note #2 below
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (flakey sea salt) *1/4 teaspoon regular table salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large garlic cloves *crushed or minced about 2 teaspoons, See Note #3 below
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary *or your favorite herbs, See Note #4 below
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion

Instructions

  • Rinse and drain beans.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together the oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, herbs and onion.
  • Add beans and toss well.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes and then serve on olive oil toast with freshly grated parmesan. See Note #5 below.
    Store in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Notes

Recipe Notes
Note #1– Cannellini Beans, Great Northern Beans and Navy Beans are all wonderful options for this recipe. 
Note #2– Red wine vinegar, white balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar may all be a substitute for lemon juice. 
Note #3– If fresh garlic is unavailable, use 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic. 
Note #4– If only dried herbs are available, use 2 teaspoons of each herb (total of 4 teaspoons). 
Note #5– To make olive oil toast place a frying pan over medium heat with about 1/8- 1/4 inch of extra virgin olive oil. Add bread and cook on both sides until golden brown and toasty. Total cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of the bread. However, the bread should take approximately 7-10 minutes. Note: If cooking on a larger burner, medium-low heat may be needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Sodium: 585mg | Potassium: 134mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 151IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 3mg
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8 Comments

  1. Made this yesterday. Followed recipe except used parsley as I had no oregano. Was good yesterday and amazing today. Today added a few sliced cherry tomatoes and some fresh grated parm. Yum! This recipe is so versatile and will be a wonderful go to this summer.

    1. I am so happy to hear this! I agree, this recipe is so very versatile and I always feel amazing after easting it. Thank you so much for taking the time to make the recipe and coming bal to comment. I very appreciate it!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this today for a luncheon with my book club. The ladies loved it and requested the recipe. Absolutely yummy and very healthy. I will make it again this weekend for Memorial Day.

    1. I am so happy to hear this. This recipe is one of my all time favorite bean recipes. Thank you so much for taking the time to make the recipe and coming back to comment and rate it. I very much appreciate it!

  3. This was amazing! Super easy yet super flavorful! I made the recipe as stated but am 1000% looking forward to trying a few of the options you have provided. This is a GREAT work lunch for these HOT HOT days we are having. Thanks so much!

    1. That makes me so happy to hear because I really want to provide easy, healthy and delicious meals. Thank you so much for taking the time to make the recipe and for coming back to comment.

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