Creamy braised white beans and greens with deep layers of savory umami flavor from a porcini mushroom infused broth, tons of caramelized leeks, sliced mushrooms and dark leafy greens. A naturally vegan and gluten free recipe you can step into the New Year with, in lieu of the black eyed peas and collard greens.
Braised White Beans and Greens
Brimming with earthy flavor, savory, rich umami take on the classic Italian beans and greens recipe traditionally made with cannellini and escarole. A hearty meal you want to plan for on a chili weekend afternoon when it’s nice to have the oven going for a couple of hours. Maybe get a focaccia bread ready to go in right after the beans so you have something comforting to dip into that delicious gravy.
About the Beans
Any dried white beans that you have available will work here. Cannellini, navy, even black eyed peas, just a mild creamy bean, rinse and soak overnight or at least for six hours. The canned variety will not work as they would literally turn into mush. This recipe is all about starting from scratch and creating deep layers of unique flavors throughout.
You’ll want to use a bitter dark leafy green that holds up well to slow cooking. Kale and mustard greens are my favorites, you could even mix in some dandelion or collard greens. I find escarole to be a little too delicate for this slow cooking process. You can add your greens in the very beginning in which case expect it to melt into the broth by the end. To save some of the texture wait to add them about half way through, ultimately it’s about the marriage of flavors and how they compliment each other in the final dish.
Notes on the Mushrooms
For the mushroom broth I used 1/3 cup of dried porcini and a piece of Kombu steeped in hot water. The earthy umami flavor is absolutely delightful and truly compliments the beans. A great way to expand the palette when it comes to a hearty pot of beans.
You can use fresh or frozen sliced up mushrooms in the stew. It’s perfectly okay to wash them well, they are going to braise in liquid for hours. I had sliced up shiitakes in the freezer and straight into the pot they went, no thawing out, no special treatment.
Ingredient Tips + FAQs
- The Leeks – Flavor flave, I love using leeks any chance I get. Wash them well and cook them until they start to get some color around the edges to bring out their natural sweetness.
- Nutritional Yeast – For that deep and clean cheesy flavor in lieu of a parmesan rind. A complete plant-based protein, choose organic non-fortified whenever possible.
- Herbs – I went with fresh thyme as I love it paired with mushrooms and it holds up nicely to a long cooking time. Adventure and experiment with a mix of your favorites, bay and even rosemary would be nice.
- Optional Add Ins – Preserved lemons, a spoon of white miso paste, hot chili pepper.
- Serving Suggestions – Beyond Italian Sausage, homemade bread, potato flatbread, dinner rolls, pickled red onions anyone…?!
- On Storage – The beans keep well in the refrigerator up to 5 days, leftover can be frozen up to 4 months in lidded freezer proof glass containers. Thaw out in the fridge before reheating on the stove top pr microwave oven in a pinch.
More Bean Recipes
- Best Vegan White Bean Soup
- Chickpea Stew
- Vegan Black Bean Soup
- Pinto Bean Soup
- White Bean Stew
- Green Bean Soup.
how to make braised white beans and greens
Braised White Beans and Greens
- 2 medium leeks thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 2 cups white beans soaked overnight
- 3/4 lb sliced mushrooms (I used shiitakes)
- 3 qt water
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
- 1 bunch mustard greens or kale chopped
- 1.5 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/2 bunch Italian parsley or dill roughly chopped
- 2 inch piece kombu
- olive oil as needed (use water for WFPP + Plantricious Diets)
- 2 cups hot water
- 1/3 cup dried porcini mushrooms
- Soak the beans in a large bowl of cold water overnight or at least 6 hours.2 cups white beans
- Add the dried porcini mushrooms to a medium bowl and cover with 2 cups of hot water. Allow to steep.1/3 cup dried porcini mushrooms, 2 cups hot water
- Preheat your oven to 325”F.
- Thinly slice the leeks and add them to a large bowl. Cover with cold water and rinse them well. Let them sit in water for a few minutes for any dirt to fall to the bottom of the bowl. Use your hands (or a slotted spoon / spider) to scoop the leeks from the water. Transfer to a lint free tea towel to dry.2 medium leeks
- Preheat a large heavy bottom enameled cast iron pot over medium heat. Add a good drizzle of olive oil, enough to coat the bottom well. Add the cleaned leeks and a pinch salt. Sautee until the leeks have completely wilted and start to caramelize around the edges, approximately 10 minutes or so.olive oil as needed, 2 medium leeks
- Push the leeks to the sides, drizzle a little olive oil in the center and add the garlic. Cook until fragrant.6 cloves garlic
- Add the sliced mushrooms, give everything a good stir and cook until softened and most of the moisture has evaporated.3/4 lb sliced mushrooms
- Add the beans, thyme, nutritional yeast, mushroom broth (+ soaked porcini), Kombu, water and salt. (Note: You can also add the greens at this time if desired or wait until later to preserve more texture). Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and transfer to the preheated oven.2 cups white beans, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1/2 bunch fresh thyme, 1.5 tsp sea salt or to taste, 2 inch piece kombu, 3 qt water
- Braise the beans @325”F for 2 to 2.5 hours until the beans are soft and creamy.
- If you haven't already, half way through make sure to add your dark leafy greens. They will completely melt into the stew and turn an olive green color.1 bunch mustard greens or kale
- Carefully remove the pot of beans from the oven, adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and stir in the fresh parsley. Serve with hot red chili flakes or chili pepper for heat.1/2 bunch Italian parsley or dill
WFPB + Plantricious
- For compliance make sure to omit the oil from the recipe or replace with water.
- The Beans - Any dried white beans that you have available will work here. Cannellini, navy, even black eyed peas, just a mild creamy bean, rinse and soak overnight or at least for six hours. The canned variety will not work as they would literally turn into mush. This recipe is all about starting from scratch and creating deep layers of unique flavors throughout
- Mushrooms - For the broth I used 1/3 cup of dried porcini + a piece of Kombu steeped in hot water. The earthy umami flavor is absolutely delightful and truly compliments the beans. A great way to expand the palette when it comes to a hearty pot of beans. You can use your favorite fresh or frozen sliced up mushrooms in the stew.
- The Leeks - Flavor flave, I love using leeks any chance I get. Wash them well and cook them until they start to get some color around the edges to bring out their natural sweetness.
- Nutritional Yeast - For that deep and clean cheesy flavor in lieu of a parmesan rind. A complete plant-based protein, choose organic non-fortified whenever possible.