Cheesy White Bean Tomato Bake
This cheesy white bean tomato bake is the ultimate easy and cozy dinner recipe. We take canned white beans and simmer them in a fire-roasted tomato sauce then smother them with cheese.
Complete the meal with a side of no yeast bread with herbs and cheese. It's delicious to dunk into the cheesy white bean tomato bake!
Cheesy White Bean Tomato Bake
You're looking at the ultimate cozy recipe. Soft and warm white beans swimming in a flavorful tomato sauce and absolutely smothered in melty cheese. We turn this into dinner with a slice of bread to mop up the sauce and a salad if we're feeling adventurous.
It is also fully acceptable to treat this as a baked beans-like side.
We were first introduced to the idea of a cheesy white bean tomato bake from NY Times Cooking. We've kept the overall idea of that recipe but made a few adjustments based on our own personal preferences.
- We made it saucier with a can of fire-roasted tomatoes. More sauce = more opportunity to dunk your bread.
- We made it cheesier because that's the way we roll.
- We added some spinach for extra veggies and a pop of color.
- And some basil because basil, tomatoes, and cheese are meant for each other.
How to make cheesy baked white beans
This amazingly simple recipe is one that you can whip together after a long day without it feeling like any work.
- Saute the sliced garlic in olive oil for about 30 seconds then add the fire-roasted tomatoes, seasonings, and beans.
- Once everything starts to bubble, add the spinach and let it wilt before stirring in the basil and a little water.
- Now cover the whole thing in all the cheese in the world and put the pan into your oven until it is hot, bubbly, and golden.
Now all that's left to do is toast some bread, pour yourself a glass of wine, and sit down to this cozy hug of a meal.
The full recipe is in the recipe card below.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Olive oil – Will give you the best flavor, but cooking oil will work, too
- Garlic – choose 3 big cloves for max flavor.
- Fire-roasted tomatoes – These are extra flavorful and really add to the dish. But if you have a can of diced tomatoes on hand, you can use that instead.
- Italian seasoning, sea salt, and pepper – Try making your own homemade Italian seasoning. If you only have table salt, reduce the amount by half.
- White beans – cannellini, great northern beans, or navy beans will all work well.
- Spinach and basil – fresh greens only!
- Mozzarella and parmesan cheese – make sure to grate your own as bagged mozzarella and jars of parmesan won't work well.
Yes! All kinds of white beans work like cannellini, great northern beans, or navy. Black beans make a nice change, too!
This cheesy white bean tomato bake will keep well for up to 5 days in your fridge. You can reheat them gently on the stove, in the oven, or microwave.
No, regular diced canned tomatoes work well, too.
What to serve with cheesy white bean tomato bake
These saucy beans almost demand to be served with buttered bread. A thick slice of sourdough or our no yeast bread with herbs and cheese will do the trick. And a simple green salad tossed in one of our salad dressings will complete the meal.
Popular easy dinner recipes with beans
Cheesy White Bean Tomato Bake Recipe
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 15 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, can sub diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon EACH: Italian seasoning, sea salt, and pepper
- 2 14-ounce cans butter beans (or other white beans), drained and rinsed
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 1 ounce fresh basil, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups grated mozzarella
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and stir. Taste and add more salt and pepper if you'd like.2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 cloves garlic, 15 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, 1 teaspoon EACH: Italian seasoning, sea salt, and pepper
- Stir in the beans then bring that pan to a simmer. Add the spinach and let it wilt then stir in the basil and water. Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the parmesan cheese then the mozzarella over the top.2 14-ounce cans butter beans (or other white beans), 5 ounces baby spinach, 1 ounce fresh basil, ¼ cup water, ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, 2 cups grated mozzarella
- Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheesy has melted and the beans are bubbling. For an extra golden top, broil for 2 minutes.
Unexpectedly delicious! Loved and even got my children to eat it. I need a bigger Lodge pan to make this better in the future.
This recipe is fantastic! The first time I made it to the tee. This time I added some diced mushrooms cut the mozzerrella in half and used vegan parmesan cheese. My meat eating husband loves this too. Great for leftovers. Def do the last 2 min broil!
I had low hopes for this meal. So low, in fact, that I’m honestly not even sure why I ever wanted to make it in the first place, but sometimes I think the great cooking saints of the universe are looking out for me because I make things I feel sure I won’t like and they end up being magnificent. 😆 👩🍳 Like this. OhMyYum! And SO EASY! I had to force myself to stop. I finished what was on my plate and just kept digging my spoon into the pan. It was so good I wanted to devour all of it. (But I didn’t. I feel like people should know that. 🤣) I threw in a chopped onion just because we love onions so much, and I also decided to get creative and toss in a couple roasted red peppers from a jar. This was bursting with flavor. Really just so good! 🤤 Thanks for the recipe!
So we made this with the thick diced tomato sauce we had left over from last night’s pasta. Added some fresh greens, more garlic & onion, a can of white beans and a bit of crumbled bacon to our trusty cast iron pan and topped it with an assortment of grated cheeses which had been patiently waiting in the fridge hoping for attention. Let’s hear it for leftovers and a can of beans!
This recipe is great when you need to eat a lot of carbs, looks like a cool recipe I must try!
Another hit! So simple and so delicious! Thank you! When are you making a cookbook so I have keep the good times going?? ( and not worry about my phone timing out:))
This was super tasty! Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe. 🙂
I rated this 5 stars because I’m pretty sure this is going to be epic once I make it! I do have one question though. Do I drain the tomatoes? I’m just worried that the juice from the tomatoes PLUS the 1/4 cup of water might make it too “soupy”. Can’t wait to try this. My mouth is watering just looking at the picture. Thanks!
We don’t drain the tomatoes!
What a great recipe! As grocery costs go up, I’m always looking for tasty meat-free recipes to add to the rotation. This was a real winner at our house. I added a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste as I wanted a bit more depth of flavor, and used fresh mozzarella as I thought it would be good. Otherwise exactly as per the recipe. Both husband and I loved it. A great winter recipe in a northern climate. Thank you!
Made this on a cold winter day just as indicated in the recipe. DELICIOUS!
Would highly recommend for the simplicity and the unbelievable flavor. I added grilled chicken on top or you can add Italian Sausage and it is a complete meal!
I saw the similar recipe from the NY Times because it kept showing up in my Facebook newsfeed. Problem was the recipe was behind a paywall so I couldn’t see it.
I googled it and… found your improved recipe. So glad I did!
I’m vegan, so I used vegan cheese instead of dairy but, otherwise, I made it according to your recipe. It is DELICIOUS. I ate it with a couple slices of sourdough bread and a salad. So good.
Thanks for posting this and thank you for tweaking it with the spinach and more cheese. Sounds exactly like something I would have done.
As I do often, I did my own riff on this….using a 26 oz can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, pinto beans and white northern beans… I used several dried herbs… no basil, and several spicy mixes that were southwestern-style.. I topped with cheddar and mozzarella… and added a small can of green chilies, corn and left out the spinach… my MO was to use this as a healthy protein source and dip some chips in it for meals… it delivered… and satisfied my cravings.. what I loved was I never considered something like this as a meal… I used a 9×13 pan… oiled with avocado oil and let it bake for about 15 minutes after cooking on the stove top for about 15 minutes…
such a great alternative to meat… and totally satisfies a fun food craving… will be adding to my rotation! Thank you so much…
What happens to seasoned cast iron pan if you cook this tomato-and-bean-and-water dish in it? I have had tomato take the seasoning off pan in the past…
If you cook acidic foods for a long time in a cast iron pan, then it will take the seasoning off. But a short time like this is just fine!
We LOVED this incredibly delish but super easy meal. Using canned beans is so convenient and when you add the cheese, this is a swoon worthy dish. Thank you!
I love all the flavors here, especially that cheesy, creamy topping! Perfect for a family dinner – delicious!
I couldn’t stop myself going back for more – this and some crusty bread was EPIC
Oh my goodness..this was soooo yummy! We can’t wait to make it again. Thanks for the fabulous recipe!
This was a huge hit at my house!! I love how flavorful it is.