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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.
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.
Can I use a different kind of bean?
Yes! All kinds of white beans work like cannellini, great northern beans, or navy. Black beans make a nice change, too!
How long will the leftovers keep?
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.
Do I need fire-roasted tomatoes?
No, regular diced canned tomatoes work well, too.
- 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.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.