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Make cannellini beans into a tasty side dish with this easy recipe! It’s packed with Mediterranean flavor and plant-based protein.

Cannellini Beans
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Here’s an easy recipe that all cooks should know: 5 minute cannellini beans! It’s a lifesaver for weeknight cooking, or the perfect solution for adding plant-based protein to a meal. You’ll be amazed at the flavor you can coax out of one can of beans in just a few minutes. Throw it together in a skillet with a few spices and it tastes like it’s been simmering all day. Here’s how to make a can of beans into a legit delicious healthy side dish (or dinner).

Ingredients for these easy cannellini beans

The magic of this cannelini beans recipe comes from infusing flavor into a can of beans. Of course, you can cook your own on the stovetop. (Follow the instructions in White Beans on Toast.) But this recipe is designed to be a quick and simple fix for weeknights: where you barely have to think. Here’s what you need for this recipe:

  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • Olive oil
  • Herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning (see below)
  • Chives
  • Salt & pepper
Cannellini Beans

Two great seasoning blends (purchased or homemade)

There are two different seasoning blends that perfectly compliment the buttery, creamy flavor of cannellini beans. One is used in French cuisine, and one in Italian. Both are easy to find at most grocery stores.

  • Herbes de Provence: This blend is a group of herbs that grow in the Provence region in France, like savory, marjoram, rosemary, lavender, and thyme. It adds a herby flavor with a subtle floral nuance that’s incredibly unique. If you can’t find it, use Italian seasoning or try homemade herbes de Provence.
  • Italian Seasoning: Italian seasoning has a similar vibe but it’s made with common Italian herbs. It’s a blend of oregano, basil, thyme, sage and rosemary. It’s easy to find at grocery stores, but you can also make homemade Italian seasoning.
How to make Cannellini Beans

How to make 5-minute cannellini beans

There’s really no technique required to this cannellini beans recipe: it’s all about the flavorings! Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Drain and rinse the canned beans. This is standard for using canned beans in recipes.
  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet.
  • Add the beans and seasonings, and cook about 2 minutes until heated. Fresh chives add big fresh flavor to this recipe and a beautiful bright green color. If you don’t have them on hand, use a pinch of onion powder.

Take one taste and you’ll be amazed by the amount of flavor that can be coaxed out of a simple can of beans and 5 minutes. Take this concept and use it when you’re hangry and need a healthy, protein packed snack or side dish.

Ways to serve this cannellini beans recipe

Another thing we love about this cannellini beans recipe is that it’s incredibly versatile. It works as a side dish, hearty snack or even a healthy plant-based dinner. Here are a few ways to serve it:

Easy cannellini beans recipe

What are cannellini beans, anyway?

Cannellini beans are an Italian white bean that’s oval shaped, with a creamy texture and mild flavor. They’re one of the easiest white beans to find canned at the grocery, along with Great Northern beans. What’s the difference between cannellini and Great Northern beans? Cannellini are larger, with a creamier color; Great Northern are smaller and whiter.

Not sure how to say cannellini? Say Can-a-leen-ee.

Why to eat more beans

Beans are one of the best foods you can eat: especially if you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet! They’re full of plant-based protein, very shelf stable, and easy to make in delicious recipes. And…there are lots more reasons! Here’s why to eat more beans (per the bean cookbook Cool Beans that we reviewed here):

  • They’re the cheapest source of protein in the world. They’re the only food that’s both categorized as a protein and vegetable by the USDA.
  • They’ve may help you live longer: the list of health benefits if beans is long: they’re nutrient-dense, rich in cancer fighting antioxidants and hearty-healthy fiber. Guess the common element in Blue Zone diet countries where people live the longest in the world? They all eat 1 cup of beans per day.
  • They’re planet-friendly. Beans may be key to feeding the Earth’s growing population: they take less of a toll on the climate than animal proteins.
Cannellini Beans

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Cannellini Beans

Easy Cannellini Beans

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 as a side 1x


Make cannellini beans into a tasty side dish with this easy recipe! It’s packed with Mediterranean flavor and plant-based protein.




  1. Drain and rinse the beans.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a small skillet. Add the beans, Herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning, chives or onion powder, salt, and fresh ground pepper. Heat until just warm, about 2 minutes. 



  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

More bean recipes

Beans are one of our favorite ingredients to use in recipes! Here are a few more ways to use beans in your home cooking:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Janet says:

    Your recipes look good

  2. Jeannie Foley says:

    This was so good! I did the beans over linguine… with Parmesan… it’s a keeper! Thanks !

  3. Sally davies says:

    These are great. Thank you.