10 Ways That Can of White Beans Can Be Dinner Tonight

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

My pantry is pretty trim, given the limited space I have in my apartment kitchen, but one thing I always keep on hand is a can of cannellini beans. Their versatility alone is worth giving them room in the pantry, among the boxes of pasta and bags of rice. Pop open a can or two, and in next to no time they become a simple and satisfying dinner any night of the week. Here are my 10 favorite ways to use them.

1. Make a colorful salad with them.

Toss a couple of cans of (drained and rinsed) white beans with halved cherry tomatoes, lots of fresh herbs, and a simple vinaigrette for a flavorful feel-good salad.

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

2. Stir them into a pot of soup.

Stirring white beans into a hearty vegetable soup instantly bulks it up, making it a great go-to cool-weather dinner.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

3. Toss them into a skillet with chicken.

Adding a can of white beans to a skillet full of chicken and vegetables turns the whole thing into a complete meal.

(Image credit: Brie Passano)

4. Make meatless burgers with them.

Drain a couple of cans of beans; combine with an egg, breadcrumbs, and seasoning; and you’ve got meatless burger patties that are cheap and satisfying.

Get the recipe: Caesar White Bean Burgers

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

5. Sprinkle them on pizza.

Topping pizza with white beans may sound odd at first, but it adds a unique creaminess that will pleasantly surprise you.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

6. Marinate them.

Let white beans mingle with olive oil, vinegar, aromatics, and herbs to make them something you’ll want to pile on toast, stir into cooked grains, or simply eat as is.

Get the recipe: Marinated White Beans

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

7. Add them to chili.

You probably think kidney or pinto beans when you think chili, but white beans are key to white chicken chili.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

8. Bake them with veggies and cheese.

Make a hearty vegetarian casserole by tossing white beans with sautéed greens and cheese and baking it until warm and browned.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

9. Top them with an egg.

Sauté and crisp up white beans in a skillet with whatever greens you have on hand, then pile the mixture in a bowl and top with a poached egg for good measure.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

10. Make a spicy shrimp skillet.

Simmer cherry tomatoes, white beans, and shrimp together, then grab lots of crusty bread for sopping up the broth.