garlic and parmesan white beans

garlic and parmesan white beans

These garlic and parmesan white beans are fragrant and delicious. This recipe is a quick and tasty way to jazz up a humble can of beans.

One of Kenny’s favorite meals is steak with spaghetti all’olio e aglio (spaghetti with garlic and olive oil). In the classic pasta version, warm olive is perfumed with garlic and tossed with spaghetti, parsley and fresh lemon juice. Since we’re now responsible adults, Kenny and I have been reducing our intake of simple carbs, making pasta a rare occurrence in our kitchen. These white beans aglio e olio let us enjoy the flavors of our favorite spaghetti with the health benefits [and convenience] of beans.

garlic and parmesan white beans

Eating healthy in my twenties meant counting calories and reducing carbohydrates. My main goal was weight loss and I didn’t focus enough on the nutrient density of food. As I’ve gotten older, and hopefully wiser, my focus has shifted toward health instead of weight. I’m focusing more on reducing inflammation in my body, managing stress and building eating habits that will sustain me into the next few decades.

This new shift away from calories and toward nutrients means I’ve been adding beans into my weekly meal plans. Beans are high in fiber, full of nutrients and great for gut health. I love making a big batch of hummus each week but I wanted to switch things up. A batch of these olive oil and garlic white beans last me a couple days and taste great added to my lunch salads. You can also serve these beans with chicken (some of my favorite recipes below) for a delicious, balanced meal.

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garlic and parmesan white beans

garlic and parmesan white beans

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  • Author: Sepideh Esmaili Campos


Canned white beans are jazzed up with a fragrant olive oil and garlic dressing. Everything is tossed with fresh parsley and lemon juice for a bright delicious bean side dish or salad topper.


  • 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 15.5-ounce cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 
  • ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • Juice of ½ fresh lemon
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan + extra for serving 
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt 


  1. Combine the sliced garlic and cold olive oil in a large saute pan with tall sides. Heat slowly over medium heat until the garlic starts to soften and becomes very fragrant, 3-5 minutes. 
  2. Add the red pepper flakes to the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the rinsed beans to the garlic and olive oil, toss to coat the beans with the garlicky olive oil and heat the beans through. 
  4. Add the chopped parsley and lemon juice to the beans.
  5. Off the heat, add the grated parmesan and toss to combine. It’s ok if some of the beans get mushy but try to combine the beans gently. 
  6. Taste and add salt if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperatures. 
  7. Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator.
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