Creamy White Beans with Spinach

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Quick Summary

Creamy White Beans with Spinach- this simple white bean skillet is easy to make, satisfying, and so comforting. Serve with crusty bread for a quick and easy meal!

creamy white beans with spinach parmesan cheese, and lemon wedges in skillet with spoon.

Whenever I need a super simple meal, I turn to this Creamy White Bean and Spinach recipe. It only takes 20 minutes to make from start to finish and the flavors are incredible!

This white bean skillet is made with basic ingredients that I always have in my kitchen, making it a dinner (or lunch) lifesaver.

The beans are cooked with olive oil, shallot, plenty of garlic, and spinach. The beans get nice and creamy after they are simmered in vegetable broth. If you want super creamy beans, you can mash some of the beans up with a wooden spoon. Add in some parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, and a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice and WOW! Talk about a skillet of deliciousness!

I like to serve the creamy beans with crusty bread. The bread soaks up all of the creaminess! You could also serve the beans with pasta, polenta, a fried egg, or enjoy a simple salad on the side!

This dish is packed with protein, fiber, and is very satisfying and comforting. The perfect quick and easy meal for busy days or for whenever you are craving comfort food!

ingredients in bowls to make creamy white beans with spinach.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil– for sautéing the shallot, spinach, and garlic.
  • Shallot– use a large shallot. You can find shallots in the produce section by the garlic.
  • Spinach– roughly chopped. Kale would also be good.
  • Garlic– lots of garlic for lots of flavor!
  • Cannellini beans– use canned white beans. I use cannellini beans, but navy beans or Great northern beans will work too! Drain before using.
  • Vegetable broth– simmering the beans in a little broth will add flavor and make them creamy.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes– for a little heat.
  • Parmesan cheese– stir it in at the end for a boost of flavor and creaminess. If you want the recipe to be vegan or dairy-free, you can use nutritional yeast instead of cheese.
  • Fresh lemon juice– to brighten up the dish!
shallots and garlic cooking in skillet with wooden spoon.

How to Make Creamy White Beans

  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shallot and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
sautéed spinach in skillet with wooden spoon.
  • Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
white beans in skillet with spinach, broth, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.
  • Stir in the beans and vegetable broth. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The beans will get creamy and thicken. If you want to break up some of the beans with a wooden spoon, you can.
white beans and spinach in skillet with Parmesan cheese and wooden spoon.
  • Stir in the Parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast) and lemon juice.
  • If the mixture is too thick for your liking, you can add a little extra vegetable broth.
creamy white beans with spinach in skillet with Parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

Variations

I love how simple this dish is, but if you want to play around, here are some ideas!

  • Instead of spinach, use kale.
  • Cook chopped up pancetta or bacon with the shallot.
  • Add more veggies! Roasted red peppers, mushrooms, or artichoke hearts would be amazing!
  • Stir in tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Add fresh herbs! Rosemary, basil, thyme, or parsley would be a great addition.
  • Instead of Parmesan cheese, use nutritional yeast for a vegan and dairy-free version.
  • Stir in a splash of heavy cream, half and half, or even coconut milk!
  • Add a tablespoon or two of basil pesto.

Serving Suggestions

I love serving the creamy white beans and spinach with crusty bread (or garlic bread). It’s the BEST! You can also serve the beans with:

How to Store

Let the beans cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in a skillet on the stove top or in the microwave. If you need to add a little more broth, you can.

creamy white beans with spinach on toast with Parmesan cheese on plate with fork.

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Creamy White Beans with Spinach

This simple white bean skillet is easy to make, satisfying, and so comforting. Serve with crusty bread for a quick and easy meal!
4.77 from 13 votes

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shallot and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the beans and vegetable broth. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The beans will get creamy and thicken. If you want to break up some of the beans with a wooden spoon, you can.
  • Stir in the Parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast) and lemon juice. If the mixture is too thick for your liking, you can add a little extra vegetable broth.
  • Serve warm with crusty bread.

Notes

I like to serve the beans with crusty bread, but it’s also great with pasta, rice, polenta, eggs, and potatoes. 

Nutrition

Calories: 319kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 373mg, Potassium: 1181mg, Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 3025IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 269mg, Iron: 7mg
Keywords spinach, white beans

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Maria

I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! This was quick, easy and yummy! Made it as a side for dinner last night and it stole the dinner show. I made zero subs and would definitely make it again! 7 and 10 year olds loved it as well! Thanks for a great recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    This is so flavorful and absolutely delicious! We made it with extra broth and served it over egg noodles. Yum! We all loved it, and we’ll definitely add it to our regular rotation. Thank you so much! 🙂