Cannellini Beans Recipe & Nutrition | Precision Nutrition's Encyclopedia of Food

Cannellini Beans

Cannellini Beans

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At a Glance

Cannellini beans are large white beans that, when cooked, have a creamy texture and mild flavor. One cup of cooked cannellini beans contains over 15 grams of protein. They are also a good source of B vitamins, including B12. Cannellini beans are popular in Italian cuisine, and pair well with other Italian flavors like Parmesan cheese and olive oil. Buy dried beans and soak them overnight, then cook thoroughly, or buy canned beans and simply rinse before heating. Cannellini beans can be enjoyed in soups, purées, salads, or eaten as a side dish.

Overview

Cannellini beans are large white beans (sometimes known as white kidney beans) that are part of the common bean family. They are popular in Italian cuisine, particularly in Tuscan dishes.

Identification

Cannellini beans are ivory-white, with a firm texture, and about a half inch long. They can be purchased dried, in bags or bulk, or pre-cooked in cans.

Nutrition Info

One cup of cannellini beans, boiled and cooked without salt, contains 225 calories, 15.4g of protein, 0.9g of fat, 40.4g of carbohydrates, and 0.6g of sugar.

Cannellini beans contain a wealth of B vitamins, including B12. They also provide iron, potassium, zinc, and other essential minerals.

Selection

If buying in bulk, choose beans that are plump, smooth, white, and evenly colored.

When choosing canned cannellini beans, look for minimum salt or other added ingredients.

If buying a can or package of beans, check the expiry date before purchase. Typically canned beans will last 2-3 years and dried beans will last up to a year.

Storage

Store beans in a cool dry place, away from sunlight or dampness, such as a pantry.

Keep soaked beans or un-used portions of canned beans in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Preparation

If using dried beans, start by pre-soaking the beans overnight. In a large bowl or pot, soak 1 cup of beans in 4 cups of water for about 12 hours. This step is important to make the beans’ nutrients accessible and make them more digestible. (Without soaking they could cause gastronomic distress.)

Tip: Make sure there is lots of room in your bowl remaining, after you have put the beans and water in. The beans will expand quite a bit during soaking; make sure there is enough room in the bowl for the beans to expand without overflowing.

Once properly soaked, drain and thoroughly rinse the beans.  Now your beans are ready to be cooked. Put your soaked and rinsed beans into a large pot. Add enough water to the pot to completely cover the beans. Next, bring the water to a boil, scooping off any foam that forms. Boil for 10 minutes. Scoop the foam off again, then add just a little salt, and simmer gently with the pan lid half on for 1 to 1.5 hours, until tender. Keep an eye on the water level, and add more if necessary.

If using canned beans, pour the contents into a colander and rinse thoroughly.

Cooked cannellini beans have a creamy texture. Once soaked, they may be added to soup such as Pasta E Fagioli or minestrone, included in a salad, pureed in a hummus-like dip, or slow-cooked and served as a side dish.

Recipe: TOMATO SAUCE BAKED CANNELLINI BEANS WITH FETA AND LEMONY DILL OIL

Cannellini Beans

Smooth and velvety cannellini beans get baked in a savory tomato sauce dotted with feta cheese. A drizzle of lemony dill oil adds freshness, making this a delicious, balanced dish.

Ingredients

   
Beans:
dry cannellini beans, soaked in water 8 hours overnight
1.5 cups
garlic, coarsely chopped
3 cloves
fine sea salt
1 tsp
extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tbsp
onion, finely diced
1
garlic, minced
3 cloves
diced tomatoes
1-28oz can
dry white wine
1/2 cup
dried dill
1 tsp
dried oregano
1/2 tsp
feta cheese, crumbled
6oz
salt and pepper
to taste
     
         
   
Dill Oil:
fresh dill, loosely packed
1 cup
lemon zested and juiced
1
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup
sea salt
1/4 tsp

Directions

Prep Time: 25 minutes   Cook Time: 90 minutes   Yield: 6 servings

For the tomato baked beans:

Add soaked beans and 4 cups of water to a large pot over high heat. Add chopped garlic and fine sea salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot, and allow to simmer for 30-60 minutes, or until the beans are tender.

While the beans are cooking, make the tomato sauce: Add olive oil to an oven-safe enamel pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and minced garlic, and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add canned tomatoes (including juice), wine, and dried herbs. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until slightly thickened and saucy.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the beans are cooked, drain and add them to the pot with the tomato sauce. Toss to combine the beans and sauce. Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese over surface of beans, and then place the pot in the oven. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until feta crumbles are melted and sauce is bubbling.

Allow to cool, and serve with a drizzle with lemony dill oil (recipe below) and some crusty, whole grain bread. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

For the lemony dill oil:

Add all ingredients to a blender and process until a thin pesto-like texture has been achieved. Drizzle over beans upon serving.

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At a Glance

Cannellini beans are large white beans that, when cooked, have a creamy texture and mild flavor. One cup of cooked cannellini beans contains over 15 grams of protein. They are also a good source of B vitamins, including B12. Cannellini beans are popular in Italian cuisine, and pair well with other Italian flavors like Parmesan cheese and olive oil. Buy dried beans and soak them overnight, then cook thoroughly, or buy canned beans and simply rinse before heating. Cannellini beans can be enjoyed in soups, purées, salads, or eaten as a side dish.