Header shot of a bowl of stewed white beans with rosemary and roasted garlic.

Stewed White Beans w/ Roasted Garlic and Rosemary

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I’ve been meaning to craft a recipe for stewed white beans for quite some time now. I had an incredible white bean dish when I was in Nashville a few years ago, and it’s been on my mind ever since. It’s one of those dishes that seems very simple, but can be incredibly delicious and complex. This one is made with rosemary and lots of roasted garlic. It’s comfort food at its finest.

Serving suggestions:

This dish is intended to be a main course. It always irks me when I have to stitch together several veggie sides in order to have a satisfying meal. For that reason, I try to come up with recipes that can stand on their own two feet. So yes, you might want to serve this with a small salad and/or some nice, crusty bread. Or you might even want to serve it as a side! But know that if you want to eat it for dinner with nothing else, you totally can. I did, and it was delicious. The serving size will reflect this, so if you want to use it as a side dish, just know that it’ll go a lot farther.

Do I really need to soak the beans?!

Soaking dried beans helps them to cook faster and more evenly. As they soak, you’ll literally see their tough skins begin to soften. Soaking isn’t essential, but if you’re following my cooking instructions and you’re using dried beans, please soak them. Otherwise, the cook times will be completely off.

All that said, overnight soaking isn’t strictly necessary. I probably soaked mine for about six hours and they were perfect!

What kind of beans do I use for this?

I used Rancho Gordo mayocoba beans. This bean variety is originally from Peru and is similar to pinto or cannellini beans. They’re thin skinned, creamy, meaty, and take on flavor nicely. If you can’t find them, free to use pinto, cannellini, or great northern beans!


Stewed White Beans w/ Roasted Garlic and Rosemary

Course dinner, entree, lunch
Keyword Fig and Rosemary Gin Cocktail, green beans, mayocoba beans, parmesan cheese, roasted garlic, stewed beans, Stewed White Beans w/ Roasted Garlic and Rosemary, white beans
Servings 4


  • 1 lb Dried mayocoba beans (Cannellini, great northern, or pinto beans are all good substitutes.)
  • 2 heads Garlic
  • 1 tsp Finely chopped rosemary Fresh
  • 1 Small yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil Divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt Divided
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 handfuls Spinach
  • 1 cup Reserved bean water
  • 1 cup Vegetable stock
  • 1 Parmesan rind Cut into 4 chunks
  • 1 Lemon Juice of


  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Fresh rosemary


  • Soak beans overnight, or for a few hours. You can also quick soak them in a pressure cooker – about 5 minutes at high pressure with a natural release should do the trick. Drain before using.
  • Roast the garlic. To do this, preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit and slice the tops off of your garlic heads. Pour 1 tbsp of olive oil over each head, and wrap it in aluminum foil. Then add to a baking sheet and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until soft and golden.
  • While the garlic roasts, start cooking the beans! Add them to a large saucepan and cover them with water (a couple inches above the beans should do the trick), along with 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 40 minutes or until tender. Then reserve 1 cup bean water and drain the rest.
  • Wipe down the saucepan and add 2 tbsp olive oil and cook on medium heat. Add the chopped yellow onion and chopped rosemary and cook until the onion is tender and translucent. Then add the cooked beans. Squeeze in the roasted garlic, stir to combine, and cook for 8-10 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup reserved bean water, 1 cup veggie stock, the parmesan rind, 2 handfuls of spinach, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper and cook for 15-20 minutes. Stir in the juice of 1 lemon and adjust seasoning to taste.
  • To serve, divide into 4 bowls. Top with freshly grated parmesan. You can also add a little bit of olive oil, some fresh rosemary, and some flaky sea salt if you'd like!

And that’s it! If you make this, I hope you enjoy your bean feast. Of course, if you do make it, I’d love it if you’d let me know your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Bonus points if you share a picture!

Looking for more vegetarian mains? Check out my mushroom marsala risotto or maybe my white cheddar and lavender mac and cheese!

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