These simple creamy white beans can be whipped up in just 15 minutes – irresistible comfort food with plenty of goodness!
I’ve shared a creamy bean stew recipe before, which took 50 minutes to cook, and made a big batch (4 servings). It’s a gorgeous recipe, but if you’re not cooking for a crowd, you don’t have to commit to making a huge batch of beans – this recipe makes just one (generous!) serving, and takes just 15 minutes to cook.
After my ‘naturally good on the go’ breakfast muffins from the other day, St Helen’s Farm challenged me to come up with a ‘naturally good and quick‘ recipe, and these creamy white beans are just the thing! They’re the perfect quick dinner to whip up at the end of a long day.
Vegetarian comfort food
The weather’s turning wintery, and I’m in need of some warming comfort food. When it’s miserable outside, it can be tempting to load up on empty carbs and fat, which is absolutely fine once in a while (there will always be a place in my heart for cheesy pasta), but it’s always good to try to get some healthier comfort food into your diet too.
I often turn to beans when I want something comforting – they’re hearty and filling, but still really good for you, so you can feel good about eating them too. They’re full of protein and fibre, and all sorts of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C and magnesium (plus they count as one of your 5 a day!).
Yes, this recipe contains cheese and cream, so it’s no salad, but adding plenty of extra nutritious bits mean you can enjoy it without a worry.
15 minute dinner
The best thing about these creamy white beans is that unlike a lot of comfort food (think stews that need to be simmered for a full hour), these can be whipped up in just 15 minutes. Before you know it, you’ll be curled up under a blanket with a hot bowlful of creamy beans in your lap.
St Helen’s Farm did some research this summer, and found that 40% of people said they don’t eat more healthily because they just don’t have enough time. Hopefully this recipe will go a small way towards remedying that!
Start by cooking the beans for a few minutes with some garlic, until they’re soft and smelling beautiful. Then add a good sprinkling of goat’s cheese and some veggies, and you’re basically done!
Goat’s cheese sauce
I used St Helen’s Farm hard goat’s cheese for this recipe, along with a dash of double goat’s cream. The grated cheese melts into the cream to give a smooth, luscious sauce. I used the ‘mild’ goat’s cheese, but there’s a ‘mature’ version too, if you want even more flavour.
I love that the goat’s milk products can be used as straight replacements for their cow’s milk counterparts – it feels like you’re having something a bit different, without it feeling alien!
Last time I talked about goat’s milk products, I told you all about the potential health benefits of swapping cow’s milk for goat’s milk. All those facts still apply here, but the main reason to use goat’s cheese in these creamy beans instead of regular cheese isn’t for the health benefits, it’s just because it’s flipping delicious. In a recipe with so few ingredients, you want to impart as much flavour as you can, and using a tangy goat’s cheese is an easy way to do that!
What veggies can you add to your creamy white beans?
If we’re aiming for healthier comfort food here, there has to be some veggies involved. I deliberately only added vegetables that required minimal (if any) preparation, because I’m super lazy. I used:
– frozen peas – thrown straight into the pan from the bag
– cherry tomatoes – which just need cutting in half!
– fresh rocket (arugula) – added straight from the bag (spinach would work well too, but rocket has more flavour!)
You can use different vegetables if you like, but obviously if you use anything that requires any level of cooking, that will probably tip your dinner over the 15 minute mark.
Dinner for one
As mentioned, this recipe only makes one generous portion, but you could stretch it to feed two if you added some extra, more bulky veggies. Or, the recipe is really easy to double or triple as needed.
I served my creamy white beans with some garlic bread – not everything needs to be made healthier, after all.
A healthier comforting dinner that can be whipped up in just 15 minutes!
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 400 g tin cannellini beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
- 2 tbsp St Helen’s Farm double goat’s cream
- 50 g St Helen's Farm goat's cheese, grated (~ 1/2 cup when grated)
- 50 g (~ 1/4 cup) frozen peas
- Black pepper
- 1 handful fresh rocket (arugula) - spinach would work well too
- 5 cherry tomatoes, halved
Heat the oil in a frying pan, and add the minced garlic and drained tin of beans. Cook over a low heat for a few minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the beans have softened slightly - you can gently mash them slightly with the back of a spoon if you want to.
Add the goat's cream and grated goat's cheese, and mix them into the beans so the cheese melts.
When the sauce is smooth, add the frozen peas, and mix to combine. Cook for 5 more minutes until they have thawed. Season generously with plenty of salt and pepper.
Add a handful of fresh rocket (arugula) and a few halved cherry tomatoes, and cook for a couple more minutes, until the rocket has wilted and the tomatoes are slightly soft.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for the full recipe.