Deeply comforting and oh so good for you, these garlicky brothy white beans with kale pack a lot of flavour and nutrition into one pot! Baked in the oven until the beans are creamy in texture, it’s a hands off recipe with only 10 minutes of prep. 

hand ladling brothy beans into bowl
Slow-baked brothy beans in an umami-packed, silky broth with only 10 minutes of hands on time!

Want to save this recipe?

Enter your email & I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus, get great new recipes from me every week!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

If there is one food I am passionate about, it’s beans. They’re affordable. They’re nutritious. And there is an endless variety of ways to prepare them. Whether you like them crunchy, like my roasted chickpeas, whipped into a roasted red pepper dip or simmered into a creamy coconut curry soup, beans take on so many different textures and flavours that you could eat beans every single day of your life and never get bored.

And these brothy white beans and greens will convince you that cooking dried beans isn’t nearly as difficult as you might think. When slow baked in the oven, it’s almost magical what happens to simple white beans. The broth takes on this incredibly silky quality thanks to olive oil, the starch from the beans and the roasted garlic you’ll mash into the broth at the end. The beans themselves are so creamy and buttery and luxurious you’ll never feel like you’re eating “health food”.

This recipe is inspired by my friends at Evergreen Kitchen, whose version has become the base for my endless tinkering so I thought it was time to share my own take that pumps up the flavour with umami-packed sun dried tomatoes and tomato paste as well as cumin and paprika (and no, the end result is not overtly “tomato-y”).  And, because I often eat these brothy beans as a meal all by themselves, I couldn’t resist adding some fresh kale to get a bit more veg in. 

Why these brothy beans are so good for you

I know that you come to me for nutrient-dense plant-based recipes, so I want to put on my dietitian hat for a second and dive into what makes beans so special from a nutrition standpoint. Beans are a uniquely high fibre food, with between 4 – 8 grams of fibre per half cup cooked. And while most of us obsess over protein, it’s actually fibre that we don’t eat enough of…so eating more beans make it easier! Beans are incredibly gut-healthy, with fermentable carbohydrates that feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut.

And while we’re on the subject of protein, yep, beans are a valuable source of plant-based protein for those of you trying to eat more plants. Beans and lentils contain 8-9 grams of plant-based protein per half cup in addition to a host of other important nutrients like folate, iron and zinc. White beans in particular offer a boost of calcium!

In fact, I am such a bean-liever (and obviously a total dork) that I include them in something I call my Daily 3: three nutrient-dense plant-foods I try to eat every day (well most days!). The Daily 3 is omega 3-rich seeds, green leafy veggies and yes, beans.  If you can commit to adding these foods into your daily routine, you’ll be boosting your intake of critical nutrition to support your digestive and overall health.

How to make these vegan brothy beans in the oven 

The best part of this recipe? While they take a while to bake, you just dump everything into the pot and then you’re DONE. 10 minutes of hands on time for, 8 meals or like, 12 servings of beans! No standing over the stove, no veggies to saute before you add the beans. I like to make them on the weekend, enjoy them as is on Sunday night and then repurpose leftovers for delicious meals all week long.

Step One: Soak your beans the night before. Place the beans in a large, oven-proof pot and cover them with enough water to allow them to expand – they’ll grow 3 times in size! Cover and leave on the counter until you’re ready to cook. 

Step Two: When you’re ready to cook, rinse and drain your beans and put them back into the same pot. Then gather the rest of your ingredients: garlic, onion, broth (or water with Better than Bouillion – highly recommend!), olive oil, sundried tomato, tomato paste, paprika, cumin, salt, kale and chile flakes or my homemade chili oil.

Step Three: dice the onion and lop the top off the garlic bulbs to expose the cloves. Toss those into pot along with the water and BTB (better than bouillon!), olive oil, sundried tomato, tomato paste, paprika, cumin and salt. DON’T add the kale yet or it will get super mushy.

Step Four: bake, covered, at 375F for 90 minutes. Carefully remove lid, test a bean for doneness, add the kale and then bake until beans are creamy and tender, about 15 – 30 minutes more. If your beans are old, they could take a bit longer to cook.

Step Five: carefully remove the garlic bulbs from the beans and let them cool for a few minutes. Then, squeeze or pick the roasted garlic out of the bulb and mash them into the broth. It seems like a lot of garlic but it’s super mellow. Another option: reserve one bulb for spreading over the sourdough I highly recommend you serve with these beans!

Step Six: add a pinch of chili flakes if using, taste the broth, adjust salt and pepper if necessary, and serve with some crusty bread and if you want a bit more heat, my homemade chili oil. 

Leftovers can be frozen for a month or stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. You want to add a bit of extra water when you reheat, as the starch from the beans thickens the broth. And it’s really freaking good.

FAQ: Do you need to soak dried beans before cooking?

One word answer: no. But I think you should! Here’s why:

  • As a gut health dietitian, the biggest complaint I get about beans is the, ahem, gassiness. The FODMAP compounds that make you gassy are water soluble, so by giving beans a 12-24 hour soak, and then rinsing them well, you’ll reduce those issues.
  • It reduces cooking time. By prehydrating the beans, you’ll easily shave 30-60 minutes off the cooking time depending on the type and age of your beans.
  • So yes, you can make these brothy white beans without soaking, but be prepared to add a bunch of extra water (start with 4 cups // 1L more) to account for hydration and a lot more baking time.

Forgot to soak the night before? The morning of, bring the pot of beans with ample water to a boil, then turn off the heat and let soak until ready to use (still rinse before using!). 

More wonderful plant-based recipes with white beans

hand ladling brothy beans into bowl

Brothy White Beans with Fresh Kale

Deeply comforting and oh so good for you, these garlicky brothy white beans with kale pack a lot of flavour and nutrition into one pot! Baked in the oven until the beans are creamy in texture, it’s a hands off recipe with only 10 minutes of prep.
5 from 6 ratings
Leave a Review »
Pin Print

Ingredients

  • 3 cups dried white beans, any kind, soaked 12-24 hours
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 bulbs garlic
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Better than Bouillon No-Chicken concentrate, or sub 8 cups gluten free vegetable broth for water and BTB
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 3 cups finely chopped kale, about 1 small bunch, or 3 very large leaves
  • pinch chile flakes, optional

Optional, for serving

Equipment

  • heavy bottomed oven-safe pot

Instructions 

  • Soak your beans the night before. Place the beans in a large, oven-proof pot and cover them with enough water to allow them to expand – they’ll grow 3 times in size! Cover and leave on the counter until you’re ready to cook.
  • When you’re ready to cook, rinse and drain your beans and put them back into the same pot. Preheat the oven to 375℉ (190℃).
  • Slice the top off the garlic bulbs to expose the cloves inside. Toss both bulbs into pot along with the water and BTB (or broth), diced onion, olive oil, sundried tomato, tomato paste, paprika, cumin and salt.
  • Bake for 90 minutes. Carefully remove lid, test a bean for doneness, add the kale and then bake until beans are creamy and tender, about 15 – 30 minutes more. If your beans are old, they could take a bit longer to cook.
  • Carefully remove the garlic bulbs from the beans and let them cool for a few minutes. Then, squeeze or pick the roasted garlic out of the bulb and mash them into the broth. It seems like a lot of garlic but it’s super mellow. Another option: reserve one bulb for spreading over the sourdough I highly recommend you serve with these beans!
  • Add a generous pinch of chili flakes, if using, taste the broth, adjust salt and pepper if necessary. For a complete meal, serve with some crusty bread and if you want a bit more heat, my homemade chili oil. With a wee one in the house, we omit the chile flakes and add chili oil at the table.

Notes

GF Note: if you have celiac disease, BTB is not gluten free! Sub gluten free vegetable broth, or water plus GF vegetable bouillon cubes to taste.