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Crispy White Bean Skillet with Kale and Tomatoes

This Crispy White Bean Skillet is a healthy and comforting dinner that’s ready in just 20 minutes! Served with bread or salad, it’s a hearty and protein-rich meal that is full of pizza-inspired flavors.

crispy white beans on toast with kale and tomatoes

Details for this Crispy White Beans Recipe

White beans are some of the hardest working legumes in many plant-based kitchens. With their creamy texture and comforting, fits-with-everything flavor, they can be easily made into dips, bean salads, whole dinners, and more. Today’s recipe makes the most of their texture by crisping the exterior just a bit in olive oil, then adding in familiar “pizza-inspired” notes of tomatoes, dried and fresh herbs, and plant-based cheese.

Ingredients and Possible Substitutions

Cannellini beans form the base of the dish. Butter beans are a great substitute if you can find them. I do not recommend garbanzo beans (too firm) or navy beans (too small to crisp easily).

Dried oregano, fresh garlic, nutmeg, parsley and salt create the “pizza” flavor.

Cherry tomatoes add some acidity to round things out. If they are not in season where you live, canned tomatoes fit just as well.

Kale adds a dose of nourishing greens. Lacinato (“dino”) and regular curly kale both work.

Walnuts are optional but really lend some toothsome texture alongside the beans. Heart-healthy omega-3s are another great benefit.

olive oil pouring onto pizza crispy white beans

What to Serve with Crispy White Beans

This meal is great on it’s own served simply with some toasted bread and cashew parmesan.

For a more well-rounded dinner, arugula fennel salad would be an excellent pairing.

How to Make Cashew Parmesan

Pulse in a food processor 1 cup raw cashews, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 3 TBS nutritional yeast, and a pinch of salt. Stored in a sealed jar in the fridge for a few months. Click here to see a video of how to make cashew parm!

More Healthy White Bean Dinner Recipes

Caramelized Lemon White Beans

Braised White Beans with Rosemary and Garlic

Pesto White Bean Salad

Rosemary White Bean Dip

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crispy white beans on toast with kale and tomatoes

Crispy White Bean Skillet with Kale and Tomatoes

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  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This Crispy White Bean Skillet is a healthy and comforting dinner that’s ready in just 20 minutes! Served with bread or salad, it’s a hearty and protein-rich meal that is full of pizza-inspired flavors.


Units Scale
  • Olive oil, used throughout
  • 3 cups white beans (28 oz, about 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (or 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes)
  • 2 cups kale, chopped into thin strips (Lacinato or curly both work)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, optional
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced, optional
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Cashew parm, to serve
  • Toasted bread, to serve


  1. Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add in white beans and spread in a thin layer, trying to ensure there is minimal overlap. Let beans crisp without stirring for about 5 minutes. You will begin to hear and see some pops (like popcorn) – this is a good sign! 
  2. Once beans are relatively crispy, add in oregano and garlic. Stir and cook for 30 seconds more then add in tomatoes, kale, walnuts, nutmeg, and salt. Stir to combine and add a splash of water if things are cooking too quickly or beginning to stick. Let cook for 5 minutes more, until tomatoes are beginning to soften (feel free to encourage this process by bursting them in the pan with the back of a spoon). 
  3. Remove from heat and stir in parsley and lemon juice. Serve sprinkled with cashew parm and toasted bread. 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: One fifth of recipe
  • Calories: 374.7 calories
  • Sugar: 2.8 grams
  • Sodium: 255.4 milligrams
  • Fat: 15.5 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 1.9 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 13.6 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 44.6 grams
  • Fiber: 12.9 grams
  • Protein: 17.9 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Portrait of Emily Meyers, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Emily (Frigon) Meyers is the founder of Garlic Head, a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets while saving time and money. She is a lifelong vegetarian and 10+ year vegan. Garlic Head does not focus on labels - it focuses on creating food that everyone can enjoy.

Emily earned a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University along with degrees in Economics, Spanish, and Global Sustainability from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been featured on numerous podcasts and websites including The Food Institute, VegNews, Buzzfeed, and the Boston Globe.

Meet Emily here.

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