Summer White Bean Ragout

5 stars based on 6 votes

Summer White Bean Ragout

This might be my favorite recipe of the summer. It’s a quick ragout of hearty white beans and sweet summer tomatoes in a robustly flavored broth. I love how the tomatoes — just barely cooked — burst in your mouth when you bite into them, and how fresh basil, mint and a splash of balsamic vinegar liven the dish up. Serve it as a meatless main course, ideally with toasted garlic bread for sopping up the broth, or as a side dish to grilled meat.

I suggest using dried beans if you can (it’s hardly any more work than putting them on the stove and forgetting about them) but canned will work fine in a pinch. Just be sure to use a brand you’re familiar with. I’ve had good results with Goya, but others — particularly the organic brands — can be downright mushy because they don’t contain any firming agents. Basically, if you want beans with a nice bite to them and wish to avoid the additives, the only way is to soak and cook the beans yourself.

Begin by cooking the onions in olive oil until soft and translucent. Add the garlic (I always use my garlic press) and cook for a minute more.

Stir in the cherry tomatoes.

Then add the beans, chicken broth, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar.

Simmer for a few minutes to warm the beans and tomatoes, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh herbs right before serving so they keep their pretty green color.

Enjoy!

Summer White Bean Ragout

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound dried cannellini beans, soaked and cooked (or two 15-ounce cans, drained and well-rinsed, preferably Goya)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped yellow onions, from about one large or two small onions
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1-1/2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Cook the onions, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Do not brown. Add the garlic and cook one minute more.
  2. Add the tomatoes, beans, chicken broth, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (I use about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, but it depends on what type of beans you use; canned will have some salt already.) Bring to a simmer and cook until tomatoes are slightly softened but still hold their shape, 3-5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Note that the sauce may have a strong vinegar flavor at first, but it will mellow out. Right before serving, stir in the fresh basil and mint. Transfer to serving dish, garnish with more fresh herbs if desired, and serve hot.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 263
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 11g
  • Sodium: 37mg
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    Love this recipe, whole family loves it. I have made it so much that I know it by memory.

    - Linoshka on December 18, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    When I saw Summer White Bean Ragout recipe, I decided to cook today. It was really good one. It’s a good for fall and winter seasons. I just love it. I will keep the recipe in my email.

    - Tanya on October 19, 2014 Reply
  • 4 stars

    A long time ago some serious health issues jolted us into a much more healthy lifestyle ~ especially our diet. It was a challenge at first (especially for my Honey/Hubby! ~ though I must say your Golden Roasted Cauliflower w/ Pecorino Romano Cheese was a real game-changer/ blessing for us: he LOVED it and it opened the door to whole new possibilities for eating to life and ENJOYING it!

    Another thing he discovered is that he LOVES BEANS. Every weekend he makes a bean masterpiece starting with the dry beans. Mostly he makes wonderful soups ~ and usually he adds some kind of meat. But he’s always looking for new ideas so I’m passing along this wonderful recipe to try this weekend.

    It’s really perfect as our garden is producing an abundance of grape tomatoes, basil (2 kinds) and mint. I can’t wait to taste it.

    - Jesselyn A/Jesstinger on July 23, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Love this ragout! So easy to make and delicious. I love the basil (I omit the mint-just my preference) in it with the tomatoes. Sooo good!

    - Berit on July 17, 2014 Reply
  • I don’t see Nutrition Information and also don’t see a link to it. Is it posted someplace? Thank you.

    - Beth B on July 17, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Beth, The nutritional data has just been added; you will find it underneath the recipe.

      - Jenn on July 20, 2014 Reply
  • Does rosemary compliment the basil. I have a lot more rosemary in the garden than mint but not sure about using it with basil.

    - Geni on July 13, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Geni, Yes, rosemary would work beautifully. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on July 14, 2014 Reply
  • Hello. I live in England and I came across your website. I love your recipes but was wanting to ask you about chicken broth. In some of your pictures the broth is in a carton. In England I use a stock cube, would it have the same taste and texture?
    Thank you.

    - Anne-Marie Jones on July 11, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Anne-Marie, Welcome to the site! Yes, you can absolutely use a stock cube with water but just be mindful of the salt. Those stock cubes can be very salty so you might want to start with half a cube and then add the remaining if the dish needs more flavor. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on July 11, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I tried this recipe yesterday to go with the steaks I was grilling. It was delicious, the only change I made was to use lemon basil from our garden instead of regular basil and I would highly recommend it.

    - mysweetiepiepie on July 5, 2014 Reply
  • Looks like you are using white balsamic vinegar…Does it matter? Can’t wait to make it!
    Love your newsletters!

    - Kathy on June 19, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Kathy, So glad you are enjoying the newsletters! I use regular balsamic vinegar here; that’s the chicken broth that looks clear in the photo :)

      - Jenn on June 19, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Since I always have several cans of white beans on shelf, this is one dish to go to when I am in a no-cooking mood. Husband loves it served over basmati rice and italian bread slices . Wonderful flavor and texture.

    - irene on June 4, 2014 Reply
  • I have been making your Summer White Bean Ragout since I found your site. I’ve added dill, rosemary or thyme instead of mint depending what is plentiful in the garden. Please count me in on the cookware giveaway.
    Cheers
    Louise
    To plant a garden is to believe in the future

    - Louise on November 4, 2013 Reply
  • When I first saw this recipe, I thought it would be heavy, but the herbs selected do make this a light and refreshing. I tried it with rosemary instead of the mint and it was a perfect fall side dish.

    - David on October 28, 2013 Reply
  • This sounds so good! If I hadn’t already eaten, I’d be making this for dinner! Can’t wait to try, thanks so much! :)

    - Jessica on September 19, 2013 Reply
  • This is another soup that turned out beautifully. As noted previously-I used Rosemary instead of mint, but was still delicious and easy to make.

    - Berit on March 14, 2013 Reply
  • I threw in a few handfuls of fresh babay spinach.YUM!!!!

    - Anne on March 11, 2013 Reply
  • I loved this. Simple to make, very tasty. I made no changes except that I omitted the mint. Also, this is a healthy recipe so I feel great eating it and making it again.

    - Jennifer Smith on March 11, 2013 Reply
  • delish, there were no leftovers!

    - Mary Thompson on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • I was worried that this dish would be too heavy, too wintery. Boy, was I wrong! It was perfect and light for a yummy summer or early fall day!

    - Pam on October 4, 2012 Reply
  • I love the white bean ragout at Cava restaurant and was so excited to try this recipe. I have made it twice, once with dried beans and once with canned. I have to say, I preferred the taste of the dish with the canned beans (plus it was a time saver!) I served it with chicken kebabs and the fabulous tzatziki recipe on the site.

    - Tracy on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • I made this yesterday and it turned out delicious in spite of me forgetting to throw the basil in at the end! I used canned cannelini beans. I will add some roast turkey to it tonight for my dinner.

    - Bonnie on September 17, 2012 Reply
  • Amazing! Love the fresh flavors. This will be a family favorite for sure! Thanks for sharing.

    - Sharon on September 9, 2012 Reply
  • This looks amazing, I’m going to make this today!!

    - Mel on September 7, 2012 Reply
  • I made this ragout for dinner this evening. It was fabulous. Although I do have fresh herbs in my garden, I chose not to add them. Used vegetable broth and it was delicious. Next time I’ll add some basil and mint. Thank you for this healthful quick and easy meal.

    - Sue @ All About Food on September 6, 2012 Reply
  • Hi Jen,

    My lunch today was you’re Zucchini Fritters with Feta and Dill and Summer White Bean Ragout which I’m eating right now. Both recipes are very delicious. I always enjoy new ways to use the veggie’s out of my garden. I will be making these again. I look forward reading your previous posts.

    Cheers,
    Louise

    - Louise on August 28, 2012 Reply
  • Looks yummy! Can’t wait to try it out, always looking for more vegetarian dishes! Thank you!

    - Priscilla on August 28, 2012 Reply
  • This was absolutely heavenly! I’ve never used dried beans before, but I followed Martha’s method that you posted, & they came out great. I didn’t have any mint, so I used a little fresh thyme & parsley – I also had some celery leaves & half of a red bell pepper that I needed to use up, so that was tossed in as well. Hubby went back for seconds & took the leftovers to work today, so I guess it was a hit all around! :)

    - Nicole on August 24, 2012 Reply
  • This was delicous! It was somewhat similar to a sauce I’ve used to serve over pasta so I added slightly more broth, and added a bag of spinach to it so that it wilted and then served it over penne. I would have been happy paying for that in a restaurant! So yummy and healthy. Definitely a new addition to our rotation of dishes.

    - Jenny on August 20, 2012 Reply
  • I made this dish for dinner tonight and used fresh October beans, which I bought at our local farmers’ market. (I’ve never cooked October beans so I had no idea how they would work in this recipe. No worries since they were very tasty.) An added plus regarding fresh beans, cooking time was only about 10 minutes. All ingredients were local except for the chicken broth and balsamic vinegar. It was delicious. My daughter and I loved it. I plan on making it again.

    - Mary on August 19, 2012 Reply
  • Made this for family supper tonight. My oldest son said “this is rockin’ my socks” as he helped himself to seconds. I used dried northern beans, since I could not find dried cannellini. Also, served the ragout along with small pasta shells for the younger set. Before adding the herbs, the stew was GOOD, but after adding the basil and mint, it was GREAT. This combination of herbs really brightens up the ragout. So glad I decided to put mint in the garden this past spring! Thanks for another easy and delicious family recipe.

    - Liesel on August 16, 2012 Reply
  • I made this a few days ago, to rave reviews. I used canned Goya beans, and our garden ready tomatoes, basil, and mint. The family swooned. I polished my halo. Thanks so much for this lovely recipe.

    The only change I made was to add the basil and mint well before I served the dish. It doesn’t appear to have affected the flavor or the eating experience. Aesthetically, the fresher those herbs, the better, but flavor-wise, not sure it makes a difference.

    - Robin on August 14, 2012 Reply
  • Made this tonight as a side dish. It was fantastic!!! I agree…the combination of mint and basil (fresh from my garden) make it. Used dried beans. Will make a salad with the rest of the beans adding some peppers and of course my favorite…spicy Italian dressing.

    - barbara on August 11, 2012 Reply
  • I just fixed this for lunch about a half hour ago. Didn’t realize how long the dried beans would take to cook so I fixed it with canned beans while the dried ones were simmering. That was a good idea because every single drop of this ragout is gone already. I’ll make more for lunches this week.

    The fresh basil and mint combo is brilliant. And I don’t really like mint all that much.

    Also, I used the No Chicken Broth made by Imagine. No one ever can tell I use fake chicken broth. It is delicious and in soups I prefer it to vegetable broth.

    My kids are not vegetarians and they loved it.

    - Martha on August 11, 2012 Reply
  • Just finished making this…added mushrooms and sweet red peppers…and it is amazing! My spice of choice were fresh basil and parsley…yum yum Have tried a few of your recipes and am always pleased with the results!
    Thanks for helping me out in the kitchen..will keep watching for your emails :)

    - Cathy on August 11, 2012 Reply
  • I too grow my own tomatoes, basil and mint. I did it and it is wonderful! Simply DELICIOUS! Thank you for such a great recipe. A great Vegetarian meal. All in one pot.

    - NonaLidia on August 10, 2012 Reply
  • DELICIOUS!!!!!!

    - lindsey on August 10, 2012 Reply
  • What can I substitute for the vinegar…my husband would love this…but he hates all vinegar :(

    - Candi on August 10, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Candi, You can just leave it out…it will still be delicious. But if you think it needs a little zing, try a squeeze of lemon.

      - Jenn on August 10, 2012 Reply
  • It’s 9:45am here in New Jersey. I showed my husband the picture of this recipe and he said…”That look delicious….go make it now!”
    I will make it for dinner tonight!

    - Debi K. on August 10, 2012 Reply
  • I am not familiar with cannellini beans. Suggestions please?

    - Andea on August 10, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Andrea, Cannellini beans look like white kidney beans. They should be easy to find, but if not you can substitute Great Northern Beans.

      - Jenn on August 10, 2012 Reply
  • Quick question – what is the best way to cook the dried beans. Haven’t done it before and when I looked online, I have found varying cook times – I don’t want them to get too mushy.

    Thanks for putting this recipe together!! :)

    - Tracy on August 10, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Tracy, This is a good article on how to cook them: http://www.marthastewart.com/270436/dried-beans

      In my experience, cannellini beans take about an hour to cook (after being soaked overnight). Keep the heat as low as possible so they don’t split and get mushy.

      - Jenn on August 10, 2012 Reply
  • I’m new here too. Recipe sounds great. I may try rosemary instead of mint since that’s what I have on hand

    - Berit on August 9, 2012 Reply
    • Welcome! Rosemary will be delicious.

      - Jenn on August 9, 2012 Reply
  • I just found your website, and I love the recipes I have tried so far. This one looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it.

    - Carol Bumpas on August 9, 2012 Reply
    • So nice to hear, Carol. Please let me know how it turns out!

      - Jenn on August 10, 2012 Reply
  • Please remember NOT to call a dish vegetarian if it has chicken broth in it. Chicken is not a vegetable.

    Otherwise, sounds delish and will try it with vegetable broth or even water and seasonings.

    - Anne Freedman on August 9, 2012 Reply
    • My fault, Anne. I meant to write chicken or vegetable broth in the ingredient list. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

      - Jenn on August 9, 2012 Reply
      • No problem, I’m married to a strict vegetarian so I’m hyper aware. A local restaurant waiter once greeted us (at a carefully pre-arranged birthday feast) by saying…”oh, you’re the vegetarian…would you prefer the fish or chicken?”

        I, on the other hand, am an omnivore.

        - Anne Freedman on August 9, 2012 Reply
  • I bet the combination of flavors in this are out of this world. Can’t wait to try it!

    - Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on August 9, 2012 Reply
  • Sounds great. Do you know if this would freeze well? Would be great to have some in individual containers for lunches.
    Thanks

    - DD on August 9, 2012 Reply
    • I do think it’d freeze well. Hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on August 10, 2012 Reply
  • Will definitely try this. Sounds great. I’ll just use a sprinkling of olive oil in the pan. You don’t say how much and I’m sure it doesn’t really matter

    - barbara on August 9, 2012 Reply
    • Oops! It’s a 1/4 cup. I’ll fix that…sorry!

      - Jenn on August 9, 2012 Reply
  • Can’t wait to try this one and will make corned bread or muffins to go with. Yum!!!!

    - Karen on August 9, 2012 Reply
  • OMGOSH I just can’t wait to try this! How perfect for garden-grown tomatoes, mint and basil. And I happen to have grown them all! Yahoo!! Thanks so much for this terrific recipe!

    - Patti Mays on August 9, 2012 Reply

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