White Bean Ragout
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This quick ragout of white beans and sweet tomatoes might just be my favorite recipe of the summer.
This quick ragout of white beans and sweet summer tomatoes in a robustly flavored broth might just be my favorite recipe of the summer. The tomatoes — just barely cooked — burst in your mouth when you bite into them, and fresh herbs 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.
What you’ll need to make White bean ragout
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. 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.
How to make white bean ragout
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.
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White Bean Ragout
This quick ragout of white beans and sweet tomatoes might just be my favorite recipe of the summer.
- ½ pound dried cannellini beans, soaked and cooked (or two 15-ounce cans, drained and well-rinsed, preferably Goya)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ cups chopped yellow onions, from about one large or two small onions
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1½ cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1½ teaspoons tomato paste
- 1½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
- 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.
- 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 ¼ 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.
- Freezer-Friendly Instructions: This dish can be frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
- Per serving (6 servings)
- Calories: 263
- Fat: 10g
- Saturated fat: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 35g
- Sugar: 8g
- Fiber: 8g
- Protein: 11g
- Sodium: 37mg
- Cholesterol: 0mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Delicious and healthy—but I am embarrassed to say that I messed up in the cooking of the beans. Can you provide your always marvelous instructions for that step?
Hi Sandy, There is some clear guidance on how to soak/cook dried beans here. Glad you liked the dish nevertheless!
This is my favorite kind of recipe— impossible to screw up, with tons of room for flexibility. I added fairytale eggplant and kale from my garden before adding the liquid, and omitted mint as I didn’t have it. Despite being a hot bowl, it was very fresh and flavorful. Will definitely try more of your recipes!
How long would you soak the dried beans in water?
Hi Rose, I generally soak them for at least 4 hours. Hope you enjoy the ragout!
I overcooked my beans and now they are falling apart. I’m not sure if I should proceed with the recipe or so just make something else. Hmmm…what would you do Jenn?
I’d probably proceed with the recipe. But if you think the beans are too mushy to be salvaged, you could always puree the mixture and turn it into a soup or dip. Hope that helps!
This was delicious and easy! A perfect light meal for warmer weather. I used canned beans and it turned out fine. Also didn’t have grape tomatoes but used campari and was happy. Had no mint but subbed parsley. Serving with crusty loaf is a MUST, you want to sop up all that delicious broth.
This recipe is easy and delicious. It is the perfect side to almost any protein. I made it early in the day and then simply reheated it right before dinner. It served 6 people with a little bit left over for lunch the next day.
I made this recipe using beans that I had cooked and frozen. I roasted the tomatoes on a sheet pan before combining everything. I topped it with grated Parmesan and baked it uncovered for about twenty minutes, while heating up some garlic bread. This was a delicious meal, perfect for a cold winter day…or any day!
Love this dish – quick and easy (though I often cook my own beans vs canned), colorful and VERY tasty! I serve it with garlic bread as suggested and it is a perfect way to sop up the juices.
Love this dish all year round! Easy and quick (though I often cook my beans instead of using canned) – VERY TASTY and served with garlic bread(highly recommend Julians at Whole foods) to sop up the juices – YUM!
I just made this with what I had on hand so substituted the mint and basil with french dry herbs and a little pesto at the end. It was really delicious, easy and everyone loved it.
A great quick bean dish.
In the recipe it mentions this is the perfect summer dish. However, I beg to differ… It is lovely for every season. My family and I just made this dish and were taken a back by the yummy flavours of this easy recipe. This will definitely be added to the rotation of family suppers. Great job Jenn, keep up the good work.
Our 6yo daughter’s new favorite dinner! Served over brown rice with a dusting of parmesan cheese, it’s the perfect weekday meal, and leftovers are even more spectacular!!
Made this last night and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you for the recipe
Your recipes are wonderful. I am an inexperienced cook. My Mom grows both peppermint and spearmint. Which kind is preferable? Thanks so much for all your input.
Hi Kimmie, so glad you like the recipes! I’d go with the spearmint here. (And when recipes call for mint, generally spearmint is the best option). Hope that helps!
this is one of the most delicious recipes I have ever tasted, just as it is. I loved that it was so simple and flavorful.
Fantastic dish, it’s light and filling at the same time
This was so great. As a new vegan, I am always looking for recipes with beans. I was so hesitant to add mint; however, the mint was so great and gave it such an amazing flavor. I’ve had to hide the rest of the leftovers from my husband w-a-a-y in the back of the refrig. I’ll be making this again tomorrow for him! I love all of your recipes – just fantastic! I’d give it 10 stars if I could! Hearty and homey – just great for a winter’s day.
Hi Jen, I am making this recipe again ( and again) because it is a tried and true favorite. My only quibble is that your embedded ad/recipe video can’t be turned off or closed. When I try to hit “close” or the stop play button the I am redirected to the first photo of the pan on this page. I then have to go back to recipe page and the cycle starts again, and I invariably get a message that this page is using significant power…. any suggestions? I am using a Mac Safari browser.
Rochelle, thanks for your feedback about this and for giving a detailed description of what you’re experiencing; that definitely should not be happening and I will report it to my ad network. I’m sorry for any frustration. (I wish I didn’t have to have any ads at all…it’s a balance between user experience and the high cost of running a site. Thanks again for the feedback.)
Can I make this in the morning, and then reheat on the stove for dinner that night?
All your recipes are delicious, but I think this is my favorite! It is everything I love in a recipe – vegetarian with some good protein (when you use vegetable broth instead), easy, and freezes and reheats beautifully! Also love that I end up with no “leftover” ingredients – as I’m not much of a cook I hate it when I end up needing half a bunch of carrots, or only a few scallions, because then the rest inevitably go bad. The only substitution I make is to use dried spices instead of fresh, and rosemary instead of mint as other reviewers recommended. Just made another batch to go in my freezer, for some easy lunches to bring to work!
Soo, I soaked my dried navy beans overnight. Then, ended up having to cook this thing for hours, to get the beans to soften. What did I do wrong?
Hi Kitt, Sorry to hear you had a problem with the beans. After soaking them overnight and cooking them for an extended period, they should have definitely softened, so that’s a bit of a head-scratcher. While it sounds like you did everything right, this article may be a good resource. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!
Your beans may have not been very fresh. A pressure cooker is the only way to be sure they will cook perfectly every time. That is my life experience of cooking beans.
Delicious and easy to make!
Add 1/2 cup more broth, then add 8 oz of cooked ditalini pasta and you will have a rustic version of pasta Fazoola. Don’t forget the grated cheese 🧀.
I’m always looking for great bean recipes, and this one is easy and satisfying. Yum!
This recipe is ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! Not to mention the fact that it is vegan (assuming you use vegetable stock, instead of chicken). I serve it with toasted bread, and I *highly* recommend adding arugula when it is cooking!
These were delicious! I soaked my beans overnight and cooked them in the instapot with a my homemade chicken stock, bay leaf and half of an onion. I roasted my tomatoes just like another reviewer had suggested. My daughter, who is 6, ate seconds. I omitted the mint just for our preference. I know this one will become one of my staples!
I LOVE this recipe! SO simple and SO tasty! The balsamic vinegar adds a irresistible tang!
My son went vegetarian while he was away at university, so I’ve been looking for more meatless recipes that even my confirmed carnivore husband will eat.
I’m so happy to have found Once Upon a Chef – everything I’ve made has turned out beautifully! It’s a relief to find internet recipes that are professionally written, dependably tested and delicious.
I didn’t change a thing for this recipe and it’s perfect as is. I love it on its own or served on a bed of spinach (or with a green side salad). I’ll even serve it with pasta for my carb-loving girls, and as a side with fish or chicken for the carnivores. My absolute favourite.
Another awesome recipe! Made a couple of modifications. I roasted the cherry tomatoes which really brought out their sweetness and instead of broth I used the liquid left over from cooking the beans. When serving I also garnished with some fresh grated parmesan.
I made this last night and it was totally delicious. We were amazed at the enormous flavor without benefit of added cheese or meats. I followed the recipe closely, with one addition: I added a large bay leaf into the pot while sautéing the onions. Thanks for a great recipe!
Love your website! I hardly ever follow recipes exactly, I’m usually looking for inspiration for what I have on hand from the farmers market and pantry. Made this tonight and added zucchini and patty pans, used lemon instead of balsamic and started with a little pancetta at the beginning (removed but left the fat and added the meat at the end along with lemon zest.) Used basil and parsley from my garden. Delish! This is such a versatile basic recipe that can be adapted for whatever you have on hand.
Can you make this ahead and refrigerate it and reheat it?
Sure– You can reheat this on the stovetop over medium heat or even in the microwave. Hope you enjoy!
So easy, so yum!!! Just made this for lunch and added some kale. Perfect for lunch tomorrow too! Thanks Jenn – your blog is so reliable!
This is a really great recipe. I often have a hard time finding mint in my area, so I just substitute fresh thyme with the basil and it works well!
Can the tomato paste be omitted?
Yes Meaghan, I think you could get away with omitting it.
This was so yummy, even my 9 year old loved it! Thank you Jen!
Hi Jennifer! Just wanted to let you know that I LOVE all your recipes ..and make several on a regular basis ..but tonight I made both your bean ragout and plum cake and OH, MY!!! AMAZING!!! Thank you so much for sharing!?
Excellent! I had a kielbasi home so I put a few slices of that into it.
Just tried this recipe, and it was delicious! Even my husband, who does not care for beans loved it. One thing that would make it more enjoyable for him, would be to spice it up. What do you recommend? Red pepper flakes or something else?
Thanks! Love the site, love the recipes!
Glad you liked it! And yes, red pepper flakes are exactly what I would recommend if you want to add a little kick here.
Delicious & simple. Be careful to use truly sweet, fresh cherry tomatoes. Commercial grade cherry tomatoes do this dish a disservice. When I can’t find the tomatoes I want, I now make the dish without tomatoes at all & it is still superb. Lovely multiple flavour tones.
Awesome, delicious, and purely enjoyable! My 9 year old daughter said, “can we have this again for dinner tomorrow night!” The fresh rosemary(1tbsp), thyme(1tbsp), and basil(2tbsp) I had on hand worked out great. Thank you Jenn.
I first tried this recipe because it seemed relatively inexpensive and easy to make. Now I make it all the time as a grilled chicken side-dish for lunch. It is SO flavorful and rustic, and this is the best use of grape tomatoes I’ve ever eaten. Even those who don’t like beans will love this one.
Another delicious recipe. It is currently summer in NZ so I had tomatoes, mint and parsley growing but no basil. No matter, this was very good. I will definitely make it again but probably in the fall. The beans were a bit heavy for such high summer temperatures. The vinegar flavour was unexpectedly good. Every recipe of Jenn’s that I have tried (several) has been delicious. Good luck with the cookbook venture.
Hi Jenn, all of your recipes are absolutely amazing! I am slowly going through them all, making a new one each night. You are my favorite chef by far. You have turned me into an awesome cook according to my family and friends. I used to hate quinoa and beans but your recipes have changed my thoughts about both. This recipe was fantastic! However, I used canned beans because I have had horrible luck with soaking beans as directed on the bag. I let them soak overnight then slow boil for 2 hours but they always turn out too mushy or too hard. How do you prepare your dry beans for this recipe?
Hi Clare, Thanks for your nice words about my recipes! 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. Hope that helps!
I make this recipe all the time. Its now a go-to family favorite. Its completely delicious, yet simple, easy, quick and a crowd-pleaser. Everyone I’ve ever served it to loves it. I’ve done it with dried beans, but canned works absolutely great, maybe even better. And the only change I always make is to let it simmer on a lower temperature for a while, maybe an hour or so, so that it thickens and the flavors all meld together. Fabulous!
Delicious! And so easy. I’m watching my weight and this fills me up.
What a beautifully rustic and delicious recipe! You’ve made a true believer out of me, Jenn – I who have never really fancied beans before! I omitted the basil and mint, opting instead for a generous bunch of sage and the result was still glorious. Filled my home and bowl with Mediterranean zest, it did!
This is sooo delicious, such an easy and tasty dinner. I’ll be definetely making this again