20+ Cannellini bean recipes you’ll love!

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If you wonder what to do with cannellini beans, here you’ll find 20 scrumptious cannellini bean recipes to make super cozy soups, yummy salads, bruschetta, pastas, and dips!

Delicious, filling meals that you’ll be making again and again.

Top view of one of the quickest cannellini bean recipes that features slices of bread topped with beans and herbs served on a white plate.

Today I’ve updated with new recipes this roundup that I originally published three years ago. Essentially, these are cannellini bean recipes that I cook for my family, so you can see how great these humble beans can be! 

With their texture, hearty flavor, and an outstanding nutritional profile, cannellini beans are definitely one of the best cupboard staples you should always have on hand.

They’re economical, versatile, easily accessible, and best of all, they are sensational to make delicious, filling, protein-packed meals. 

I love their creaminess and fluffy texture. They’re comforting but light at the same time. They’re also amazingly nutritious as they provide plenty of protein, fiber, iron and magnesium.

And they go with SO many different ingredients and flavors.

You can turn them into a warming soup, or a super quick salad in no time. But they are also great for dips, one-pot pasta recipes or you can simply enjoy them with crusty bread, garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

Cannellini beans truly can make the perfect midweek meal for the whole family.

Whether you’re a meat-lover or a vegetarian, I’m sure you’ll find in this roundup many cannellini bean recipes you’ll LOVE!

Enjoy. x

Cannellini bean recipes

Notes & FAQ’s

You can find either canned or dried cannellini at your local store. Dried cannellini provide more flavor and a better texture, but for convenience and zero prep time, canned cannellini beans should be a must-have staple in any pantry.

Are cannellini beans good for you?

Yes, they’re an excellent source of fiber and important micronutrients. Plus, they’re packed with protein and contain zero fat. Big bonus if you’re vegan or if you simply try to throw together a delicious meat-free meal from things readily to hand.

Better canned or dried beans?

Canned cannellini beans work fine in any recipe, but if you have the time, it’s worth the effort to make your own cooked beans at home, mostly because:

  • They’re cheaper
  • They taste better
  • They freeze beautifully
  • You can use the bean cooking water as a flavorsome broth
Top view of a bowl full of cannellini beans.
Recipe update: published in February 2020/updated in September 2023

How long does it take to cook cannellini beans?

To speed cooking time, dried cannellini should be soaked before cooking.
Soak them in lots of cold water from a minimum of 5-6 hours to overnight. Drain and rinse, then put them in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil, reduce the heat, and cook until tender (it might take from 30 to 50 minutes).

Plus, cooking a big batch of beans, and freezing the rest, will save you energy and money!

TIP: it’s a good idea to add a few bay leaves and pieces of vegetables such as carrots, celery or onion, into the cooking water. They will make the thick and nutrient bean broth delicious, which you can use to add flavor to soups and stews.

Do you have to cook canned cannellini beans?

NO, canned cannellini beans are so convenient and already cooked, that means they can be eaten without additional cooking. However, before using them in any recipe, drain and possibly rinse them.

In conclusion, canned or dried, in soups or in salads, in stews or in toasts, vegan or not vegan, the hearty and creamy cannellini beans are just delicious!

Loved these cannellini beans recipes?

If you enjoyed this collection of recipes, check out these roundups featuring more healthy amazing legumes:

And if you enjoy one of these amazing cannellini bean recipes, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it or tag a photo #theclevermeal on Instagram.

I would love to hear from you! x

Top view of two crispy slices of bread and beans over a white large plate.
Print Recipe
4.75 from 4 votes

Beans & Bread + 20 cannellini bean recipes!

The convenient, delicious cannellini beans are great for a last minute healthy meal like this no-frill, fresh-and-flavorful, speedy beans and bread. The recipe uses just a few staples and it's ready in less than 10 minutes.
Recipe yields two large servings (if you use 2 slices of sourdough bread as I did) or 4 smaller servings (if you use 4 slices of ciabatta bread).
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time3 minutes
Total Time8 minutes
Course: Appetizers, Bread, lunch, Snack
Cuisine: Italian, vegan
Keyword: bread and beans
Servings: 2
Calories: 315kcal
Author: Katia


  • 2 large slices of sourdough bread (or 4 slices of ciabatta)
  • ½ Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced or grated
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 can white beans, drained (or any other beans)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


  • Slice your crusty bread and toast the slices until crispy and golden.
  • Heat the olive oil, garlic and chili flakes in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, for about 40-50 seconds (don't burn the garlic).
  • Toss in the drained beans, salt, pepper and cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off, add lemon juice, parsley, and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  • Top the slices of bread with the bean mixture, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and extra freshly ground black pepper and parsley as well. Serve immediately. Enjoy!


Nutrition facts: the nutrition values are for one serving (considering 50 grams of bread) and they are based on an online nutrition calculator. It’s an estimate only and it should not be considered as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. Please see my disclosure policies.


Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 602mg | Potassium: 536mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 243IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 5mg


  1. 5 stars
    Love all these recipes! Cannellini beans are my all time favourite, thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for all this inspiration! We have decided to eat a vegetarian meal once or twice a week to save money and be healthy. Love these recipes!

    1. Fantastic, Margie! Thanks so much for your lovely feedback. : )

  3. 5 stars
    I love all of the recipes you’ve included!! I made the Pasta E Fagioli soup last night and it was wonderful. My husband even liked and he’s not a big soup eater. Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful recipes.

    1. I’m so pleased to hear that, thanks so much Kirsten! : )

  4. Louise C Callaghan says:

    4 stars
    I love the pictures of the cannelini bean soups and salads – but Recipes these are not!

    1. Hi! What do you mean, exactly? If you scroll down you’ll find bean soups and bean salads, the ones you see in the pictures.

  5. Cherry Carver says:

    I did a search for VEGETARIAN cannellini bean recipes here. I found recipes that contain meat products in them. This is NOT acceptable!!!

    1. Hello Cherry,
      I’m sorry and I understand your disappointment, but it’s not our “fault”.
      You googled vegetarian cannellini recipes and for some reasons you’ve got here, but we didn’t label this roundup as vegetarian. The search engine decides what to show you, not us.
      Cheers x

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