When you’re craving comfort food but don’t want to steer from your wholesome diet, reach for braised beans. In this white beans recipe, the beans are slow-cooked in a cider-spiked base with rosemary and thyme, plus a bit of tomato paste for color and tang. This Italian-inspired dish gives you all the soothing, comforting qualities of a rich stew or casserole, but without any of the guilt.
I used hard cider in my recipe, but feel free to use any acidic liquid of choice: white wine, beer, or apple cider vinegar will all do the trick. I loosely used “1 cup water” as the amount of water to add, but it’s really all to preference in this white beans recipe. If you like soupy beans, add more water. If you like them firmer and thicker, use less water—just keep an eye on the beans as they cook so that they don’t burn.
This cider-braised white beans with rosemary and thyme recipe is a keeper for year-round cooking.
Cider-Braised White Beans Recipe with Rosemary and Thyme
Makes about 4 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Pinch sea salt
¼ cup tomato paste
1 cup hard cider (may substitute white wine, beer, or apple cider vinegar), divided
15 ounces cooked white beans
1 cup water, plus more, as needed
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium. Add onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and salt; cook until onions are soft, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add tomato paste to saucepan; stir into onion mixture and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Mixture will be thick and pasty.
Add ¼ cup of the cider to saucepan; simmer until liquid is evaporated, scraping the bottom of the saucepan and stirring continuously.
Add white beans, water, and remaining ¾ cup cider to saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a low simmer and cook, covered, until beans are very soft and liquid is thickened, stirring occasionally, about 30 to 60 minutes. Add additional water in ¼ cup intervals if needed to cook longer, to prevent beans from burning.
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Image: simply healthy fam