Served as an appetizer, side dish or main entree, this cheesy white bean tomato bake is out of this world delicious! Very easy to make, this comforting meatless recipe is sure to be loved by everyone you share it with.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It's incredibly delicious! Cheesy, comforting, suitable for every season of the year. This recipe is a must-try!
- Such a perfect vegetarian dish for entertaining! Serve it as a dip or side dish at your next gathering or holiday dinner, bring it to a potluck with this onion dip, everyone will love it all.
- This recipe is super easy to make and budget friendly. We use canned beans and canned crushed tomatoes, fresh spinach, shallot, garlic, spices and shredded cheese. The gruyère is probably the most expensive ingredient and can easily be skipped.
- It's family-friendly and looks beautiful. I mean a recipe with melted gooey cheese is always a winner right? And you get some veggies, protein and fiber. And have fun with the leftovers, like adding a scoop of it in pasta, it's so delicious!
Key Ingredients and variations
- White beans: use canned beans, either cannellini or great northern.
- Crushed tomatoes: if you like tomato chunks, you can absolutely use diced tomatoes instead, but drained a little bit of the liquid if you do.
- Fresh spinach: it adds a serving of veggie and goes really well in the white bean tomato bake. I recommend using fresh because frozen is more watery. Can be replaced by other veggies, such as kale or zucchini.
- Shallot and garlic: they add a lot of flavor to this recipe. You can replace the shallot with finely diced onion if you prefer.
- Tomato paste: it deepens the flavor.
- Seasonings: I use an Italian dried herb mix, a pinch of red pepper flakes for a subtle spice (add more or skip, up to you!), salt and pepper.
- All the cheese: I use a combination of fresh parmesan, mozzarella and gruyère. They compliment each other beautifully.
- Fresh basil: just as a finishing touch to elevate this dish.
How to make cheesy white bean tomato bake
- This recipe is very easy and made in a single skillet. The pan must be oven-safe though, I use a cast iron skillet. If you don't own an oven-safe one, cook everything, then transfer to a baking dish before adding the layer of cheese.
- Preheat the oven to 445° Fahrenheit.
Drain and rinse the white beans under cold water.
Heat up olive oil, then add the shallots and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.
Then add the minced garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant about 1 minute.
Add the crushed tomatoes and seasoning and cook until it thickens a bit, about 8 minutes.
Then add the beans, mix them in and simmer for a 3-4 minutes.
Add the spinach, stir them in and cook until welted, about 3 minutes.
Next add the layer of gruyère, then parmesan, then mozzarella. Add to oven and bake for 7-8 minutes.
Finish by broiling on high for 1-2 minutes, carefully remove from oven, sprinkle basil, serve with bread and enjoy!
If you love tomatoes try these
- Burrata Caprese
- Caprese Empanadas
- Filet Mignon Bruschetta
- Prosciutto and Melon Caprese Salad
- Cottage Cheese Toast
- If possible, use freshly grated cheese from blocks! It makes a big difference and the cheese will be creamier and melt better. Pre-shredded cheese contains extra ingredients like potato starch to prevent it from clumping together in the bag. It'll still work and be delicious, but freshly grated cheese is ultra delicious.
- Make sure to use an oven-safe skillet or dish. It could get very hot, especially if you use a cast iron skillet, so don't forget to use oven mitts even before adding it to the oven. I've made this mistake before, and it doesn't feel good.
- Don't walk away once you turn the oven on broil! It can go from perfectly golden brown to burnt very quickly.
- Garnish your cheesy white bean tomato bake with fresh basil, a drizzle of olive oil or even a little balsamic glaze if you wish.
Frequently Asked Questions
It goes amazingly well with bread. Tortilla chips and crackers would work to. It can also be a side dish to steak, chicken, pork.
If you use crushed tomatoes, make sure to let the sauce reduce and thicken for 8-10 minutes. If you use diced tomatoes, drain some of the liquid. You spoon some out too. If you want to use fresh tomatoes, you can, but deseed most of them. Also make sure to drain the white beans well.
Absolutely! You can prepare it all before baking it with the cheese. Keep it refrigerated once cooled.
The microwave will be the easiest. Otherwise you can re-bake it until warmed thru at 325° Fahrenheit.
Cheesy White Bean Tomato Bake
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or any neutral oil
- 1 shallot finely chopped, about ¼ cup
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 15 ounces crushed tomatoes 1 small can
- 1 teaspoon Italian herb blend or Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt more or less to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper more or less to taste
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes optional
- 2 15-ounces cans white beans cannellini or great northern
- 1-2 handful baby spinach roughly chopped
- ¼ cup freshly shredded parmesan
- ½ cup shredded Gruyère cheese
- ¾ cup shredded mozzarella
- 5-6 leaves fresh basil finely sliced or chopped
- Preheat oven to 445° Fahrenheit.
- Drain and rinse the white beans under cold water.
- Heat olive oil in an oven-safe skillet on high heat, then reduce to medium heat, add chopped shallot, and cook until translucent, stirring often about 5 minutes.
- Then add the minced garlic and tomato paste, mix together until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, bring to a low boil then simmer on medium-low heat until thickened, about 8 minutes.
- Then add the drained white beans, mix them in and continue cooking for a few minutes.
- Add the spinach, cook until welted, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add layer of gruyère cheese, then parmesan, then mozzarella, add to the oven and bake for 7-8 minutes, or until bubbly.
- Then turn the oven on high broil, and broil the dish for about 2 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle with fresh basil, and serve with bread or side of choice. Enjoy!
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 4 days.