creamy braised white beans and leeks in a white bowl with white napkin

Creamy Braised White Beans and Leeks

Creamy braised white beans and leeks is a hearty, healthy, and delicious dish that is a mash-up of cheesy goulash and French onion soup!

Seeing as this winter is never going to end (I heard NYC has had 18 snowstorms so far this winter!), I have been trying to balance my cravings for hearty food with healthy alternatives. This recipe for creamy braised white beans and leeks falls into both categories. It’s healthy and also a satisfying, hearty winter dish. After taking my first bite, it reminded me of both a cheesy, herby goulash and French onion soup. I licked the spoon like it held brownie batter and not white beans and leeks!

It’s a quick and easy recipe (ready in just 35 minutes!) that would be perfect for a weeknight meal when you don’t have a lot of time but you want something rib-sticking good. The white beans become rich and creamy while the celery provides a bit of crunch, and the Parmesan cheese turns golden and bubbly in the oven. I hope you love it as much as I do!

braised white beans and leeks garnished with parmesan and thyme in a white bowl with fork

Why This Recipe Works

  • Tasty – This dish is a delicious mash-up of cheesy, herby goulash, a gratin, and French onion soup! The Parmesan cheese gets caramelized in the oven and becomes golden and bubbly.
  • Easy – Because this recipe calls for canned beans, it’s ready in just 35 minutes!
  • Healthy – Chock-full of leeks, garlic, beans, and herbs, it’s a healthy side or main dish!
  • Convenient – Make a double-batch and freeze your leftovers!
cut leeks resting on a wooden cutting board
sliced leeks in a large Dutch oven

How To Make Creamy Braised White Beans and Leeks

  • Step 1. Trim the leeks, discarding the tough green tops, halve vertically, and rinse in cold water, making sure to clean out any dirt trapped between the layers. Slice into thin half circles.
  • Step 2. In a large Dutch oven or heavy skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the leeks and celery, and cook until the vegetables are softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Step 3. Add the beans, thyme, herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring the mixture back up to a gentle simmer. Cook for approximately 25 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until almost all of the liquid is gone.
  • Step 4. Arrange a rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Step 5. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top of the bean mixture and place the pot in the oven, leaving the lid off. Cook until the cheese is completely melted and brown in spots, around 10 minutes. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes (if using). Serve warm.
leeks and white beans in a large pot
leeks, white beans, and parmesan being cooked in a large pot

Recipe Notes

This dish is freezer-friendly! Transfer your leftovers to a large freezer-safe plastic bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.

The easiest way to remove thyme leaves from their stem is by following these steps:

  1. Hold the top of the stem between your thumb and forefinger.
  2. With your other thumb/forefinger, very gently grab the stem just below where you’re holding it, and slide your fingers downward.

Although I love the creaminess of white beans in this recipe, you can easily substitute canned chickpeas or kidney beans for the cannellini beans.

Creamy braised white beans and leeks can be served as your main meal or as a side dish. I often serve it in a bowl or spoon it on top of sourdough toast for a more substantial dinner.

braised white beans and leeks on sourdough toast on a white plate with fork

Enjoy your week, and feel free to drop me a line in the comments – I would love to hear if you try this recipe! Or tag me on Instagram @maryannehoekstra to let me know how it turned out! Also, if you are enjoying my blog, please consider recommending it to your friends. They can subscribe here.

More Vegetarian Side Dish Recipes!

creamy braised white beans and leeks in a white bowl with white napkin

Creamy Braised White Beans and Leeks

A hearty, healthy, and delicious dish that is a mash-up of cheesy goulash and French onion soup!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, French
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3 large leeks
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
  • 2 15 oz. cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Trim the leeks, discarding the tough green tops, halve vertically, and rinse in cold water, making sure to clean out any dirt trapped between the layers. Slice into thin half circles.
  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the leeks and celery, and cook until the vegetables are softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the beans, thyme, herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring the mixture back up to a gentle simmer. Cook for approximately 25 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until almost all of the liquid is gone.
  • Arrange a rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Sprinkle the Parmesan on top of the bean mixture and place the pot in the oven, leaving the lid off. Cook until the cheese is completely melted and brown in spots, around 10 minutes. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes (if using). Serve warm.

Notes

Recipe adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen.
Keyword braised, garlic, leeks, parmesan, thyme, white beans

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