Recipes

pizza beans (cookbook preview!)

Good morning! In less than one month (28 days, not that I’m nervously counting or anything), my second cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Every Day, will be ready to leave warehouses and head to you or your favorite bookstore. A book tour will be quickly under way (I hope we get to meet!). And all of this means that today, I get to share two more awesome things:


1. Early copies of the book have begun to arrive at warehouses! While the book will not be officially out until October 24th, we thought it would be fun to send a few of these out right now. To you. For free. Because maybe being the first of your friends to get the book comes with bragging rights. Because we hope it’s worth the wait, and that wait (4.92 years) has been long enough. My publishers are giving away 10 copies each to U.S. and Canadian residents; use the links below to submit your name for a chance to win.

US Residents: https://sweeps.penguinrandomhouse.com/enter/smitten-kitchen-every-day-early-copy-sweepstakes
Required legalese: No Purchase Necessary. Residents of the fifty United States + the District of Columbia, 18+. Ends October 6. See official rules here.

Canadian Residents: http://penguinrandomhouse.ca/win-early-copy-smitten-kitchen-every-day
Required legalese: No Purchase Necessary. Residents of Canada (excluding Quebec), 18+. Ends October 6.

2. I also get to share another video shot in my tiny kitchen by the very talented Ben Pliss. This is one of my favorite recipes from the book, one that has been particularly hard to keep to myself (seriously, check out these two comments from 2014, when I first made it and brought it to a potluck and then couldn’t tell you about it yet, rather rude, I know.)

Here’s the full story, excerpted from the book:

Most of us know the number one rule of cooking for a crowd: don’t make anything new or scary. Not the rack of lamb you’ve been eyeing, not the soufflé or anything else that’s going to send you into a vibe-ruining tizzy. This rule is probably doubly important if you’re invited to a potluck at a big-deal editor’s apartment with a dozen food writers you’re totally intimidated by, each of whom will arrive with his or her own signature dish. But this is not what I did. I’d like to pretend that it’s just because I’ve got an unshakable confidence in my cooking, or, at the least, kitchen, uh, “meatballs” of steel. Alas, it would be more accurate to say that I decided to make this dish you see here—a mash-up of a giant-beans-in-tomato-sauce dish from Greece and American-style baked ziti, with beans instead of noodles—because, well, it was really what I was in the mood to cook that day, and cravings trump rationality pretty much always around here, and especially when I am 6 months pregnant.

Before I left, I baked off a smaller amount for my husband and son for dinner, and my son — perhaps predictably for the then-kindergarten [now-3rd grade!] set — threw a fit. “I do not like beans.” “You’re going to love these.” “I won’t eat them.” “You should try them! You’ll see! There’s tomato sauce, and look at all of that cheese on top… It’s just like pizza.” “Pizza beans!!” (Do I even need to tell you that this did the trick?)

And thus this is the story of how I showed up to a potluck with a dish tagged “Tomato-Braised Gigante Bean Gratin,” but there isn’t a person there who will remember them (fondly, I hope) as anything but “Pizza Beans.”

what you'll needgetting starteda mess of delicious thingscover with cheese, because we love you

Pizza Beans / Tomato and Gigante Bean Bake


I like to think of this as a vegetable-rich (but not overwhelming, should you be trying to entice the hesitant) baked ziti where the ziti is replaced by giant beans. I used Royal Corona beans from Rancho Gordo but you might find large white beans such as these sold as fagioli corona or gigante/gigandes bean at an Italian or Greek grocery store. Regular-sized white beans will work too, they just have a less distinctive and dramatic texture. While it’s good solo, we often serve this with garlic bread for extra luxury. It reheats well from the fridge or freezer. For a meaty variation, brown some fresh sweet or spicy Italian sausages (about 3/4 pound or 340 grams) with the vegetables.

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large or 2 regular carrots, diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) dry white or red wine (optional)
  • 4 ounces (115 grams) curly kale leaves, chopped or torn
  • 2 1/4 cups (550 grams) crushed tomatoes (28-ounce or 800-gram can minus 1 cup; reserve the rest for another use)
  • 1 pound (455 grams) cooked firm-tender giant white beans
  • Up to 3/4 cup (175 ml) vegetable broth
  • 1/2 pound (225 grams) mozzarella, coarsely grated
  • 1/3 cup (35 grams) grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons (5 grams) roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)

Prepare the beans and vegetables: Heat the oven to 475 degrees. In a 2 1/2-to-3-quart (ideally oven-safe) deep sauté pan, braiser, or shallow Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium-high. Add the onion, celery, and carrots.

Season well with salt and black or red pepper. Cook, sautéing, until the vegetables brown lightly, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more. Add the wine, if using, to scrape up any stuck bits, then simmer until it disappears, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the kale, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until collapsed, then add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the beans, and, if the mixture looks too dry or thick (canned tomatoes range quite a bit in juiciness), add up to 3/4 cup broth, 1/4 cup at a time. Simmer the mixture together over medium for about 10 minutes, adjusting the seasonings as needed.

If your pan isn’t ovenproof, transfer the mixture to a 3-quart baking dish. If it is, well, carry on.

Bake: Sprinkle the beans first with the mozzarella, then the Parmesan, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned on top. If you’re impatient and want a deeper color, you can run it under the broiler. Finish with parsley, if desired.


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192 comments on pizza beans (cookbook preview!)

  1. SallyT

    YAY! I can’t wait – we’re meeting you the day after the cookbook comes out (in Boston). So thrilled for you.

    I have some of these special beans in my pantry! Any advice on how to cook them? THANKS!

  2. Lee

    This both looks and sounds amazing. Can’t wait to get my hands on some proper beans to try this with! And as a kicker, I now have inspiration of what to do with that can of Giant Beans in Tomato Sauce from Trader Joe’s that’s been eyeballing me every time I open the pantry…

  3. This cookbook is going to be PERFECT to use and share with OneTable hosts across the country (an organization that helps support young millennials to host Friday night dinners in their own homes). Nothing’s more stressful than preparing a dinner for 10 in a small apartment while working a 9-5 (and the more-than-occasional happy hour). can’t wait to see you in DC!

  4. Maureen Foster

    Can’t wait to receive my ore-ordered copy! This recipe looks yummy, plan to make it for a friend! Silly question……I’m always looking for a good olive oil dispenser. Is the one in the video your go to for cooking? Can you share any I
    information? Thank you!

  5. I love this idea. It’s one of those things that, now that I see it, it seems like such an obvious combination – baked ziti with beans instead of pasta – but I certainly never thought of it on my own. I think I’ll see what other pasta recipes I can substitute beans in too. My toddler loves beans. (Granted, not as much as she loves pasta (“noo-noo!), but we can’t be eating pasta every single day!)

  6. Paula

    I’m probably one of the very few people in the WORLD who can’t stand kale! Think if I sub’d spinach leaves for the kale it would still work? MANY THANKS!

    1. Deanna

      If you like Swiss chard, I’d go with that since it retains texture a bit more than spinach. If you don’t like it, I bet spinach would be excellent!

    2. socprofc

      Paula: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I also can’t stand kale. Although, oddly enough, I grow both collards and chard in my garden and I LOVE them.

      1. Sara

        Is there a Chard/Kale thing like Cilantro? Because after growing/trying all the various greens I just can’t make myself like Swiss chard, while I can eat Kale every day. But I often hear the opposite. Thank goodness they’re both so easy to grow!

        1. Laura P

          Sara, I’m the same way! I don’t much care for chard unless it’s in a context where it’s accompanied by lots of other flavors (as in a recipe like this one), but I could eat kale until the cows came home!

  7. +1 to everyone else who’s said that this is obvious in hindsight, but I never would have thought to make, essentially, baked-pasta-but-with-beans. I love it! And it certainly perfectly explains “pizza beans,” which caused a weird look on my face when I got the new-post alert on my phone.

    My question: for the beans, 1 pound is the cooked weight, yeah? It looks that way grammatically, but I thought I’d check since I typically end up starting with a pound of dry beans for most bean recipes. I’m guessing that would be… what… 1/3 lb = 2/3 c dry?

      1. Nat

        Just borrowed my neighbor’s scale. For anyone else with this question one can of beans has 1 lb cooked beans in it. I always assumed the weight listed included the brine but maybe not… either way, you just need a can!

      2. Mollie

        I also have the same question about the volume of dried beans to start with. I know 1 lb cooked is 1 (15 oz?) can, but I’m not sure how much giant white beans expand on soaking. Should it be around 1 cup dry?

        1. deb

          I am *so sorry* it took so long to respond. It was for two reasons, one, I’ve been traveling a lot in the last week (not book tour yet, but pre-book stuff, eee) and two because, well, you found a typo! Oof. All books have one or two, I just hoped I might get lucky this time. We went up and down and up and down the editorial chain (manuscript edits and emails to recipe testers and more) to figure out how it happened and what it means and more. Here’s what you need to know:

          1. The recipe works as written. (It’s been retested.) It’s not what the video shows, you’ll have a little more sauce a little less beans, but it’s not a dealbreaker. Thank goodness, but I still have a few new gray hairs over it.

          2. 1 pound of cooked beans is just over 1 15.5-ounce can, let’s say 2 cups of cooked beans. So, you can use that here. It works, hooray.

          3. However (long sigh), I’d originally written this recipe for dried beans, 1 pound of them.* 1 pound of dried beans is roughly 2 cups and cooks into roughly 4 cups. So, for a proportion like you see in the video and in my photos, you’ll want to use about 2 15.5-ounce cans of beans. Again, I’m so sorry for the trouble. The good news is that 1 can vs. 2 cans: both work; the former is more vegetable-heavy.

          * The original plan for the book recipe had included bean-cooking instructions but as the size and age of these kinds of beans will vary so much, it was nearly impossible to get the cooking times right for everyone so I defaulted to already-cooked beans instead.

  8. Nancy Rivera

    What is your preferred method of cooking dried beans? I have Rancho Gordo beans, and have tried many times to make them on the stove top, but never get the results quite right. The way I’ve liked them most is in your crock pot instructions for chicken chili and bean chili, but how would you cook them if you are making them on their own, for a recipe like this?
    So much looking forward to the new book, and this recipe looks delicious!!

      1. I make black beans in the crockpot, 6 and 1/2 cups of water or broth to a pound of dried beans, and then adding sautéed onions, peppers and 3 cloves minced garlic on top of the dried beans before setting them to cook for 5 hours on High or 8 hrs on Low. Delicious, we freeze half for later.
        Not sure if this method would work well for other types of beans, but it’s been my standby method for years.

  9. DonnaM

    I actually have a container of cooked Rancho Gordo Royal Corona beans in the freezer that need to be used up – how perfect is the timing of this recipe! This looks great and I can’t wait to try it.

    For those who asked about cooking Rancho Gordo beans, here is my method (slightly adapted from Steve Sando’s, of RG fame): Rinse beans, cover with about 2 inches of lightly salted water and soak for around 4 hours. When soaking time is up, don’t drain them, just add more water to keep level at 2″ above beans. Bring to boil and boil hard for 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times to keep them from sticking, then reduce to bare simmer, cover and cook until beans are soft and creamy Check them occasionally while cooking and add a bit more water if necessary (if water level drops below the beans they won’t cook evenly, so keep them covered). Cooking time in my experience is generally around an hour, but that will vary with size, type and age of the beans, so just keep tasting them until you like the result. Steve says he doesn’t soak beans before cooking, but personally I find I get a better result if I do, although I don’t usually soak them overnight like I used to do with grocery store beans.

  10. We LOVE beans in our house. My daughter ate pureed beans with added…well you don’t want to know what…when she was largely tube fed and underweight. And I cook up black beans in the slow cooker several times a month. So I can’t wait to try this!

    I’m sooooooooooooooooo sad to miss you when you come to Chicago. I’m already committed that night. But you’re in good hands with Susie and the folks from The Book Cellar.

    Can’t wait to get my hands on your book!

  11. Amy M

    Please, please, come to St. Petersburg Florida! (I recommend January or February–a good time to escape the tri-state area, and our best season. Hands down)
    And this sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try it!

  12. Wendy

    Deb, Pizza beans look to be on the menu for next week – fist pump!
    Also, when you make it to the southern hemisphere (Auckland, NZ to be specific) I have plenty of room for you to stay – it’s coming up to summer time here – just sayin’ :-)

  13. Ellen

    Deb, I’ve had a problem with this post – twice I was blocked from scrolling down, and had reboot the site. And the video to the right appeared to be an advertisement for the Fox series Empire, which was more than a little distracting. Is there a technical problem? I was never able to finish reading the full post. Thank you.

    1. deb

      I’m sorry to hear — is it still happening? We’ve had a lot of trouble recently with bad video ads slipping in but as soon we find out about them, we make sure they’re taken out rotation. It’s very frustrating for all of us as it’s not the experience we want anyone to have here.

  14. Deanna

    After leaving the second comment, I couldn’t get the idea of pizza beans out of my mind, so I guessed how they were made and loved them! I used tiny white beans, because they were what I had, but otherwise, it looks like my guess was pretty close…although if memory serves, I used quite a bit of oregano because pizza. So glad to have the actual recipe!

    Any chance his book tour is coming to England?

  15. MelissaBKB

    You had me at “Pizza Beans”

    To run with the pizza theme I added 1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms and a bit of basil. I used 2 cans of canellini beans (should have waited until the last second of stovetop cooking to add them; mine were particularly mushy!) I had to add a lot more salt towards the end (pre-cheese) to bring out more of the flavors. The only disappointment was that my mixture was too wet, so the liquid ended up partially running over the cheese at the end. Probably my fault for using my 5qt Staub instead of a casserole dish but it’s cool though – I probably like browned cheese lids less than most people! Served with toasted kalamata bread.

    Overall really good and definitely hit the pizza notes!

  16. Tundra

    I’m really sad you’re not giving away an copies in Australia :( I use your website regularly and have sent links and recommendations to lots of friends. We are having a glut on beautiful fresh cheap vegetables at the moment, particularly cauliflower, so I’ve been roasting heaps. Definitely my favourite way to eat cauliflower now so thanks for the inspirations.

    1. deb

      Me too! I can find out more but I’m 98% sure it’s because the books aren’t in warehouses yet — the pub date is 6 weeks later (Dec. 8) and it’s still at the printers. And thank you.

  17. Rachael

    Mmmmm these look SO comforting to this prego mama. I don’t think I’ll be able to resist adding some bacon to the mix, bacon and beans is basically a required pairing imo 😉. And I have a potluck this weekend, thanks for the inspiration!!!

    1. Rachael

      Also so excited for the give away, I’m all signed up for the Canadians 🇨🇦, yahoo! Would you ever pretty pretty please consider Edmonton, AB for a book tour date? Us prairie gals would go nuts ☺️!!!

  18. Andrea

    LOVE the fact that you are including Canadians in your give away! That’s awesome. However, I hope the skill-testing question isn’t important. Given the format, it’s easy to assume many people will get it wrong. 6×4/8-3. Does that mean (6×4)/(8–3) or 6 x 4/8 – 3? Those give very different answers!

  19. Laura in CA

    1. People tell me I’m a good cook, but I always respond, “No, I’m just a good recipe finder and basically exclusively cook from Smitten Kitchen.” I think your tastebuds are the same as mine (or mine as yours).

    2. Can’t wait for your book release and your book tour and SO hope to meet you! I will say, though, that when I’m cooking out of your cookbook, I do miss the comment section! I read nearly every comment and enjoy the community hear and the helpful cooking tips from other readers.

    3. This looks delicious, but my husband despises cooked/stewed tomatoes. I’ll have to eat this when he’s out of town and, until then, eat this dish vicariously through everyone else here.

  20. allison

    Hi there – did you change your advertising platform recently? When I try to read this recipe the screen freezes on the small video clip that’s playing here above the comment box, and I can’t scroll up or down to read the actual recipe. Even when filling out this comment, I couldn’t scroll down to enter my email address so I had to change my screen size to get it all on one page. I’ve never had this problem on your site before and it makes me sad!

  21. Ooooh, I make this!! Except we serve it on pasta (triple carbs FTW) and call it “bean slurry” because we’re classy like that. Often with the addition of some top quality bacon to bring out the flavor of the rich tomato sauce and the brassica-sweetness of the kale. It’s a major comfort food of my childhood, but not something I’ve ever seen anyone else make!

  22. Amanda

    Our dinner tonight was your cumin roasted cauliflower (hooray fall, roast all the things!) and this looks like a wonderful addition to the meatless rotation. I’m excited for your cookbook also :)

  23. Adrienne Wilson

    Deb you give me inspiration when mine is dried up, you make me laugh with your chatty, ‘bring us along for the ride’ style. I can’t wait for this new book. The last one is food stained and dogearred….. my favourite book. Best of luck with your new one. Go get ’em.

  24. Molly F. C.

    Alas, I was in NYC this past HOT weekend with the family. If I could, I’d return for a book signing since sadly you’re not scheduled to visit my city. Your cookbook to be has me drooling with anticipation!

  25. Debbie R

    I am anxious to try this recipe! It looks fantastic. Can you clarify the quantity for the beans? Is it 1 lb dried beans, cooked? Or 1 pound of cooked beans?

  26. Already ordered your book — probably back when you first announced it was coming. Waiting happy, excitedly, with new 6-burner stove and new kitchen! No freebie for me…..
    LOVE LOVE LOVE your recipes AND the stories that accompany them. BRAVA!

  27. Jane Moftah

    Hi there! Congratulations on the upcoming new book release. I don’t suppose you can inveigle your publishers to include Australian residents in the giveaway?
    I can’t wait to try the pizza beans this weekend for brunch.

    1. tylepard

      This looks amazing but I recently became vegan (mainly for health reasons) and am wondering how it would be without the cheese… Thanks!

  28. Lucy

    Unbelievable – this is too good to be true! Not only do I already have every single ingredient, but I had even soaked beans overnight to make ‘something’ with them today. Just didn’t know what until now! I even have a kindergartener who will be suitably impressed with ‘Pizza Beans’. TOOT TOOT!

  29. Bonnie

    I made this recipe last night for my ‘new’ teenage vegetarian/non-meat eater. Thank god she still eats cheese!It was so good!I put it over spaghetti squash to add another veg to it. Added some chicken for my husband. I’m having the leftovers for lunch, it’s 10am, is that too early?Also made the marbled banana bread, fantastic! Cannot wait for the new cookbook!

  30. Deb Hughes

    Pizza Beans looks great! While not a veg, but a definite carnivore, I’m going to make this for our game night at school. I can’t tell you how many of your recipes I’ve shared with students and we’ve made in our cooking class weekly. I’ve been following your posts for several years now. Your Apple Slab Pie and Whole Wheat Sharp Cheddar crackers are a must make each year.

  31. Claire

    For the first time ever I had RG Royal Corona beans cooked and waiting, so made this for dinner last night. Subbed peppers for the celery and kale (had neither in the house) and added cubed chorizo. It was awesome! The toddler and the husband both loved it. Thanks for the great weeknight dinner inspiration!

  32. M

    Hi Deb, long time reader and follower here, very excited for the new book! Recently I’ve attempted to browse your website via mobile phone and the website always seems to turn off my music (a sign of an ad playing video or auto play overriding)… after looking around the page I don’t see any ads that should be overriding my audio like that and it happens on every page/post/section I go to on the smittenkitchen domain. :( I’m browsing in safari but it’s put a damper on my usual morning commute when I like to peruse this site sometimes. Could you get your webmaster to look into it? Thank you.

  33. Karen Langner

    I just made a double batch of this and i have two containers headed for my freezer and one for my oven. How should I go about cooking from frozen (baby will be here in a couple weeks and this looked like a good one to try and freeze!)? Defrost then cook? Straight from the freezer lower and slower? Thanks in advance!!

  34. Rebecca in SoCal

    I’m guessing it must be one pound dried beans, looking at the picture. Look at how many beans there are next to the 28 oz. can of tomatoes!

  35. Currently making these for dinner! My un-soaked beans are currently in the pressure cooker… Fingers crossed, but even if they’re mediocre, getting pizza’d will help! (I’ll be honest, I’m just sort of throwing them together with what I’ve got, so I can’t really say they’ll be *your* pizza beans… That’ll happen for sure next time I make the trek to tht local store with those Rancho Gordos, or out to the giant suburban Whole Foods with the huge selection of dried beans.)

  36. I had to make this after reading the name. Bought dried cranberry beans, did my normal 1.5 hours in the oven at 300 and they were perfect. We all LOVED this. I used fresh mozzarella on 3/4, and left it off the other part for a kid who doesn’t like cheese. He even loved this w/o any gooey melty cheese on top.

    It was really quick to assemble and a future go-to meal. Served with gluten free naan bread, and basil sprinkled over the top.

  37. Alllll of the flavor of pizza without the crust?? Sign. Me. Up. This looks divine! Do you think a combo of parmesan and goat cheese on top would taste ok? Mozzarella and a number of other cheeses are an issue for some members of our house:/

  38. Jenny

    Could you please give some guidance on freezing/reheating? I would guess that it’s best prepped stovetop and then frozen in a freezable oven-safe pan; top with cheese prior to/partway through baking? Can it be baked straight from frozen? How much oven time do you think that would that add?
    Thank you!

  39. Cat

    I had the veggies on the stove top for 40-50 minutes, and the whole thing in the oven for 20-30 at 400 and the carrots and celery were *still* crunchy. Maybe need to be boiled first… ?

  40. I had gigante beans in the house (had to order from Amazon since imcouldn’tmfind them in any store),so I made this tonight. It was pretty fast to,put together once I had cooked the beans in the pressure cooker. Mine was a little too liquids, so next time I would leave out the broth. I liked the recipe but I’m wondering if it would be good with both pasta and beans.

  41. Rob H

    Just made this last night for a few friends. It turned out amazing! I made it with butter beans (super easy to find at most stores) and a couple of links of italian sausage. It was a big hit. And it was super cheap!

  42. Marie

    Made these tonight – fantastic! I added the ground Italian sausage and some pepperoni, and my family loved it! I can easily see how other “pizza” ingredients would work well here too (bell pepper, mushrooms, etc). We really enjoyed this dish – like Italian chili! Yum! Thank you, Smitten Kitchen!

  43. Katelyn

    So so easy and good! I added Italian sausage, as suggested. I used cannellini beans (cooked from dry) since that’s what I had on hand, and I also stirred in a few scoops of ricotta since I had it left over from making Smitten Kitchen’s cannoli pound cake earlier. My husband and I both had two bowls!

  44. KariG

    OMG. Waaaay better than the sum of its parts! What an amazing dish. Loved everything about it. We found the same beans called for and cooked the whole pound (with carrots, a half onion, and olive oil), after soaking overnight. Fished everything out and used the bean broth as the liquid. Cut 6 or so 8” sprigs of oregano and removed them right before serving. The whole dish was amazing (repeat, I know). We just loved it (even my kid).

    1. KariG

      Oh, and we added Italian sausage too. I don’t think it’s necessary, but it certainly doesn’t detract from the dish, at all.

  45. Maggie

    What a great sounding recipe ! Could you please clarify the quantity of beans, as a few people have posted that question and I don’t see a definite answer yet. One pound of dried beans, or 1 pound of cooked, canned beans?

  46. Kimberley

    Have found dried gigante beans but I am not familiar with how dried converts to cooked weight? Recipe calls for pound cooked so does 8 ounces dried become a pound?

    1. Hannah

      Kimberly, in my experience, yes, about 8 oz should turn into a pound cooked. No harm in making too many and having them for other uses, though!

  47. Ashley Q.

    Yummmm! I added 4 slices of bacon to this because I had some that needed to be used. I also used large lima beans because they looked similar and those were easy to find in a regular grocery store. I did use the full 1lb dry, soaked and then cooked. Finally, I used a full 28 oz crushed tomatoes plus about 1/2 cup water, and I thought the consistency and sauciness was perfect, but I do live in a very dry place. I recommend going with your instinct. DELICIOUS. BRILLIANT. Can’t believe I haven’t thought of this before!

  48. Hannah

    GAHH! I was waiting impatiently for the weekend so I could make it to the market with a great bean selection. I picked up some gigantes, and I’m glad I held off, because they were AMAZING in this. Soaked/cooked them on Sunday and made this last night for dinner. It’s just my husband and I, so we have lots of leftovers…I’m already craving them at 9AM. It’s like pizza but way healthier!

  49. Alex

    Should the beans be weighed before or after cooking? I just started soaking a pound of beans, only to realize the recipe isn’t totally clear.

    I’m so excited to try pizza beans tonight!

  50. Erika

    I used Great Northern beans that I’d cooked in the instant pot. We really liked it (esp run under the broiler) but next time I’ll add something for textural and flavor contrast–some crunch or chewiness would have been welcome. And I’m not usually one to add meat, but this would be seriously delicious w some sausage or pepperoni in it. I halved it and it was plenty for four big servings, even without garlic bread. Cant wait for the cookbook!

  51. Ariana

    I had a hard time finding any large beans matching your suggested types, but I did find large Lima Beans. I made this last night using those large Lima beans, and it worked out well. We all enjoyed the texture and overall flavors. I think I would like a little oregano or basil to mimic more of a pizza flavor, but overall I loved it and it seems like a great meal to include in our meal rotation. Thanks!

  52. StephanieR

    This is fantastic! I didn’t think it was possible to be *even more* excited for your next cookbook! I burned my dried beans and so had to sub a scant 2 cans of drained and rinsed cannellini beans, but I followed another commenter’s advice and added them just a minute or two before throwing the whole thing into the oven and it turned out great — not mushy at all. Thank you for another wonderful recipe!

  53. Erin Jean

    I love the concept and the flavors, though I think my beans were too firm. I usually use canned beans but thought this was a good chance to try to use dried beans but could only find the large lima beans. Would love some additional info (handholding?) on making the transition from canned beams to dried. Still tasty and am hopeful that the leftovers will be even better.

    1. deb

      The easiest way is to soak them for a day in salted water and then simmer them very low, usually an hour but sometimes as little as 45 minutes or up to 2 hours for larger varieties. You can also use a pressure cooker (faster, of course) or slow-cooker (slower but hands-off). Hope that hleps.

  54. Erin S

    I made this last night! I LOVE the idea of making a baked ziti-ish dish with beans rather than pasta. It was tasty, but there are a few things I’d do differently next time to make it SUPER tasty:

    -Seek out Rancho Gordo beans to use! I used store-brand white lima beans … sadly, they took forever to cook even though they soaked all day, and they cooked unevenly.
    -Put a layer of cheese in the middle, so there is a gooey layer in the center and a crispy layer on top.
    -Add cooked, crumbled sausage like you suggested above. The extra fat and salt would be welcome here.
    -Add more GARLIC! This may be a personal preference ;)

    I’m looking forward to testing out this recipe again!!

  55. Rebecca

    Made this two days ago! It was a perfect after work meal – to avoid an extra trip to the grocery store, I used a can of white northern beans and a bag of frozen chopped spinach instead of the kale. Blown away by how flavorful this was after a comparatively short cooking time.

  56. Kathleen Murphy

    Definitely trying this for my boys. Can’t wait for the new cookbook. I pre ordered and an excited to see you’re coming to Austin. Looking forward to your visit — my baking friends and I would be happy to take you on a queso tour of the city :-)

  57. stephanie

    This was a huge hit with kids and adults. I added extra kale because I had it and didn’t have large beans so used small white ones. Also, I accidentally bought Kraft Shredded Mozzarella with a little cream cheese added to it and I will use it again. My 11 year old declared this recipe “a keeper!” Thanks so much.

  58. B. Murray

    OK, good thing I soaked the beans before putting into dish. I didn’t see the “cooked” beans until I had already mixed the soaked beans into the dish. (I kept wondering how are the beans going to be done without a long cook beforehand. Should have listened to my instincts and read the recipe closer). In an attempt to save the dish, I added 3 cups of water, stirred every 15 minutes while it baked in the oven (with a lid on) until the beans were tender. Took about 1 1/2 hours, checking the liquid content each time I stirred up the mixture. After that time the beans were done, then I removed lid, sprinkled with cheeses, put under broiler to brown the cheeses, and finished with chopped parsley. Whew, crisis averted!! Delicious!!!

  59. Laurie

    Amazing recipe! This was so good. It was a perfect Meatless Monday dish for those of us that live in colder climates. I used red wine and a 5 oz container of baby kale to make this because I’m not a huge fan of the texture of kale. It was delicious! Thank you so much for sharing it. If this is what we can expect in your new cookbook then I can’t wait to get it!

  60. This was surprisingly bland in my opinion. The word “pizza” conjures up, at the very least, some oregano! The second time I made it I included oregano, thyme and basil in the sauce and it made a big difference.

    1. Alex

      I was also underwhelmed. I used the gigante beans and they almost seemed too big, didn’t mix well. I added a little parsley, oregano and basil. It didn’t wow me (or my meat loving husband). When I heated up the leftovers the next day, I suddenly got the hype! They tasted amazing! Definitely needed a day to meld. From now on I will make them at least a day ahead.

  61. Hi!

    This is simmering on my stove right now and I have a question. I started with a Le Creuset braiser with 3.5 quart capacity but it was too full to stir. So..was it meant to be 1 lb dried beans, soaked and cooked? Or 1 lb after cooking? I think I have too many beans! (Wait…any such thing as too many beans?)

    Thanks!
    Ilene

    1. deb

      I am sorry for the confusion; I actually used 1 pound dried then cooked beans (the recipe above calls for half of that, but works, so I don’t want to mess with it). I use a 4-quart braiser (Staub) in the video beginning to end — cooking and baking — and it worked fine but it’s also quite full. Hope you enjoyed it.

  62. Esther

    I just made these, tripled the amount of carrot, celery and onion….dislike kale and felt guilty about removing veg from a recipe. Awesome results and will make again to share. Thanks for the recipe

  63. Charlotte in Toronto

    OMG! Deb! I just found out that I won one of the cookbooks! I’m so excited! Hopefully I will have it in time for you to sign at the Toronto event! Thank you so much! I’m beside myself! XOXO💟

  64. Abbe

    I am so happy to see more vegan recipes (or those that can be easily made vegan) on SK! We have a teen vegan in our house, and it has made us all healthier and more aware of the influence our food choices have on the world. Deb, how about a vegan cookbook next? Pretty please!

  65. karen waldman

    Well, I tried this dish this week using 1/2# dried beans (rancho gordo’s scarlet runners since they are big and “meaty like a gigante). Did not notice the bean weigh issue until now. Nevertheless, this was the bomb in my book. LOVED IT! But then I am a bean freak. I did add some diced cooked chicken Italian sausages and probably more kale since I had more than was called for and just threw it all in the casserole. Big thumbs up and sure to be repeated. Thanks!

  66. pjcamp

    Not super excited by this one. It was OK, mind you, just not great. I used spinach instead of kale because I despise kale but that shouldn’t have made a huge difference.

    I will say, though, that the flavor improved somewhat on the second day. Still not enough to kick up my heels and shout, but you might want to make it a day ahead and stick it in the oven to reheat.

    1. Erica

      This was my exact experience too! The beans were “eh” on the first day, and tastier on the second day, but I’m not sure I’d make them again.

      I used baby kale rather than “adult” kale, because I don’t love the chewiness.

  67. I made this for the family last week and substituted blanched chopped broccoli rabe in for the kale. I also added loose ground sweet Italian sausage. This was absolutely delicious! We served it with garlic bread.

  68. keetlin

    I did enjoy this, but I do feel that the pizza part is a misnomer. I guess you could tell by looking at the recipe, but even after I went ahead and added oregano and basil, I really didn’t think it was reminiscent of my favorite food at all. Good, healthy, would make again, but more like a bean stew. (Somebody said like italian chili – I’d say that’s about right. Or like a pasta fagioli, senza pasta. A thicker minestrone. Something like that.)

  69. yaeld

    Just made this using an entire 16 oz. bag of dried goya lima beans that I cooked up earlier on. I liked that the beans were bigger to give the dish some heft and also that I had so many beans to add to the dish–any less for this amount of sauce and it would feel more like a thick soup such as chili. I added some Italian Sausage and also extra garlic and tons of oregano after reading this is on the bland side. Even after all of that, I felt that something was missing, though overall this is still pretty tasty–I could not imagine making the recipe exactly as written though without even any oregano and so little garlic. Next time I may try pepperoni and / or adding other veggies like mushrooms and green pepper as people have suggested. All of this said, I will make this again–My kid, especially loved it and am sure it will improve overnight.

  70. Stephanie J. Schiltz

    I would love to win a copy of your book. I am really intrgued by the Pizza Bean recipe. I’m trying to incorporate more beans in our diet and this recipe is definitely one to try.

  71. Emma

    Delicious! Made a double batch for potluck + dinner. Used 3 celery stalks, 4 carrots, 2 onions, tossed in some dried oregano and basil, and used the entire cans of crushed tomatoes, 2 cans of cannelini beans (drained), extra garlic (do that with every recipe…), some really old white wine I found in the fridge, and 1 pound of frozen, chopped spinach. I thought I put in too much spinach at first, but it turned out delicious. Fit in a 3qt + a 2qt pan to finish it off in the oven.

  72. Carrie

    I wanted to love this recipe, I really did. I was excited to try it. But I can’t get past those corona beans. I’ve got a bag from Rancho Gordo and though they are described by everyone everywhere as “creamy,” in fact they turned out to be “crumbly” and “gritty.” They also take for-evah to cook, even when I soak the crime out of them, they bubble away on the stove for hours and hours, smelling like wet dog. My whole house needs a poodle cut and a trip to the groomer now. I’m so very disappointed in these beans. I had such hopes. Can anybody give me the secret to unlocking the “creamy” in these beans?? Because otherwise I’m a really sad wet dog-bean. :-(

    1. Allyn

      How very sad! You’ll see in my comment that I used the same Rancho Gordo beans . . . soaked ’em overnight (14 hours), cooked ’em in salted water for a couple of hours (like, two hours) and they turned out just fine. I don’t understand why they didn’t work for you and can understand your disappointment.

  73. Allyn

    PIZZA BEANS!!!!! Oh my goodness, if I weren’t retired and still living in the metropolitan Washington DC area, I’d come to one of your book signings and give you a big hug for this recipe alone! (Though I’ve made quite a number of your recipes and they’ve ALL been wonderful.) My husband just had a small bowlful of them as a preview for dinner, and he raved about them. I added some mild Italian sausage and I think it added an extra note of flavor to the dish. And I also used the Rancho Gordo beans you recommended . . . and they were spectacular! They were much better . . . much more flavorful (a bit sweet?) and tender than anything else I could have found in my local small town supermarket (like lima beans). Working my way through the cookbook . . . keep those great recipes coming!!

  74. Jess

    Just wanted to add my $.02 in the event that it might help someone else. First, kudos to Deb – as always – for coming up with something novel. Second, I thought this was tasty but not as extraordinary as the comments suggest. I used dried giant limas from the Hispanic foods section (because that’s all my little town had). I used at least twice the amount of kale and it still wasn’t a ton. If I make this again, I’ll increase the cheese 50-100% and do a layer of cheese halfway through the bean mixture. And this definitely feeds an army.

  75. Sarah Butz

    This recipe looks great! I have the Royal Corona Beans and am ready to go. Am I really not pre-soaking the beans before cooking??? Or even cooking them first?
    Am I the only one who can’t figure this out? Thanks.

  76. I cooked my beans for 4 hours in a slow cooker, and they were still a bit hard and I needed to go to bed, so I just let them sit in their cooking water overnight. The next day they were still on the firm side, so I microwaved them for 20 minutes while I was prepping the ingredients. After simmering and cooking in the oven as described, the dish was still unpalatable because the beans were just too darn hard. I wound up stirring ~1.5 cups of the bean cooking water into the prepared (and partially eaten) dish, covering with a lid, and baking for two more hours at 350. The beans finally seem to be cooked for the most part, and the tomato sauce has a pretty nice caramelized/roasted taste to it. It’s alright, but I wouldn’t take the trouble to make it again. I second the other comments suggesting to add *a lot* of oregano and basil to get the flavors a little more interesting. Looking forward to seeing if it tastes better on the second day as many comments suggest.

  77. kxfritsche

    Hi Deb. Do you think large white lima beans would work well for this dish? That’s all I’ve found locally (so far) and I’m dying to make this…please advise.

    And thanks for everything you do!

    1. kxfritsche

      Uh, never mind…I got too impatient and posted my question before reading the comments…which I’ve now done and see many people used large lima beans, so I’ll give that a whirl and if it’s a hit, I’ll get some gigante beans next time. Thanks!

  78. mks

    Royal Corona beans completely sold out online at Rancho Gordo – I bet this recipe in the new cookbook has something to do with this! :)

  79. Sarah

    Made with one pound dried cassoulet beans from Rancho Gordo, cooked and used the cooking liquid as broth. I used white wine and followed the recipe exactly as written. I only put the cheese on a small portion of it because most of the people at the table don’t eat dairy. Had Field Roast vegan Italian sausage on the side.
    I was worried that this wouldn’t be good without lots of add-ons–I was wrong. The beans by themselves were so so good–I chose to eat the ones without cheese even though cheese is basically my favorite thing in the universe.
    Next time, I might increase the garlic and white wine and decrease the tomatoes. Other than that, though, I you;don’t chase a thing. Definitely wouldn’t–WOULD NOT– add basil or oregano (esp since it’s winter and that means dried basil which is gross).
    Truly found this an exceptionally good bean dish without any cheese or sausage (though those are great too). Very popular with the whole family.

    1. Ann Onymous

      I finally found some of the beans at Sahadi’s! I made this, but doubled almost everything (quadrupled the garlic) left the cheese as is, I don’t think it needed the extra cheese. I also added dry oregano and basil, and served it with whole wheat pasta. My husband said it hit the spot.

  80. Delicious and easy meal! Especially since I just used two cans of cooked beans- black eyed peas cuz that’s what I had on hand- and it was still great. Subbed spinach for kale, and a few chopped jalapeños for the celery, and by “season to taste”, I seasoned liberally with some dry Italian seasoning blend, splash of soy sauce, garlic powder, xtra red pepper. Served with focaccia for scooping.

  81. Jo

    If anyone’s looking for an instant pot version, I put in the dried, unsoaked beans and all the other ingredients except the cheese straight into the instant pot. I used 2 cups of vegetable broth instead of 3/4 cup since the beans were dried. Everything else was the same. Cooked on manual for 35 min and it came out awesome. No soaking or cooking beans separately!!!

  82. Sarah

    I made these when I saw them on David Lebovitz’s blog. He suggested adding a chile or herbs to spice it up. I added one diced serrano to the veggies when they were cooking. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly and it was so intensely good. It is completely worth scouting out giant dried beans (I found them in bulk at my Whole Foods) because they add a texture that can never happen with any canned bean. Leftovers for days and never disappointed to have them!

  83. Joy in DC

    Such a tasty, hearty dish. Great for the chill of winter. I made this as written with gigandes beans found at a Greek/Middle Eastern grocery store and they worked well, even becoming creamy. I will add some crushed red pepper next time for a bit of extra kick (and because I love spicy pizza). Thanks!

  84. I really loved this recipe! I actually have loved pretty much every recipe from this cookbook but this one is so easy and can at least pretend to be healthy. I tried it with a can of cooked beans (didn’t see the other comments until after) and did feel a bit more beans might help, it was a touch tomatoey but otherwise delicious!

  85. dior

    this is a brilliant recipe! can’t wait to give it a try. our toddler LOVES beans and tomatoes, so this should be a big hit. also, my husband makes killer garlic bread (old Cook’s Illustrated recipe) so this meal would be a collaborative crowd pleaser in our house.

  86. Julie

    This was great! I made it from the cookbook. Definitely a recipe that is greater than the sum of its parts! I used Great Northern Beans which I had on hand. Otherwise I made it exactly as written. It’s a keeper! Love that it is an affordable dinner and pretty healthy too.

  87. Colleen

    Can’t find gigante beans. Would butter beans be an acceptable substitute without changing flavor or better to use smaller white beans?

  88. Nadia

    Made this and immediately ordered the new cookbook! It’s something you could feed your friends that need more vegetables with out them knowing you know they need more vegetables!

  89. I’m always enticed whenever I see the heading of Smitten Kitchen and what your offerings be.Congratulations on the new cookbook and look forward to your newest culinary creations. Love your delightful commentary.

  90. Kirthi H

    My PI made this for our BBQ since I’m in the process of becoming a vegetarian and it was so good! I had to look the recipe up so I can make it too :)

  91. Debby Briggs

    Hi, Deb–

    Just want to say that I make this recipe on a regular basis. Thank you so much! I love, love, love it! Because I have a sensitivity to regular, shredded mozzarella, I’ve been using diced fresh mozzarella. It’s like having a margherita pizza without the bread. It also keeps well for a couple of days, so it makes a good lunch to take to work.

  92. These were great! I used cannellini beans because that’s what I had. A really simple, delicious recipe. If you like cooking, this is the kind of recipe that is fun and satisfying to make. Even if you don’t like cooking, this recipe is super easy and simple.

  93. Lindsey

    Another amazing recipe Deb! I made it according to the recipe but added 3/4 lb garlic herbed pork sausage and instead of soaking the beans I used 2 cans of white kidney beans (for convenience!)
    Everyone loved it, even my meat and potato friends! This will definitely go into our regular meal rotation.

  94. Liz

    I made this with a few modifications thanks to some reader comments, personal preferences and what I had:

    I cooked the beans with carrots and celery but removed them for the dish and left then out of the recipe as well.

    Chard instead of kale and I think I used maybe twice as much.

    Added mushrooms with the onions (YUM!!0

    Added some “Italian seasoning” (Mtn Rose Herbs blend)

    I used a smoked aged balsamic (red) in place of the wine.

    I used Rancho Gordo Royal Corona.

    It smelled wonderful and first bite … WOW. Loved this and even better next day. I soak the Royal Coronas for 24 hours, Instant Pot for 28 minutes. Oh, used the been broth in place of veg broth. Super duper recipe! This will be on repeat.

    Oh, I took the flavors and seasonings and made a kind of pizza beans on toast before making the dish: mashed beans (the RC), Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, grape tomatoes halved, melty cheese – great lunch!!

  95. Carrie

    Fabulous success! I made it in a traditional pressure cooker on a gas stove using dried large lima beans cooked at high pressure for 30 minutes using 2 cups homemade beef stock. Finished in the oven in a casserole dish at 475 for 10 minutes. It took longer than anticipated, but was absolutely delicious both the day of and the following evening.

  96. marcia dunsker

    should the beans weigh one lb after or before cooking? sorry if i seem stupid. love the recipe – more fibre than ziti! good.

  97. Abby

    I thought this was terrific. Made it pretty much as written, except:

    Added oregano, as per suggestions in comments

    Did a bottom layer of the bean mixture, then added some mozzarella, then the remaining beans then the rest of the cheese. It’s like a pizza bean style lasagna.

    Used 2 little cans of crushed tomatoes (29 oz total). I thought that worked perfectly.

    Unfortunately I undercooked the beans a little, and the Rancho Gordo cassoulet beans were not my favorites. I look forward to making it again with Marcella beans.

  98. Laura

    These have become a staple in our house! I’ve made these a few times and came back to comments to look and see if anyone had done it in the Instant Pot. Wanted to add my two cents about possible additions if you are looking for other ideas – I love adding Italian chicken sausage and mushrooms to the sauteed vegetables at the beginning. Also, we are big garlic lovers so I increase the garlic. If you are looking to really make them taste like pizza, I highly recommend investing in some Penzey’s pizza seasoning too.

  99. Susan Iseman

    HI Deb: I finally just made this dish and it was spectacular. I did buy Rancho Gordo Corona Beans and they are as buttery & creamy as promised. (soaked 24 hours, cooked/simmered one hour or so with mirepoix.) My onions were scant, so I happened to have Tr Joe’s leeks and alas no mozzarella, so I topped the casserole with Boursin cheese and fresh grated parmigiano reggiano. Thanks for all that you do. S.

  100. Sandy

    I clicked on the link in your email to see “9 freezer-friendly meals” but it only led me to this recipe. Can you redirect me?

  101. Monica

    Loved this! Added red bell peppers and poblano peppers and Italian seasoning. Used fresh tomato’s instead of canned. And added 1 can of canneli beans (instead of cooked beans)just before it went in the oven.

  102. Erin

    Made this last night and it’s fantastic. Had to make a couple last minute changes because I overcooked my beans. I used a couple cans of great northern beans and added them at the last minute on the stove, right before popping it in the oven and the texture was perfect (I’m eating leftovers right now that I heated and a microwave and the beans are still firm and not mushy). I also added in 10 ounces of kale because that’s how much I had and we really like kale. The bag of kale I bought was chopped but still had stems included, which actually ended up adding a nice additional texture (I cooked my sauce on the stove with the kale in it a bit longer than called for, because I had to wait for my fiancé to run to the store to grab beans after I overcooked mine).

    Going on the pizza theme, I also added some chopped kalamata olives over the top of mine because I love olives.

    Will definitely be adding this in the rotation.

  103. Maggie

    Wonderful dish. I made it with canned butter beans and it was still really good. I absolutely love kale and this was a great way to have more kale in my meals. It looks from the photos of the ingredients that you made it with fresh mozzarella, is that correct? I used regular mozzarella and would like to know what others have done and whether it’s best with regular or fresh mozzarella ?