If you’re in the mood for a flavorful vegetarian dinner recipe, you have to try this Tuscan white bean skillet! Cannellini beans contribute creamy texture, while artichoke hearts, leeks, garlic, sage, parsley, lemon, and kale pack a ton of flavor into a single skillet. It’s an easy way to use beans in a main dish that’s ready in 30 minutes and feeds 4 people!
A couple of years ago, I discovered a recipe for a stew of shrimp and white beans simmered in garlic-spiked broth and lemon juice. Will and I loved making it regularly throughout the long Minnesota winters. It was so comforting and flavorful and was always ready quickly.
That recipe is what inspired me to make this Tuscan white bean skillet! I incorporated a lot of flavors from that shrimp stew but added plenty more, too. Plus, I used artichoke hearts, lacinato kale, and aged parmesan cheese — staple ingredients of Tuscan and Italian cooking.
The beans and veggies simmer in broth, resulting in an incredibly flavorful and, thanks to the cannellini beans, creamy stew. Boy oh boy…it turned out REALLY tasty!
I highly recommend serving it with crusty bread either to sop up every last drop of liquid or to spread with beans and eat like toast. And if beans and greens are your jam, be sure to check out my Gigante Beans with Tomato and Feta and White Beans and Escarole while you’re here!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Cannellini beans: These beans are pretty important for achieving the creamy texture of the dish, but you can substitute navy beans or great Northern beans if needed.
- Leeks: Feel free to swap in yellow onion, but I like leeks the best in this recipe.
- Broth: Vegetable or chicken broth both work well.
- Garlic, sage, parsley, and lemon zest: These add a ton of flavor to this Tuscan white bean skillet! You can substitute fresh thyme or oregano if you don’t have sage or parsley.
- Red pepper flakes: Omit if you don’t like spice.
- Lacinato kale: Also known as Tuscan or dinosaur kale, it’s ideal for stew-like dishes since it doesn’t get too soft and mushy. Curly kale or spinach would also work.
- Artichoke hearts: Use a can of quartered artichoke hearts canned in water. If you have hearts from steamed or roasted artichokes that you made yourself, you can also use those.
- Aged parmesan cheese: If you are a regular reader, then you probably know that I love having a block of aged parmesan cheese in my fridge at all times. I like to freshly grate or shave parmesan to add to recipes like this one. Use a swivel peeler to get thicker slices of cheese and a hand grater for finer shreds.
- Fresh bread for serving: Sourdough or seeded bread are great options.
The full recipe card, including ingredient quantities, is at the bottom of the post.
Prep the ingredients. Chop the leeks and kale. Drain the beans and artichoke hearts, zest the lemon, and gather the rest of the ingredients.
In a large skillet, warm some extra virgin olive oil. Add the leeks and cook until they start to get tender. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant
Add the white beans, artichoke hearts, broth, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and sage leaves to the skillet. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
Stir in the chopped kale and parsley. Cook for a few more minutes. Remove from heat, add shaved parmesan, and enjoy!
Storage and Reheating
Tuscan white bean skillet leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently and adding extra liquid as needed, until warmed through. You can also reheat leftovers in the microwave for 1 to 3 minutes.
More Main Dish Recipes
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Tuscan White Bean Skillet
- skillet (at least 12 inches wide, cast iron if you have it)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks - white and light green parts sliced into half-moons
- 6 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans - drained and rinsed
- 1 14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts - in water; drained and rinsed
- 1.5 cups vegetable broth - can sub chicken broth
- 4 sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped Tuscan kale - also known as lacinato kale
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup shaved parmesan cheese
- Bread - for serving
- Warm the olive oil in a large skillet (at least 12 inches wide) over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until they start to get tender. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add the beans, artichoke hearts, broth, sage leaves, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Let everything come to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until the liquid starts to reduce, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped kale and parsley. Cook for 2 more minutes until the kale is wilted.
- Remove the skillet from heat. Add shaved parmesan on top. I like to use a swivel peeler on a block of aged parmesan. Serve with crunchy bread if desired. Enjoy!
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet or in the microwave until warmed through.
- Nutrition facts do not include bread.
Enjoy this flavorful dish! – Lizzie