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Lemony White Beans with Breadcrumbs

This may sound high maintenance, but dried beans taste much better than canned beans. And this recipe requires them. I bought Rancho Gordo beans and had them shipped to me from California, and they are amazing. The shipping time took a bit of time, so if you can't wait you can get any dried beans at the grocery store. I throw whatever I have in my fridge at the time (fresh herbs, parmesan rind, halved onions, garlic heads…) in the pan as they cook - it's a very non-fussy recipe!
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time2 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 4


  • 1.5 cups dried beans of whichever variety you prefer (I love chickpea, marcella, and other large white beans)
  • Fresh herbs (the sturdier herbs tend to work better - thyme, parsley, etc.)
  • Small white or yellow onion, halved
  • Half of a garlic head, outside shell removed
  • Parmesan rind if you have one
  • Half a lemon (with the skin and all)
  • Olive oil or other fat you have on hand
  • Breadcrumbs toasted on a pan with butter, Greek yogurt, and/or Dijon mustard to top


  • Let the beans soak overnight in the fridge
  • The next day, add more water (or stock) to cover the beans
  • Bring to a boil. Some foamy substance will likely form on top of your beans after boiling, this is normal. Remove the foam and reduce to simmer
  • Add a lot of olive oil (more than you think, you want to get a nice film of oil or fat on the top)
  • Put your "additives" to the pot (onion, garlic, parm, lemon)
  • Simmer on medium-low for up to ~2 hours, sating throughout the way
    IMPORTANT: make sure you have enough water in the pot as you simmer - if it gets too low, just add more water and salt a bit
  • Beans will be ready once they are al dente or to the consistency you prefer
  • Remove lemon half and stems of the herbs
  • Top with toasted breadcrumbs, Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, or all of the above!