Divinely delicious, these Cheesy Baked Beans with Tomatoes require minimal prep and are ready in 20 minutes. Hearty, filling, and comforting this dish is perfect for a quick weeknight meal served with crusty bread and a simple salad on the side.
Today I bring you a simple yet-over-the-top flavourful baked bean recipe that is oozing in comforting flavours. Creamy white beans are baked in a tomato sauce, topped with oozy fresh mozzarella and finished with an emerald green drizzle of parsley oil.
It’s a filling and hearty dish that is quick to make and utterly delicious. Perfect to enjoy as a meatless main with crusty bread and a leafy salad for nights when your cooking energy has a limit of 20 minutes – top. Also fabulous served as a side with baked sausages or roasted chicken.
Chessy Baked Beans With Tomatoes Recipe
I was inspired to make this dish when I spotted it in the NY Times Cooking. A very popular recipe with thousands of reviews, I was astounded at how divided the reviews were. Some couldn’t praise it enough calling it “outstanding” or “spectacular”. Others couldn’t hate it more calling it “a disgrace of a dish”. I was so intrigued. Most of the disappointed reviewers did offer some great variations to make it better: tomatoes instead of tomato paste, add onions or shallot and garlic, stir in some parmesan with the beans, fresh mozzarella instead of grated. Noted, tested. Outcome? Divine. Those few little ingredient tweaks made such a huge difference.
Adding baby spinach or chopped kale was another common suggestion which I have tried and really enjoy. The 3-ingredient basil oil was my idea for a boost of flavour right before serving. Let’s just say, don’t omit it if possible. It really takes this cheesy bean dish over the top. So, so good.
Ingredients And Notes
This recipe for cheesy baked beans with tomatoes uses mostly pantry ingredients and everyday staples like canned beans and tomatoes and your favourite cheese for topping. For this recipe, a few little ingredient tweaks have made a huge difference from the original.
- White beans – I love using creamy canned cannellini beans for this dish, but I know sometimes they are hard to find. Navy beans, butter beans or great northern beans will also work. You will need 3 (14-ounce) cans for this recipe. If you wish to make a smaller batch with just two cans, reduce the tomatoes to just 2 cups.
- Canned tomatoes – The tomatoes will not cook for very long so try and use the best quality you can find and afford. Feel free to use a jar of homemade or store-bought marinara sauce if you wish. Just make sure it’s a marinara sauce you really enjoy.
- Extra virgin olive oil – The oil is important in this dish not only for sautéing the vegetables but for adding flavour as well. Again, a good-quality olive oil will add better flavour.
- Shallots and garlic – The earthy beans and rich tomatoes benefit from a good amount of shallots and the garlic. Use a yellow onion instead of shallots, if you prefer.
- Salt and pepper – This is the only seasoning we use so don’t be shy to add to taste.
- Parmesan cheese – Isn’t everything better with parm? Yes, indeed it is. You can also use Pecorino or Grana Padano.
- Fresh mozzarella – I love the creaminess of fesh mozzarella but regular grated mozzarella will also work. Fontina would be another great choice becasue it melts really well. I haven’t tried it with cheddar but I feel the flavour would be too strong here.
- Baby spinach or kale – Optional, but really nice to throw in if you have some on hand.
- Optional parsley oil – You only need 3 ingredients to make the parsley oil: Fresh parsley, lemon zest, and olive oil. It takes less than 5 minutes to make and you will be so happy you did. The bright, fresh flavours from the parsley and lemon make this dish truly shine.
How To Make Cheesy Baked Beans With Tomatoes
You can enjoy this easy, hot bubbly cheesy goodness in just about 20-minutes. Here’s the quick how-to:
As previously mentioned, I like to enjoy this cheesy baked beans with tomatoes dish as a meatless meal with lots of crusty bread or focaccia for dipping and perhaps a green leafy salad on the side. For a vegetable side, I would go with roasted broccolini, broccoli, or asparagus.
If you would like to serve with a meat, I would serve this with grilled or baked sausages, baked fish, or a whole roasted chicken.
Make It Vegan
There are some great store-bought vegan alternatives for parmesan cheese and melty cheeses for topping. Use your favourite brand.
Alternatively, mimic the salty umami flavour of parmesan cheese with some good quality nutritional yeast or a homemade nut-based ricotta.
Leftovers of this cheesy baked beans with tomatoes will keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat until warmed through.
If you have a lot of leftovers to reheat, place in a 350ºF oven for 20 minutes or until completely warmed through.
Other Bean Recipes You Might Enjoy
- One-Pot Rice and Beans
- Sautéed Swiss chard with White Beans
- Tuna and White Bean Salad with Cherry Tomatoes
If you give this Cheesy Baked Beans with Tomatoes recipe a try, please feel free to leave a comment and/or a star rating below. We appreciate and welcome all your feedback. Thank you!
Cheesy Baked Beans With Tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 small shallots finely diced (about 1/3 cup); or 1 small onion
- 3 cloves garlic finely sliced or minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper optional
- 1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
- 3 14 oz cans cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese torn into bite-size pieces
- Toasted crusty bread for serving
Optional Parsley Oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 450ºF. Heat oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add shallots (or onion) and garlic; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper, if using.
- Stir in tomatoes, crushing them lightly with your hands. Bring to a simmer and cook until they break down and thicken slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans and half of the parmesan cheese. Top mixture with remaining parmesan cheese and fresh mozzarella.
- Transfer skillet to preheated oven and bake until bubbly and cheese is melted and browned in spots, about 4 to 5 minutes. If necessary, broil for 2 to 3 minutes for a more golden top.
- Prepare the parsley oil (if using): Mix chopped parsley leaves, lemon zest and juice, and olive in a small bowl. Serve cheesy baked beans hot from the oven drizzled with parsley oil and crusty bread on the side. Enjoy!