I have finally entered my bean era—you can find me eating fried garbanzos for breakfast, creamy gigante beans for lunch, or sultry Ayocote Negro black beans for dinner just about every day of the week. But sadly, my two kids—ages 11 and five—have yet to be bitten by the bean bug.
In an attempt to stack the deck, and inspired by the iconic recipe by Deb Perelman, I gave plump, meaty butter beans the pizza treatment by tossing them with marinara and topping them with lots of shredded cheese to see if it would swing them over to the bean side. I’m happy to report that it worked!
How to Make Pizza Beans
It couldn’t be easier to whip up a batch of these cheesy, saucy beans for dinner. You can pull off the whole thing in about 20 minutes with just three ingredients—beans, marinara sauce, and cheese.
Once you’ve got your ingredients and the casserole dish of your choice (I use a 2 1/2-quart dish), combine two 15-ounce cans of drained cannellini or butter beans, two cups jarred marinara sauce (I swear by Rao’s, but you do you.), and at least a cup of cheese. I like shredded mozzarella or a pizza cheese blend. I’m also very on board with the idea of throwing in a half cup or so of ricotta, which gives the dish serious baked pasta vibes.
Bake the beans in a 350°F oven until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.
Yes to Toppings
I encourage you to put your spin on the pizza beans. Our favorite upgrade is pepperoni slices on top. I like the kind that makes a little pepperoni cup when you cook them. Since pizza is the name of the game here, your favorite pizza toppings are all invited—crumbled cooked sausage, red onions, banana peppers, and even anchovies, if that’s your thing.
What to Serve With Pizza Beans
If I were cozying up on the couch eating my pizza beans by the glow of an episode of Next in Fashion, I would require nothing more than a glass of wine to complete the meal. For a family affair, I’ll go a couple of steps further with some focaccia or garlic bread and a quick, simple green salad. Sauéed broccoli rabe or spinach would also be a welcome addition.
Leftover pizza beans can be refrigerated for about a week. They make an excellent lunch reheated and piled on a piece of garlic-rubbed toast.