Oven baked cannellini beans are so delicious and so creamy and full of flavor. This classic Italian way of cooking dried cannellini beans produces the most delicious beans that can be served as is or added to soups, stews or topped with your favorite veggies and meat. If you are looking for an easy from scratch white bean recipe, these Italian baked beans are for you!
About these Baked Cannellini Beans
Italian cannellini beans baked in the oven is the most delicious thing in the World. The broth that is made from the beans cooking with the garlic and olive oil is so good and it has so much flavor.
This Italian baked beans recipe uses dried cannellini beans not canned. Cooking beans that are dried in olive oil, water and garlic allows the beans to absorb all of that delicious flavor. You could not get this flavor from canned beans.
These beans cook in the oven so it is all hands off time when cooking. You will want to allow between 2-3 hours for this, depending on how dry your beans are.
Ingredients you will need
- Dried cannellini beans
- Garlic. An entire head of fresh garlic cut at the top (see the picture below for this)
- Kosher salt.
- Olive oil.
- Dried bay leaves.
The two ingredients that flavor these cannellini beans are garlic, bay leaves and olive oil. You want to make sure you are using fresh garlic for this recipe and a good quality olive oil.
I like to cut the tip of the garlic bulb and throw that in whole to the pot of beans. Cutting the tip off of the garlic allows the individual cloves of garlic to release their flavor into the bean broth and keeps the entire head of garlic intact so you can pull it later after cooking.
You will be cutting the end that does not have the stem on it (the top.)
How to make Italian baked beans
- The first things you want to do is sift through the dried cannellini beans and make sure there are no bad ones or rocks. This does sometimes happen.
- Now rinse the dried beans under cold water.
- Add the beans to a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot with a lid.
- Add water, olive oil, garlic and kosher salt.
- Place a lid on the pot and place in the oven.
You actually do not need to soak beans before cooking them. As long as you are cooking them over a gentle heat in enough liquid, they cook up beautifully. The cooking time is a little longer without soaking but not by a lot.
What to serve with these Italian beans
I love making this dish then making my fagioli all'uccelletto which is just tomatoes and garlic added to the beans.
If we have any leftovers, we love making white bean bruschetta with the beans. It is so good!
More Italian Recipes
Italian Baked Cannellini Beans
- 1 dutch oven with lid or a heavy bottom pot with lid.
If cooking dried beans
- 1.5 lbs dried cannellini beans
- 8 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 head of garlic
- water to cover the beans in pot
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
If cooking dried beans
- Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
- Chop the tip off of the head of garlic (make sure to chop the pointy tip side and not the root side)
- Add beans, head of garlic that you just chopped and bay leaves to a large heavy bottom pot. Make sure the pot has a tight fitting lid.
- Now add enough water to cover the beans by about ½ inch over the top of the beans.
- Add olive oil and salt and cover with a lid.
- Place in oven a cook for about 2 hours or until the beans are tender.
- Serve warm or hot.