Nutritionists Open Up A Can: What Can You Do With Cannellini Beans?

March 20, 2020 at 10:25PM

You’re most likely nearing the end of your first full “socially distant” week. Congrats! What better way to celebrate than with a nice can of…beans? If you’ve already gone through all your chickpeas, consider the less popular but equally nutritious cannellini bean.

We consulted registered dietitians Jess Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN, and Molly Knudsen, M.S., RDN, who shared their favorite ways to eat canned cannellini beans: from mashed potatoes to salads.

 How to eat cannellini beans.

“I like to use them to make a dip with rosemary and lemon,” Cording told us. “But they’re also great in soups, stews, chilies, or even mashed potatoes.”

Though beans in mashed potatoes might sound strange, Cording uses them as a substitute for dairy. “Pureed cannellini beans add a creaminess,” she said, “but also extra fiber and protein to offset any potential blood sugar spike from white potatoes.”

White beans, like cannellini, navy, or great Northern beans also pair well with greens. “My favorite way to eat cannellini beans is by sautéing them on the stovetop with olive oil and garlic,” Knudsen told us, “and mixing in fresh spinach at the end of cooking.”

For more ways to incorporate greens into your beans, this fresh and filling white bean and bacon salad from Sarah Adler, author of Simply Real Health and Simply Real Eating, will surely hit the spot.

Article continues below

White Bean, Bacon, Sun-Dried Tomato & Arugula Salad

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients for the salad:

  • ½ cup white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 to 4 cups arugula, or greens of your choice
  • 6 pieces uncured turkey bacon
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • Generous sprinkle of sea salt and pepper

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper


  1. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add bacon and cook until crispy, flipping halfway.
  3. Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Layer salad ingredients in a large bowl, crumble bacon over the top, and toss with dressing to serve.

Author Abby Moore | Life by Daily Burn
Selected by CWC

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