A simple recipe for Italian Baked Beans, with kale, cannellini beans, and your favorite homemade (or store-bought) Marinara sauce,  baked in the oven until golden and bubbling. A delicious vegetarian main! Vegan adaptable and Gluten-free. Video

Italian Baked Beans, made with cannellini beans, kale, and your favorite homemade (or store-bought) Marinara sauce, and baked in the oven until golden and bubbling. A delicious vegetarian main!In a world that entices us to browse the lives of others to help us better determine how we feel about ourselves, and to, in turn, feel the need to be constantly visible — for visibility, these days, seems to somehow equate to success — do not be afraid to disappear. From it, from us, for a while. And see what comes to you in the silence. ~ Micheala Coel

This recipe for Italian Baked Beans will make good use of your Homemade Marinara Sauce or or Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce. Fold in lacinato kale and fresh mozzarella to create a cozy vegetarian meal perfect for cooler fall nights. And yes, you can absolutely use vegan cheese.  Or serve it as a tasty hearty side dish, keeping it simple with pecorino and basil. Take this recipe and use it as a base for your own creations! It’s super yummy and EASY.

Italian Baked Beans | 60-sec Video

Italian Baked Beans & Greens w/ cannellini beans, lacinato kale & marinara sauce, baked until golden and bubbling. Vegetarinan, Vegan-adaptable.

What you’ll need:

  • Cannelini Beans- cooked or canned
  • Marinara sauce
  • olive oil
  • Mozzerella or Pecorino cheese (or both!)
  • salt, pepper, chili flakes
  • fresh basil
  • Optional additions: kale or spinach, sauteed mushrooms, browned Italian sausage (or vegan sausage!)

How to Make Italian Baked Beans

cannellini beans in a strainer

Step one

Using either cooked cannellini beans or canned cannellini beans, strain, and place in a baking dish.

Toss with olive oil, salt pepper and optional chili flakes.

drained cannellini beans in a baking dish

Step two

Add your favorite marinara sauce. Feel free to use store-bought or make your own Marinara sauce or Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce .

adding marinara sauce to the cannellini beans

Step three

Stir this together and feel free to add chopped baby spinach or kale.

mixing in cannellini beans with the marinara sauce

You can also incorporate fresh kale or spinach.

kale and white beans with marinara sauce

Step four

Top with grated pecorino cheese. For a richer meal- feel free to add fresh mozzarella or even burrata cheese.

add optional fresh mozzarella

Step five

Bake in the oven until bubbling and golden.

When it comes out, your house will smell amazing!

Can this be made Vegan?

Yes- simply top with meltable vegan cheese or try this Vegan Cheesy Sprinkle.

More recipes you may enjoy:

We’ve been serving it up with pinot noir, a leafy green salad and crusty bread to mop up all the delicious juices.

Hope you enjoy!



clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Italian Baked Beans and Kale

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 33 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: vegetarian main, side dish
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


A simple recipe for Italian Baked Beans, with kale, cannellini beans, and your favorite homemade (or store-bought) Marinara sauce,  baked in the oven until golden and bubbling. A delicious vegetarian main! Vegan adaptable and Gluten-free.


Units Scale
  • 4 cups cannellini beans or white beans (cooked, or 2 x 14-ounce cans, drained)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • pinch chili flakes- optional
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • optional: big handful lacinato kale, torn, thick stems removed (or sub baby spinach)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • optional 45 slices fresh mozzarella ( or sub grated, or burrata cheese)


Preheat oven to 375F

In a 9-inch ovenproof or skillet or medium-sized baking dish, add the white beans and stir them with the olive oil, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Add the marinara sauce and water and mix again. Stir in the kale if adding. Shake the pan to level it and sprinkle with the pecorino or parmesan and nestle in the optional mozzarella.

Bake uncovered in a 375 F oven until bubbling and golden, 25-35 minutes.  Feel free to broil for a couple of minutes to get the top extra golden.

Garnish with fresh basil and serve with crusty bread and a leafy green salad.


Leftovers will keep up to 4 days in the fridge.

You can embellish this even further by adding browned Italian sausage (or vegan sausage,) or sauteed mushrooms, or topping it with pesto.


  • Serving Size: 1 ¼ cup (made w/ both Pecorino and Mozzarella)
  • Calories: 353
  • Sugar: 6.6 g
  • Sodium: 679.3 mg
  • Fat: 10.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 43.6 g
  • Fiber: 12.8 g
  • Protein: 23.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 5.1 mg

Share this with the world!

to get recipes via email

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


  1. How can something so simple can be so amazingly delicious? Ok, so I added a bit of pancetta, but overall, this is an absolutely fantastic dish. It is warm, colorful, deep flavor, creamy textures and rustic appeal – winner! Thank you!

  2. Just finished eating a hot dish of this with crusty, buttered sourdough fresh out of the oven. What a rewarding way to use those dried white beans languishing on my shelf (prepped a day ahead). I used kale and slices of parmesan, because that’s what I had.

  3. This was delicious and will definitely be added into our monthly meal rotation. So hearty and light at the same time. Easy one pot meal!

  4. So happy to have found this recipe as I’ve been sweating what to make for dinner with vegetarian friends. I know it will be a hit with everyone, even the pickier eaters. Any ideas of the perfect small salad to go with it? Going to serve with garlicky sourdough too. Thanks.

  5. Made this last night and it was fantastic. Had some canned organic tomato sauce from the garden, and the flavors and combination were amazing for such a easy/simple recipe. This is one that we’ll be making weekly. Thank you Sylvia for another creative delicious meal.

  6. This was a hit with my family, I cooked my beans in the instapot then put the recipe together. I’ll do this again and it will be good for busy weeknights because I can cook the beans ahead of time. I’ve been looking for recipes to help us eat less meat and this is a good one. Thank you.

  7. Hi! Do you think this would freeze well, if I prepped it up till the baking step an then threw it in the freezer? Looking for some freezer friendly meals.

  8. This recipe is an amazing discovery. To lower the oxalate level, I make it with black-eyed peas instead of beans, which works perfectly. The blend of flavours positively brims with umami deliciousness. It has entered our regular rotation, thank you!

  9. I’ve made this about 5 times since you posted it and have tweaked it a tiny bit each time. I’ve made it with the vegan alternative topping, mozzarella & pecorino, no mozz, parm. I’ve added vegan sausage and made it mostly without basil but added pesto once.

    I absolutely love this dish and it is now a permanent go to staple!

  10. Very Good. Used both cheeses. Accomplished roasted & lightly smoked pork loin. However, great dish on its own. No need for any meat. Next time I will add Mild Italian sausage and use as a course alone. My husband is not a.vegan. Really like the spinach which I used instead of kale.

    1. Hi Ryan! You could just leave it off. Maybe add a dairy-free pesto, or even a drizzle of olive oil. 🙂 Or for extra protein, spoonfuls of tofu ricotta? We have a recipe for it.

  11. This was delicious!! You literally throw this together and have dinner ready in 40 minutes! I added extra red pepper and served with fresh sourdough. YUM!

  12. May I ask why the sodium is SO high on this? 1852.4mg (81%) is WAY MORE than packaged items.

    If I skip the salt and cheese, would that reduce it?

  13. Planning on making this tomorrow! Could you cook this in a Dutch oven? Would it change the oven instructions at all?

  14. This is a simple recipe that is fantastically good, especially considering the degree of simplicity. I admit to being a bit skeptical at first but thought it would make a good dinner for us while visiting my grad school son in Vermont. Huge hit with everyone! Will definitely be making this again, and instead of cheating with jarred marinara and canned beans (the grad school version!) will make it with our organic CSA beans, my canned Sylvia’s tomato sauce (fantastic recipe!) and our garden kale. Great recipe!

  15. Delicious and super easy for a weeknight! I made the marinara sauce and prepped the beans and kale while it simmered. I made polenta to pair with it to copy a dish I frequently order and like your version better than the restaurant’s! Thank you!!

  16. Delicious! And so easy!
    I sauteed onions and mushrooms first, and then added the beans and followed the recipe.
    A keeper for sure!
    Thank you

  17. SO good! And so comforting. I added yellow squash. Really easy and quick to make! My belly is sooooo happy 🙂

  18. We often have Rancho Gordo beans cooked and in the fridge to use and in perfect timing to have this recipe I had about 2C of Royal Coronas ready to use along with kale from last week’s Farmers Market needing to be used and 1C’ish homemade marinara in the freezer (you know what happens…a little leftover from another meal to tuck away and use later) that was easy to thaw to use plus some mozzarella leftover looking for a purpose and ‘bingo’ we had late lunch dish put together in a snap using this easy and delicious recipe. Thanks for publishing it!

    1. Awesome Michelle- glad this came together for you! Yes, Corona Beans are perfect here! love those beans.

Our Latest Recipes