Hungry Heart

Adventures in healthy living

Greens and Beans


I don’t think greens and beans are a Utica phenomenon, but they certainly are popular in central New York.
Almost every Italian restaurant in the city has greens and beans on their lunch menu.
We sure do love our escarole around here. 

Greens and beans are actually really easy to make, and only takes about 20-30 minutes from start to finish.
Plus, they are pretty healthy, complete meal.

Greens and Beans
about 4 servings

  • 2 heads escarole, chopped and rinsed (or one large bag of spinach)*
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbls olive oil
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese, to taste
  • chicken or vegetable stock, about 1 cup

Saute the olive oil, onion, red pepper flakes until soft.
Add garlic and saute for a few more minutes. 

While the onions are cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Quickly blanch the escarole (about 2 minutes), drain, and add to the pan with the onions. You may want to do this in a few batches.

Once all the escarole is in the saute pan, add the stock, beans, and cheese.
Cook for about 5-10 minutes, med/med-low, uncovered.
If you like your greens a little ‘soupy’ feel free to add more stock. 

I used spinach for my greens (see note below)

First time using the new 12 inch saute pan Jerry got me for Christmas!

This is a great, inexpensive, one pot dinner.
You get carbs and protein from the beans, good fat from the olive oil, and lots of nutrition from the greens. Its loaded with fiber and would be great for Meatless Monday.
Perfect with a nice crusty piece of multi-grain bread, too.

*Escarole can be a little bitter, and blanching it takes away some of the bitterness.  If the bitterness doesn’t bother you, feel free to skip this step. You can also skip this step if you are using spinach.
Simply add the raw greens to the pan once the onions and garlic are cooked. Add the stock, cover, and cook until the greens are wilted. Then add your beans and cheese.


  1. We have those pans! LOVE THEM! This is a great recipe… My kids love beans so it’s a good way to sneak in the greens!

  2. made this twice this week. extra spicy on the second batch. my favorite spice blend acquisition that I put in everything is Penzeys California Seasoned Pepper.

    Congrats on the bun in the oven, lady!! Hoping to make it upstate for an extended visit (at least more than 48 hours, for once) some time this winter/spring and would love to exchange food ideas!!!


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