Cannellini Aglio e Olio will be your new favorite way to eat Cannellini Beans! With spicy Garlic Breadcrumbs, these beans are leveled up with tons of Italian flavors.
I love this cannellini bean recipe as a side dish for a dinner party or a meal prep side. We recommend making this with our Greek Chicken Salad with Crispy Chickpeas. Yum!
Or, if you like cannellini beans as much as my husband does, eat it as your whole meal.
We love cannellini beans in my house and eat them almost weekly. As I was searching for a way to change things up, I thought of the classic Italian aglio e olio dish - it translates to garlic and oil.
It's a Roman dish that is famous for it's super simple and inexpensive ingredients. I love aglio e olio because I always have the ingredients on hand, so it's super easy to whip up.
Aglio e olio is typically made with spaghetti, but this dish gives it a twist with cannellini beans and garlicky breadcrumbs. Plus, the fresh basil is a burst of freshness to the dish. Everything comes together so nicely that you'll be making this recipe on repeat.
This super flavorful dish that is delicious as a side or on it's own.
Another thing I love about this recipe? The health benefits! Cannellini beans are high in protein and fiber and are a great part of a balanced diet. Check out this article from Healthline that talks all about the benefits of this wonderful bean!
Cannellini Aglio e Olio with Garlic Breadcrumbs Ingredients
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Garlic - fresh and minced
- Cannellini beans - drained
- Salt - I always use Maldon salt
- Black Pepper - Preferably freshly ground black pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes - For a little kick
- Butter - Unsalted
- Breadcrumbs - You can use panko, regular, or with Italian seasoning
- Garlic Powder
- Basil - for serving
First, heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add olive oil and garlic to the pan and cook for 3 minutes. The garlic should cook, but not burn. And your house is about to smell amazing!
Add cannellini beans, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes until warmed through and well combined. Then, transfer beans to a serving bowl.
In the same pan, add butter and heat over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and garlic powder, and cook until the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Top beans with breadcrumbs and garnish with fresh basil. Serve and enjoy!
Here is some kitchen equipment that you will need for this recipe. You can find all of these products on Amazon.
Large Skillet - I love skillets. I have so many and use them all for different reasons, but I love my Caphaplon skillet that is pictured above. I use this skillet almost every day. It's super versatile and excellent for any home cook.
Garlic Press - This recipe uses a lot of garlic, so a garlic press might come in handy. I like using a garlic press to save time. Check out this one on Amazon!
Serving Bowl - Every beautiful meal needs an equally beautiful serving bowl. These clean white serving bowls are super sleek and perfect for any dish.
Here are a few different variations of this recipe:
Change up the beans: If you can't find cannellini beans, use Navy beans or Great Northern beans in this recipe and it will still be delicious.
Leave out the garlic: If you don't like garlic, try making cacio e pepe beans! Make this recipe, but use black pepper instead of the garlic, and then add in pecorino Romano cheese when you add in the beans.
Change the garnish: No basil? No problem. Fresh thyme and rosemary are great garnishes for this dish. Or if you want to make this dish even more savory, garnish with some crispy sage.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use any oil to make agile e olio, but we recommend using Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It's the authentic oil for the recipe and will taste the best with the garlic.
Yes, cannellini beans and white kidney beans are the same thing and are interchangeable in recipes.
Cannellini beans have a mild nutty flavor and fluffy, soft interior. They are great in a wide variety of dishes in Italian cooking.
More Side Dishes
Looking for more side dishes? Check out a few of our favorites:
Vegan Red Sauce Cannellini Beans: If you are looking for another cannellini bean recipe, this is for you! This recipe is super easy and it's vegan! This is another great side dish.
Garlic Mashed Cauliflower: I love this easy healthy side dish! This lighter dish is an amazing size that I love serving with grilled chicken or seafood.
Fresh Potato Salad: This is not your mom's potato salad recipe! This potato salad is filled with fresh veggies and has a vinegar mustard base. It's a delicious side dish that is always a hit!
Cannellini Aglio e Olio with Garlic Breadcrumbs
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cans cannellini beans drained
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- Basil for serving
- Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add olive oil and garlic to the pan and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add cannellini beans, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes, then transfer to a serving bowl.
- Add butter to the pan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and garlic powder, and let cook until the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 2 minutes.
- Add breadcrumbs on top of cannellini beans. Garnish with fresh basil and serve.
Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to leave a comment and a star rating below!