Simple Beans on Toast Recipe (2024)

Recipe from Steve Sando

Adapted by J. J. Goode

Simple Beans on Toast Recipe (1)

Total Time
2 hours 30 minutes
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These utterly simple beans come from Steve Sando, the owner of Rancho Gordo, which is known for its heirloom bean varieties. You can use any kind of dried bean (cannellini is pictured here); do not used canned beans. This recipe leans on great ingredients, which don't need much help, and lets them shine. That means you should use the best you've got, right down to the drizzle of olive oil that finishes the dish. If you do want to dress them up a bit, add a bay leaf at the beginning of cooking, and a sprig of thyme or rosemary during the last hour or so of cooking. —J. J. Goode

Featured in: Marcella Hazan and Her Namesake Bean

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Yield:4 to 8 servings

  • 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
  • 3medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1medium stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1pound dried heirloom beans, picked over and rinsed
  • 2teaspoons kosher salt
  • 8large slices crusty bread, cut ½-inch thick
  • 4tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Flaky sea salt and ground black pepper

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

509 calories; 15 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 6 grams monounsaturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 73 grams carbohydrates; 14 grams dietary fiber; 6 grams sugars; 23 grams protein; 413 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Simple Beans on Toast Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the garlic, onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft and fragrant but not browned, about 8 minutes.

  2. Add the beans and enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil; cook for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer (bubbles just barely breaking the surface), partly cover and cook until the pot stops smelling like the aromatics and starts smelling like the beans, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Add more water if necessary to keep the beans fully submerged. Gently stir in kosher salt and continue cooking until the beans are creamy in texture but not bursting, 10 to 45 minutes more.

  3. Step


    Drain the beans, reserving the tasty cooking liquid for another purpose, such as a base for soup or a vehicle for egg poaching. You can store leftover beans in their cooking liquid in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

  4. Step


    Toast the bread and then butter each piece. Spoon about ½ cup beans onto each piece of toast and coarsely crush with a fork. Divide the remaining whole beans among the toasts (about ¼ cup per toast). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste.



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Cooking Notes


I tenaciously read reviews hoping to see someone who tested this recipe with canned beans…With a bare fridge and an empty pantry—I was a rebel and used CANNED cannellini beans and it came out divine! Took a sliver of the time (only followed up until the boil) and sprinkled with smoked paprika! Also used half the salt and it was perfect. Can’t wait to make this again.


I live at 8000 feet! I always have to soak all dried beans for about 12 hours and cook extra hours to get the soft. What about these heirloom beans? Are that the same? Thanks for any suggestions.


Incredibly delicious and satisfying, especially with a squeeze of lemon juice to finish (along with the olive oil, sea salt, and pepper) and a side of lightly dressed fresh arugula. And patience is rewarded: cook the wonderful Marcella beans as long as it takes for them to become buttery soft.


I have made this using Rancho Gordo beans and it is delicious! It is a meal-- think large pieces of toast, like creamed tuna on toast or the like. I top mine with a poached or over-easy egg. Yum!


You can also not drain & have really excellent bean soup. Marcella beans are delicious.


I had this the day after making the beans, and I think they improved overnight from soaking in their liquid. I prefer the toast without the butter, and broiled for a minute with parmesan cheese. Delicious!!


I used regular cannellini beans and navy beans, did not soak them. Delicious!


Delicious! I don't know why you don't need to soak the beans, but I did not per recipe and turned out great.


Using the Marcella Bean from Rancho Gordo, followed this recipe as a base. Instead of just salt, I tossed in a rosemary sprig, parmesan rind,and a scoop of miso paste in the last hour to up the umami factor. Fantastic with a drizzle of good olive oil. Ate with toast AND as a soup.


A pound of dried beans for 4-8 servings of what would appear to be an appetizer? Those are some hefty slices of toast!


this was amazingly delicious, who would have thought, given the modest ingredients, i will definitely make again.


Use an instant pot works great


Scrape a halved clove of garlic on the toast before adding the beans. And a tiny bit of dijon mustard added to the buttered toast is good, too.


Perfect. Make it in the instant pot for 45 minutes.

Margaux Laskey, Staff Editor

No changes necessary, although if you're in a hurry, you could reduce your cooking time a bit. Just cook until the beans are the desired consistency.


Has anyone made this recipe in an instantpot?

Laurie Heath

Made my second bag of Rancho Gordo Marcellas. This time I baked them in the oven, seasoning with garlic, thyme, and parmesan rind. My partner wasn't too excited about this dinner, but that changed as soon as he took his first bite! I thought they needed a little more seasoning, so I added a bit of Penzey's Northwoods before smashing some of the beans and spreading them on toast. I topped the toast with over medium fried eggs and truffle oil. Simple ingredients created a terrific meal.


Used canned beans. Fantastic flavor. Will definitely do again with crustier bread, I was using up dinner rolls before they went bad. Still tasted good but can’t wait to try on a sturdier bread.


This was so simple and wonderful. Living in the mile high city calls for a lot more cooking/soaking time but so worth it. Thank you for the simple healthy plant based meal.


Canned pintos work just fine! Delicious!


Our method is very quick using dried beans, but requires forethought: we sprout beans and lentils before cooking them. More protein, less gas, shorter cooking time, same excellent flavor.

Amanda G

Cooked this morning and delicious. Because I had about 2 cups of leftover large white beans in a little bean sauce, I used those. I cut the carrot, onion, and celery by about 1/3 and then sautéed these on med-low to tender. Then added beans with its bean sauce/juice and cooked for about 10 mins. Served on toast (whole wheat) as recommended. It was delicious.


I am an impulsive and impatient cook and as such wanted this for breakfast as soon as I saw it featured in this morning’s “Well” email, so I cheated and used canned beans. When the veggies were almost cooked I added a little water to the pot and then added the canned beans, smashing a few to give the finished dish a some creaminess. I’m sure the flavors aren’t as developed as they would be with the long simmer of the dry beans, but still a delicious and healthy change up to breakfast.


As one of the other commenters notes, of course you can use canned. The recipe comes from a bean vendor and connoisseur, and i don't doubt specialty beans would make a difference, but for an affordable and quick weeknight supper, canned are fine.To my mind, the big difference is in the bread and the finishing...consider parmesan, lemon, (maybe a rosemary lemon oil) and a an arugula salad...


Delicious - just made a batch of Rancho Gordo small white beans. RG suggests you CAN soak, but alternately, bring to a boil in water flavored with aromatics and boil vigorously for 10-15 minutes, then simmer til cooked. Since these beans were small, this worked well, and didn't require soaking. Or set them up in a slow cooker for the day - I usually do this the day before, but would work on the same day. For larger beans, soaking lessens cooking time. But don't use OLD beans

great summer meal

Alternative. Replace recipe with one can of Heinz beans with tomato sauce. Ladle onto toast. 5 mins. A journey into childhood memory.


Just what I was thinking. Learned from my Engis son-in-law.


So simple. I could prepare this on the boat, yet so very delicious. Bravo!


I tenaciously read reviews hoping to see someone who tested this recipe with canned beans…With a bare fridge and an empty pantry—I was a rebel and used CANNED cannellini beans and it came out divine! Took a sliver of the time (only followed up until the boil) and sprinkled with smoked paprika! Also used half the salt and it was perfect. Can’t wait to make this again.

karen d

Fabulous! I soaked the white beans overnight. Used homemade sourdough focaccia for the toast, which soaked up the bean broth in a wonderful way. I tore up some locally grown arugula and added that over the top, along with many grinds of black pepper and some Maldon salt flakes. I will make this again and again!


I've been adding some parmesan rind to it once the water is back down to a simmer. It adds a little zest of tang.

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Simple Beans on Toast Recipe (2024)


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