These easy pizza baked beans are perfect for busy weeknights! Mix some canned, drained beans with a bit of pizza sauce, add your favorite toppings, and bake for a quick, cozy dinner that's perfect with a loaf of crusty bread. Ready in 30 minutes.
You know I'm a sucker for lightning fast butter bean recipes (Exhibit A: These brothy butter beans, which are on the menu at least once a week). But these pizza beans take "easy weeknight dinner" to an entirely new level.
This recipe requires almost no prep, uses just one baking dish, and is a perfect blank canvas for your favorite toppings or any produce you have on hand.
Let's Talk Ingredients
The base of this butter beans recipe is ultra simple:
- Canned butter beans (drain and rinse them, please!)
- Your favorite pizza sauce! Use homemade pizza sauce or grab a jar at the grocery store to keep things simple.
- A splash of water helps thin out a thicker pizza sauce (this prevents it from drying out too much and burning in the oven, and gives you a more broth-y sauce for sopping up with some bread). The water is optional, though - skip it if you want a thicker final sauce!
From there, you just need a few toppings:
- Mozzarella cheese. We used store-bought shredded mozzarella here, but you can also use sliced fresh mozzarella or shred your own cheese! If you don't have mozzarella, substitute shredded white cheddar, parmesan, havarti, or provolone.
- Your favorite pizza toppings. We used pepperoni here to keep things simple, but you can use your favorite protein (Italian sausage, crispy bacon, and slow cooker shredded chicken are good here) or add some veggies (black olives, minced or roasted garlic, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, diced onion, etc.). Stir extra veggies or protein in with the bean mixture, or sprinkle them over the cheese as toppings!
Riffs and Substitutions
- Add greens. Roughly chop some spinach, kale, or a handful of fresh herbs and mix the greens in along with the pizza sauce.
- Swap the butter beans for cannellini beans or Great Northern beans if you like! You can also use garbanzo beans (chick peas) in a pinch, but they won't have the same creamy texture.
- No pizza sauce? Use marinara sauce (or spaghetti sauce) instead, and skip adding the water (marinara sauces aren't usually as thick as a pizza sauce, so they don't need the extra liquid).
- Add more flavor by topping this pizza with some red pepper flakes or fresh basil.
How to Make These Butter Beans
Mix the butter beans, pizza sauce, and a splash of water in a medium-sized baking dish or a large cast iron skillet. (You can grease the casserole dish if you like, but in our testing we didn't find it made much of a difference.)
Top the beans with shredded mozzarella, a pinch of salt and black pepper, and your favorite pizza toppings (we used pepperoni here). Pop it in a hot oven, bake until the cheese is melted and the pepperoni is crispy, then serve with plenty of toasted crusty bread.
Pro Tip: It can take awhile for the cheese to start browning on these roasted butter beans. At first, it may look like the mozzarella is just kind of melting into the sauce without forming much of a crust. Be patient and give it a few extra minutes in the oven if you need to! You can also roast these beans under the broiler for a minute if you'd like a crispier top layer.
We typically eat this butter bean recipe with a few slices of toasted crusty bread or garlic bread (this pairs so well with some asiago cheese bread, or with our small batch crusty bread if you're cooking for two!) Sometimes we'll also add a quick lemon arugula salad to stretch this out into a heartier meal.
A Few FAQs
Yes! They're both beans from the Phaseolus lunatus plant species (source). In the United States, we often use these terms interchangeably, and the preferred name varies by region. Lima beans and butter beans are occasionally packaged at varying levels of maturity: Canned beans labeled "lima beans" are sometimes a slightly smaller size with a light green color (this is because they're harvested earlier, making them a "younger" bean), while "butter beans" (also called large limas or gigante beans) are typically bigger, with a creamy white color and a softer texture. Both lima beans and white butter beans work well in this recipe!
Use canned Cannellini Beans or Great Northern Beans instead of the butter beans here if you like. You can also use Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas) in a pinch, but they don't have the same creamy, cozy texture.
These butter beans are best eaten right after they're baked! If you do have leftovers, let them cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven, zap them in the microwave, or warm in a skillet over medium heat (if the beans look a bit dry, add another splash of water as you heat them up).
As written, this recipe uses two cans of butter beans and gives you 2-4 servings (we usually get about 3 servings out of this recipe if we eat it with bread, and 4 servings if we add a side salad). Use the handy 2x/3x buttons in the recipe card below to scale it up if you have more mouths to feed!
You need to cook the beans first (don't just swap dried beans for the canned beans here). But yes, you can swap cooked, previously dried beans for the canned beans here. Learn more: How to cook beans.
More Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas
These easy pizza baked butter beans are perfect for busy weeknights!
- 2 15-ounce cans of butter beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup of your favorite pizza sauce
- ¼ cup water (optional - see recipe notes)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup pepperoni
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh basil, for garnish (optional)
- Crusty bread or sourdough, toasted, for serving
- Heat oven to 450° Fahrenheit.
- Mix butter beans, pizza sauce, and water in a medium-sized baking dish with a pinch of salt.
- Top with mozzarella, pepperoni, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Bake at 450°F for 20-30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted and lightly browned.
- Top with basil (optional) and serve with some toasted crusty bread.
Substitutions and Additions. Stir your favorite cooked proteins (Italian sausage, chicken, or ham) or veggies (black olives, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms) directly into the butter bean and sauce mixture or sprinkle them over the mozzarella as additional toppings. Stir roughly chopped spinach or kale into the sauce for extra greens. Adjust the cheese by using white cheddar, parmesan, or provolone in place of some or all of the mozzarella. Substitute canned cannellini beans or Great Northern beans for the butter beans if you like. Swap the pizza sauce for marinara or spaghetti sauce (see the note about water below).
Do I need the water? We wrote this recipe to use our homemade pizza sauce, which is quite thick: The splash of water here helps thin that sauce out to keep the beans moist as they bake (and prevent the sauce from drying out or burning) and give you a broth-y-er final sauce that’s perfect for sopping up with bread. If you’d prefer a thicker, less brothy final sauce, or if you’re using a thinner pizza sauce (or a jar of marinara/spaghetti sauce), you can skip the water.
The cheese may not brown right away: At first, it may look like the mozzarella is just melting into the sauce without forming much of a top crust. Be patient and give it a few extra minutes in the oven if you need to! You can also pop these butter beans under the broiler for a minute if you'd like an even crispier top layer.
Serving Sizes. As written, this recipe makes 2 large standalone servings. If you serve it with plenty of bread, this is enough for 2-3 people; if you add a salad or another side dish, you can stretch it to 4 servings.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 547
- Sugar: 5.6 g
- Sodium: 1684 mg
- Fat: 11.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 70.6 g
- Protein: 43 g
- Cholesterol: 24.7 mg
Keywords: gluten free, dinner, one pot