These easy stewed butter beans are ready in 30 minutes or less - perfect for a quick dinner on busy weeknights! Serve with crusty bread to sop up this light, cozy broth and add any extra veggies you have on hand. (Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy Free)
When you test recipes for a living, it's hard for anything new to break into the regular dinner rotation. But this easy, brothy butter bean dish has quickly become one of my most-reached-for weeknight staples.
This recipe is the perfect balance of stick-to-your-bones comfort food and light, veggie-forward flavor. It's ultra simple and infinitely customizable. Grab some canned butter beans to keep things easy (although you can certainly cook your own beans if you want to!)
We're using fresh tomatoes and herbs today, but you can swap in plenty of freezer or pantry staples if you haven't gotten to the store lately (keep reading for some of our favorite riffs on this base recipe!)
PS - For another quick dinner idea, try our Pizza Baked Butter Beans →
What you'll need
This butter bean recipe boils down to a few major components:
- The aromatics. Start by sautéing minced garlic and shallot in a bit of olive oil with some salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Veggies and butter beans. Throw in any hearty veggies you have on hand along with a can of drained butter beans. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half if you have time (it helps them cook down a bit faster so they get nice and saucy) but if you're in a rush, you can skip that step and throw them in whole.
- Stock. Use veggie stock here to keep things vegan/vegetarian, or use chicken broth, parmesan broth (our favorite!) or turkey stock. Bring everything to a low simmer and let it cook anywhere from 5-30 minutes until you're ready to eat!
- Finishing touches. When you're ready to serve, stir in a splash of lemon juice and a big handful of chopped fresh herbs (we used basil and parsley here). Don't forget to taste and add salt and pepper (or more lemon juice) as needed!
Riffs and Substitutions
This recipe is so forgiving, and the measurements here don't need to be exact - feel free to eyeball things! After a few run-throughs, you'll be able to do the whole thing from memory (and adjust it on the fly!) Some of our favorite swaps and additions:
- Add parmesan. Top this dish with some shaved parmesan, or let a parmesan rind simmer with the beans and stock while they cook. Pro tip: For a next-level sauce, swap the veggie stock in this recipe for some homemade parmesan broth.
- Play with the fresh herbs. We used a 50/50 mix of parsley and basil here, but it's good with chives, rosemary, and sage as well. Use one herb or a combination. (You can also add some fresh pesto à la our pesto butter beans!)
- Mix up the vegetables. Add sweet corn, diced zucchini, diced eggplant, bell peppers, or some green beans for a summery spin on this dish. Stir in some diced sweet potato, sliced mushrooms, or shaved brussels sprouts for a fall-inspired take. We also love adding kale or spinach for a pop of color! (You can also swap chopped large tomatoes for the cherry tomatoes if you want.)
- Use different beans. We love using butter beans because they're big, hearty, and ultra-creamy (perfect for slathering on a piece of toasted bread!) If you're in a pinch, though, this recipe also works with chick peas/garbanzo beans or cannellini beans.
- No fresh veggies or herbs? No problem. Round out this recipe with frozen veggies (peas, corn, diced butternut squash, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.). You can also use a teaspoon or so of dried herbs (basil, sage, and rosemary are all good) in place of fresh. Add any frozen veggies or dried herbs when you add the stock and let everything simmer until heated through.
A note about portion sizes
This recipe makes enough butter beans for 2 small portions. If you eat this recipe on its own, it makes a great, light lunch for two people.
If you're especially hungry or are serving this for dinner, we recommend adding some extra veggies or pairing these beans with some small batch crusty bread or a quick arugula side salad to make it a bit heartier (you can also hit the handy 2x or 3x buttons in the recipe card below to easily double or triple the recipe for larger portions!)
This recipe makes two light portions. For a heartier meal, we recommend pairing these brothy butter beans with a side or two!
Some of our favorite side dishes
- Plenty of crusty bread to sop up all that broth! Grab a loaf of sourdough from your favorite bakery or throw a loaf of our favorite Easy Crusty Bread in the oven (we have a small batch bread recipe that's perfect here, too!) This recipe is also great with a hunk of roasted garlic rosemary bread or asiago bread on the side.
- A quick 5 minute arugula salad
- Roasted lemon broccoli or other veggies
- Easy Spinach Apple Salad
How to stretch these beans for a few extra servings
- Add carbs! Serve these butter beans over rice, quinoa, farro, or your favorite pasta (this recipe is great with any noodles, but it is exceptional with the Porcini Trumpets or Whole Grain Reginetti pastas from Sfoglini).
- Add extra veggies like corn, spinach, kale, zucchini, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, or anything else you have on hand. If you add a ton of extra veggies, you may also want to add an extra splash of stock to keep things nice and saucy.
- Add protein. Meal prepped shredded chicken, shrimp, chorizo, and Italian sausage are all good here. This recipe is also a perfect place to use any leftover chicken, pork, or other meat from meals earlier in the week!
More Easy Butter Beans Recipes
These cozy, brothy butter beans are perfect for busy weeknights!
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot, diced small
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
- 1 (15 ounce) can butter beans, drained
- ¾ cup vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ cup fresh herbs, chopped (we used a mix of parsley and basil)
- Crusty bread, for serving (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes until garlic is fragrant and shallot is translucent.
- Add tomatoes and red pepper flakes to skillet and stir to combine. Cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have just begun to soften.
- Add butter beans, vegetable stock, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, then bring mixture to a simmer and cook for at least 10 minutes or until you're ready to serve. (You can let this mixture simmer for up to an hour if you need to. The longer it cooks, the softer the beans and any veggies will be. If the beans start to look dry, stir in an extra splash of veggie stock to keep them nice and brothy).
- Turn off the heat. Stir lemon juice and chopped herbs into butter beans. Taste and add salt or more lemon juice if necessary.
- Serve immediately with toasted crusty bread and your favorite side dishes.
This is a very loose recipe. Feel free to eyeball the exact ingredient amounts! Use more or less of any ingredient to suit your personal tastes. After a few tries, you'll be able to make these butter beans in your sleep.
Additions and Substitutions. This dish is very forgiving. Add any veggies you have on hand (we love corn, spinach, kale, zucchini, brussels sprouts, bell pepper, sweet potato, cauliflower, and broccoli). If you add a ton of extra veggies, you may also want to add an extra splash of stock to keep things nice and saucy. Use basil, parsley, chives, rosemary, sage, or a combo of several herbs in this recipe. Use chicken stock or parmesan broth in place of veggie stock. Read the full post above for more ideas to help you riff on this base recipe!
Side dish suggestions. This recipe makes two light servings. For a heartier meal, serve over farro or pasta and add protein or extra veggies (you can also hit the 2x or 3x buttons above to double or triple this recipe for bigger serving sizes!) Serve with plenty of crusty bread to soak up the broth, and add a quick side salad, some roasted veggies, or a bit of protein for larger servings.
No fresh veggies or herbs? Round out this recipe with frozen veggies (peas, corn, diced butternut squash, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.). You can also use a teaspoon or so of dried herbs (basil, sage, and rosemary are all good) in place of fresh. Add any frozen veggies or dried herbs when you add the stock and let everything simmer until heated through.
Taste and adjust as you go! Taste and add salt as necessary to help the flavors pop. Flavor can vary dramatically depending on what vegetable stock you use here - be sure to use a veggie stock you like the taste of. Lemon juice can also vary by brand (and by lemon!): Start with 2 Tablespoons or so of lemon juice, then taste and add more if you like.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 297
- Sugar: 7.2 g
- Sodium: 1871.7 mg
- Fat: 14.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 35.9 g
- Protein: 9.7 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: weeknight, vegetarian, quick