Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Summer

Italian Baked Beans

I often call these my pizza beans because A) it's accurate, and B) it's a great way to lie to myself so I don't order another late-night large for snacking. This is an Italian-American-inspired take on baked beans, trading Navy beans for cannellini, and swapping molasses and bacon for oregano, sausage, and parmesan. 

The cheese forms a gooey crust on top, and the beans get a nice bath in marinara (we should all be so lucky), which is to say, your kids are going to love these


  • 4 cans Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 Yellow Onion, diced

  • ½ pound Italian Sausage (hot or mild), removed from casing

  • 2 teaspoons Ground Fennel

  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Oregano

  • 1 ½ cup Tomato Puree

  • 1 cup Chicken Stock or Water

  • 1 tablespoon Red Wine vinegar

  • ½-¾ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese +¼ cup to garnish

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  • Basil or Flat Leafed Parsley for garnish


  1. Heat olive oil in stock pot and add onion when hot. Saute until translucent, 5-7 minutes.

  2. Add sausage meat and brown, breaking it apart as it cooks.

  3. Add fennel and oregano, cook 2 minutes.

  4. Shut off the heat and add tomato puree, chicken stock, and vinegar, stir to combine.

  5. Add beans, stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Pour beans into 9x13 baking dish.

  7. Scatter cheese over beans in dish.

  8. Bake at 325˚ for 30-40 minutes, until cheese is bubbling.

  9. Sprinkle remaining cheese and basil/parsley on top before serving.