What the heck are pizza beans you ask? Are they beans on pizza?? Pizza on beans?? You’re intrigued, I can tell. ?
As far as I know the term was first coined by Deb Perelman, one of my favorite blogger/chefs, in her second cookbook. The story goes that she, 6 months pregnant, was invited to a potluck. Instead of making a separate dinner for her husband and son, she decided to make a little extra, so the dish would serve double-duty.
Well, here’s the thing. Her son threw A FIT. He didn’t want to eat beans for dinner… or anytime for that matter.
Quick on her feet, Deb said, “You should try them! You’ll see! There’s tomato sauce, and look at all of that cheese on top… It’s just like pizza.” “Pizza beans!!”
Let’s be honest, most tots (and even some adults) turn their nose up at beans. But when the beans are bathed in a garlicky tomato sauce, topped with a layer of gooey mozzarella cheese and baked to perfection… whether kid or adult, WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE? ❤️
Though Deb’s recipe is truly delicious, I’ve got my own take. These adjustments take the dish to the next level- adding nuance, and layering more flavor. Importantly, though, my enhancements make an easy, one-pot dish no more complicated to execute.
So when you’re looking for a hearty, weeknight meal with tons of flavor, look no further. Serving with crusty bread for sopping up the sauce is a must.
I’ve also served my version of Pizza Beans while entertaining- I’d suggest adding a green salad such as my Rosemary Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Grapes & Hazelnuts , Hearts of Palm, Avocado & Pomegranate Salad , or Caramelized Roasted Carrot Salad with Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette to round it out and make a dinner party-worthy meal.
What Tools Do I Need?
One pot. That’s it! Use a large stock pot or dutch oven.
Can I Substitute Ingredients?
- Bacon can be used instead of the prosciutto. It will impart a smokier flavor. It also has more fat, so reduce the olive oil to 1 tablespoon.
- Try kale or swiss chard instead of spinach
- If you don’t want to use red wine you can use chicken or vegetable stock
- Cannellini beans are my favorite here, but you can use different beans if you prefer, such as chickpeas or gigante beans.
Can I Make This Ahead?
Absolutely! Cook everything but don’t add the cheese. Cool it down and store in the fridge for up to two days (or freeze for a month). When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375, place back in the pot or in a casserole dish, and top with the cheese. Bake until bubbly and heated through, about 30-40 minutes.
Yum! Anything Else?
- Crusty bread makes a great accompaniment
- Leave out the prosciutto and it’s vegetarian, leave out the cheese too and go vegan
- Pass hot red pepper flakes at the table for that authentic pizza finish!
Chef Tips – Why Use Dried Beans?
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One-pot Pizza Beans
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 pound cooked cannellini beans about 2 cans, drained
- 2 ounces prosciutto
- ⅓ cup red wine
- 4 ounces baby spinach
- 1 28- ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Begin by crisping the prosciutto. In an oven-safe large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. There should be enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Lay the prosciutto in the hot oil and cook, turning once or twice, until browned and crispy, about 4-5 minutes total. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
- In the same pot, add the onions to the hot oil. Cook for 5-8 minutes until softened, then add the salt, oregano and garlic. Cook for another two or three minutes, being careful not to let the garlic burn. Pour in the wine and let it reduce over medium high heat for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add in the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes. If the pot is bubbling and spattering you can place a lid slightly ajar over top. Stir in the spinach, beans, and basil and cover with the lid. Reduce heat to low and let the spinach wilt for 5-8 minutes.
- Taste for seasoning, and add up to another teaspoon of salt if needed. Lay the mozzarella slices over the top and place in the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbling.
- To serve, ladle out the beans with the cheese into individual bowls. Crumble the prosciutto over top and enjoy!
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