Marinara Beans

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This weeks recipe came out of sheer curiosity. Flipping through recipes, as I always do, I ran across this one for Cheesy Marinara Beans. I never though about taking white beans and treating them in the spirit of lasagna. And why not? They can be used in that way. The only things I see that need to be changed are the heavy tomato use and the sheer amount of cheese. I think I can make this cheesy without so much cheese and use pumpkin for the marinara sauce. To keep the carbs lower, I can see placing a few veggies on the side in place of a crusty baguette. I don’t think this dish needs extra bread. I do think this is a healthy comfort food dish that is definitely worth making. A change of pace from baked beans from the plethora of barbecues that you may be attending this summer.

Here are the original stats:

Here’s what I changed

  • I replaced the tomato products with a pumpkin marinara recipe from Frugal Nutrition.
  • I replaced the corona beans with great northern bean that are low sodium because they are easier to find and reduce the sodium.
  • I increased the servings from 6 to 8 to lower the calories.
  • I replaced the ricotta with a dairy free cream cheese to reduce the dairy.
  • I reduced the amount of parmesan cheese to reduce the sodium.
  • I replaced the fontina with mozzarella to reduce the sodium.
  • I will be adding a vegetable side dish to cover the A and C.

Here are the final stats:

Here is the final recipe:

Marinara Beans

Serves 8

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 15-ounce can no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ⅔ cup vegan cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
  1. Heat oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until thickened, about 1 minute. Add in the pumpkin pasta sauce. Stir in beans, basil, oregano and parsley. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 18 to 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high. Combine egg, cream cheese and 1/8 cup Parmesan in a small bowl.
  3. Gently stir the ricotta mixture into the bean mixture. Sprinkle mozzarella and the remaining 1/8 cup Parmesan on top. Broil until the cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with more herbs, if desired.


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