This is an easy, weeknight gratin with cannellini beans, spinach, Parmesan and bacon. It’s not as rich as other gratins because it doesn’t have a cream sauce but instead relies on Parmesan cheese and a small amount of mashed-up beans to help thicken it.
It starts on the stove by sautéing onion, roasted red peppers and garlic together. The beans and spinach along with chicken broth are mixed in too and briefly cooked to wilt the spinach. Then it’s baked with plenty of Parmesan inside and out.
The beans turn out soft, creamy and delicious with an earthy bite from the spinach and a ton of flavor from the aromatics. Bacon is the perfect thing to complement both white beans and spinach. The salty, crumbled bits find their way into all the little nooks and crannies and brighten up the flavors.
You can easily make this vegetarian by using vegetable broth and leaving off the bacon or using an alternative bacon.
You can serve this hugely comforting gratin along side any type of protein or easily make a meal of it with a piece of crusty bread.
This is an easy, weeknight gratin with cannellini beans, spinach, Parmesan and bacon. It's not as rich as other gratins because it doesn't have a cream sauce but instead relies on Parmesan cheese and a small amount of mashed-up beans to help thicken it.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 8 casserole dish.
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium low heat. Add the onion, red pepper and garlic, season well with salt and pepper, cook about 5 minutes, stirring often until onion is tender.
- Add the broth, all the beans but 1/2 cup and the spinach, bring to a simmer and cook about 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Mash up the 1/2 cup beans with a fork and mix them in too.
- Remove from heat, mix in the basil and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan.
- Pour into the casserole pan and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over top. Bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle the bacon over top and serve with additional Parmesan cheese.
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