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Tuscan White Bean Skillet

$5.78 Recipe/$1.45 Serving

Tuscan white bean skillet is a quick and easy delicious meal ready in 15 minutes! This healthy sundried tomato rice and bean skillet is budget friendly and a great meal for entertaining company or taking a meal to a friend, since it’s simple to make but packed with flavor!

If you love sundried tomatoes, you have to try this sun dried tomato pesto pasta recipe as well!

Cast iron skillet filled with tuscan white beans and rice.

Why you will love this recipe

  • Quick and easy – this Tuscan white bean skillet is ready in 15 minutes, that includes prep time! The key to making this meal so quickly is to use leftover rice! I typically prep extra rice over the weekend so I can make a quick and healthy meal in just minutes during the week (check out this vegan shawarma for another 10-minute meal with leftover rice).
  • Budget friendly, simple ingredients – the bulk of this recipe is rice and beans, the ultimate budget friendly meal! You can find kale in most grocery stores for $1-2 a head and sundried tomatoes are a great budget friendly ingredient because they last so long in the fridge! You should be able to find all the ingredients for this Italian white bean skillet in your local grocery store.
  • Can easily be doubled, great for meal prep – the beauty of this recipe is that it is packed with flavor, and it comes together so quickly from start to finish. This is always great when you are entertaining or need to make a large meal for a crowd. This recipe is perfect for potlucks, entertaining, or taking to a friend in need. It freezes well too so you can make a double batch and freeze some for later!
  • Customizable – you can easily swap out the veggies for whatever you have on hand and can even use quinoa, pasta or cauliflower rice in place of the rice. You can use lentils, other beans or even tofu, chicken or ground turkey in place of the white beans.
Ingredients to make tuscan white bean skillet.
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Ingredients

  • Onions and garlic – onions and garlic provide the base flavor for this Tuscan white bean skillet meal. Since this one pot meal comes together so quickly, it’s important to get flavor from as many ingredients as possible. The onions and garlic sauteed before the rest of the ingredients help to build that flavor base.
  • Kale (I love Tuscan or lacinato kale) kale provides lots of color to this dish and also cooks down quickly, helping to keep this recipe to 15 minutes. The kale doesn’t wilt down as much as spinach, so I prefer it in this recipe, but you could also use baby spinach if you don’t love kale.
  • Vegetable broth – vegetable broth is used to help steam the kale and helps to provide more flavor to the dish. Since this is a 15 minute meal, it doesn’t have a lot of time to develop it’s own flavors, so using a broth instead of water helps to impart more flavor in the dish.
  • Spices: Salt, Italian seasoning, garlic power – these spices help to season the dish and give it a pop of flavor.
  • Sundried tomatoes in olive oil – the sundried tomatoes and the oil they are packed in provide the bulk of the flavor to this Tuscan white bean skillet. I haven’t tried this recipe with dried sundried tomatoes, but I imagine you would need to rehydrate them in hot water before using them in this recipe. If you don’t love sundried tomatoes, you could use roasted red pepper and more Italian seasoning instead.
  • White beans – you can use any cooked white bean you have on hand. Cannellini beans would be traditional in this Tuscan white bean skillet, but I often use great northern white beans, cooked navy beans or even cooked butter beans or lima beans.
  • Cooked rice (jasmine or basmati is best) – this recipe comes together so quickly because of leftover cooked rice. Typically, regular white rice or brown rice gets hard and is very hard to reheat. Leftover brown or white jasmine rice and basmati rice stay soft and easy to work with, even days after cooking. I recommend making a large batch on the weekend (cook 2-3 cups of dry rice in the instant pot and portion out 2.5-3 cups in a stasher bag to use in recipes during the week). You can also use quick cooking microwave rice or defrost frozen rice to make this recipe quickly.

How to make tuscan white bean skillet

Check out the step by step story on how to make this 15 minute Tuscan white bean skillet meal.

Start by prepping all the ingredients, chop the onions and garlic, chop the kale and rinse, and drain the beans. This recipe comes together very quickly so having everything prepped ahead is key. This prep time is included in the full recipe time.

Chopped onions and garlic with destemmed kale on a grey cutting board.

While you are chopping the veggies, preheat a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, spray with olive oil or avocado oil spray and add the onions. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the onions are starting to turn translucent, add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn.

Steps on how to saute onions from raw to golden brown.

As soon as you notice the garlic is cooked, add the chopped kale, vegetable broth, salt, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Stir well and cook 1-3 minutes until kale starts to wilt.

Cast iron skillet filled with kale, before and after cooking the kale down.

Once kale is wilting, add the sundried tomatoes, rice and beans. Stir well and cook until heated through – usually 2-5 minutes time. Serve hot.

White beans, rice and sundried tomatoes added to the skillet of cooked kale.

Top tips

  • Prep everything ahead – chop the onions, garlic, kale and drain the beans before you start. This recipe comes together so quickly, that you don’t want anything to burn as you are trying to prep ingredients.
  • Be sure to remove the thick stem from the kale before chopping it. If you buy bagged chopped kale, be sure to take time to remove any of the thick stems you see before adding it to the skillet.
  • Take time to cook the onion and garlic before adding the rest of the ingredients, it really helps create the best flavor and only takes a few minutes of time.
  • If you don’t have premade rice, you can also use quick cooking rice or frozen rice, just be sure to defrost it ahead of time.
  • Want to turn this into soup? Add 3-4 cups of vegetable broth when you add the rice and beans and simmer 5-10 minutes to make a healthy, flavorful soup!
  • Want to make this lower in carbs? Substitute the rice for spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, hearts of palm pasta, cauliflower rice or hearts of palm rice.

Other additions

  • Veggies: Artichoke hearts, chopped tomatoes (or diced tomatoes, drained), olives, roasted red peppers, spinach, olives. You can also add asparagus, zucchini or mushrooms that you cook with the onions and garlic adding 2-3 minutes to the total cook time.
  • Cheese: Regular or vegan feta or parmesan cheese would be a great addition for flavor and creaminess.
  • Spice: Red pepper flakes added at the end can bring a level of spice and heat to this recipe.
  • Protein: if you want to add more protein to this meal, you could add tofu (vegan), chicken, shredded chicken or shrimp to make it even more filling.

How to serve italian white beans and rice

This healthy Tuscan white bean skillet is a full meal on its own. You can add other veggies or serve with a light salad or soup or with crusty bread for dipping. Some great side salads or soups include:

Salad: Vegan Greek Salad or Green Salad with Creamy Basil Dressing

Soup: Mediterranean Vegetable Soup or Simple Frozen Vegetable Soup

Tuscan white bean skillet on a large plate with a white napkin below the plate.

Common questions

What are the best white beans to use

Most white beans are similar in taste and have similar texture.

  • Cannellini beans – these would be the most appropriate considering they are an Italian bean. Cannellini beans are very creamy on the inside and are pretty easy to find in most grocery stores.
  • Great northern white beans – these are the easiest to find in most grocery stores and are great to use. These are typically what I have on hand and they are great for skillet meals like this as they don’t fall apart easily when stirring them around.
  • Navy beans – these are similar in texture to black beans and I usually only see these as dried beans. If you want to make them from dried, you can save even more money. Follow the instructions for instant pot black beans to make the navy beans, the cooking time is the same.
  • Lima beans or butter beans – these are two different names for the same bean. You can buy lima beans dried or cooked. These are buttery on the inside and so delicious. I highly recommend these if you can find them!

How to destem kale?

Before you chop your kale, it’s important to remove the tough, thick stem which is very fibrous and hard to chew.

To destem kale:

  • Hold the kale in one hand by the stem, so the leaf is facing the ground. Rip away the leaf from the stem about 1-2 inches down on each side of the stem.
  • Wrap your forefinger around the stem and pull down, this will quickly and efficiently remove the stem from the leaf. You may notice the very thin end of the stem doesn’t easily remove, that is ok, it will break down quickly when cooking.

What if you don’t have rice prepped in advance?

If you don’t have rice prepped in advance you can also use quick cooking rice or frozen rice which you can find in most grocery stores. Trader Joe’s and Sprouts both have frozen jasmine rice.

You can also make rice fresh before putting the rest of the recipe together. This takes about 15-20 minutes using the instant pot.

Large wooden spoonful of tuscan white bean skillet from the cast iron skillet.

Can you make this with dry rice?

I have not tested making this with dry rice in one skillet.

If you decide to do that, wait to add the kale and beans until after the rice is done cooking. To cook the rice in the skillet add 1 cup of rinsed dry rice and 3 cups of water to the skillet with the onions and garlic, bring to a boil over medium high heat then turn to low. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes until rice is tender. Once rice is cooked, add kale and cook 1-3 minutes. Once kale is wilted, add the beans and sundried tomatoes and cook until beans are warmed through.  

Instead of rice, what else can I use?

You could also make this Italian white bean skillet meal with quinoa, cooked farro, cooked bulgur, frozen cauliflower rice (this will need to be cooked 7-8 minutes before adding the kale as it needs to defrost and let go of extra water), cooked spaghetti squash, cooked pasta, zucchini noodles, hearts of palm noodles or hearts of palm rice.

Is this good for a freezer meal?

This would be a great freezer meal as it freezes well and would reheat very well. I would cook the entire recipe as stated, except you don’t have to cook the rice and beans until they are warmed, you could stop once they are added and fully incorporated. From here, let the recipe cool before transferring to a freezer safe bag or container.

When you are ready to cook sundried tomato rice and bean meal, add it to a pot with about ½ cup of vegetable broth and cook over medium low heat covered until everything is defrosted and hot. If you need more water because the rice starts to stick, just add water a few tablespoons at a time.

Storing leftovers

Fridge: Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Note: rice should only be stored for 5 days total in the fridge, so the storage of this recipe will depend on how long the fridge has already been in the fridge for.

Reheating leftovers: Reheat in a skillet over medium low heat (add 2-3 tablespoons of water to ensure it doesn’t stick and can steam while cooking) or microwave 1-2 minutes.

Freezer: Freeze in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 3 months. I like to freeze leftovers in individual 1 or 2 cup portions using Soupercubes. Once frozen, you pop them from the silicone mold and transfer them to a freezer safe bag. Be sure to label the container with the name, date and use by date.

Italian white beans and rice on a plate with a fork resting on the plate.

Substitutions

  • Onion and garlic – this recipe is best with white or yellow onions. If you don’t have those on hand, you can simply omit them from the recipe. Same goes for the garlic. You could use dried minced onion and dried garlic granules that you add along with the kale and vegetable broth if you have those on hand. I would do about 1 tablespoon of the dried minced onion and 1 teaspoon of the dried garlic granules.
  • Kale – I love tuscan kale (sometimes called lacinato or dinosaur kale) but you can use regular curly green kale or red kale. You could also use baby spinach, swiss chard or even collard greens that are finely chopped. If you don’t love kale or greens, check out the other veggies you can add above!
  • Vegetable broth – you can also use vegetable stock, chicken broth or stock or bone broth (if you are not vegan/plant based/vegetarian). If you don’t have broth or stock on hand, you can also use water. The vegetable broth is just a way to add more flavor to the dish.
  • Italian seasoning – if you don’t have Italian seasoning on hand, you can also use herbs de provence or even make your own Italian seasoning using dried basil, parsley and oregano.
  • Garlic powder – garlic powder adds a level of umami and a savory quality to the dish separate from the fresh garlic flavor. If you don’t have garlic powder on hand, you can simply omit it.
  • Sundried tomatoes in oil – I love the flavor from both the sundried tomatoes and also the oil they are packed in. They help bring a flavor that is unlike anything else. If you have dried sundried tomatoes that come in a plastic bag, rehydrate them in hot water before adding to this recipe. If you don’t have sundried tomatoes or don’t like them, you could use roasted red peppers and increase the Italian seasoning from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon.
  • White beans – if you don’t have white beans on hand, you can also use black beans, kidney beans, lentils, or replace the beans with your favorite protein. Crispy balsamic tofu, shredded chicken, Italian chicken, or ground turkey would also be great in place of the beans (you will want about 3 cups of these).
  • Cooked rice – leftover jasmine or basmati rice is best in this recipe. You can also use quinoa, bulgur, pasta, spaghetti squash, cauliflower rice or hearts of palm pasta or rice as well.

If you love this recipe, you should try

Greek White Bean Salad

Italian White Bean Salad

White Bean Soup

Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes

Brussel Sprouts Casserole

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Kale

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!
Tuscan white bean skillet in a cast iron skillet

Tuscan White Bean Skillet

$5.78 Recipe/$1.45 Serving
Tuscan white beans and rice skillet is so easy to make, ready in just 15 minutes and packed with flavor! This recipe uses leftover rice (from meal prep) which helps make it quick and simple, great for busy weeknights or for lunches throughout the week! This meatless meal is vegan, gluten free, dairy free and plant based!
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: italian white bean skillet, sundried tomato rice and beans, tuscan white bean skillet, tuscan white beans and rice
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 9 mins
Total Time: 14 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped - $0.33
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, chopped - $0.08
  • 1 head tuscan kale, chopped (lacinato or dinosaur kale) - $1.50
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth - $0.11
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning - $0.10
  • 1 tsp salt - $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder - $0.05
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes in olive oil - $1.17
  • 2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz. cans) - $1.99
  • 2.5 cups cooked jasmine rice - $0.40

Instructions

  • Start by prepping all the ingredients. Chop the onions and garlic. Destem and chop the kale, rinse and drain the white beans.
  • While chopping the veggies, preheat a large skillet over medium heat.
  • When the skillet is hot, spray with extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil spray. Add onions and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • When onions are starting to become translucent, add the garlic and cook 1-2 more minutes. Stir regularly so the garlic doesn't burn.
  • When the onions are starting to brown and garlic is cooked, add the kale, vegetable broth, salt, italian seasoning and garlic powder. Stir well and cook 1-3 minutes to start to wilt the kale.
  • Once kale is wilted (liquid doesn't have to be gone from the pan), add the sundried tomatoes, white beans and cooked rice. Stir well and cook 2-4 minutes until beans and rice are hot. Serve immediately.

Notes

Top tips
  • Be sure to prep everything ahead – chop the onions, garlic, kale and drain the beans before you start. This recipe comes together so quickly, that you don’t want anything to burn as you are trying to prep ingredients.
  • Take time to cook the onion and garlic before adding the rest of the ingredients, it really helps create the best flavor and only takes a few minutes of time.
  • If you don’t have premade rice, you can also use quick cooking rice or frozen rice, just be sure to defrost it ahead of time.
  • Want to turn this into soup? Add 3-4 cups of vegetable broth when you add the rice and beans and simmer 5-10 minutes to make a healthy, flavorful soup!
  • Want to make this lower in carbs? Substitute the rice for spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, hearts of palm pasta, cauliflower rice or hearts of palm rice.
Other additions
  • Veggies: Artichoke hearts, chopped tomatoes (or diced tomatoes, drained), olives, roasted red peppers, spinach, olives. You can also add asparagus, zucchini or mushrooms that you cook with the onions and garlic adding 2-3 minutes to the total cook time.
  • Cheese: Regular or vegan feta or parmesan cheese would be a great addition for flavor and creaminess.
  • Spice: Red pepper flakes added at the end can bring a level of spice and heat to this recipe.
What if you don’t have rice prepped in advance?
If you don’t have rice prepped in advance you can also use quick cooking rice or frozen rice which you can find in most grocery stores. Trader Joe’s and Sprouts both have frozen jasmine rice.
You can also make rice fresh before putting the rest of the recipe together. This takes about 15-20 minutes using the instant pot.
Can you make this with dry rice?
I have not tested making this with dry rice in one skillet.
If you decide to do that, wait to add the kale and beans until after the rice is done cooking. To cook the rice in the skillet add 1 cup of rinsed dry rice and 3 cups of water to the skillet with the onions and garlic, bring to a boil over medium high heat then turn to low. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes until rice is tender. Once rice is cooked, add kale and cook 1-3 minutes. Once kale is wilted, add the beans and sundried tomatoes and cook until beans are warmed through.  
Instead of rice, what else can I use?
You could also make this Italian white bean skillet meal with quinoa, cooked farro, cooked bulgur, frozen cauliflower rice (this will need to be cooked 7-8 minutes before adding the kale as it needs to defrost and let go of extra water), cooked spaghetti squash, cooked pasta, zucchini noodles, hearts of palm noodles or hearts of palm rice.
How to destem kale
  • Hold the kale in one hand by the stem, so the leaf is facing the ground. Rip away the leaf from the stem about 1-2 inches down on each side of the stem.
  • Wrap your forefinger around the stem and pull down, this will quickly and efficiently remove the stem from the leaf. You may notice the very thin end of the stem doesn’t easily remove, that is ok, it will break down quickly when cooking.
Storing leftovers
  • Fridge: Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Note: rice should only be stored for 5 days total in the fridge, so the storage of this recipe will depend on how long the fridge has already been in the fridge for.
  • Reheating leftovers: Reheat in a skillet over medium low heat (add 2-3 tablespoons of water to ensure it doesn’t stick and can steam while cooking) or microwave 1-2 minutes.
  • Freezer: Freeze in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 3 months. I like to freeze leftovers in individual 1 or 2 cup portions using Soupercubes. Once frozen, you pop them from the silicone mold and transfer them to a freezer safe bag. Be sure to label the container with the name, date and use by date.
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
414
Fat
 
2
g
Carbohydrates
 
80
g
Fiber
 
12
g
Sugar
 
2
g
Protein
 
20
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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