Cannellini beans with rosemary and balsamic onions

Cannellini beans with rosemary and balsamic onions

cannellini beans rosemary oil plate

Winter is coming, it’s drizzly, gloomy, windy and cold outside and so comfort meals are gaining more and more relevance by the day. As beans are one of the healthiest sources of protein as shown in the recent Netflix documentary on Blue Zones, I have a super easy and cosy autumnal dish for you today – cannellini beans with rosemary oil, vegan sausage and onion chutney. It’s easy and quick, yet super comforting and if my local pub had something this nutritious and comforting on their vegan menu, I would be there is a flash.

I am a bit fan of cannellini beans and pulses in general and consume them in various forms throughout the week as part of my wholefood vegan diet. They make delicious salads, soups, dips and snacks (bean crisps anyone? I haven’t done a recipe for them yet but they are staple snack at my house). This simple bean stew is another, simple and quick way to enjoy cannellini beans.

I cooked them until soft and creamy in olive oil flavoured with garlic and onion, then top them with fried vegan sausage (mushrooms or roasted beets would also be beautiful), then just a spoonful of tangy onion chutney sauce and a drizzle of fragrant rosemary oil takes this dish to a whole new level. I love it with a couple of slices of my favourite bread on a side.

cannellini beans cooking

cannellini beans rosemary oil

cannellini beans pot

cannellini beans rosemary oil plate

10 min
30 min
10 min
30 min
  • 2-3 tbsp / 30-45 ml olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic* cloves, finely diced
  • 3 x 400 g / 14 oz cans of cannellini beans*
  • 240 ml / 1 cup soy (or other) milk
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup shop-bought onion chutney (I used this one)
  • 2 tbsp / 30 ml quality balsamic
  • 2 tsp / 10 ml maple syrup
  • 4 vegan sausages* (optional)


  • 80 ml / 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 g / 0.3 oz rosemary leaves (from 4 sprigs)
  1. Heat up two tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan, add diced onion and 5-10 minutes later garlic. Sauté on low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened and fragrant but not browned.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, then add drained beans – squash a portion of the beans with a fork for a creamier texture -, soy milk and nutritional yeast (if using). Season again.
  3. Simmer on low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until creamy and thickened.
  4. While the beans are simmering, heat up 1 tsp of olive oil in a heavy skillet. Slice vegan sausages on the diagonal into 1.25 cm / ½” pieces and pan-fry it until lightly charred on all sides.
  5. Once sausages are done, remove them from the pan. Add onion chutney, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup to the pan. Season and simmer for a few minutes until thickened and caramelise.
  6. Divide hot beans between bowls. Top with fried sausages, a spoonful of onion chutney sauce and a drizzle of rosemary oil. Enjoy with a slice of crusty bread (I love it with my easy rye sourdough).


  1. Pick rosemary leaves, cut the hard ends off and chop the leaves into very fine pieces using a herb cutter, sharp knife or a mini food chopper.
  2. Heat up olive oil in a small pot until the oil has small ripples on the surface, then take off the heat and throw all of the chopped rosemary in – rosemary should sizzle as it hits the oil but it should not turn brown (this means that the oil is too hot – test with only a couple of pieces of rosemary to be sure first).
  3. Transfer to a small jar, and keep on the kitchen counter – use to top cooked beans, soups, pasta and hummus etc.

*GARLIC – if you prefer a mellower taste of garlic, you can add some roasted garlic cloves blended into the beans. To roast a garlic head, cut the top off, drizzle exposed cloves with a teaspoon of olive oil, wrap the entire head in kitchen foil / baking parchment and roast at 200° C / 390° F for about 30 minutes.

*CANNELLINI beans (aka white kidney beans): you can use dry beans instead of canned. You’ll need approximately 700 g / 25 oz of cooked beans as each can is about 240 g / 8.5 oz drained weight. Cook them in plenty of water, after an overnight soak, with a piece of kombu to make them easier to digest.

*VEGAN SAUSAGE – I used M&S Vegan Posh Dogs in this recipe. If you are not keen on vegan sausages, why not top the beans with grilled garlicky medley of mushrooms.

28 g
27 g
4 g
18 g
72 g
*per 1 out of 4 servings
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6 reviews, 14 comments
This is the yummiest comfort food! The combined flavors are wonderful. In the U.S., onion chutney is not so common. Davina Carmelized Onion Jam from Whole Foods was great with this recipe. It's also available on Amazon, but costs almost twice as much (but still considerably less than other brands on the site). Thinking we need to cook up our own batch of onion chutney so we have plenty to make this recipe more frequently. We used Beyond Sausage Brats. Thank you for a new family favorite!
    Thank you, Jennifer! I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed the flavours of this dish and happy you found a good sub for Onion Chutney in the US - I am sure my US readers will appreciate the tip, thank you. Yes, making caramelised onions at home is the way to go in terms of cost savings and also you know what's in them. It takes a bit of time but totally worth it. Ania
Amazing flavors!
I made it for my family dinner. I have caramelized onions according to your recipe, they turn out wonderfully.
Thank you for all the beautiful photos and vegan recipes.
    Aw thank you Monia, that is so lovely to hear that this has gone down so well with you and your family! Thank you for taking the time to review - I so appreciate it. Ania
Michael Gallaher:
wonderful flavors.
I'm at 73, not vegan. I'm just not. But life is all about the flavors and healthy living is for all of us.
    Glad you enjoyed this dish, Michael! As far as I am concerned vegan food is simply food, it just happens to be based entirely on plant-derived products. Media tries to pit vegans and non vegans against each other, but I think we should all just eat the food that aligns with our values, health goals and ecological concerns. Ania
A wonderful recipe that is both light tasting and hearty at the same time. I honestly would never have thought to add milk to the beans, but wow, the results certainly speak for themselves! This represents a new favourite way of cooking white kidney beans for me.
    Thanks Fredrico, I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed this dish so much and that's become your new favourite way to cook beans - so nice to hear that! Ania
Can you freeze this soup?
    It's a stew rather than a soup but sure, you can and yes, you can add more liquid to make it more soup-like. I recommend freezing it without the toppings (pan-fried sausage, chutney, rosemary oil), of course. Hope you'll enjoy it. Ania
I love this recipe's basics -- all I do is make the beans with onions and seasoning, almond milk, nutritional yeast and let it boil and then simmer. I use Field Roast Italian fennel vegan aausages. I serve with a brilliant onion chutney. my partner and I love it at least once a week. I had it last night and tonight. I can only imagine all the extra seasoning and flavoring of the recipes next steps will make it a very delicious meal of mostly beans!
    Thank you, Kitty! That's great to hear. It was my aim to come up with something healthy, nourishing and no-hassle so that it can be made at short notice so I am delighted to hear that you and your partner enjoyed it too. x Ania
This was a super yum and easy recipe. I grilled some sourdough drizzled with olive oil which I thought worked really well, it gave a lovely contrast in texture and made the meal more substantial.
    Thank you Tom, so chuffed to hear that you enjoyed it AND found it easy to make. I agree, sourdough is a perfect match! x Ania
This looks absolutely delicious; right up my alley! thanks Ania
    Thanks Sue, I am delighted to hear that and I hope you'll enjoy it! x Ania
you mention an ingredient [balsamic onion chutney] with neither a suggestion as to where to buy it or how to make it. that's truly frustrating since i was interested in making this recipe and i believe that the dish will seriously suffer without this main ingredient. what a waste!
    I am not sure which country you live in, but here (in the UK) it's a supermarket staple. I used this one from Morrison's. You could make your own balsamic onions but it's a lot of extra work, alternatively a drizzle of balsamic reduction will also work beautifully. Hope this helps! x Ania
This sounds quite delicious and I'm anxious to try it. But I was wondering if you used store bought balsamic onion chutney? A recipe for homemade would be wonderful!
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