Beans in Tomato Sauce ( Fagioli all’uccelletto) is a simple but delightful Italian dish made with cannellini beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, kalamata olives, and Italian seasoning. Though traditionally a side-dish, it’s filling enough as a meal! I hope you enjoy this rustic Beans with Tomato Sauce recipe!
Beans in Tomato Sauce is made around my house on a weekly basis. It’s one of my favorite lunches because it’s not just healthy and filling but absolutely delicious. All the great traditional Italian flavors without the carb hangover is what I’m all about!
While I’m claiming this as a completely original recipe in that I had no inspiration other than a love for sauteed tomatoes and garlic, I’ve discovered (as with many things) this isn’t something new. Beans with Tomato Sauce is a traditional Italian side dish known as Fagioli all’uccelletto which means “little bird”. While it’s unclear why this nickname was affixed to this dish, some believe it’s because the recipe commonly calls for fresh sage, an herb often used in poultry recipes. Though I’ve omitted sage in my recipe here to stay true to my original creation, feel free to add it and tell me what you think.
Another ingredient in this recipe which is unique are the kalamata olives. Why did I add these you ask? Simple answer: I love olives and they go great with most things Italian or Mediterranean and (trust me) they work well in this dish.
Beans In Tomato Sauce Recipe
- Cannellini beans. Traditional Fagioli all’uccelletto calls for cannellini beans. However, I’ve tried this recipe with butter beans and garbanzo beans and it works. Just stay away from pinto, black, or kidney beans for this one.
- Fresh Roma tomatoes. Roma are the best tomatoes for making sauce.
- Tomato sauce. I like adding a little canned tomato sauce for thickening and consistency.
- Olive oil. Use extra-virgin olive oil here.
- Kalamata olives. This is the key ingredient in this recipe. These olives also add a fair amount of salt into the recipe so you don’t have to.
- Garlic. I use 3 cloves in this recipe. However, I love garlic and lots of it. If you like less, you can just add 2 cloves.
- Italian seasoning. Just a pinch works well here. It really rounds out the overall authentic Italian flavors nicely.
How To Make Beans in Tomato Sauce
- Sauté garlic and tomatoes. Pour 3 tablespoons olive oil into a medium-sized sauce pot. Add minced garlic and finely chopped tomatoes. Sauté over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until tomatoes emit juice and turn into a sauce.
- Add remaining ingredients. Add tomato sauce, kalamata olives, cannellini beans, and Italian seasoning. Cook for an additional 10 minutes over medium-low heat until flavors combine.
- Serve. Garnish with parsley or fresh basil and serve with a side salad and some good French or Italian bread.
This is really something of a two-step recipe. Sauté your garlic and tomatoes and then add all remaining ingredients. It comes together in one pot. Talk about simple!
Recipe Tips And Variations
I have only two simple tips. Canned white beans are already soft so don’t overcook them or you’ll end up with mush. Lastly, the traditional recipe for Fagioli all’uccelletto calls for fresh sage leaves. If you’d like to try the traditional version of this recipe, add 3 fresh sage leaves.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze this recipe for up to a month in a freezer bag.
What To Serve With White Beans in Tomato Sauce
While this recipe is commonly served as a side dish, it has become one of my favorite lunches. I typically add a good side salad and some French or Italian bread with it.
You can also serve it on top of some good toasted bread as done in our Beans on Toast recipe.
Is This Recipe Healthy?
This is an extremely healthy recipe. Let’s take a look at the health benefits of tomatoes, cannellini beans, and garlic. Tomatoes are a major source of the antioxidant lycopene which comes from the red pigment in tomato skins. Lycopene is believed to be beneficial for maintaining heart health by lowering bad cholesterol. White beans are a great source of protein for those practicing vegetarian or vegan diets. Finally, studies have shown that garlic can reduce the number of days sick per year. (1)(2)(3)(4)
Want More Easy Vegan Italian Recipes?
- Homemade Marinara Sauce
- White Bean Tomato Soup
- Vegan Pizza
- Beans on Toast
- Pasta Primavera
- Vegan Cashew Alfredo Sauce
- Garlic Oil
- Vegan Mac and Cheese
- 1 (15 ounce) Can of cannellini beans
- 3/4 Cup Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 (8 ounce) Can tomato sauce
- 1/4 Cup kalamata olives, cut in half
- 3 Garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Using a medium-sized sauce pot, saute minced garlic and finely chopped Roma tomatoes in olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes or until tomatoes begin to emit their juice.
- Add tomato sauce, kalamata olives, cannellini beans, and Italian seasoning. Cook for an additional 10 minutes to allow flavors to combine.
- Serve with French or Italian bread and a side salad.
Recipe Tips and Variations
I have just a couple tips. Because canned cannellini beans are already soft, don't overcook them. Finally, the traditional recipe for Fagioli all'uccelletto includes fresh sage leaves. Add 3 to 5 sage leaves according to taste.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 202Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 406mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 9gSugar: 6gProtein: 11g
The Vegan Plate attempts to provide accurate information. However, this nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. The nutritional information provided comes from online sources and calculations.