Sautéed White Beans & Arugula

Recipe 15 minPreparation Time 15 minCooking Time
Sautéed White Beans & Arugula

Sautéed White Beans & Arugula

15 minPreparation Time 15 min Cooking Time

About this Recipe

White beans and arugula are powerhouses of nutrition that are also pantry and refrigerator staples you might already have on hand. This fast and easy side dish gets a lot of flavor from nuts, herbs, lemon, and aromatic garlic and chile. Common white bean varieties such as Great Northern and cannellini (white kidney beans) are creamy, tender, and packed with protein and fiber. Arugula is loaded with vitamins (A and C) and minerals (iron and magnesium). Look for small, tender leaves. Finish with plenty of EVOO.

The Benefits

Loaded with protein and fiber, white beans are also offer a fine way to get vitamins B6 and 9 (folate). Additionally they are a good source of copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. And for those looking for dairy-free sources of calcium, white beans have you covered. Arugula offers antioxidants, which help keep your cells healthy, and as a cruciferous vegetable also has the detoxification benefits of sulforaphane.

Note: If you’re starting with dried beans, soak them for several hours or overnight in plenty of water (they expand as they hydrate). Drain and rinse the beans, put them in a large pot, and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook until they are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Drain. If you’re using canned beans that already have salt, omit the salt during cooking and season to taste at the end. 


Serves 4
  • 2½ Tbsp (20 g) pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp (60 ml) olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups (330 g) cooked white beans, drained (see Note above)
  • 1 bunch arugula, trimmed and roughly chopped (or a couple handfuls of baby spinach)
  • Pinch of salt (see Note above)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch of red chile flakes
  • Juice of 1 lemon, divided
  • 1½ Tbsp (15 g) salt-packed capers, rinsed
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Several basil leaves, cut into thin slivers
  • Extra virgin olive oil for serving


  1. Step 1
    In a small dry skillet, toast the pine nuts over medium heat until fragrant and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Step 2
    In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot and shimmering. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the white beans, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the spinach, salt, pepper, chile flakes, and the juice of half a lemon. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is just wilted and bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and taste and adjust the seasoning.
  3. Step 3
    Stir in the capers and add the remaining juice of half a lemon. Transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts, lemon zest, and slivered basil. Just before serving, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Zero Waste: Use any arugula and herb stems for vegetable stock