These easy Slow Cooker Tuscan White Beans with fire-roasted tomatoes, red peppers, sweet onion, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and a hint of spice make the perfect vegetarian main dish or hearty side dish.
These easy slow cooker Tuscan-inspired white beans with fire-roasted tomatoes, red peppers, sweet onion, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and a hint of spice make the perfect vegetarian main dish or hearty side dish.
After recently hearing a report on all the health benefits of beans, I have been trying to add more of them to my diet. According to that report, beans are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, and zinc and can help reduce the risk of many cancers as well as diabetes and heart disease. Plus they keep me full for a really long time, which is always a bonus.
To get things started, I made this recipe for Slow Cooker Red Pepper Italian White Beans that I have been loving as a meatless entree or side dish. The beans are creamy and full of flavor from the red peppers, garlic, and vinegar. I like to kick things up with red pepper flakes as well, but you could leave these out if you don't like spice.
To keep things simple I didn't add any extra veggies to the recipe, but you could definitely add some greens to pack in extra nutrients. Served with a warm bowl of polenta and some grated Parmesan cheese and it's one delicious and comforting meal.
Key Ingredients and Easy Swaps
Once you get the hang of this recipe, it's easy to swap in different beans, vegetables, and spices to create unique flavor combinations.
- White Beans: White beans are classically used in Italian cooking, but there are lots of beans that would work in this recipe. Make it with cannellini beans, Northern white beans, chickpeas, or pinto beans.
- Fire Roasted Tomatoes: Any type of diced tomatoes will work in this recipe. The slightly smoky flavor of the fire-roasted tomatoes adds a really nice flavor.
- Red Peppers: Any bell peppers will work in this recipe and you could use a combination of red, green, orange, or yellow peppers. You can also swap in roasted red peppers for an extra layer of flavor.
- Sweet Onion: The sweetness of a Vidalia or other sweet onion works really well in this recipe, but you could also use white or yellow onion.
- Garlic: It's hard to make an Italian recipe without some garlic. Add extra if you want even more garlic flavor. You could swap in garlic powder or minced garlic if that's all you have, but fresh will have the best flavor.
- Balsamic Vinegar: To add some richness to the dish, balsamic vinegar is the perfect addition.
- Spices: This recipe uses Italian seasoning since it combines lots of dried spices in one. You could also use your own combination of dried basil, oregano, and parsley.
Recipe Ideas and Tips
- Want more veggies? This recipe works great with added veggies! For hearty vegetables like kale, Swiss chard, or butternut squash - add them in the beginning since they take longer to cook. For quicker cooking vegetables like zucchini, green beans, broccoli, or spinach, add them in the last 30 minutes of cooking. You may need to up the seasoning if you add lots of extra veggies.
- Add some cheese: If you aren't making a vegan dish, finish the white beans with some shredded Parmesan, crumbled goat cheese, or pearls of fresh mozzarella.
- Fresh herbs: To really take this dish to the next level, finish it with some fresh basil or parsley. This adds both flavor and freshness.
- Turn it into soup! This dish also works great as soup as well. Just add some chicken or vegetable broth and kick up the seasoning a bit.
How to Serve Tuscan White Beans
This dish works great as a vegetarian entree or side dish. Here are some ways to serve it up!
- As a side dish: Serve this with this easy Pesto Chicken, this delicious Italian Chicken Skillet, or this 15 minute Italian Salmon. Then pair it with something green like this easy Spring Mix Salad or some Sauteed Broccoli.
- As the main dish: If serving this as the main course, you can pair it with spaghetti squash, cauliflower rice, or couscous. Then add some greens like Sauteed Kale or this Easy Arugula Salad.
Storage and Leftovers
Beans are perfect for meal prep and store well in the fridge and freezer. In fact, they get even better after a night in the fridge for the flavors to deepen and combine. These Tuscan White Beans will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days and the freezer for up to 4 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can this be made into a soup?
This dish makes a really delicious Tuscan White bean Soup. Add 2-3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth to achieve the thickness you want. You can also add in spinach, sauteed sausage, shredded chicken, fennel, or other vegetables.
Can protein be added to these white beans?
Absolutely! Our favorites included chicken sausage, chicken breasts, shrimp (cooked separately), or tofu for a vegetarian protein option.
What other beans can be used?
This recipe works with all different beans including garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, Northern beans, and pinto beans.
Slow Cooker Tuscan White Beans
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- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 30 oz. canned white beans, drained and rinsed
- 20 oz. canned diced fire roasted tomatoes (undrained)
- 3 U red peppers, sliced
- 1 U sweet onion, sliced
- 2 U garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more, optional)
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper (more to taste)
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
More veggies? This dish is delicious with extra veggies. For heartier veggies like kale, Swiss chard, or butternut squash you can add them at the beginning of cooking. For quicker cooking vegetables like zucchini, broccoli, spinach, or cauliflower - add them 30 minutes before the dish is finished cooking.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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