This Slow Cooker Italian White Beans with Mushrooms is a hearty vegetarian main dish or side dish full of garlic, tomatoes, creamy white beans, and capers.
We are obsessed with these Slow Cooker White Beans and have been eating them with everything from spaghetti squash to creamy spinach polenta to cheesy zucchini noodles. The leftovers freeze great and they are perfect for meal prep since they are even better after a night in the fridge.
If you're in the market for a delicious, stick-to-your-ribs type of dish that's full of hearty white beans, tomatoes, garlic, capers, mushrooms, and black olives, then you've come to the right place. This white bean dish is like a vegetarian version of cacciatore and it goes great with pasta, polenta, couscous, or spaghetti squash.
The great thing about this dish is you probably have most of the ingredients laying around your house anyway (or maybe they're in the pantry, probably not laying around on your couch or anything). Even if you don't have everything, all of these ingredients are easily accessible and in season year-round.
Plus, who doesn't want a slow cooker vegetarian meal in their arsenal? Whether you are a vegetarian, do Meatless Mondays, or just like to have a plant-based meal once in a while, you'll be so glad you gave this dish a try. So glad, in fact, I bet you put it in your rotation pretty darn often.
Ways to Serve Slow Cooker Italian White Beans with Mushrooms
Let go of all your constraints of how you think a dish should be served and get creative!
- Serve this dish as a topper for a baked potato or over polenta.
- Add the bean dish in a store-bought bread bowl.
- Eat the beans alone in a bowl with some crusty bread on the side.
- Add the beans over zucchini noodles (or another vegetable noodle).
- Put a couple ladles of the beans over whole-wheat pasta, egg noodles, couscous, or brown rice.
- This dish makes a great version of vegetarian "sloppy joes" — just add a big spoonful in between the slices of a hearty bun.
- Serve this dish alongside a yummy kale or mixed greens salad.
- Nothing goes as well with beans as cornbread!
- Swap out the pepper for another pepper variety you enjoy or skip them all together.
- Sprinkle the beans with a little feta or goat cheese when you add the olives.
How Can I Use Leftover Slow Cooker Italian White Beans with Mushrooms?
There are so many ways to eat up leftovers (if you have any!)
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the beans (leaving the broth behind) if they are not thick enough and add the beans to a burrito. Top with lettuce.
- Consider making up a big batch and freezing the leftovers — they will freeze so well.
- Add leftover ground meat or sausage to the beans before reheating.
- If your beans are too thick after being in the refrigerator, add a little more broth to them (about ¼ cup at a time) before reheating.
- Blend some up to make a new Italian version of refried beans. Top the mashed beans on a tostada shell.
- Or, blend the mixture to make a hummus or dip!
- Add leftover beans to some scrambled eggs. Don't knock it till you try it!
What Other Beans Can You Cook in the Slow Cooker?
Beans are easy to make in the slow cooker, and the best part is, you don't even have to soak them beforehand, which is an additional time saver. White beans, pinto, black, garbanzo, just about any kind of bean will cook in the slow cooker. Plus, you can tweak them to your tastes and if you make a big batch and have lots of leftovers, they will freeze well.
One thing to note though: Keep in mind that the older your bean is, the drier it is and the longer it can take (and possibly more water/broth as well) to cook. Also, if you want to put kidney beans in the slow cooker, you do have to soak them and boil them for 30 minutes to kill off a toxin found naturally in the beans that can put in some digestive distress that you'd probably rather not have.
What Makes Beans Healthy?
All beans are members of the legume family, but then again so are peas and lentils. (And, shockingly, cranberries are a legume! I did not know that…) So, for the purpose of this informative paragraph, I'll be talking about the white beans here, but also black, cannellini, navy, garbanzo, great northern, kidney, lima, black-eyed peas (also a bean!), and pinto.
What makes these healthy is that they are a good source of plant protein, fiber, and they make a great substitute for meat. They are also typically low in fat and contain iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, and other B vitamins.
Yes, there are carbs in beans, but the kind of carbs that you want — those that digest slowly, leaving you feeling fuller, longer. And beans have been shown to lower your blood sugar, your resting heart rate, your blood pressure, and your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Can I add chicken or turkey to this dish?
If you want to add a meat component to this dish, you can add some boneless skinless chicken thighs right to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. You could also brown some ground turkey, chicken, or beef and add that to the slow cooker. Once the beans have cooks, you could add cooked chopped chicken breast to the recipe as well. I wouldn't add chicken breast to the slow cooker since it will likely dry out since the beans need a long time to cook.
Slow Cooker Italian White Beans with Mushrooms
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- 16 oz. dry white beans
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 celery stalks with leaves, diced
- 4 tbsp. tomato paste
- 14 oz. canned diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup red wine (or vegetable broth)
- 4.5 cups vegetable broth
- 1.5 tbsp. capers, drained
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 cup black olives
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* 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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